From EW, an interview with David Sedaris on When You Are Engulfed in Flames (and here's an exhaustive guide — for would-be writers and readers alike — to years of autobiography overload). Can a Platonic relationship turn passionate? And if it could, would you want it to? As with century-old debates between suffragettes and abolitionists, the debate has veered toward which disadvantaged group has suffered more. From The Politico, a look at how Drudge keeps campaigns guessing. From Harper's, an interview with Jeff Sharlet, author of The Family: The Secret Fundamentalism at the Heart of American Power; and readers have heard more than a little about that incomplete and unpublished novel, once at risk of being burned in accordance with authorial fiat but now to be published sometime hence as Vladimir Nabokov’s final work, The Original of Laura: Dying is Fun. The epigram on Walter Benjamin's memorial in Portbou, Catalonia, leads Les Back to reflect on the fate of the African migrants found dead on the coasts of Spain today. A review of Assisted Loving: True Tales of Double Dating With My Dad by Bob Morris. More on Nixonland by Rick Perlstein (and an excerpt at Bookforum). A look at how college alumni magazines struggle to compete with Facebook. From PopMatters, enjoying popular culture is necessarily a social experience; hype supplies the ground rules.

From State of Nature, Paula Cerni on why atheism is not enough: A socialist dare to religion and science. Joseph Epstein on The Kindergarchy: Every child a dauphin. From Wired, here are the 8 best non-Wikipedia pedias. David Greenberg on 5 myths about the vice presidency: "Not worth a bucket of warm spit"? Politico offers its own Guide to Undisciplined Messaging, a list of dirty words or phrases that surfaced in this campaign but are better left unsaid. End-time thinking could once be dismissed as a harmless remnant of a more superstitious age, but with the rise of religious fundamentalism, prophets of apocalypse have become a new and very real danger. From Asia Times, an article on how the Pentagon shapes the world. From BBC Magazine, click, clack, bing: Why the typewriter is still king; and how does a writer emulate the style of a famous author? More on Superclass by David Rothkopf. What Happened with What Happened: Peter Osnos on the McClellan book and its raging critics.  From The New York Times Book Review, a special issue on Summer Reading, including a review of The Necessity of Theater: The Art of Watching and Being Watched by Paul Woodruff. You know the feeling that something is on the tip of your tongue? It offers deep insights into the nature of the mind. Is the political novel dead? Not according to the cover story of this month's Bookforum.

From The Nation, Michael Kazin reviews A Conservative History of the American Left by Daniel Flynn (and more and more). From Vanity Fair, Todd Purdum explores Clintonworld, and asks if the former president will be consumed by his own worst self. Jonathan Schell reviews Human Smoke: The Beginnings of World War II, the End of Civilization by Nicholson Baker (and more and more, and more). From Ethics & International Affairs, Philip Coyle (WSI) and Victoria Samson (CDI): Missile Defense Malfunction: Why the Proposed U.S. Missile Defenses in Europe Will Not Work (and a response). From Commonweal, Paul Baumann is among the Catholic commentariat. In the Emperor's Dream House: Joyce Carol Oates and Michiko Kakutani review The Enchantress of Florence by Salman Rushdie (and an interview, and more and more and more). With an ambitious new novel, Salman Rushdie is hoping to turn the spotlight back to his literary career (and more). Rhyme and punishment for Naipaul: A wickedly humorous poem by Derek Walcott has drawn more blood in a vitriolic feud between literary lions. From New York, what good is breakfast? A thorough examination of the sternest, most-skipped meal of the day. From Discover, here are 3 ideas that are pushing the edge of science, 3 people who are pushing the edge of science, and 3 amazing science projects from around the globe.