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Culture Lust by Angela Carone

Bookstores, Obama on The Wire, and Other Things Grabbing My Attention This Morning.

I LOVE this Guardian list of the world's top 10 bookstores . The list is a mix of grand architecture, cozy clutter, and paeans to civilized lounging and perusing. I want to move in to each and every one of them - except for the Borders in Glasgow. A Borders is still a Borders, regardless of how you dress it up. Big surprise! The ratings for this year's Golden Globes were terrible.

Researchers have found that consumers will believe a wine is better if it costs more. The pleasure centers of the brain actually undermine us in the discerning process...then again, all that wine tasting hardly makes one a vigilant watchdog against marketing manipulation.

Here's a fun article on writers throughout history who have chosen to remain anonymous at times in their career. It was once a very common practice, for what turns out to be strategic marketing on the writer's part: "If you follow in any detail the use of anonymity by literary writers - satirists, poets, dramatists and novelists - you will find that only rarely was final concealment the aim. Provoking curiosity and conjecture - highlighting the very question of authorship - was more often the calculated effect."


Violinist Pinchas Zukerman says Americans spend too much money on sports and not enough on the arts: "We're not cultivated people, as a culture," he said. "We have a vast culture here, yet we're more divided than ever before." He goes on to warn: "Most of it has to do with government not wanting to cultivate its own product. We'd better start looking at that soon, or this is going to become a jungle."

And this could seal the deal for my vote in the presidential primaries. Barack Obama's favorite TV show is The Wire (this has been well reported) and his favorite character is.... drumroll please.... OMAR! In short, Omar don't play, y'all.

January 16, 2008 at 06:25 PM
Re World's Top Ten Bookstores Clearly, the old saw about not judging a book by its cover does not apply to bookstores. They can also be judged by their smell. Dust, must, spilled wine, fresh galleys and moldering first editions are always a good sign; Starbucks odors wafting through endless self-help aisles - not a good sign. Thanks for the Guardian link, I am currently brushing up on my Dutch/Portuguese/Japanese and sending out resumes. -----

January 17, 2008 at 07:40 PM
Who can trust a bookstore list that has comic books in Silver Lake and no Powell's?