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After I got my post all done, Metafilter says it wants a title!

The Life and Times of Major Jack Downing of Downingville, away down east in the state of Maine, written by himself. [more inside]
posted by klangklangston on Nov 25, 2009 - 16 comments

Chuck Klosterman's New Book Out This Week

Chuck Klosterman's new book of essays Eating The Dinosaur is out this week. You can read the first chapter, which features interviews with Ira Glass and Errol Morris. Chuck appeared on Bill Simmons' podcast [warning, browser resize] today.
posted by JakeWalker on Oct 21, 2009 - 31 comments

Prometheus In The Kitchen

"Good, big ideas about evolution are rare." Simon Ings of the Independent reviews "Catching Fire: How Cooking Made Us Human" by Richard Wrangham. (via)
posted by The Whelk on Oct 13, 2009 - 17 comments

We live in the city of dreams, We drive on the highway of fire

David Byrne has just published a new book about bicycles called Bicycle Diaries. A long time rider, Byrne muses on how the world looks and works from the vantage point of a cyclist. It's getting pretty good reviews. To launch the book, Byrne is touring the US and arranging public forums. Each event features a civic leader, an urban theorist, a bicycle advocate, and Byrne himself speaking about bikes in cities. Here’s a schedule of the upcoming events. He’s also designed some bike racks for his hometown of New York City. [more inside]
posted by Toekneesan on Sep 27, 2009 - 28 comments

Design On Demand

Douglas Coupland wants you to design your own cover for his new book, Generation A.
posted by The Whelk on Sep 3, 2009 - 41 comments

The New Liberal Arts

The New Liberal Arts book is out. 47 pages of free pdf about things the various authors think will help prepare you for modern life. Earlier discussion about the planning phase of the book.
posted by srboisvert on Sep 3, 2009 - 37 comments

Do I contradict myself? Very well, then I contradict myself, I am large, I contain multitudes.

"Then there are the classification errors, which taken together can make for a kind of absurdist poetry. H.L. Mencken's The American Language is classified as Family & Relationships. A French edition of Hamlet and a Japanese edition of Madame Bovary are both classified as Antiques and Collectibles (a 1930 English edition of Flaubert's novel is classified under Physicians, which I suppose makes a bit more sense.) An edition of Moby Dick is labeled Computers; The Cat Lover's Book of Fascinating Facts falls under Technology & Engineering. And a catalog of copyright entries from the Library of Congress is listed under Drama (for a moment I wondered if maybe that one was just Google's little joke)." —Linguist Geoffrey Nunberg on Google's little metadata problem.
posted by Toekneesan on Sep 1, 2009 - 29 comments

Corporate Brand Identity Avoidance Consultant

Aunt Feminina Boots's Char-Broiled Book Club — Feminina Boots has been experiencing a lot of difficulty lately trying to find a book club where she can say things that aren’t just going to upset people. [more inside]
posted by netbros on Aug 27, 2009 - 18 comments

Leo and Diane Dillon, illustrators of children's books

The work of Leo and Diane Dillon is on display in Brooklyn. I was tempted to find more of their art after noticing the cover they did for A Wrinkle in Time. [more inside]
posted by nervousfritz on Aug 26, 2009 - 8 comments

Perfect is the enemy of good

Take three kids and a flute. Anne says the flute should be given to her because she is the only one who knows how to play it. Bob says the flute should be handed to him as he is so poor he has no toys to play with. Carla says the flute is hers because it is the fruit of her own labour. How do we decide between these three legitimate claims? [more inside]
posted by lucia__is__dada on Aug 21, 2009 - 193 comments

Keeping us safe from racist literature

The Brooklyn Public Library reshelves a children's book—behind locked steel doors
posted by Toekneesan on Aug 20, 2009 - 78 comments

Forgotten Bookmarks

Forgotten Bookmarks. "I work at a used and rare bookstore, and I buy books from people every day. These are the personal, funny, heartbreaking and weird things I find in those books. "
posted by milquetoast on Jul 25, 2009 - 48 comments

Wisconsin book burners

"If you told me we would be going through a book challenge of this nature, I'd think, 'Never in a million years.' " [more inside]
posted by sredefer on Jul 22, 2009 - 110 comments

The Lithuanian Press Ban, 1864-1904

From 1864 to 1904, the Russian Empire tried to quelch the nationalism of Lithuanians by ordering all Lithuanian texts to be printed with Cyrillic characters instead of in the Latin-derived Lithuanian or Polish alphabets. But they didn't count on the Knygnešiai - the Booksmugglers. [more inside]
posted by mdonley on Jul 12, 2009 - 18 comments

Or have we eaten on the insane root that takes the reason prisoner?

