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The Case of the First Mystery Novelist

The NY Times solves the mystery of who wrote the first detective novel.  Published in 1865, The Notting Hill Mystery received rave reviews from Victorian critics as it pioneered the popular new mystery genre. Until now, however, the author’s identity has never been known.

The Best Poetry of 2010

NPR’s picks for the top poetry volumes of last year are listed along with excerpts from each work.  In a banner year for poetry, the annotated list includes Terrence Hayes’ National Book Award-winning Lighthead (pictured right) as well as new volumes by Charles Simic and Kathleen Graber. 

You’ve Been Verbed 

The recent grammatical phenomenon of turning nouns into verbs is explored at length by The Economist.  Whether we’re friending, Googling, snowboarding, or texting, “verbing” is changing our language at hyperspeed.  Ben Franklin would not be pleased.

Barack in Bronzeville

Author Rebecca Janowitz presents a compelling argument for locating the future Obama Presidential Library in Chicago’s Bronzeville neighborhood.  Though Hawaii is already making it’s pitch, a Bronzeville site offers tremendous possibilities.      

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