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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

Page 75 - Dirty Talk, Page 80 - Bible, Page 199 - Bought Cig./Beer

There are many opinions about the nature of Irony. Some think it is having too many spoons. Sometimes it is found in far off places. However, closer to home, we now have an example of Recursive Irony. (YT)
posted by Lord_Pall on Aug 3, 2008 - 34 comments

This is an intense love story.

How have you been burned by love?
posted by divabat on Jul 28, 2008 - 41 comments

2008 Weird-Ass Picture Book Awards

The Weird-Ass Picture Book Awards, WAPB, are given to the books that make you go “Huhhh?” Awards are given for story, illustration, and cover art. The highest award goes to the picture book achieving outstanding weirdness in both illustration and text. The 2007 WAPBA went to The Fuchsia Is Now, by J. Otto Seibold, for its strange story and artwork. The interesting use of condoms as hats was clearly a deciding factor in this book’s selection. Dear Fish, by Chris Gall, won for both illustration and cover art. For storyline, My Father the Dog, by Elizabeth Bluemle, took the prize.
posted by Fizz on Jul 7, 2008 - 18 comments

..and when Pickman suddenly unveiled a huge canvas on the side away from the light I could not for my life keep back a loud scream

Tentacles and Cosmic SF - Ann and Jeff VanderMeer on the art of Lovecraft. [more inside]
posted by Artw on Jun 27, 2008 - 14 comments

The Big Sort

"Bishop contends that as Americans have moved over the past three decades, they have clustered in communities of sameness, among people with similar ways of life, beliefs, and in the end, politics. There are endless variations of this clustering—what Bishop dubs the Big Sort—as like-minded Americans self-segregate in states, cities—even neighborhoods. Consequences of the Big Sort are dire: balkanized communities whose inhabitants find other Americans to be culturally incomprehensible; a growing intolerance for political differences that has made national consensus impossible; and politics so polarized that Congress is stymied and elections are no longer just contests over policies, but bitter choices between ways of life. " Article about the book from the Economist. Book's Website. A review.
posted by wittgenstein on Jun 22, 2008 - 49 comments

Everyone is an Expert on Something

H.A.R.O., or "Help A Reporter Out," is the brainchild of Peter Shankman (aka skydiver on Twitter). Embracing the philosophy that "Everyone is an expert on something," HARO matches reporters and authors up with sources through the simple process of a sign-up form. Seems like a good match for all the experts here on MeFi. [more inside]
posted by misha on Jun 18, 2008 - 47 comments

"Afterward, the locust with its execrable teeth"

The Speculum theologiae is a beautiful medieval manuscript. Its diagrams demonstrate visually various aspects of the medieval worldview. The diagrams are explained and translated and most of them are expounded upon in a short essay. My favorite diagrams are The Cherub with Six Wings, The 10 Commandments, Plagues of Egypt and Abuses of the Impious and The Tree of Virtue and The Tree of Vices.
posted by Kattullus on Jun 3, 2008 - 14 comments

The Standard Oil of Books

Amazon.com dropped a bombshell on the publishing industry with the announcement on Friday that they will no longer allow print on demand books printed by vendors other than Amazon, to be sold directly by Amazon. In other words, use our print services or lose your listing on our site. This decision effects over half a million books listed on their site and could be a defining moment for both publishing and the future of online retailing. [more inside]
posted by Toekneesan on Apr 3, 2008 - 43 comments

organizing without organizations

Clay Shirky, professor at ITP - NYU, often linked to at MeFi, presents at Harvard's Berkman Center for Internet & Society on the ideas in his new book on organizing without organizations. [more inside]
posted by gen on Mar 25, 2008 - 5 comments

Things Vital to the Honor of Human Life

The editor of the New York Times Book Review asks "do others have favorite signature passages in books they love — a sentence or two that seem to convey the essence of a complex, beautiful work?" after giving his own example from To The Finland Station. Hundreds respond, often with some wonderful passages (as well as some not so wonderful ones). Any examples from the hive mind?
posted by blahblahblah on Mar 9, 2008 - 159 comments

Hot off the presses, books printed, while you wait.

Would you like a latte while I print that up for you? The Espresso Book Machine (previously) that was in the New York Public Library has just moved to the Northshire Bookstore in Vermont. The beta versions of this portable book-making machine are pumping out paperbacks around a book a minute at the Open Content Alliance, The Library of Alexandria, The New Orleans Public Library, and the University of Alberta. The mass produced commercial version of the machine is scheduled to roll off the assembly line within the year and will be priced between $50,000 and $20,000. Combined with one of these, publishing as we know it may never be the same. [more inside]
posted by Toekneesan on Mar 7, 2008 - 36 comments

Swimming upstream.

The Reason for God: Belief in an Age of Skepticism is a book released last month by Tim Keller. Its faired reasonably well (NYT, login req'd), which is interesting, considering the wide success of books preaching the opposite message, as of late (Dawkins, et. al.). [more inside]
posted by allkindsoftime on Mar 5, 2008 - 155 comments

Adieu Howard

Comic Book creator Steve Gerber has died. [more inside]
posted by wittgenstein on Feb 11, 2008 - 28 comments

The jolliest indoor games. . .demand a floor.

Floor Games. H.G. Wells and miniature gaming.
posted by EarBucket on Feb 10, 2008 - 11 comments

The new It-boy?

Who's the new darling of the literary world? Charles Bock. Although, some are asking, how the hell did a guy like him get all this high-profile coverage? [Bock previously on MeFi]
posted by mattbucher on Feb 5, 2008 - 80 comments

Wyclif's Bible

Just ended on eBay: Auction for the Wycliffite New Testament ca. 1400. Closing bid; US $399,100.00. The seller supposedly is The Bible Museum, Inc. (according to The Little professor). More about Wycliffite editions and some choice bookbinding samples at Bridwell Library [more inside]
posted by growabrain on Feb 2, 2008 - 15 comments

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