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The Comey book isn’t quite performing to Fire and Fury standards

And the rest of the week’s best writing on books and related subjects.

Former FBI Director James Comey's Book 'A Higher Loyalty' Goes On Sale Drew Angerer/Getty Images
Constance Grady is a senior correspondent on the Culture team for Vox, where since 2016 she has covered books, publishing, gender, celebrity analysis, and theater.

Welcome to the weekly Vox book link roundup, a curated collection of the internet’s best writing on books and related subjects. Here’s the best the web has to offer for the week of April 15, 2018.

Right now, I feel like my creative project is translation. It’s just constant reading and rereading, on such a deep level. If you’re reading anything at that depth, it brings this deep nourishment, linguistically and technically. When I see how Domenico deals with something—say, indirect discourse. Or, How does he deal with time? How does he deal with description? To plow through this new territory—it’s very invigorating for me.

Wow was I feeling bleak. Apparently I applied to work on a novel about an America in which the sun had, for unknown reasons, suddenly gone out. I even spoke with a climatologist at Berkeley to learn how the lack of sun would affect plant life, bird life, etc. But of course I was most interested in how human life would cope in constant darkness, and my idea, naturally, was that we would lose our humanity and turn on each other.

“A comic novel” has become a suspect designation, as though creating laughter were some sub-craft, like decoupage. We used to know better. Shakespeare’s comedies are as classic as his tragedies. The light that humor shines on the human condition may be a different frequency, but it’s just as illuminating as its calamitous twin.

Girdle books had to be small, and they had to be light. From the bottom edges of their bindings extended an length [sic] of leather, usually gathered into a knot at the end. This extension of the cover could be used to carry the book like a purse or could be tucked into a girdle or belt. To read, the owner wouldn’t even have to detach the book; when taken up, the book would be oriented correctly, just as if it had been pulled from a shelf.

“There are more cameras here than people,” one person joked.

Another journalist asked the room: “Is anyone a normal person or is everyone a journalist?”

Only one person -- reluctantly -- identified himself as a “normal person.”

”I wanted to see it for myself and read it, especially after Comey’s ABC interview. I’m more curious now,” said Matthew Hoeck, who was immediately approached by a handful of reporters in the room.

Happy reading!