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Brilliant A+++++ would read again

The best book reviews money can buy. (SLNYT)
posted by Zarkonnen on Aug 26, 2012 - 61 comments

aqueous surface design

Ebru, turkish for "marbeling", and is hypnotizing to watch. It is a process that puts colored paint on the surface of water, and then transferring it to paper. It is probably most common for us now in its use in bookbinding, showing as early as the 17th century in Europe, and it's still being done routinely today in the US Government Printing Office. The art is much older, dating back to 10th century Turkey. It had a resurgence in the 60's as a psychedelic hippie art form. It's easy to learn but can take years to master. [more inside]
posted by crunchland on Aug 25, 2012 - 32 comments

Fear and Loathing in Amundsen-Scott Station

Can't get enough Antarctic culture? [more inside]
posted by outlandishmarxist on Aug 24, 2012 - 40 comments

Amazon Election Heat Map 2012

Amazon Election Heat Map 2012. Republican landslide in Amazon book vote.
posted by stbalbach on Aug 22, 2012 - 77 comments

I want to plural, to discuss not the novel but novels, not the future, but futures.

China Miéville: the future of the novel [more inside]
posted by fearfulsymmetry on Aug 21, 2012 - 13 comments

Cynthia Ozick on Henry James: The Lesson of the Master

Cynthia Ozick on Henry James: The Lesson of the Master: ...in earlier days I felt I had been betrayed by Henry James. I was like the youthful writer in “The Lesson of the Master” who believed in the Master’s call to live immaculately, unspoiled by what we mean when we say “life”—relationship, family mess, distraction, exhaustion, anxiety, above all disappointment.
posted by shivohum on Aug 21, 2012 - 7 comments

Judging a book by the cover

Scent of a kitten: the 20 irrefutable theories of book cover design
posted by fearfulsymmetry on Aug 17, 2012 - 33 comments

Books, book bindings, and the death of the book

Ever since something was invented to replace it, people have been predicting the end of the book: The Death Of The Book Through The Ages [more inside]
posted by the man of twists and turns on Aug 15, 2012 - 60 comments

You Can Do Science Too

Citizen science refers to science conducted by average persons, e.g., people who are not full- or part-time professional scientists but nevertheless have a keen interest in scientific inquiry. Citizen Science Center is a resource for books, papers, discussions, and project listings related to citizen science that aims to convince you to get your hands dirty and do science now.
posted by netbros on Aug 14, 2012 - 11 comments

19th Century Prostitution

A Guide to Houses No Gentleman Would Frequent, and more artifacts of history and archaeology that shed some light on the largely-unwritten world of nineteenth-century prostitution in Boston, New York, Washington, DC, and Paris, among other locales. Lest it appear too amusingly salacious, the miserable side.
posted by Miko on Aug 13, 2012 - 5 comments

China Mieville's Railsea - an interview

We are so steeped in the tradition of railways as a single line cutting through the wilderness. But [...] there is a tradition you can tap into that completely inverts what has become the cliché, and focuses instead on branching lines, on sidings, on reversibility and on the breaching of timetables—and you end up with a notion of rails that can be an ineffable symbol of potentiality. I liked the idea of trying to honour that alternative tradition.
But that's all post-facto to the basic gag—and it is a gag—of someone shouting "there she blows!" and it's a mole, not a whale.
BoingBoing interviews China Mieville on his new book, Railsea. [more inside]
posted by rebent on Aug 9, 2012 - 53 comments

The story of OMG seriously?

Katrina Lumsden reads the Fifty Shades of Grey books so you don't have to:
Fifty Shades of Grey
Fifty Shades Darker
Fifty Shades Freed
(contains animated gifs)
posted by Artw on Aug 5, 2012 - 189 comments

An insatiable kingpin of international meme laundering

TED Fellow Evgeny Morozov (previously, previously) calls bullshit on the "increasingly" "simplistic" "anxiety-peddling futurology" surrounding the TED conference in generally and especially the new TED book Hybrid Reality by Ayesha & Parag Khanna. [more inside]
posted by bbuda on Aug 4, 2012 - 54 comments

We read to know we are not alone.

