I think I’m past my reading slump, and I think I owe this largely to Rosy Thornton’s Hearts and Minds (kindly sent to me by the author), which I read happily all weekend and of which I am now about 50 pages from the end. I needed a book that is smart and well-written but also plot-driven and entertaining, and this one fits the bill nicely. I’m a sucker for academic novels, too, and this one is set in Cambridge and is all about faculty intrigue and student protests and classes and exams and meetings and all the stuff one would think I get enough of at my day job. Why I like academic novels is beyond me, actually, but I do.
I will be picking up Eric Wilson’s Against Happiness next for a book group meeting in a week and a half; I’m looking forward to digging into some nonfiction, as I’ve lately been reading a string of novels. Nothing wrong with that, of course, except that I like a little more variety. After that I think I’d like to pick up something either older or more challenging than what I’ve been reading lately, or both. I’ve haven’t had the energy lately for much but contemporary fiction, but now I’m feeling ready to venture into more difficult material. I’m also planning to read more in my Wallace Stevens collection and to get back to the George Saunders book of essays, the first one of which I read and enjoyed, but which I haven’t picked up in a while.
But now for my question: have you noticed what WordPress has been doing with the “Possibly related posts (automatically generated)” links they have been appending to each post? Some of these are links back to my own blog but others link to other WordPress blogs, most of which I haven’t heard of before. I can’t decide if I want to keep this feature, and I’m wondering what you think of it, those of you who use WordPress and those of you who don’t. I don’t like it because I don’t like the idea of there being links to blogs I have never read and don’t endorse on my posts. Also, I’m not entirely sure everyone who reads me will know that I didn’t put those links there myself. On the other hand, WordPress claims that these links will ultimately bring me more traffic, which is hard to resist, even though I suspect these hits won’t be coming from people who will return. So what do you think? A cool, new idea, or just annoying?