1654 posts tagged with Books.
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Elvis is basically Shakin' Stevens writ large.

Don't believe the hype Debunking the so-called genius of Prince, The Sopranos and 'Blade Runner'. Amusingly harsh yet convincing cases all round. Can I add 'Goodfellas' to the list? Never has so much been written about a film so lacking. I prefered 'Casino'.
posted by feelinglistless on Dec 4, 2004 - 135 comments

Top 1000 Library Books

"Libraries are rich, deep, resources for preserving cultural heritage and indispensable resources for the communities they serve.” OCLC, a nonprofit, membership, computer library service and research organization, has compiled a list of the top 1000 titles owned or licensed by its 50,000+ member libraries. There are sublists by subject, a cross listing with a banned books list, and some fun facts, including the supremely annoying one that the highest listed living author is Jim Davis of Garfield fame (#18).
posted by donnagirl on Nov 30, 2004 - 16 comments

Fascism in America?

Fascism in America? It Can't Happen Here is a masterful satire in which a popular, dimwitted politician rises to dictatorial power on the backs of radio evangelists, opponents of urban, yacht-owning, college professor liberalism, common people, and the Rotary Club. America is pushed into a manufactured war by all-powerful corporate interests, liberties are restricted in the name of national emergency, and all is coordinated by a behind-the-scenes political maestro sometimes called "the brain." Sound familiar? It's nothing new: the book was written by Sinclair Lewis in 1935.
posted by socratic on Nov 29, 2004 - 50 comments

Tasty, with Roughage and a Plot to Boot...

How terribly peculiar. Though clever in its own way. The International Edible Book Festival at Colophone features books, that you can... eat.
posted by bluedaniel on Nov 28, 2004 - 8 comments

Want the clock

Too many books? Not enough furniture? Problem solved.
posted by kenko on Nov 27, 2004 - 48 comments

He dug a shallow grave and buried his shirt

The outrageous Frank Harris, the inimitable Amanda McKittrick Ros, and the unlovely Webster Edgerly, and much more.
posted by kenko on Nov 21, 2004 - 5 comments

A Tale of Two Christianities

Born-again liberal Christians. Do you think that mainline denominations are hemorraging members? Wrong. Fundamentalist Christianity is the way of the future and all US Evangelicals worship the same political party? Not so fast, buddy. Many scholars and theologians think that it's time for liberals to take Christianity back. Oregon State's Marcus J Borg, for example, argues that Christianity "still makes sense and is the most viable religious option for millions". He contends the earlier paradigm, based upon a punitive God, simply doesn't work anymore for too many people. It is an argument for an alternative to the literalist and exclusivist tradition that has dominated Western Christianity in the modern era. According to Borg, "So different are these two views of Christianity that they almost produce two different religions, both using the same Bible and language. A time of two paradigms is virtually a tale of two Christianities." There is, for example, an alternative view to the Resurrection Narrative not as report of an actual, physical event but as means for Jesus' early followers to express the miracle of his continuing spiritual presence among them, after his execution. It is in short an 'emerging paradigm which has been developing for over a hundred years and has recently become a major grass-roots movement within mainline denominations'. Just don't be afraid to ask questions. Not even about the dogs beneath the Cross. More inside.
posted by matteo on Nov 19, 2004 - 100 comments

Reading rainbow?

There is nothing wrong in this whole wide world. Artist Chris Cobb convinced Adobe Bookshop in San Francisco to allow him to reclassify 20,000 books based solely on their color. The result is like something out of a dream. Here are some pictures, and here's an interview with him.
posted by O9scar on Nov 16, 2004 - 39 comments

"Mother Medea in a green smock"

Poems from the precipice. Sylvia Plath's late poems were published posthumously in a collection edited by her husband, Ted Hughes. As a new facsimile edition of the original manuscript is published, their daughter Frieda defends Hughes against criticism that he interfered with Plath's legacy. (more inside)
posted by matteo on Nov 16, 2004 - 25 comments

The night of time far surpasseth the day, and who knows when was the equinox?

The works of Sir Thomas Browne, with a selection of other texts not by him.
posted by kenko on Nov 11, 2004 - 7 comments

"The swamping of the white world by Yellow hordes may be the price of our failure."

