Saturday, August 11, 2007

Hogwarts doppelgangers, the Saturday Times' tragic flaw, and some f-ing cool links.

First of all, it's been a Saturday full of reading the New York Times Book Review (see its less tangible online version here), now that I invested in a subscription to the Weekend Times.

As I turned the last page of the NYTBR with satisfaction, I remembered the rest of the Times, carelessly tossed on my air conditioner. The poor Saturday Times. Right from the start, it's overshadowed by the best insert of the week being sycophantly housed inside its folds. Yep. The Book Review.

I don't know about you, but for me the Saturday Times is like wrapping paper. So carefully pieced together - and yet I have no time for it. The real prize is inside. Like the cute, Santa-clad paper ensnaring the presents on Christmas morning, the Saturday Times gets carelessly strewn around my apartment as I tear it open to get to what's inside. It's a shame really.

The other thing about the NYTBR is that it's just not as great to read online. There's something about its layout, size and color, or maybe it's the pages that don't leave newsprint on your fingers, that makes it irresistible. (Or who knows - maybe it's partly the act of sifting through the Saturday Times to find it that makes it so wonderful. That lack of instant gratification as you wait for something that makes the wait worthwhile.) This week, for example. Who could resist reading the front-page review of the final Harry Potter book? I'm not a Harry Potter connoisseur and I couldn't resist it. It helps that the entire left half of the page displays a simplistic yet hypnotizing picture of a bunch of scarf-donning, nearly-identical-looking, black-and-white Hogwarts dwellers emblazoned on a bright pink background. Brilliant. The Review is just so much better when you're holding it in your hands.

Everything, however, is not better on paper than online. Thinking about the great writing in the NYTBR led me back to my blog. I decided, in the spirit of street cred, to reorganize my side links and add a bunch of new ones. I added some links to sites that I think deserve a little street cred, and I added other links to writers who have way more street cred than any of us.

Some notable additions:

- David Wilcox, who I went to grad school with at Syracuse and whose writing I've always admired, recently won an Associated Press award for his column in Auburn's newspaper, The Citizen. Among the new links I've added to some friends' blogs (Art, Jamie, Lauren, Stephon - all also fantastic writers), you'll find Wilcox Vox., David's blog - mostly about video games and other cool David-ish stuff. (Also, don't forget to check out Ben and Jerzy's blog, which I've had linked here for a while.)

- My old journalism professors. They're great writers. They taught me how to be a good writer. They all have blogs. I've had two of Denny's blogs posted for a while, but today I added blogs kept by media law guru Carole McNall, PR genius Chris Mackowski, and everyone's favorite cynic Sam Smith.

- I've separated out Sweet Reads from Sweet Sites. Sweet Reads includes bloggers and writers who I don't know but whose writing I admire or whose blogs are a great read. Notable favs include Mark Morford, Virginia Heffernan, Anthony Lane (the link takes you to his archive at the New Yorker), the Freakonomics Blog, and Livejournal Shmivejournal. The rest of the links are super cool too, so check them out.

- Sweet Sites includes sites that aren't necessarily blogs, but that I like for one reason or another. Notable favs include Found, Homestar Runner (although the best part of that site is arguably StrongBad's Emails), Geek Sugar, and Jay Barnes Has a Website.

So anyway, my links are updated, and you should check out the sites. If you're my friend and reside in the Blogosphere, send me a link to your space so I can add you to mine. And my final message to all - start reading the New York Times Book Review. You'll thank me.


Ben said...

Life Imitates Art?

You already read this though...

Lisa said...

How do you know I read it? I did read it earlier today. Do you have a tracking device on my computer as well as on your blog? Stalker.


P.S. I love Erica Jong.

Lisa said...

Haha oh you mean in the Book Review. I actually missed it in the Book Review (I don't usually read Letter to the Editor type sections), but I read it online later. :-)