“Josephine had practically every desirable personal characteristic, except wisdom and mercy.” Gee, that sounds like she actually isn’t a nice person at all! Gary Brecher (previously) reviews Banquo’s Ghosts, a political-minded spy thriller from National Review editor Richard Lowry and novelist Keith Korman. Lowry describes it as an "episode of “24″ written by Proust. " [more inside]
posted by The Whelk on Jul 1, 2009 - 52 comments

Our Band Could Be Your Comic

Metafilter's own COBRA! has been producing a great comic about a rock band for quite awhile; and now it's been released as a book! Get to know the Awesome Boys in Nowhere Band.
posted by interrobang on Jun 23, 2009 - 11 comments

Mark Helprin vs The Mouth Breathing Morons

The overall effect is like listening to an erudite gentleman employing $20 words while he screams at a bunch of punk kids to get off his front lawn. A review of Mark Helprin's Digital Barbarism : A Writer's Manifesto. [more inside]
posted by shoesfullofdust on Jun 19, 2009 - 71 comments

Milkcrates are also okay

20 Brilliant Bookcases via ( mightygodking )
posted by The Whelk on Jun 6, 2009 - 48 comments

Learn to draw Les Animaux!

Les Animaux tel qu'ils sont is a delightful 1920s French art instruction book, showing one how to draw various animals, from the previously discussed Agence Eureka.
posted by fings on May 22, 2009 - 7 comments

Infinite Summer

Infinite Summer - "The Challenge: Read Infinite Jest over the summer of 2009" [more inside]
posted by mattbucher on May 21, 2009 - 118 comments

A Literary Response to a Son's Drug Addiction

What is the best way to respond to your son's drug addiction?
Write a book? No!
Write two books? Yes?

Beautiful Boy: A Father's Journey Through His Son's Addiction
Tweak: Growing Up on Methamphetamines [more inside]
posted by andoatnp on May 11, 2009 - 35 comments

unknown pleasures

Classic record sleeves - re-designed as Pelican book covers (Flickr set).
posted by the_very_hungry_caterpillar on May 11, 2009 - 35 comments

What are you reading, charming writer?

What are writers reading? An eclectic mix of authors answer the perennial question. [more inside]
posted by mattbucher on Apr 21, 2009 - 10 comments

Arts & Crafts Videos from Etsy

Etsy has a YouTube channel where they have all kinds of profiles of their users and how-to guides. My two favorite series are the Process series (e.g. New Books with Old Materials & Tin Toys) and Handmade Portraits (e.g. Armor Guitars & Wood Mosaics). In the description of each video there is a link to the corresponding entry on Etsy's blog, The Storque. The blogposts have more information on the users and sometimes further links and videos. [via Work in Progress]
posted by Kattullus on Apr 20, 2009 - 5 comments

A Temple of Texts

William Gass's personal library. The photos accompany this article by Gass about his love of books -- specifically about collecting them over his life and "living in a library." [more inside]
posted by mattbucher on Apr 8, 2009 - 21 comments

Almost Perfect

Almost Perfect (1994) is an account of "the rise and fall of WordPerfect Corporation" from the point of view of former executive vice-president W. E. (Pete) Peterson. [via reddit].
posted by Monday, stony Monday on Apr 5, 2009 - 122 comments

Feel your inadequacy

If you're like me, you are not a top computer science researcher, and you haven't written a classic book about programming and made it available online for free. Let's review who we're not. We're neither Abelson nor Sussman, and we haven't written Structure and Interpretation of Computer Programs (previous proof). We're not part of TeachScheme and we had no hand in the writing of How to Design Programs (not even the second edition, natch). Shriram Krishnamurthi didn't need our help to write Programming Languages: Application and Interpretation. We wish we were Simon Peyton-Jones and had a hand in The Implementation of Functional Programming Languages. [more inside]
posted by Monday, stony Monday on Apr 1, 2009 - 45 comments

"Essentially, it is all about money and power."

