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What I’ve Been Reading This Week

  • Bill Simmons’ new website, Grantland, will be launching within the next month or so.  This week they released a couple of columns that served as a preview of sorts for the site.  I really enjoyed this one by Katie Baker on what it’s like being a Knicks fan, with what one has had to endure over the past decade.  As a fellow Knicks fan, I can relate.

Based on the preview columns, it appears Grantland is going to feature long-form work on sports and culture (similar to Simmons himself).  So it’s likely to differ from most of the short-form stuff (Blogs, Tumblr, Twitter) that we’re always occupied with.  It will likely be a site I’ll use Instapaper for and transfer content to my Kindle to later enjoy at my convenience.  With the amount of writing talent he’s assembled, it strikes me more as a magazine on the internet.  It’s still early though, so we should probably wait to see the real thing before drawing conclusions.

  • I’m actually currently reading this year Pulitzer Prize winner for fiction: A Visit from the Goon Squad by Jennifer Egan.  I’m about halfway through and really enjoying it.  I’ll have a final verdict soon hopefully.
  • Speaking of Egan, she shared her media diet with The Atlantic.  Some really interesting tidbits including this: “Reading fiction is purely fun for me—and luckily it’s also something that feeds the work I do. Yesterday I finished Meg Wolitzer’s The Uncoupling, which I thoroughly enjoyed, and I’m about to start Jessica Hagedorn’s Toxicology, which I’ve heard great things about. I think the last thing I read that got profoundly under my skin was Emma Donohue’s Room, which I read a couple of weeks ago. I thought about it as I read a news story (in the Times, of course!) about the guilty plea by that couple in California who kidnapped an 11-year-old girl, Jaycee Dugard, 20 years ago. They imprisoned her in the backyard and she had two daughters by her captor before she was discovered. Because of Room, I read the news story with a sense of resonant personal knowledge that I’ve never felt about those stories of captivity before. The feeling reminded me of why fiction is critical to me—more than nonfiction, and I say that as a journalist! Nonfiction expands my knowledge, but fiction broadens my experience. Reading the news story, I thought: I’m so glad to have read Room.”
  • Coke Talk wrote about a condition she refers to as “Special Snowflake Disease,” referring to the members of the current younger generation when they realize they are extremely mediocre.  Good stuff.  I nodded a lot.
  • Zach Lowe provides a great breakdown on the current Mavs-Lakers series, which Dallas leads 2-0.  It’s ok to give some credit to the Mavs!  Also the pick and roll is key.
  • As an owner of a PS3, obviously things haven’t gone swimmingly recently.  PSN was hacked and accounts were compromised.  Sony was apparently using outdated software.  Geez.  If credit cards were compromised, I’m not sure how Sony survives this.  At least they’re going to provide us with a year’s worth of identity theft protection.
  • Kathryn Bigelow and Mark Boal are sure benefiting from some good timing.  According to Variety, their Kill Bin Laden film goes into production this summer and happened to be centering on the team that actually ended up killing Osama.  Now Boal can add the recent news to the script and such.
  • Something that was long overdue: a Bill Russell statue will be going up in Boston.
  • Shoals tries to solve the enigma that is Russell Westbrook like only he can.

What I’ve Been Reading This Week

Heat again fail to stand up to Celtics by Adrian Wojnarowski/Yahoo Sports: This past Sunday LeBron and co. fell short against the Celtics again, despite Boston’s injuries.  This felt like an “if not now, then when?” game.  Wojo is the best at doing takedowns of LeBron.  It’s so much fun and he has a fair point.

Alan Sepinwall: He changed TV criticism.  But can you be a rabid fan and a thoughtful reviewer? by Josh Levin/Slate: A good column well worth a read and an interesting idea to think about.  Sepinwall is one of my favorite critics to read.  In my opinion, it’s probably tough to write about shows each week without getting repetitive.  But the really talented writers can, and Sepinwall definitely qualifies for that category.

Parameters set, but complicated Carmelo deal far from close by Alan Hahn/Newsday: The great Mr. Hahn is one of the few basketball writers that I have a lot of trust in when it comes to rumors.  We’ve got a long way to go and he provides a good layout.  Someone wake me up when we can move on.

January Jones talks Unknown and Mad Men by Dan Fienberg/Hitfix: A nice interview with the lovely January Jones.  Especially like the tease about Glen at the end.

Lewis, Arenas reflect on new circumstances by Michael Lee/Washington Post: Good stuff here, and nice to see that Rashard Lewis has a good head on his shoulders.

The Sign of Four by Arthur Conan Doyle: Currently finishing the last chapters of the second Sherlock Holmes book.  I got the entire collection for just $2 on the Kindle, which is nice.  Never trust a man with a wooden leg.

What I’ve been reading today

  • Scarlett Johansson was up for sale and it only cost the winner $5,100.  [FHM]
  • A great breakdown of how NBA teams defend at the rim using rim FG% along with fouling rates.  Very informative stuff here.  Also gives you a way of quantifying just how valuable Dwight Howard is.  The Dwight Howard for MVP stuff can’t really be quantified in a box score.  [Hardwood Paroxysm]
  • Rappers + Great works of art = Amazing.  [EDSBS]
  • The first major NFL free agent signing of the offseason is…Nate Burleson?  I think I just threw up in my mouth a little.  Pro Football Talk pretty much sums it up: “In case the “wow” didn’t make it clear, we think that’s an awful contract for Detroit.”  [PFT]
  • A review of the two newest basketball documentaries: Magic vs. Bird and Winning Time.  [Sepinwall on TV]
  • Back in 2001, someone actually recorded a 31 trillion, the longest trillion ever recorded.  Amazing.  [College Basketball Nation]
  • The best comedy series on television just got better: Adam Scott to join the cast of Parks and Recreation.  [Variety]
  • How much are Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn worth exactly?  [Mashable]
  • The iPad will be on sale April 3rd and available for preorder on March 12th.  [Washington Post]
  • Scientists confirm that the dinosaurs got got by an asteroid.  Glad we got that settled.  [San Francisco Chronicle]

What I’ve been reading today

  • The 10 sexiest catfights in movie history.  [Manofest]
  • Answering all the important questions you may have about the NFL’s uncapped year in 2010.  [Pro Football Talk]
  • Giving grades to all 30 teams based on what they did at the NHL trade deadline.  Good read.  I personally love what Washington did, filling the few gaps that they had left.  [Puck Daddy]
  • A shift to 3D TV broadcasts could very well begin with college football.  And the people who have seen it already have enjoyed it.  [SI]
  • First the 76ers released him.  Now Allen Iverson’s wife is filing for divorce.  [Sports by Brooks]
  • Movie stars aren’t seeing as much cash thrown their way as they used to.  [NY Times]
  • Google exec believes desktop computers will be irrelevant in three years.  [Yahoo]

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