Monday, January 17, 2011

The Wall Street Journal's New Books Section

Some readers will not find this post very interesting -- but, since I have yet to write anything very interesting anyway, I thought, why change now.

If you haven't picked up a copy of the Wall Street Journal's Weekend edition, you should. If you haven't seen one in a while, and you like newspaper reading, you ought to give it a try.

The Weekend Edition is especially good, partly because it is new, and has started with a "clean slate" of ideas, and partly because it has taken parts of the old Friday edition, my old favorite, and expanded them.

Within this Saturday edition, the one section I would like to talk about is the Books Section. In the old Friday edition, the Books section was barely a page, last week the Books Section was a full eight pages. Here's a sample of what they covered.

1. The Greatest of Them All -- a review of three books on Alexander the Great. A summary of eight other books of the same subject.

2. Mysteries Chronicles -- Dorothy Sayer's, Lord Peter Whimsey lovers will be glad to know that the Sayer's estate has deputized someone to finish her last novel. There's a brief essay on that.

3. Joseph Brodsky. A Literary Life. A full review of a new book on the Russian poet and writer.

4. Growing Pangs. A half-page review on the Maud Hart Lovelace books.

5. Five Best: Fury and Terror at the High Seas. Each week WSJ does a brief review of the five best books in a field. This week, they reviewed the five best books on sailing and the high seas. Coincidentally, I had just downloaded one of them for my Kindle. Free.

So, if you like books and book reviews, including the classics, you can't do much better than the Wall Street Journal Saturday Books Section.

(While I am at it, and just in the off-chance somebody from the basement level of the WSJ reads this: if you are going to publish a magazine once a month, do you think you could broaden the appeal to more than the NYC crowd? Thanks.)


catherine said...

I found this post interesting, Mr. S! =) Particularly the new Lord Peter book by Jill Paton Walsh. I wasn't especially impressed by Thrones, Dominations, but it will be interesting to see what Ms. Walsh is able to concoct from scratch. The WSJ review was favorable, so I'm very much looking forward to a bit of "Wimsey-inspired storytelling", and have just ordered the hardcover from amazon...

Lynn said...

Woohoo! for Maud Hart Lovelace. One of my girls gave me all the Betsy-Tacy books for my birthday one year. They hold pride of place on the mantel.

Francis Shivone said...

Catherine -- I was never a big Wimsey reader. I did like the Rumpole books and Inspector Morse.

Lynn -- I had not heard of them but apparently they are popular and good.

John said...

Suppose - just suppose - I wanted to buy me one of these WSJ Saturday editions. Where might I find one?

Francis Shivone said...

John --

Barnes and Noble carries them. And Borders. Central Market used to. Daily subscription is only $10 a month for the first year, new subs. About a quarter an issue.