A Barnes & Noble bookstore in Washington, D.C.
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Squirreled away in a recent Wall Street Journal article about a concert DVD by singer Alanis Morissette was this revelation: "She's focused at the moment on writing a book, which she calls 'transpersonal psychology meets autobiography, with a little humor thrown in, I hope.' "
The latest "Mysteries of the Vernacular" installment — charming video etymologies of English words — locates the word "clue" in the Minotaur's maze and Chaucer's England.
A new book by comedian Cleo Rocos, The Power of Positive Drinking, which comes out in May, claims that she and Queen singer Freddie Mercury sneaked Princess Diana into a gay bar in the 1980s by disguising her as a male model.
In The Guardian, John Dugdale takes apart "campus fiction," and, in particular, Joyce Carol Oates' The Accursed: "Oates's bizarre, sprawling novel, in which the devil comes to Princeton in 1905, is especially saturated with other books, ranging from vampire and Stephen King shockers to the prototypical tale of a don driven mad, Goethe's Faust. Like other recent campus concoctions, it suggests a moratorium has long been overdue."
Jacob Harris, senior software architect at The New York Times, has developed an algorithm to find accidental haikus in the paper, from the mundane: "The one thing to be / careful about / is trimming the broccoli rabe," to the poetic: "The buzzing of a / thousand bees in the tiny / curled pearl of an ear."