Things Nicholson Baker knows a lot about: shoelaces, paper towels, CVS, escalators, and peanut butter. I've been teaching his first book The Mezzanine and excerpts from a whole slew of others including a children's book (The Everlasting Story of Nory), essays on thinking (The Size of Thoughts), a book that reexamines World War II by using clips from magazine and newspaper articles (Human Smoke) and other plotless (not pointless) novels that are awfully compelling (Room Temperature, Checkpoint, A Box of Matches). Whether you know Baker because of these works, more sexy tomes (Vox, The Fermata), as Google Books' favorite author, or as the guy who spent his retirement trying to save historic newspapers (see Doublefold), no one writes a digressive sentence like this man. See him live at the Lensic on Wednesday, January 20th at 7:00 p.m. as part of Lannan's Readings and Conversations series. I'll be there with about 54 others who are fascinated with little bags.