Books That Shaped America, First-Time Authors Over Forty, and More

Evan Smith Rakoff

Our Daily News will return after Labor Day. Meanwhile, here is a sampling of top stories from recent days:

On her blog, writer and editor Roxane Gay offers thoughts on how to be a writer in today's world. Number eight: "Be nice. The community is small and everyone talks. Being nice does not mean eating shit. Being nice does not mean kissing ass. Being nice just means treating others the way you would prefer to be treated. If you’re comfortable being treated like an asshole, then by all means."

In response to recent inflammatory comments by senate contender Todd Akin, Guernica reprinted a 2008 essay by Rebecca Solnit, “Men Explain Things to Me.”

Frank Rich revisits the life and work of his friend Nora Ephron. (New York)

In light of E. L. James publishing her first book, Fifty Shades of Grey, at age forty-eight, Beyond the Margins rounds up many other famous authors whose first work appeared after age forty.

The Library of Congress exhibit Books That Shaped America, which runs through September 29, features eighty-eight books, and NPR delves into how this exhibit came into being.

Flavorpill lists its most anticipated books coming out this fall, including Zadie Smith's NW, Junot Díaz's This is How You Lose Her, and The Middlesteins, by Jami Attenberg.