American Photojournalist Steve McCurry has posted a series of photographs of people reading around the world on his blog. He also connects them with quotations on books and reading. McCurry is the photographer of the famous photograph Afghan Girl on National Geographic's cover a few years back. Earlier posts on Metafilter on McCurry include this and this And here is some music to listen to while thinking about books.
posted by Isadorady on Aug 1, 2012 - 6 comments

50 Shades of #808080

By late May, more than ten million copies of E.L. James’s Fifty Shades trilogy, an erotic romance series about the sexual exploits of a domineering billionaire and an inexperienced coed, had been sold in the United States, all within six weeks of the books’ publication here. This apparently unprecedented achievement occurred without the benefit of a publicity campaign, formal reviews, or Oprah’s blessing, owing to a reputation established, as one industry analyst put it, “totally through word of mouth.” [Grey Area: How ‘Fifty Shades’ Dominated the Market]
posted by vidur on Jul 30, 2012 - 101 comments

Tea should be hot.

A Guide to Writing Sherlockian-Tea Habits. In which EnigmaticPenguin (of death) schools fanfiction authors in correct English tea theory and practice. Follow up: Biscuits.
posted by The Whelk on Jul 29, 2012 - 158 comments

The Top Ten: Writers Pick Their Favorite Books

The Top Ten: Writers Pick Their Favorite Books catalogs the top ten favorite books of over 140 major authors and growing, including Louis D. Rubin, Jim Harrison, David Foster Wallace, David Leavitt, Paul Auster, Michael Chabon, and many more. Here's the list of books rank-ordered by frequency and here are other lists compiled from the statistics.
posted by shivohum on Jul 28, 2012 - 40 comments

Your adventure ends here. Badly.

YOU CHOSE WRONG. A children's treasury of horrible "choose your own adventure" story endings.
posted by lalex on Jul 22, 2012 - 73 comments

Zakalwe enfranchised;

Guardian Book Club: Use of Weapons by Iain M Banks, Week one: John Mullan discusses the twist [more inside]
posted by fearfulsymmetry on Jul 21, 2012 - 50 comments

The story is about a very very hairy eagle who hangs out with fancy ladies.

"This is about a girl that goes mining. I don’t know why, but she looks like she would go mining, mining for gold. " Judging a Book by its Cover: A 6-Year-Old Guesses What Classic Novels are All About.
posted by Navelgazer on Jul 19, 2012 - 89 comments

Exercise is for non-book-readers!

How To Read A Book takes us through the trials and tribulations of finding reading-time comfort. (SLYT)
posted by vorfeed on Jul 18, 2012 - 27 comments

Turn all book covers into wallpapers

Turn all book covers into wallpapers [via mefi projects] Lovely book cover images from classic novels, remixed with "the most defining quote" from each book.
posted by exceptinsects on Jul 17, 2012 - 15 comments

Including: Clandestine Best-Sellers of the Pre-Revolutionary Era

"The French Book Trade in Enlightenment Europe project uses database technology to map the trade of the Société Typographique de Neuchâtel (STN), a celebrated Swiss publishing house that operated between 1769 and 1794. As the STN sold the works of other publishers alongside its own editions, their archives can be considered a representative source for studying the history of the book trade and dissemination of ideas in the late Enlightenment." [more inside]
posted by Marauding Ennui on Jul 17, 2012 - 5 comments

Auction House

Swann Galleries is Photographs, Posters, Prints & Drawings, Books, Maps, Autographs, and African-American Fine Art. Served daily. Also. [more inside]
posted by netbros on Jul 15, 2012 - 2 comments

"This whole situation may well get uglier before it gets better..."

Bullying & Goodreads: "Little more than a week ago, a website aimed at naming and shaming so-called Goodreads [A kind of facebook for bibliophiles.] ‘bullies’ suddenly appeared online – called, appropriately enough, Stop the GR Bullies. Run by four concerned ‘readers and bloggers’ writing anonymously under the handles Athena, Peter Pan, Johnny Be Good and Stitch, the site thus far seems bent on punishing the creators of snide, snarky and negative book reviews by posting their handles, real names, locations and photos in one place, together with a warning about their supposed ‘level of toxicity’ and some (ironically) snide, snarky and negative commentary about them as people. There’s a lot here to unpack, but before I get started on why this is a horrifically bad idea, let’s start with some basic context."
posted by Fizz on Jul 11, 2012 - 178 comments

"Last Sunday night I spent a good five minutes lying face down on my couch..."