"It would be naïve to identify the Internet with the Enlightenment. It has the potential to diffuse knowledge beyond anything imagined by Jefferson; but while it was being constructed, link by hyperlink, commercial interests did not sit idly on the sidelines. They want to control the game, to take it over, to own it. They compete among themselves, of course, but so ferociously that they kill each other off. Their struggle for survival is leading toward an oligopoly; and whoever may win, the victory could mean a defeat for the public good. ...We could have created a National Digital Library—the twenty-first-century equivalent of the Library of Alexandria. It is too late now. Not only have we failed to realize that possibility, but, even worse, we are allowing a question of public policy—the control of access to information—to be determined by private lawsuit."—Robert Darnton on what the proposed Google Book Settlement could mean for the pursuit of knowledge—Google and the Future of Books
posted by Toekneesan on Jan 23, 2009 - 44 comments

All Work and No Play Makes Jack a Dull Boy

All Work and No Play Makes Jack a Dull Boy, a novel by Jack Torrance. [more info; via] [more inside]
posted by kirkaracha on Jan 9, 2009 - 48 comments

Being snarky (a MeFi homecourt advantage)

Snarky indeed: An interesting review of New Yorker magazine writer David Denby's book, Snark: It’s Mean, It’s Personal, and It’s Ruining Our Conversation, from New York Magazine. MeFites might feel right at home.
posted by Seekerofsplendor on Jan 5, 2009 - 53 comments

It's a bird, it's a plane... its su... wait, nope not him.

Here's Razorhawk a superhero who also wrestles and makes suits for other superheroes. This is Master Legend who recently had an article published in Rolling Stone about him. Meet Superhero who patrols the streets of Clearwater, Florida in his custom Corvette. They call themselves real-life superheroes. A documentary film featuring them has the first 10 minutes free online at google video. [more inside]
posted by flipyourwig on Dec 31, 2008 - 17 comments

It's that time again.

Coming February 3, 2009.... It's time for the next big wintertime memoir scandal.... ...and Oprah is not going to be amused. [more inside]
posted by availablelight on Dec 24, 2008 - 52 comments

The Agrippa Files

The Agrippa Files presents a fairly expansive overview of the original and very rare 1992 art book Agrippa (a book of the dead), a collaboration between artist Dennis Ashbaugh, author William Gibson, and award-winning journalist Kevin Begos, Jr. that presciently explored the ephemeral nature of and decay of memories and information. [more inside]
posted by Blazecock Pileon on Dec 13, 2008 - 11 comments

Bagels and Bongos

Two guys join forces together to write a book about classic Jewish LPs. [more inside]
posted by martinc6 on Nov 30, 2008 - 11 comments

RIP John Leonard

John Leonard is dead. A literary prodigy at thirty-two when asked to edit the New York Times Book Review, Leonard oversaw the NYTBR's glory days between 1971 and 1975. Television critic for New York, monthly books critic for Harper's, regular contributor to The Nation and The New York Review of Books, he also went out of his way to help young writers.
posted by ed on Nov 6, 2008 - 14 comments

The works of the Beard family

Let boys make their own kites and bows and arrows; they will find a double pleasure in them, and value them accordingly, to say nothing of the education involved in the successful construction of their home-made playthings. -- The American Boy's Handy Book
In the late 19th- and early 20th-century, the Beard family—Daniel Carter, Lina, and Adelia Belle—wrote a number of books on outdoor activities, woodcraft, and other recreational activities for boys and girls. Many of these books are in the public domain now: (The American Boy's Handy Book, The Field and Forest Handy Book, The Outdoor Handy Book, The Jack of All Trades, The American Girl's Handy Book, On the Trail: An Outdoor Book for Girls). Others, such as Shelters, Shacks, and Shanties and Boat-Building and Boating, are excerpted online. Some highlights include throwing tomahawks, making candy, and building tree houses, sleds, catapults, and rafts. [more inside]
posted by Upton O'Good on Oct 29, 2008 - 40 comments

Ernie Pook's Reflections On Being

Lynda Barry update Magazine Book Gorgon New Website [more inside]
posted by hortense on Oct 24, 2008 - 18 comments

Shantaram

Shantaram is the story of a violent man's search for the man of peace within himself. Gregory David Roberts, clip 1, clip 2, 3 and 4, is an ex-junkie, former gun runner; drugs, forged passports and black market currency dealer; was a member of the Bombay Mafia and close with a Mafia don there; acted in Bollywood movies; fought with the Mujahadeen in Afghanistan; imprisoned in an Australian maximum security prison with a 19 year sentence and escaped to the Bombay slums, where he set up a free clinic. His semi-autobiography is called Shantaram, which means man pf peace. Review on Shunya. His website. Movie due out in 2009. [more inside]
posted by nickyskye on Oct 21, 2008 - 30 comments

Biblioburros

Luis Soriano, with his donkeys Alfa and Beto, brings books to small villages in Colombia.
posted by The corpse in the library on Oct 20, 2008 - 16 comments

Is Haskell Failing?

