In the first of our fortnightly series, Killings brings you a selection of offerings that have amused, enlightened and generally distracted us from our writing.

We were excited to see Jonathan Franzen’s keynote address at the opening of the Melbourne Writers Festival last night. Stephanie Honor Convery has a lovely blog post on the shy, bird-loving man in those famous glasses.

Full-Stop magazine’s guide to what book reviewers really mean when they describe a work as ‘ambitious’ or ‘epic in scope’.

Al Kennedy in the Guardian on why book launches are no fun, and the loneliness and loss of having your book finally published.

Better Book Titles has a lot of hilarous material, but a few of our favorites are the re-titling of F. Scott Fitzgerald’s The Great Gatsby and Aron Ralston’s 127 Hours: Between a Rock and a Hard Place.