Each month I look forward to Harper's for a variety of reasons--one of my favorite bits is the New Books column, where John Leonard's pithy reviews often have me adding titles to my Amazon cart. His blurbs are short but are as learned as anything by Gary Wills, packed with far-ranging references and biting wit.
I excitedly turned to his column this month only to find he'd passed away from lung cancer. A damn shame, that. I'll take a moment to thank Mr. Leonard here for turning me on to Roberto Bolano, whom I'm reading right now for the first time. I suppose that will be the last time he'll cost me money.