John Clare

In the past couple of weeks big-name agents like Andrew Wylie and authors like Seth Godin have used e-books to challenge traditional publishing, making us protectively clutch our paperbacks. At Digital Book World, Emily Williams examines the crucial questions of copyright and contracts in the emerging battle to control the e-book future, while at The Atlantic, Tim Carmody looks back at "10 Reading Revolutions Before E-Books." The latest craze of the heady e-book era, the Kindle 3, is out now and earning rave reviews; John Naughton explains why this version of Amazon's e-reader will thrive: "Looks Don't Count for Everything."

There's no need to explain: We know you only buy Playboy for its exciting new translation of Flaubert.

The nineteenthth-century British poet John Clare was the subject of Adam Foulds's recent novel The Quickening Maze. At Slate, former poet laureate Robert Pinsky writes about the real John Clare, who grew up in extreme poverty, enjoyed a brief period of celebrity as the "peasant poet," and died in an asylum. Pinsky calls Clare a "figure both heroic and enigmatic," examines two of Clare's best-known poems, "I am" (I am—yet what I am none cares or knows"), and "The Badger," and reads them aloud (as part of Slate's great weekly poetry podcast). 

Jonathan Franzen's Freedom finally comes out tomorrow; until then we'll have to sate our anxious anticipation with books from Flavorwire's list of 10 classic tales of suburban ennui. Two of our favorites from the list: Richard Ford's The Sportswriter (the first book of his masterful Bascombe trilogy) and Music for Torching by A. M. Homes, who, Flavorwire writes, "is not afraid to show the boys up at their own game. Mentioned in the same breath as other masters of the suburban novel—including Updike, of course—Homes takes domestic drama to disquieting destinations."

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