Meehan Crist and Tim Requarth highlight some problems with Jonah Lehrer’s theory of creativity, and explain why his “mash-up” technique of arguing through anecdotes and science reporting falls flat in his new book, Imagine. As they note: “If dubious interpretations of scientific data appeared only once in Imagine, it might be a worrisome fluke; but they appear multiple times, which is cause for real concern.”
After a raucous book party and drunken agreement, the New York Observer goes on a New Jersey pilgrimage with Gideon Lewis-Kraus. On a related note, here’s a survey of the history of travel literature, “from the book of Exodus to Joan Didion.”
Speaking of Joan Didion, the Blue Nights author canceled a UCLA event yesterday “due to injury,” but fans are assured that there’s no cause for concern. She was at lunch and "banged her leg," Knopf publicity director Paul Bogaards told the Los Angeles Times.
Amazon Publishing has released Jeff, One Lonely Guy, in which Jeff Ragsdale reprints conversations he had with strangers after hanging flyers in New York City urging people to call him. In an interview with author Nick Flynn, Ragsdale notes: “I became a relationship counselor, a sex therapist, a probation officer, a confession booth. I found that people just need someone outside their inner circle to talk to, who’ll just listen and won’t judge.”
The Rumpus is soliciting submissions for their latest “Rumpus Readers Report.” The theme: “Friends with Benefits.”
Amsterdam Stories—published by New York Review Books, translated by Damion Searls, and featuring an introduction by Joseph O’Neill—should bring the Dutch writer known as Nescio a broad American audience.
More than 15 years have passed since Mark Leyner appeared on Charlie Rose with fellow novelists David Foster Wallace and Jonathan Franzen. This weekend, the New York Times Magazine profiles Leyner on the occasion of his new novel, The Sugar Frosted Nutsack, which is being released into a culture that has become so “grotesquely Leyneresque ... that you might wonder (he certainly has) if there is a place left in it for Mark Leyner.”