A Few Good Links for People Who Read A Lot

Here’s a few sites worth checking out and bookmarking if you’re a person who reads a lot.

Bartleby.  This is a site that’s devoted to bringing you many classic novels, poems, and essays for free.  Since generally old copyright laws typically go by the death +70 rule (that is, seventy years after its author dies, a book can be considered public domain, unless otherwise specified) much of classic literature can be read free of charge.  On Bartleby, if you’re so inclined, you can read all of David Copperfield and Anna Karenina.  If you’re like me and shudder at the thought of staring at the computer that long, keep in mind that Bartleby also features short essays, including some by T.S. Eliot and Matthew Arnold.

The Howling Fantods.  If you’re a fan of the fiction writer David Foster Wallace, then this site is definitely worth checking out.  If you’re struggling to read Infinite Jest, this site has a large guide to the novel including a scene by scene breakdown.

The Modern Word.  This used to be the one of the best sites on the internet in my opinion, but for some reason the curators abandoned it and it hasn’t been updated in years.  Luckily, it’s still online and contains a lot of valuable material on authors like James Joyce, Thomas Pynchon, Gabriel Garcia Marquez, Umberto Eco and Franz Kafka.  There’s also a section called The Scriptorium which focuses on lesser known experimental/postmodern authors.  This is where I first heard of William Gaddis, Anthony Burgess, and Stanislaw Lem.

The Thomas Pynchon Wiki.  This site’s as obsessive as the author himself.  It contains annotations for all of his books, helping the reader fill in what some of Pynchon’s references are, such as iceland spar and the surf-rock mentioned throughout Inherent Vice.

The Portland Book Review.  Just because this is called The Portland Book Review, don’t think it’s just a site just for regional interest.  It’s a site that specializes in short book reviews, usually 200 words or less.  I occasionally review books for them too.  Sometime in the next few weeks, the Portland Book Review will be featuring a review of my book, The Madness of Art: Short Stories.



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