“[Sherlock] Holmes is arguably the most famous fictional character of the past two centuries, rivaled only by Dracula and James Bond, with perhaps, as the decades wear on, Batman and Harry Potter nipping at their heels.” Here’s a review of Michael Sims’s Arthur and Sherlock: Conan Doyle and the Creation of Holmes.
“‘Policing in the United States—from the overzealous beat cop all the way to the NSA—is out of control,’ writes [NYU law professor Barry] Friedman, and the fault lies not with the police but with us.” Here’s a review of Unwarranted: Policing Without Permission.
On Wonderland: How Play Made the Modern World: “”When we look back on [cultural changes in society] we tend to talk about it in terms of money and markets or the vanity of a ruling elite driving new ideas,’ [Steven] Johnson argues. ‘But money has its own masters and in many cases the dominant one is the human appetite for surprise and novelty and beauty.’”
“On the morning after the election disbelief prevailed, especially among the pollsters.” Here’s a review of Philip Roth’s 2004 novel The Plot Against America.