A few links for you today. I am knee-deep in a Russian history/literature nonfiction book (that really defies categorization) called Molotov's Magic Lantern. I appreciate it. I can't say yet if I like it. I want to like it, but it's a bit like knocking about in the mind of a scholar, and just as random. Am also knee-deep in Pillars of the Earth, which is absorbing, entertaining, and long enough to keep my mind off what ails me. It's not the most well-written novel I've ever read, but it's a great story, and occasionally that's enough. (See link to Singer's speech.)
Isaac Bashevis Singer's Nobel Prize acceptance speech, which, among other things, argues that a the author's first job is to entertain.
Further justification for the notion that we should stop texting, calling, emailing, twittering, blogging, or facebooking when trying to make connections with people and start taking them to coffee.