YELLOW PERIL
"Imagine a person, tall, lean and feline, high-shouldered, with a brow like Shakespeare and a face like Satan, a close-shaven skull, and long, magnetic eyes of the true cat-green. Invest him with all the cruel cunning of an entire Eastern race, accumulated in one giant intellect, with all the resources of science past and present, with all the resources, if you will, of a wealthy government--which, however, already has denied all knowledge of his existence. Imagine that awful being, and you have a mental picture of Dr. Fu-Manchu, the yellow peril incarnate in one man."
Sax Rohmer's tales of the sinister Dr. Fu Manchu and his arch enemy Sir Denis Nayland Smith of the British Secret Service (the nephew of Sherlock Holmes whose name is also invoked in Thomas Pynchon's Gravity's Rainbow), have fascinated readers and cinemagoers alike for the best part of the twentieth century. Two things make Fu Manchu all the more monstrous a villain: his proximity to the West, and his intellect. His base is in Limehouse, the Chinese area of London. So by allowing him to live in the country, England is vulnerable to his insidious plans (and so becomes a validation of strict immigration policy). His intellect comes from Western learning, and it is often emphasized that he has been educated in a University. So we see the evil Asian as using the West's own knowledge against it.
It is up to Nayland Smith and Dr. Petrie to stop Fu Manchu's plans in each story. As Smith remarks in The Hand of Fu Manchu, "the swamping of the white world by Yellow hordes may be the price of our failure." (more inside)
posted by matteo on Nov 10, 2004 - 16 comments

"In fact the whole of Japan is a pure invention. There is no such country, there are no such people".

Discovering Japan. As a perennial outsider at loose in Japan, writer Donald Richie captures the joyous freedom of being foreign. The foreign observer is likely to be happy only if he sees his foreignness as an adventure, and recognizes that he has given up a sense of belonging for a sense of freedom, traded the luxury of being understood for that of being permanently interested. Richie, the philosopher-king of expats in Asia for the past half-century, arrived in Tokyo in 1947 as a typist with the U.S. government and never really left, writing dozens of books , on Japanese movies, temples, history and fashion, while enjoying himself as an actor, musician, filmmaker and painter. The Japan Journals: 1947-2004 is a monument to the pleasures of displacement. Richie watchers can observe, more intimately than ever, a man who is generally happiest observing. More inside.
posted by matteo on Nov 9, 2004 - 12 comments

Christian Cravo's Backlands

Irredentos. The sun beats down insufferably on the rust coloured landscape, stretching for mile after mile under a cobalt blue sky. In the distance, a convoy of rented farm trucks packed with thousands of penitents kicks up a serpentine cloud of dust that rises and then dissipates over the land. Through the dry air comes a jingling of chimes and a clicking of rosaries, a shuffling of processions, and with eyes heavenward, a ceaseless chanting of invocations. This is a holy and sun-scorched land, the Backlands of Brazil's northeast - the Sertão. Some believe Jesus is buried here.
Christian Cravo, the photographer, is Mario Cravo Neto's son.
posted by matteo on Nov 7, 2004 - 7 comments

Derriere the Book.

Derriere the Book.
posted by ZippityBuddha on Nov 1, 2004 - 13 comments

Give a hoot

Enter a world where friendship is king and smiles abound. Owly is continuing graphic novel series created by Andy Runton. The series uses no words to tell the stories, instead relying solely on the art (which recalls classic cartoons), creating something fun and cute to read for pretty much any age. But don't take my word for it.
posted by drezdn on Nov 1, 2004 - 2 comments

Wasn't this concluded?

Tom Wolfe resurrects his feud with Irving et al What are the chances that a literary bun toss would reignite, the match lit by the author with a new book due for publication. Maybe Martin Amis will swing buy and bitchslap them all.
posted by Keith Talent on Oct 28, 2004 - 9 comments

"Nazis looking for the Abominable Snowman".

