Roundup: An Osama bin Laden reading list, Harold Bloom, and more

by Mark Athitakis (membership) | May-02-2011

Following the overnight news that Osama bin Laden was killed by U.S. forces in Pakistan, Michiko Kakutani assembles a list of essential reading on bin Laden and al-Qaeda in the New York Times.

Harold Bloom fan? Adam Fitzgerald interviews the scholar in the Boston Review.

Not a Harold Bloom fan? In the Chronicle of Higher Education, Carlin Romano writes that in Bloom’s new book, The Anatomy of Influence, “he sounds grimly like the lit-crit equivalent of an unsteady Mideast autocrat, used to declaiming on whatever strikes his fancy, oblivious as his ritual pronouncementsfall on deaf ears.”

The Los Angeles Times’ book blog, Jacket Copy, had plenty of coverage of last weekend’s Los Angeles  Times Festival of Books,which included appearances by Patti Smith, Dave Eggers, Susan Straight, Jonathan Lethem, Maxine Hong Kingston, and many more.

Scott McLemee pays tribute to Ellen Willis’ influential rock criticism, recently collected in the book Out of the Vinyl Deeps, for Inside Higher Ed.

Stephen Burt reviews a new Library of America edition of Elizabeth Bishop’s work for the Poetry Foundation’s blog, Harriet.

SF Weekly reports on an event hosted by literary journal Canteen honoring Zyzzyva managing editor Oscar Villalon.

Gina Webb reviews Alexandra Styron’s memoir of her father, William Styron, Reading My Father, and Melissa Fay Greene’s No Biking in the House Without a Helmet for the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.

William Deresiewicz has launched a new blog, All Points, at the website of the American Scholar.

Adam Kirsch reviews Howard Jacobson’s 1999 novel, The Mighty Walzer, just released in the United States, for Tablet.

Jane Ciabattari tells the New Yorker’s Book Bench why she hasn’t been updating Facebook with news on what she’s reading.

Rayyan Al-Shawaf reviews Michael J. Totten’s The Road to Fatima Gate for the Daily Beast.

Steven G. Kellman reviews Arthur Phillips’ The Tragedy of Arthur for the Dallas Morning News.

If you have a news item or review you’d like considered for inclusion in future roundups, please email

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