America Is Below Average, But Not the Dumbest Country!

Hamilton Nolan · 10/08/13 12:06PM

America seems to be locked in a permanent back-and-forth with the world's other developed nations: we call them "poor and weak," and they call us "uneducated and, frankly, dumb." Also, "fat." Well, we may be fat, but look out world: we're much smarter than the Italians!

Young People Don't Want to Read Your Boring, Age-Appropriate Books

Maggie Lange · 06/12/13 10:31AM

Millennials these days are so busy fiddling with their technological gadgets and maintaining their #personalbrands, they have basically forgotten how to read like grown-ups. The youth of today are eschewing realism and historical fiction in favor of fantasy, horror, and sci-fi novels. As part of NPR's month-long look at the media consumed by today's youth, they examine what these modern reading habits means for today's reading children.

Tom Friedman Travels the World to Find Incredibly Uninteresting Platitudes

Hamilton Nolan · 03/28/12 09:51AM

Mustachioed soothsaying simpleton Thomas Friedman long ago mastered a formula for justifying business trips all over the world by writing columns about them—columns that, while not genuinely insightful or even pleasant to read, contain a sufficient number of plausible-sounding platitudes to enable your average Xerox Corporation regional manager to sound informed during his morning meeting with underlings and sycophants.

The Daily Beast Has Stopped Editing Meghan McCain

John Cook · 12/16/10 10:53AM

Meghan McCain is the illiterate daughter of a ruined man, which makes her "column" for the Daily Beast something of a challenge for her editors. But by the looks of today's offering, they've given up.

Teh Hundrid Buks A Chyld Shuld Reed

Joshua David Stein · 01/30/08 05:30AM

English newspaper The Telegraph recently excerpted an essay that will appear in the Royal Society of Literature Review of the 100 books all children should read. The essay is by author Michael Morpurgo who, totally coincidentally, includes two of his own books on the list. His basic criterion for a book's inclusion is that the book must be fun or enjoyable to read. based on the premise that children need to learn to enjoy to read. "The motivation must come first, horse before cart. ...If we really want our children to become readers for life, we would do well to remember that horses are much more fun than carts anyway." Among the books for youths, Morpungo recommends The Twits by Roald Dahl and "Junk" by Melvin Burgess, a "tough, clear-eyed story of heroin addiction."

One In Four Americans Didn't Read A Single Book Last Year

Emily Gould · 08/22/07 09:50AM

According to an AP poll, basically no American reads any books anymore. Well, the "typical person" claimed to have read four books, with half of respondents claiming to have read fewer and half claiming to have read more. God, was The Da Vinci Code too hard, guys? What about the work of Zane, did its hot pink covers not entice you? Or the Bible, or Danielle Steel? You people could not even manage Danielle Steel?

Why Are This Fall's Big Books So Small?

Emily Gould · 08/21/07 02:20PM

So you know that Fall is supposed to be when publishers release their blockbusters, right? Back to school studiousness plus Christmas shopping equals prime time for book-reading. So what are the bigwigs at Borders ordering a bunch of this fall? We hear they're focusing on two books: Stephen Colbert's I Am America (And So Can You!) and Alan Greenspan's The Age of Turbulence. Exciting! Also: Boring! So what else is hot?