Monday, April 23, 2007

Very short books

One thing of which you can be sure. Good New Yorker articles get turned into books. John McPhee, Elizabeth Kolbert, Adam Gopnik and others have parlayed articles into excellent nonfiction books.

The New York Review of Books has decided to skip the whole extending process and just publish the articles as small books. I just read one, Bill Moyer's Welcome to Doomsday, over lunch. Thank goodness I got it at the library as I would be a bit cheesed if I had paid eight bucks for a 15 minute read. The essay, about the impact of evangelical thinking on environmental policy, would be all the more useful with more information. Perhaps aware they are charging a bit much, the NYRB is offering all eight of the books for a reduced price. To be fair, I happen to have read the shortest one, but most of them are about 100 pages of large type.

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