Flannery O'Connor reads A Good Man is Hard to Find
aloud at Vanderbilt University in 1959. [more inside]
I present to you a page by page review of the novelisation of the movie Back to the Future
. The review is being undertaken by Ryan North, who also creates the very funny webcomic Dinosaur Comics.
With Amazon slowly taking over the publishing world and bookstores closing left and right, things can sometimes seem a little grim for the brick and mortar booksellers of the world. Before they go completely, here's a list of the 20 most beautiful bookshops in the world
"I always knew that Sugar was Cheryl, and that the anonymity was just a temporary experience, and it wasn’t going to be really who Sugar was in the end. I revealed myself to you. I only withheld one piece of pretty meaningless information: my name. But I showed myself to you." Dear Sugar
of The Rumpus is revealed to be author Cheryl Strayed. [more inside]
To expose a bookshelf is to compose a self. The Paris Review
towards a history of bookshelves.
Nicole Cliff has been reviewing Classic Trash
fiction for The Awl, with a recent exposition on Clan of the Cave Bear
. Jeffrey Sconce reviewed 100 obscure and largely unloved books last year on Consumed and Judged
, and shows no sign of slowing down. Pop Sensation
profiles the cover of one, generally trashy, paperback, three times a week, (and includes a seemingly random quote from the book).
If Nicholas Carr is right, and consuming words on a screen is a "more primitive way of reading," then the iPad is a little bit Neanderthal and a little bit Prometheus. Its potential for creative ways to interact with literature makes it more than just an e-reader. And while it took more than a year and a half since the iPad's launch, some publishers are beginning to experiment with that potential. Last year saw several forays into innovative literature apps, most notably T.S. Elliot's The Waste Land
; Atlas Shrugged
and On The Road
also received the "enhanced" app treatment.
(Salon.com co-founder, NY Times Book Review columnist, author) and Maud Newton
(writer and critic for The NY Times Book Review, Granta, The Awl) have both written extensively about digital reading and publishing and they've launched The Chimerist
, tagline: Two iPad lovers at the intersection of art, stories, and technology.
: [more inside]
Hey! Do you like books? (Yeah...) Do you like free books? (Yeah!) Do you like giving books to friends and strangers and whomever? (Hell yeah!) Are you American? (I just said "hell yeah" didn't I?) Then sign up here
! (Then what happens?) You can select from one of thirty books
. (And?) They'll send you a box with twenty copies of one book which you can give to friends, strangers or enemies. (What's the catch?) There's no catch, it's World Book Night
. [British edition previously on MeFi]
"The more people 'pirate' a book, the better." [Guardian.co.uk]
Multimillion-selling author, Paulo Coelho links with Pirate Bay.
an invaluable resource for anyone who was ever traumatized by a childhood "classic", covers everything from popular kids' books
to bizarre movies
, even that odd little song
you had memorized
as a kid. [more inside]
... the solar system in book
Hari Kunzru: Reading The Satanic Verses in Jaipur:
Why the novelist read from Salman Rushdie’s banned book The Satanic Verses
to protest against the cancellation of Rushdie’s visit to the Jaipur Literature Festival.
Andrew Lo reviews 21 books on the financial crisis.
In a 41-page paper, Andrew Lo, from the MIT Sloan School of Management, does a comparative review of 21 books about the financial crisis - some from academics and some from journalists and Secretary Paulson, looking for common threads. Tyler Cowen comments
Diary of an Author: Day 1
, Day 2
, Day 3
, Day 4
, Day 5
The Hatchet Job of the Year Award
, sponsored by The Omnivore
, is looking for 'the angriest, funniest, most trenchant book review of the last twelve months'. The shortlist
includes Geoff Dyer on Julian Barnes
('excellent in its averageness'), Lachlan Mackinnon on Geoffrey Hill
('he is wasting his time and trying to waste ours') and Jenni Russell on Catherine Hakim
('if you should pass it in a bookshop, pick up a copy and drop it somewhere where nobody's likely to take an interest in it'). Mary Beard, another of the shortlisted candidates, insists that 'it's not actually a prize for skewering
.. it's for honest as well as entertaining book reviewing, that isn't afraid to go beyond deference, to call a spade a spade'. [more inside]
Did you know James Joyce wrote a children's book
(sort of)? Patricia Highsmith wrote one too
. So did James Baldwin
(not to be confused with James Baldwin the children's book author
). Eugène Ionesco
. Graham Greene also wrote
at the very
(and possibly more
). Other unlikely children's book authors are Aldous Huxley
, E. E. Cummings
, Chinua Achebe
), Eleanor Roosevelt
and Gertrude Stein
. Author Ariel S. Winter has written about all these books on his excellent blog We Too Were Children, Mr. Barrie
. On his Flickr page
you can look at scans from these books, sometimes even the whole book.