Himmler's Crusade: The True Story of the 1938 Nazi Expedition to Tibet.
In 1935, the Reichsführer SS Heinrich Himmler founded an organisation called Ancestral Heritage , to uncover the hidden past of the Aryan race he and his Führer regarded as the noblest and most vital force in human history. One of the scientific missions Himmler sponsored was a multitasked expedition to Tibet under the leadership of ornithologist Ernst Schäfer, an expert on rare Tibetan birds who liked to smear the blood of exotic kills on his face. Schäfer recruited an anthropologist to measure noses and skulls and to make face-masks; a geographer who specialised in the earth's geomagnetism; and a botanist who was also handy with a film camera. They managed to con their way into Tibet, past the British. The expedition is at the basis of a masterful story by Jim Shepard, the author of Love and Hydrogen (full text). More inside.
posted by matteo on Oct 25, 2004 - 12 comments

comics about criminals

Bush Junta: A Field Guide to Corruption in Government - A substantial visual document (200 pages of comics from Fantagraphics, fact-checked with an extensive bibliography; the link goes to a number of sample pages) on the Bush Dynasty, from its beginnings benefitting off of Hitler and WW2 (that entire piece, which is printed in english, is posted in its original dutch online here), to the Bush's connection to Reagan's assassination, CIA and Iran-Contra, ending with the unsettling origins and profiles of the current administration. A great election primer, featuring comics and art by Steve Brodner, Ralph Steadman, Spain Rodriguez and many others. (Amazon link provided for a better description)
posted by Peter H on Oct 11, 2004 - 11 comments

Seeking Band Geek Lit

Book publisher soliciting proposals on a high school marching band memoir. It could have an “American High” structure, in which a reporter follows a number of members of a band for a year, but the tone should be “Freaks & Geeks.” It could be something along the lines of “Drumline.” Or, and this is preferable, it could be a person’s wry memoir of his or her life as a band geek: weirdness on the bus, band sluts, the freshmen who steal your place, rivalries, loathing, the football team, what personality type goes with each instrument, etc. Knowledge of band camp and competitions would be a plus. BONUS: Maud's post includes the email address of a senior editor at Wiley to whom you may send your book proposals.
posted by _sirmissalot_ on Oct 8, 2004 - 9 comments

Congratulations to Austria

The Nobel Prize in Literature 2004: Elfriede Jelinek, probably best known for the story behind Michael Haneke's La Pianiste.
posted by mr.marx on Oct 7, 2004 - 22 comments

Also, a treatise on bees

The Household Cyclopedia - a book of general knowledge printed in 1881.
posted by Orange Goblin on Oct 3, 2004 - 19 comments

Rare Books

Rare Books. Links to virtual exhibitions, 1991-present.
posted by plep on Oct 3, 2004 - 2 comments

"Vote for Lindbergh or Vote for War"

"Fear presides over these memories, a perpetual fear." He is one of America's great novelists, but you don't expect Philip Roth to be barreling up the best-seller list with a book that hasn't even been published yet. And yet "The Plot Against America" is in the top 3 at amazon.com. It spins a what-if scenario in which the isolationist and anti-Semitic hero Charles Lindbergh runs for president as a Republican in 1940 and defeats F.D.R. "Keep America Out of the Jewish War", reads a button worn by Lindbergh supporters rallying at Madison Square Garden. And so he does: he signs nonaggression pacts with Germany and Japan that will keep America at peace while the rest of the world burns. The Lindbergh administration hatches a nice plan to prod assimilation of the Jews. Innocuously called Just Folks, it's a relocation program for urban Jews, administered by an Office of American Absorption fronted by an obliging and pompous rabbi of radio celebrity. The teenage Roth character is shipped off to a Kentucky tobacco farm, to finally live among Christians. The book is about American Fascism, but while Roth is no fan of President Bush ("a man unfit to run a hardware store let alone a nation like this one"), he points out that he conceived this book (LATimes registration: sparklebottom/sparklebottom) in December 2000, and that it would be "a mistake" to read it "as a roman à clef to the present moment in America." (more inside)
posted by matteo on Sep 28, 2004 - 10 comments

