New Year’s Reading List, Jorge Luis Borges, Shia LaBeouf’s Apology, and More

Evan Smith Rakoff

Every day Poets & Writers Magazine scans the headlines—from publishing reports to academic announcements to literary dispatches—for all the news that creative writers need to know. Here are today’s stories:

The Daily Beast offers a life-affirming reading list for 2014. The books, which offer transformative insights and practical wisdom, include Thaddeus Russell’s A Renegade History of the United States and How To Be Idle: A Loafer’s Manifesto by Tom Hodgkinson.

In the wake of a plagiarism scandal, actor Shia LaBeouf apologized, on New Year's Day, to Daniel Clowes by commissioning a skywritten message. (Variety)

Kitchen Sink Press, which published the work of graphic novelists Charles Burns, Will Eisner, and R. Crumb, among others, has donated its archives to the Rare Book and Manuscript Library at Columbia University. (New York Times)

BBC News ponders why Shakespeare’s Stratford-upon-Avon is a successful tourist destination, while the birthplace of George Eliot in nearby Nuneaton struggles for attention.

PBS recently spoke with Dick Davis, a poet and scholar who is introducing medieval Persian literature to the West. 

Michael Greenberg considers the revelations in Professor Borges, a book that examines the lectures from an English literature course taught by the renowned Argentine writer Jorge Luis Borges in 1966. (New York Review of Books)

Test your literary knowledge with a quiz gleaned from former Amazon blogger and Jeopardy champion Tom Nissley’s A Reader’s Book of Days. (Los Angeles Times)