The Links of Summer

(1) The folks at Three Percent are celebrating World Cup soccer season in fine style by hosting the first annual World Cup of Literature. As you'll see when you click the tournament bracket to the left, what they have in mind is a 32-book knock-out tournament, with literary representatives from all the countries currently kicking and sweating in Brazil.

With a nod to the Morning News Tournament of Books, each “match” pits two books against one another, with the victor decided by a predetermined judge. I especially love this: "(No draws! Because we are America and America is about winning . . . .)" 

It's been great fun so far and a great introduction to world literature.

 

(2) Via Biblioklept, we have Flannery O’Connor's to-the-point assessment of Ayn Rand. 

 

(3) Looking for an accessible page-turning mystery that won't turn your brain to mush this summer? Look no further than William McIlvanney's "rediscovered" (in quotes because those in the know -- e.g., Ian Rankin -- have known about this forever, passing it to one another like a secret stone and whispering its title into ears like a hush-hush memory) underground classic, Laidlaw