Good stuff online

August 7, 2011

After the New York Times’ paywall went up, I decided the most economical way to feed my NYT habit was the Weekender subscription (Fri-Sat-Sun). So now I’m spending way more time reading the newspaper of record than I have in years, and more time than I’d prefer. But, you know, there’s some good stuff in those pages!

Even the dullest blurb about Michael Holroyd’s new biographical volume, “A Book of Secrets: Illegitimate Daughters, Absent Fathers,” would make it sound irresistible to any self-respecting literato. Dwight Garner’s review on Friday did a great job and fanned the forest fire that Holyroyd has started to revive interest in the novels of Violet Trefusis, whose passionate-to-the-point-of-deranged love affair with Vita Sackville-West is apparently the centerpiece of the story Holyroyd tells. But Toni Bentley’s front-page rave in the Sunday Times Book Review is a whole other experience — not only makes you want to run out and buy the book pronto but makes you want to read the review aloud to whomever will listen.

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