Thank you for killing my novel - A negative review in the NYT sparks a dialogue between an editor there and a fictional character from the book in question. [more inside]
posted by smoke on Jul 5, 2012 - 46 comments

Previously owned

"I still buy books faster than I can read them. But this feels completely normal. How weird it would be to have around you only as many books as you have time to read in the rest of your life." Julian Barnes reflects on his life as a bibliophile, the disappearance of secondhand bookshops and the precarious survival of the physical book.
posted by verstegan on Jun 30, 2012 - 89 comments

The frantic career of the eyes

Picturing Books: What do we see when we read? (Other than words on a page.) What do we picture in our minds? A consideration by Knopf's senior designer Peter Mendulsund. [more inside]
posted by shakespeherian on Jun 27, 2012 - 22 comments

The Viable Zombie

“[...] it took more than a dozen calls to work out the details of her zombie contagion. “After about the 17th time,” says McGuire, “I called and said, ‘If I did this, this, this, this, this, this and this, could I raise the dead?’ And got, ‘Don’t … don’t do that.’ And at that point, I knew I had a viable virus.”
posted by batmonkey on Jun 27, 2012 - 70 comments

Author interviews

"Book TV's After Words features the author of a recently published hardback non-fiction book interviewed by a guest host with some knowledge, background, or connection to the subject matter of the book." There's also a podcast version (link goes to XML feed), for those who'd rather listen. Many more non-fiction author interviews can be found at Booknotes (transcripts and streaming video). If your tastes run to interviews with authors of fiction, check out the BBC's Modern Writers archive. (BookTV (but not specifically After Words) previously, Booknotes (but before the series ended) previously.)
posted by cog_nate on Jun 22, 2012 - 7 comments

These Are the Books That Make You Totally Undateable

Flavorwire "asked both men and women of various sexual orientations to share the books that they think render their devotees totally undateable". [more inside]
posted by cybertaur1 on Jun 20, 2012 - 307 comments

A Free Website for Periodicals, Books, and Videos

UNZ.org, a free website for periodicals, books, and videos. Search. [more inside]
posted by steef on Jun 20, 2012 - 9 comments

Literature and porn stars

Consider everything here potentially NSFW, even if not marked. Lots of background and sidebar images that may offend.

Kayden Kross (NSFW) and Stoya (previously) aren't stereotypical porn stars. For the release of Adam Levin's Hot Pink, Kross interviewed Levin on the McSweeney's website. Stoya was featured (along with Paul Dano) in the book trailer for Adam Wilson's Flatscreen. And together Kross and Stoya discussed Chad Kultgen’s Men, Women & Children — a novel that mentions Stoya by name. Kross digs David Foster Wallace; Stoya digs some good stuff, too. Both keep (very NSFW) blogs (Kayden 1, 2; Stoya 1, 2) where they write about all kinds of stuff. Last November on Fleshbot (NSFW) Stoya did a five-part series on sex in Japan. And check out Stoya's guest post on Warren Ellis's blog. [more inside]
posted by skilar on Jun 17, 2012 - 52 comments

Reading Along the Lines

Underground New York Public Library, a photo tumblr of NYC Subway riders and the books they read.
posted by zamboni on Jun 15, 2012 - 98 comments

Smart Authors and Designers Discuss Their Covers

Talking Covers: authors and designers talk about the ideas behind their book covers. [more inside]
posted by mattbucher on Jun 13, 2012 - 9 comments

YES - Fiction please! - NO

Teach.com's Summer Reading Flowchart.
posted by Think_Long on Jun 13, 2012 - 57 comments

The Curse of Knowledge

Isaac Chotiner reviews Jonah Lehrer's Imagine: How Creativity Works. Imagine is really a pop-science book, which these days usually means that it is an exercise in laboratory-approved self-help. Like Malcolm Gladwell and David Brooks, Lehrer writes self-help for people who would be embarrassed to be seen reading it. For this reason, their chestnuts must be roasted in “studies” and given a scientific gloss. The surrender to brain science is particularly zeitgeisty.
posted by shivohum on Jun 13, 2012 - 29 comments

The Stephen King Universe Flow Chart

Gillian James charts the connections in the Stephen King universe* Meanwhile The Guardian is rereading King begining with Carrie and Salems Lot, CNN has discovered The Gospel of Stephen King, and in further Castle Rock news a new movie version of It is being made.
* Not including The Dark Tower
posted by Artw on Jun 11, 2012 - 70 comments

vintage children's books online

vintage children's books my kid loves (a blog) & scans of vintage Little Golden Books (scroll down a bit) & The Children's Object Book (1880s) & if you want to read and look at even more vintage children's books online, you could start with browsing the Baldwin Library of Historical Children's Literature with almost 6000 classic books (some may be unsuitable for modern sensibilities) [more inside]
posted by flex on Jun 11, 2012 - 11 comments

“Why should I put down George R. R. Martin during the short trek from couch to bathroom?”

