What is the relationship between the physicality of books and the act of reading? How important is the first to the second? Pretty damn important, says Andrew Piper in a recent article at Slate.
As someone who needs and enjoys solitude I found this article about the uses of solitude by John Burnside fascinating.
The New Yorker‘s Adam Gopnik reviews two new books about the connection between geography and history: Robert D. Kaplan’s The Revenge of Geography, and Why Geography Matters: More Than Ever by Harm de Blij.
Jack Shafer’s essay slash review on the subject of George Orwell’s newly published diaries is a great read in and of itself.
A few months ago, I reread Henry James’s Portrait of a Lady; the experience was all the more delightful for the fact that I had read it so long ago that reading it again was like reading it for the first time. Now, Michael Gorra has written a book about the book: Portrait of a Novel: Henry James and the Making of an American Masterpiece. Of course, it’s going on my To Read list. James Wood has a long but very much worth reading literary critique (of the novel) at the London Review of Books.
Finally, if you have enjoyed reading these essays, you might also enjoy Simon Schama’s extended ode to the essay genre (at the Financial Times, of all places).