Reagan Arthur

Follow the adventures of Reagan Arthur, Book Editor, on the Paris Review blog's Culture Diary. In the first installment of the ongoing journal, Arthur travels to Toronto, meets George Pelecanos, and then at 4:30, after reading some manuscripts, takes a well-deserved nap.

In Paris, the Shakespeare and Company festival drew about six-thousand people to a tent near Notre Dame last weekend to talk about "Storytelling and Politics," but all anyone really wanted to talk about was soccer, Lauren Elkin reports. Still, there was some literary chat—Martin Amis calling himself a “millenarian feminist” was perhaps the festival's most memorable quote.

Judging books and their covers: Sorting through more than eight-hundred entries, the design group AIGA has selected the winners of their 50 Books/50 Covers competition, choosing fifty outstanding covers and fifty beautifully designed books (Nabokov's Original of Laura, designed by Chip Kidd, took home honors in both categories, which seems to be the only thing that critics liked about the book). What's striking about the selections—apart from AIGA's predilection for retro and minimalist design—is the many independent publishers who made the cut; Tin House's striking cover for the novel Nov. 22, 1963, Melville House's searing one for The Blindfold Test, and Mark Batty Publisher’s prize for the book design of DIY Album Art, among others.

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