Monday, March 10, 2008

This Week in Reading March 9 - 15

This week is a big week with the publication of The Wealth of Nations and the start of FDR's New Deal and ending in the Ides of March with the stabbing of Julius Caesar. Although there are a few literary notables such as Jack Kerouac, Edward Albee, and Horton Foote, born this week, there are two bestselling mystery writers who would make no such claim about their work, Mickey Spillane and Carl Hiaason. One of the other authors born this week did make such a literary claim, but David Eggers' A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius was entitled with his tongue firmly in cheek.

But there was another genius born this week too, an exemplar of genius in all forms, Albert Einstein, who appears by virtue of his prose writings and after his work in physics. And to fans of the science fiction - fantasy genre who also liked humor, Douglas Adams was beyond genius in his work on the universe, too. And while the Guinness Book of World Records in 2006 called L. Ron Hubbard "the most published author", perhaps only his followers would call him "genius."

This week's question: What exactly is it when we say "the ides of March"? Do other months have ides?

Answer to last week's question: Jules Feiffer, Pulitzer prizewinning cartoonist for The Village Voice, illustrator of The Phantom Tollbooth, and Little Murders playwright was Will Eisner's assistant in the 1940s during the run of Eisner's cartoon strip The Spirit.

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