We Forget Most Every Little Thing

Memories of a Dog. Moriyama Daido's pictures are taken in the streets of Japan's major cities. Made with a small, hand-held camera, they reveal the speed with which they were snapped. Often the frame is tilted vertiginously, the grain pronounced, and the contrast emphasized. Among his city images are those shot in underlit bars, strip clubs, on the streets or in alleyways, with the movement of the subject creating a blurred suggestion of a form (warning: NSFW images if you scroll down the page) rather than a distinct figure. His best known picture, Stray Dog, (1971) is taken on the run, in the midst of bustling street activity. It is an essential reflection of Moriyama's presence as an alert outsider in his own culture. Moriyama is also a toy-camera enthusiast (his favorite is the Polga) . He has worked in the US, too: "N.Y. 71". (more inside)
posted by matteo on Sep 27, 2004 - 6 comments

Another reason to hate Walmart

WalMart ends anti-Semitic book sale Bowing to a barrage of complaints from Jewish groups, retail leader Wal-Mart Inc. has stopped selling "The Protocols of the Learned Elders of Zion," an infamous anti-Semitic tract long exposed as fake.
posted by Outlawyr on Sep 27, 2004 - 67 comments

I vant to... buy you an enter key.

You're all dummies and you're reading it wrong! Anne Rice's latest book has gotten some crummy reviews on Amazon, and she's seriously POed that the "outrageous stupidity" of the proles allowed to review on the site are tarnishing one of her her editor-free "virtuoso performance(s)." (Scroll down to Anne Obrien Rice- guaranteed real name by Amazon, and feel free to compare this rant to the one on her official website.)
posted by headspace on Sep 20, 2004 - 82 comments

Artsy Photographer Takes Portraits of P6rn Stars, Savage Wappa Ensues

XXX: 30 P9RN STAR PORTRAITS (a bit NSFW, obviously) by photographer Timothy Greenfield-Sanders, is a book that features paired portraits (one clothed and one nude) of the top stars in p6rn, straight and gay, from legends like (best-selling memoirist) Jenna Jameson, Ron Jeremy and Nina Hartley to (ahem) rising stars like Sunrise Adams, Belladonna, Chad Hunt. The book includes short essays on the intersection of p6rnography and culture by a wide range of writers, from Salman Rushdie to AM Homes. XXX is, essentially, about the much-dreaded "p6rnification" of the culture at large, recently featured in the New York Times. As Gore Vidal writes in the book's introduction, “Doubtless, sex tales were told about the Neanderthal campfire and perhaps instructive positions drawn on cave walls. Meanwhile, the human race was busy establishing such exciting institutions as slavery and its first cousin, marriage.” (more inside, with totally NSFW Terry Richardson)
posted by matteo on Sep 18, 2004 - 12 comments

Books Books Books

Question for a gray Saturday. What is literature for ? Three litblogs -- Conversational Reading, The Reading Experience, and Leonard Bast -- discuss. Curl up and consider.
posted by dame on Sep 18, 2004 - 5 comments

Canada's True Hero.

Canada's True Hero The author Douglas Coupland has a book coming out in 2005 about fellow Canadian Terry Fox. Until then, read this interesting, but heart-warming article.
posted by grefo on Sep 17, 2004 - 11 comments

Connolly 100 updated

100 key books “Cyril Connolly chose 100 key books from England, France and America first published between 1880 and 1950 to represent ‘The Modern Movement’.”

This site asks: “How does the list look now, in the first decade of the 21st Century?” “an additional list of key books is needed for 1950 to 2000. What should be included and why? Does Connolly's selection criteria need adjusting [just England (when so many of the books are from Ireland), France and America!] and if so how should this be done, remembering that Connolly was very precise in delineating the list as Key books, not best books?”
posted by Grod on Sep 17, 2004 - 18 comments

The Interesting Yezidis

Devil Worship: The Sacred Books and Traditions of the Yezidiz, by Isya Joseph, 1919. 'This is one of the only public domain sources of information on the religious beliefs of the Yezidi, a small group originally from the northern region of Iraq. Although they speak Kurdish, they are a distinct population from the Kurds. The Yezidi are notable because they have been described as devil-worshippers, which has naturally led to constant persecution by the dominant Islamic culture of the region ... They have many unique beliefs, such as that the first Yezidi were created by Adam by parthenogenesis separately from Eve ... ' New on sacred-texts.com.
posted by plep on Sep 17, 2004 - 4 comments

His books are required reading for the rest of your life

The Greatest War Protestor of All Time --Wise, hilarious, and kind words from Kurt Vonnegut, Jr. If you don't know who he is, fake it.
posted by chinese_fashion on Sep 15, 2004 - 7 comments

Critique Magazine's On Writing III

Critique Magazine's On Writing III - Each year, Critique Magazine's staff compiles essays by and interviews with writers, teachers, and translators of merit for inclusion in the special anniversary edition "On Writing".

