She said, he hasn't yet said: As part of their wall-to-wall Eat, Pray, Love coverage, the Daily Beast tracks down Michael Cooper, the ex-husband who has become the "before" in Elizabeth Gilbert's bestselling "after," and speculates about the derailment of his own memoir (was it not dishy enough for his publisher?).
Can you govern ironically?: In the New Republic, Adam Kirsch wonders, regarding our current president, whether literary values can translate into leadership. Meanwhile, with the usual massive studies of titans like Washington, Adams, and both Roosevelts coming out this fall, the Christian Science Monitor finds the lessons of failure in "5 Great Books about Obscure Presidents."
"Set limits. Set even more limits." Alexander Chee advises fellow novelists about how to balance the now-almost-mandatory blogging in their writing life. His last point, "Don't be afraid to take a break," links to Maud Newton's recent post, which explains movingly why her excellent blog has been quietly lately and is likely to remain so: she's mourning her father-in-law, and also acting on the memento mori of his premature death (with his book unfinished) by focusing on her own most important project, her novel.
Moving and shaking: Today's Wall Street Journal review of Sissela Bok's "impressive" Exploring Happiness is frustrated at her "unwillingness to take a position," but it still appears to be what has sent the intellectual history of happiness up Movers & Shakers today.