A Book Lover's Guide to Reading and Walking at the Same Time by Lev Grossman [Time.com]
posted by Fizz on Jun 9, 2012 - 53 comments

An Amazon Nation

The current issue of The Nation turns its focus to Amazon: The Amazon Effect by Steve Wasserman, How Germany Keeps Amazon at Bay and Literary Culture Alive by Michael Naumann, Search Gets Lost by Anthony Grafton, and finally Ten Reasons to Avoid Doing Business With Amazon.com.
posted by Toekneesan on Jun 1, 2012 - 57 comments

And a great anger was Nookd in the hearts of the e-readers

While reading an e-book copy of War and Peace on his Nook, North Carolina blogger Philip noticed a minor glitch in the text: "It was as if a light had been Nookd in a carved and painted lantern." He ignored it and moved on, but then encountered a similar error shortly thereafter. As it turned out, the word "kindle" had been systematically replaced by "Nook" throughout the whole book. [more inside]
posted by BlackLeotardFront on Jun 1, 2012 - 67 comments

Books Received

Books Received is the latest post in a series by BLDGBLOG about interesting books that have crossed their desk. Previously: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5
posted by Cloud King on Jun 1, 2012 - 3 comments

Terrifying French Children's books

There are some frightening looking children's books titles in English but, it seems nobody manages to bring them out like the French.
posted by rongorongo on Jun 1, 2012 - 48 comments

The A-Okay Gatsby

The goons at Something Awful have a field day photoshopping downgraded and cut-rate literary classics. Part 2.
posted by The Whelk on May 31, 2012 - 150 comments

Hack The Cover

Hack The Cover "This is an essay for book lovers and designers curious about where the cover has been, where it's going, and what the ethos of covers means for digital book design."
posted by Fuzzy Monster on May 29, 2012 - 11 comments

Animalarium

Spider Women. The animal illustration of Eileen Mayo. Book Week. Animals on Bikes. Alphabet Soup 1, Alphabet Soup 2. Steinlen's Cats. Let's Dance. Cats in Advertisements. Art Deco Animals. Jacques Hnizdovsky's prints. Emmanuelle Houdart's creatures. Turn of the century bird illustrations. [more inside]
posted by Lou Stuells on May 23, 2012 - 4 comments

What becomes a legend most?

In 1929, John Galsworthy won a Guardian poll as the novelist most likely to still be read in 2029. Three years later, he won the Nobel Prize, and the prices of his first editions skyrocketed. His reputation has since been on a 80-year wane that shows no signs of abating. The New Yorker asks Why is Literary Fame So Unpredictable? And who will they be teaching in literature class a century from now?
posted by Horace Rumpole on May 22, 2012 - 65 comments

James Joyce's "Finnegans Wake"

simply read Finnegans Wake. Since it is said to make more sense when recited aloud, you could start with this recording of James Joyce performing a passage from the "Anna Livia Plurabelle" section - which has been described as "one of the most beautiful prose-poems in English". [more inside]
posted by Trurl on May 18, 2012 - 40 comments

This Is How: Proven Aid in Overcoming Shyness, Molestation, Fatness, Spinsterhood, Grief, Disease, Lushery, Decrepitude & More. For Young and Old Alike’ by Augusten Burroughs

This is How: Proven Aid in Overcoming Shyness, Molestation, Fatness, Spinsterhood, Grief, Disease, Lushery, Decrepitude & More. For Young and Old Alike. is Augusten Burroughs' new self-help book (reviews here, here, and here), one which scorns the genre cliches of goal-setting and affirmations in favor of a hard-nosed philosophy of self-honesty based on lessons learned from his own background of abuse, neglect, and rape. In an interview with CNN, he gives snippets of his views on subjects like the harm of people "clinging to a dream which maybe they don't actually have the talent to do", suicide ("it doesn't release you, it adds a new layer of horror") and the quest for thinness ("the brain is magnificent and to focus on your gastrointestinal track is a complete waste"). (previously)
posted by shivohum on May 14, 2012 - 42 comments

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