Basically, a shitload of authors provide thoughts on, ahem, writing. {Both sites are worth a look, imo.}
posted by dobbs on Sep 15, 2004 - 18 comments

Save your healing potions

Fighting Fantasy Gamebooks tried to do Choose Your Own Adventure books one better with D&D-style rules. These massively single-player games, released in Britain, absorbed '80s nerds into the kind of murky, dead-serious fantasy recently parodied by Trogdor, in a decade when interactive fiction was on the rise. A bunch of the Gamebooks are now available to play online. Hang on to those healing potions.
posted by inksyndicate on Sep 14, 2004 - 32 comments

Dino & Sibilla

With our shipwrecked hearts. Ninety years ago Dino Campana, impoverished and outcast poet self-published his book Canti Orfici (.pdf file) ("Orphic Songs", mastefully translated into English by poet Charles Wright). The birth of the book wasn't marred only by Campana's mental illness (soon afterwards, he was committed to a mental institution). Initially, the "Orphic Songs" were submitted for possible publication to the poet/painter Ardengo Soffici, who promptly lost the manuscript. Campana spent the next six months reconstructing the book from memory. Finally in 1914, with the help of a local printer of religious tracts, he self-published a first edition of around 500, selling only 44. Campana attempted, with marginal success, to sell the remainder of his portion of the run (the printer had taken half the books as partial printing payment) himself at cafes in Florence. He is now remembered as one of Italy's greatest, most imaginative poets (with biographies ,award-winning movies about his troubled life and his dangerous, scandalous love affair with fellow writer Sibilla Aleramo. (more inside)
posted by matteo on Sep 14, 2004 - 11 comments

Free online CliffsNotes

CliffsNotes is now offering 180 literature guides available for free online viewing.
posted by bob sarabia on Sep 13, 2004 - 13 comments

LesboPulp

Lesbian Paperback Covers. [NSFW]
posted by srboisvert on Sep 13, 2004 - 17 comments

Four Stories

"I follow a dog chasing some invisible bird." Four Stories: Some of the most breathtaking woodcuts I've seen a good while illustrating four sparse but moving stories. After a decade of metafiction and Raygun typography, this letterpressed book of mythic narrative is refreshing, and inspiring.
posted by eustacescrubb on Sep 11, 2004 - 6 comments

biographical database on great ideas

Malaspina Great Books. A biographical database on culture, in categories.
posted by plexi on Sep 2, 2004 - 2 comments

The Mystery of Making Things Up

Welcome to the Lizard Motel. Barbara Feinberg's new book is both a memoir of certain childhood memories and an indictment against the dismal state of books for young adults. Feinberg became concerned when her two children, once avid readers, became agitated at the prospect of reading the current crop of assigned literature for the upcoming school year. Curious, she started reading these books for herself, and discovered that, by and large, they were all examples of "problem literature," stories intended to educate children about the cold, harsh realities of life. Her conclusion:

"We seem to have lost sight of what children can actually process, and more important, of their own innate capacities. Instead of our children being free to roam and dream and invent on their own timetable, and to read about children doing such things, we increasingly ask our children to be sober and hard-working at every turn, to take detailed notes on their required texts with Talmudic attention, to endure computer-generated tests." Yet such books are are ever so popular with educators. Why? And what books to MeFites recall from their formative years? What makes for good reading for children?
posted by Ayn Marx on Aug 29, 2004 - 54 comments

Call me Ishmael...

