The Chronicle of Higher Education's Pageview blog asked Tom Lutz how his daily reading has changed since he began editing and publishing the Los Angeles Review of Books. There are some things he no longer has time for, now that he's checking the newspapers online for breaking news he seldom unwraps the print papers he pays for [tell me about it....] and he's added Google Analytics to his morning ritual. He includes LA Observed prominently in his blog reading. It's a nice piece. Excerpts:
Q: What newspapers and magazines do you subscribe to or read regularly? What do you read in print vs. online vs. mobile? A. We subscribe to The New York Times and the L.A. Times, and rarely take them out of their wrappers. I recognize this as an ecologically stupid practice; I just want to do my little to help keep them alive, but I’ve always seen the stories online before the paper arrives. We take The New Yorker, Atlantic, Harper’s, The Economist (dislike the politics, love the coverage and the astounding efficiency of the prose), Los Angeles magazine, Vanity Fair, New York Review of Books, LRB, TLS, and there always seem to be a number of food magazines arriving related to my wife’s work [Laurie Winer is a culture and food writer.] When I get to any of these, except for the newspapers, it is almost always in print....
Q: What books have you recently read? Do they stand out?
A. Much of my reading now is instigated by travel, so Peter Godwin’s books on Zimbabwe, Thant Myint-U on Burma (and Orwell’s Burmese Days), Liao Yiwu on China. Other authors this year, for fun, Edward St. Aubyn, Andrey Kurkov, Paul Cain, Derek Raymond, Vanessa Veselka, Chad Harbach, Teaching literature means regularly rereading great books. Thus Love Medicine, which is absolutely beautiful, for a course on collagelike novels, which started with In Our Time, Cane, and Winesburg, Ohio, and runs through The Noodle Maker, The Imperfectionists, I Hotel, and A Visit from the Goon Squad. I have recently been visiting some book clubs for fundraising purposes (LARB is reader-supported), and for them I reread House of Mirth, again thrilled by Wharton’s truly nasty sense of humor, and A Hazard of New Fortunes, with the more restrained and yet profound wit of Howells. I’d say the mix these days is 65% physical and 35% a mix of iBooks and Kindle, with the e-books gaining....
Q. What has been the most surprising aspect of starting a new book review?
A. Three: the incredible enthusiasm and kindness with which it has been received, the beautiful willingness of people to dive in and help make it happen, and the difficulty of raising money to sustain it.
Lutz is also a professor in the department of creative writing at UC Riverside.