1. The American John Milton: Robert Pinsky on Milton's lasting influence. With some paragraphs on blank verse and W.E.B. DuBois. This is my kind of nerdy dream article.
2. For you Samuel Pepys fans (I know you're out there) -- History is to Blame: The Life and Times of Samuel Pepys. To begin at the beginning: "Samuel Pepys was, near enough, London’s Leopold Bloom – intelligent, curious, diligent and decent, with an abiding interest in music, food, women and the life of the city and people around him."
4. P.J. O'Rourke On God: "Science and religion both assert the same thing: that the universe operates according to rules and that those rules can be discerned. Albeit this does make it easier to believe in God than, for instance, organic chemistry. Just the fact of rules implies a rule maker while just the fact of mixing nitro with glycerin and causing an explosion does not imply a Ph.D."
5. Really, if someone is going to set Robert Burns to music, it might as well be Michael Jackson.
6. This one is for my mom, who can't stop talking about the book Three Cups of Tea. Greg Mortenson, the book's author, who has spent years building schools in remote areas of Afghanistan and Pakistan, talks about a chat he had with Pervez Musharraf.
7. Sneaking this in the middle here... guess who has a birthday in two weeks? That's right, me! And all I want for my birthday this year? Your tales of hilarious disaster.
8. Salon's Laura Miller reviews Reinventing Knowledge: From Alexandria to the Internet. Sounds like an interesting book.
9. Instead of spending time on frivolities (such as reading) this fall, why not go out and do something worthwhile, like volunteering for a candidate? That's what Michael Moore thinks you should do. Hey, I'm just informing you. Don't shoot the messenger.
10. Ryan Adams, who is the musician I listen to the most according to Last.fm (I'm listening to him right now!), is making his literary debut. Infinity Blues is the name, and Akashic Books is the publisher. Beyond that, it's anybody's guess.