Book Crushes at Slate

At Slate today: “My First Literary Crush: The books famous people loved in college.” Of note for me is Charles P. Pierce’s pick of Flann O'Brien’s “At Swim-Two-Birds,” since Pierce writes of reading it at 10:30 a.m. in “a great lost place called the Avalanche Bar on Wells Street in Milwaukee.” As an undergrad at Marquette U., I spent loads of hours in the ‘Lanche, drinking, among other things, $0.54 Red, White & Blues. Legend has it that the late C. Farley spent much of his college time there as well, performing – and maybe outright inventing – the so-called 'naked beerslide.’ (See this 'Lanche shot, taken by photographer Christofer Ruder, a friend of a friend at MU.)

It’s been a nice year for the dead O'Brien. As Dalkey reports, “Birds” was named one of Time’s 100 best novels published since 1923, and the hit show “Lost” will use “The Third Policeman” as a plot device this season.