* Second and ... secondmost? ... congratulations to Lorin Stein, new editor of The Paris Review. (Stein is doubly represented in my sidebar as translator of The Mystery Guest and editor of Home Land.)
* The National looks at recent non-fiction efforts from Eggers, Chabon and Foer.
* A report of Margaret Atwood's appearance at Davidson College.
* The inevitable press juggernaut surrounding Solar, the new McEwan novel, is creaking to life. One of the more amusing bits has to do with how McEwan lampooned fellow participants on an environmental cruise, reinforcing that indispensable life lesson: never, ever admit a writer in your midst, it will only come to sorrow.
McEwan, who received his MA degree in English literature at the University of East Anglia, the same institution which was immersed in the “climategate” scandal of alleged manipulated figures, saves his best satire for the scientists.
He had plenty of raw material. Tom Wakeford, a biologist who was part of the expedition, told his fellow adventurers in a blog: “Today you will have almost certainly inhaled an atom of carbon exhaled by Julius Caesar when he uttered the question ‘Et tu Brute?’.”
* I haven't had a chance yet to read Steve Wasserman's lengthy essay on The Fate of Books but I intend to, and he is always worth your time, so I comfortably recommend it, sight unseen.
* And, finally, the always superb Daniel Mendelsohn weighs in on the Avatar question.