Opening Hooks. You're in the bookstore, browsing the shelves for... something. You don't know what, exactly, you're looking for but you'll recognize it when you see it. Picking a book at random you open to the first page and begin to read. Two hours later you're home in bed with a mug of sweet tea, still reading.
posted by thebabelfish on Aug 29, 2004 - 65 comments

Literature

The insolent art of Michel Houellebecq. "There are certain books—sardonic and acutely pessimistic—that systematically affront all our current habits of living, and treat our presumptions of mind as the delusions of the cretinous." Julian Barnes' 2003 review in The New Yorker.
posted by semmi on Aug 28, 2004 - 4 comments

Gulp, type, gulp, type

Two Writers Drinking, Sitting Around, Talking About Stuff. That about says it! Two online veterans get drunk and exchange e-mails. (An ongoing series. The above link is part one. Part two is here, and part three can be found right here). (Via Maud)
posted by braun_richard on Aug 22, 2004 - 4 comments

Cildren's book illustrations - 1920s Japan

Kodomo no kuni - children's book illustrations and songs from 1920s Japan. I found the artist's index the best way to navigate. (via the always entertaining quiddity)
posted by madamjujujive on Aug 21, 2004 - 12 comments

The British and their sailing

I have recently begun Patrick OBrians series of Aubrey-Maturin novels, set in the rich and vibrant world of the 18th century Royal Navy; I have also enjoyed the movie. These superb historic novel have rekindled my interest in the great age of sail, especially the exploits of Lord Nelson. The Royal Navy at this time ruled the world, although the tactics used were brutal and seaman were often taken to sea against their will. The Battle of Trafalgar is certainly the most famous engagement and HMS Victory the most famous of the ships. Next year is the 200th anniversary of the battle, the preparations sound spectacular and it is good to see the strong British sailing tradition continues.
posted by Samuel Farrow on Aug 17, 2004 - 21 comments

Honour lost, indeed

Forbidden Love: The Romance That Masqueraded as a Bio In early 2003, a Jordanian woman named Norma Khouri published a book entitled Forbidden Love (or Honor Lost in North America). This book was a memoir about how Norma Khouri's best friend, Dalia, was killed by her own father after she fell in love with a Christian military officer, and Norma's subsequent escape from Jordan. Forbidden Love was a bio that read like a sensational romance, and it sold 250,000 copies around the world and made Norma Khouri a celebrity in her adoptive country of Australia. However, it turns out that the book really was just a romance. Dalia never existed. Norma Khouri left Jordan at the age of 3 and grew to adulthood living in Chicago. So, one very disturbed woman has exploited Western prejudices about Arab cultures, fooled the general public, plunged her publisher into an enormous legal and financial embarrassment, and impugned the very real and serious problem of honour killings. And she got away with it for a full year and a half.
posted by orange swan on Aug 5, 2004 - 14 comments

Cuba classics

Cuba Classics: A Celebration of Vintage American Automobiles. An homage to Cuba's astonishing wealth of antique cars, revealing the time-worn splendor of classic American automobiles spanning eight decades.
posted by ZippityBuddha on Aug 5, 2004 - 6 comments

First Lady Fights Back!

"Hi. My name is Tony Kushner, I'm a playwright...Ladies and Gentlemen and Supporters of MoveOn: the first lady of the United States, Laura Welch Bush". About a year and a half ago Kushner, the Pulitzer-prize winning author of Angels in America, published the first act of a new play, Only We Who Guard The Mystery Shall Be Unhappy (full text). In it, Laura Bush reads Dostoyevsky to a classroom full of ghosts of dead Iraqi children. Now, (in Salon, I know, I know) the first lady metacriticizes Kushner's play. (more inside)
posted by matteo on Aug 4, 2004 - 11 comments

The Book Art of Richard Minsky

The Book Art of Richard Minsky found by helcat who shared it in #mefi.
posted by Tacodog on Aug 3, 2004 - 3 comments

bookbinding | popup books

Three nice book links from the University of North Texas Libraries: 1. Victorian Bookbinding - Innovation and Extravagance has some gorgeous examples of bookcovers from the Art Nouveau, Victorian, and Arts and Crafts periods. 2. The Great Menagerie is an animated tour of 19th and 20th century pop-up books. 3. Pop-Up and Movable Books - A Tour, showcases pop-up book artists through the centuries, and includes the master of the genre, Lothar Meggendorfer. More about Meggendorfer inside ---->
posted by iconomy on Jul 29, 2004 - 7 comments

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