I am Michael Dirda, Pulitzer-Prize winning book critic who has been called the best-read man in America.
Dirda's son here. My dad's not the redditor type, but in spite of that he's still a pretty interesting guy--he's a longtime book reviewer and columnist for the Washington Post and an author of many books about reading and writers--so I'm having him sit down for the next few hours to answer questions about book reviewing, tell stories about his author friends (including, yes, Neil Gaiman), and offer book recommendations on any topic. He's not a big braggart so I'll brag for him: He's been called the most well-read man in America (most notably by Michael Kinsley), he's an expert on Arthur Conan Doyle and his most recent book on the guy won an Edgar Award, and he once almost bought a thumb from a gypsy in France.
I'm really here to help him navigate the site and coach him on how to respond to questions about things like baconing narwhal. I won't influence the content of his answers--I'll be typing up exactly what he says.
I'll also post a picture of his Pulitzer on top of our cat.
Edit: Cat and Pulitzer: http://i.imgur.com/d26Yb.jpg
Edit 2: 3:45PM - We've been at it for a few hours now, so we're taking a break and will be back to answer more later this afternoon. Thanks guys!
Edit 3: We're back now (6pm) and will do a few now, and another run later this evening!
Edit 4: Taking another break--we'll try to do one more sweep in an hour or so. Thanks for all the questions, guys!
Edit 5: Ok guys, calling it quits since I think the papa is a bit fried from hours of doing this. Thanks to all who asked questions, and apologies to those whose questions we missed. My dad really wanted to dethrone Stoya as the top post of the subreddit, so maybe we'll do another sometime.