Haskell has a sort of unofficial slogan: avoid success at all costs says one of its inventors, Simon Peyton-Jones. But will the advanced purely functional programming language[, a]n open source product of more than twenty years of cutting edge research remain true to its roots? Things look rather bleak for the obscurity of Haskell. In the wake of Peyton-Jones's own A taste of Haskell, and with the imminent publication of Real World Haskell by O'Reilly and the emergence of the Haskell Platform, comes BONUS's fun, colorfully illustrated Learn You a Haskell for Great Good!. [more inside]
posted by Monday, stony Monday on Oct 18, 2008 - 61 comments

Romance Novel Cover Design

The Best Romance Novel Covers of the year - click on the winner of each category to see the Top Ten and explanations. Also the site doesn't avoid the snark with a worst cover category [The winner is Big Spankable Asses [maybe NSFW]].
posted by meech on Oct 17, 2008 - 44 comments

Next, run with scissors.

Judge a book by its cover. See if you can guess the Amazon rating.
posted by prefpara on Sep 27, 2008 - 42 comments

Literary oddities

Unusual books. Unusual art made from books. Unusual bookcover. Unusual bookshelves. Unusual bookstore.
posted by desjardins on Sep 26, 2008 - 9 comments

Sendak

Was there anything he had never been asked? He paused for a few moments and answered, “Well, that I’m gay.” "Maurice Sendak’s 80th year — which ended with his birthday earlier this summer and is being celebrated on Monday night with a benefit at the 92nd Street Y — was a tough one. He has been gripped by grief since the death of his longtime partner; a recent triple-bypass has temporarily left him too weak to work or take long walks with his dog; and he is plagued by Norman Rockwell. Or, to be more accurate, he is plagued by the question that has repeatedly been asked about Norman Rockwell: was he a great artist or a mere illustrator?"
posted by Astro Zombie on Sep 12, 2008 - 48 comments

The War Within

Bob Woodward has a new book released today titled The War Within: A Secret White House History 2006-2008. The Politico has a lengthy review by Mike Allen. Bloomberg also has an early, less flattering, review. [more inside]
posted by McGuillicuddy on Sep 8, 2008 - 24 comments

Book repair

The Dartmouth College Library hosts a Simple Book Repair Manual, which teaches you how to repair common problems such as torn pages and wet books. For more complicated procedures, the Alaska State Library put together a training manual, with illustrations of repair procedures. (Full PDF here.) There is also a book conservation dictionary hosted by the Stanford conservation department, which explains many of the terms used.
posted by Upton O'Good on Aug 25, 2008 - 18 comments

A long time ago, in a galaxy far away...

Since Georges Melies' 1902 'Trip to the Moon' cinema has been in love with science fiction. The romance has been rocky though, with many potential classics lost to spiralling budgets or studio whim. David Hughes the author of a new book, The Greatest Sci-Fi Movies Never Made, shares his favourites with us - The Top 10 Greatest Sci Fi movies never made Via The Times online
posted by infini on Aug 9, 2008 - 48 comments

The Little Colonel

Annie Fellows Johnston wrote The Little Colonel books. Kate Seston Matthews, her friend and neighbour, took photographs depicting characters from the series.
posted by tellurian on Aug 5, 2008 - 1 comment

book (design) stories

book (design) stories: modernist book design in germany and switzerland 1925–1965 (and beyond)
posted by carsonb on Aug 5, 2008 - 5 comments

Fairy Tale Geometry

Among the works exhibited at the Whitney Museum's Buckminster Fuller exhibit is his Tetrascroll, a fairy tale based on Goldilocks and the Three Bears written for his daughter. Tetrascroll, as you might imagine from the name, is not an ordinary book, but a musing on life and geometry in the form of "a booklike artifact of twenty-six pages, each a thirty-six-inch equilateral triangle."
posted by grapefruitmoon on Aug 3, 2008 - 13 comments

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