* The film Defiance has brought new attention to Nechama Tec's book upon which it is based. (We don't, however, go to Edward Zwick movies on principle, so you'll have to let us know what you think of this one.)
* Although we're wary of any article that includes the words "this Internet thing" in its lede, the saga of 93-year-old Betty X. Davis - a writer still waiting for her break, and "determined that she will write until she can't" - should be instructive to the whining classes.
* Neil Gaiman has won the Newberry Medal.
* Signs of the times: Sara Nelson has been laid off from Publishers Weekly.
* The Telegraph remembers Inger Christensen.
Considered the foremost experimentalist of her generation, Inger Christensen took as her central theme the space between language and experience, reality and words. "I have attempted to tell about a world that does not exist in order to make it exist," she said.
* The Iowa Writers' Workshop gets a nod from The Simpsons.
* Robert McCrum anoints his three modern greats: W.G. Sebald, Zadie Smith and Ted Hughes.
* The Washington Post looks at Rogert Lathbury's Orchises Press.
Even as the publishing industry's titans in Manhattan reel from layoffs and discouraging retail sales, Lathbury's 25-year-old firm, Orchises Press, based in his home's atticlike fourth floor, keeps ambling along, producing about three books a year, always on Jan. 27 in honor of his beloved aunt's birthday. This week, Orchises -- which Lathbury named after an orchid in a Robert Frost poem -- will publish two poetry books, including one about terrorism and torture by George Witte, the editor in chief of St. Martin's Press.
* The Baltimore Sun wonders if you read just one book at a time. So do we. For the record, we're always working through several at a time and, with research for the new novel, that number is even higher right now. At the moment, we count seven books in progress, three novels, the others non-fiction, although it should be noted that we probably don't get through them any faster than if we simply read them consecutively, so, really, why bother?. Et vous, cher lecteur?
* Bookstores of the East Village.
* Susan Catto provides a list of four authors as Jane Austen alternatives for fans looking for something different.
They can look to the writers whose books were beloved by Jane Austen herself, the early women novelists who laid the groundwork, both stylistically and socially, for Austen's achievement. These 18th-century authors were blending satire and sentiment before Austen ever put pen to paper, and their personal lives - invariably more dramatic than Austen's - would appear positively racy if given the Hollywood treatment.
* The Columbia Journalism Review has launched Page Views, a blog about books, and the first post is a worthwhile Q&A with David Denby conducted by James Marcus. (Denby will be in L.A. on February 3, if you want to ask him about this snark business.)
* And, finally, go check out Yaddocast: "Twenty unique episodes exploring the history, culture, and artistic achievements of Yaddo and its guest residents, from Yaddo's founding to today. Each episode is an eight to fifteen minute examination of the life and work of one Yaddo founder or artist. Taken together, this series presents over 2 1/2 hours of stories and commentary ... "