Alan Moore and David Lloyd designed it 30 years ago. The V for Vendetta mask appropriated
by Occupy protesters the world over. The Guardian recently
asked Alan what he thought about the masks. Now Channel 4 news takes him into Occupy territory
to face that face. But who is
the true anarchist?
"After organizing our bookshelf
almost a year ago, my wife and I decided to take it to the next level. We spent many sleepless nights moving, stacking, and animating books at Type bookstore
in Toronto. Everything you see here can be purchased at Type Books
The Written World
is a five part radio series put together by Melyvn Bragg as part of the In Our Time
BBC radio project. The programmes look at the history of written word, and how it has shaped our intellectual history. Each episode is available as a podcast
and has an accompanying page (1 2 3 4 5
) with images and links for further exploration. Also: The books that shaped history
(narrated slideshow); the British Library
page. [more inside]
"So I carve landscapes out of books
and I paint Romantic landscapes. Mountains of disused knowledge return to what they really are: mountains. They erode a bit more and they become hills. Then they flatten and become fields where apparently nothing is happening. Piles of obsolete encyclopedias return to that which does not need to say anything, that which simply IS. Fogs and clouds erase everything we know, everything we think we are." Biblios
. The Great Wall
Winter Reads: [Guardian.co.uk]
a new series matching the story to the season. [more inside]
How Computers Work.
Recently recovered & scanned in by the good folks at BoingBoing, this was an early textbook explaining the fundamental concepts & inner workings of modern computing systems. I believe a slightly different edition of this book was my own introduction to computers when I was in 6th grade or so, which explains a lot about my approach to using them.
is a collection of gift inscriptions found in used books. Some background
from the blog's author.
James Gurney answers
"What inspired you really to create Dinotopia?"."Myths and stories ARE real, I tried to tell her. And they're enduring. They're the one thing that lives on through the years as the physical monuments of old civilizations crumble into dust... The key to inventing Dinotopia was believing that it already existed beyond the confines of my own mind. Even if I couldn’t tell the the latitude and longitude, I believed it was out there somewhere beyond the reach of my senses. To engage readers with that reality I had to pay attention to the spaces between the paintings, the moments poised across the page turn, which each reader conjures anew." [more inside]
The Library: [SLYT]
A film by Sergey Stefanovich. A journey through Duncan Fallowell's library which has spilled over into every available space and become an art installation in its own right. With the writer talking.
How well do you really know old Arty? It all began with the Welsh: The The Annales Cabriae (inside) and parts of the Welsh oral tradition (later collected into the Mabinogion
) give a very different picture of the popular King Arthur than contemporary readers are familiar with: no Lancelot, three or four different Guens, no love triangles or Holy Grails. A look at the vast scope of the Arthurian legend. [more inside]
The Rabbit Dreams of Dr. Freud's Niece
- An illustrator of children's books, Sigmund Freud's niece Martha went by the name Tom, wore men's clothing, and died by her own hand in her late 30s, a year after her husband's suicide. BibliOdyssey recently featured some of her early work from Das Baby-Liederbuch
, noting that because she was Jewish, many of her books were destroyed in the Nazi era and are scarce in the book trade. More about the artist and her work at Tom Seidmann-Freud
Today Cambridge University offered a complete free digital archive of the personal papers of Sir Isaac Newton
, including the Principa Mathematica
and his first published research paper
. The archives join a number of efforts to open original works of scientific greatness to the world:
Newton's original works are handily supplemented by The Newton Project
, showing the man's insertions and deletions to his own work.
- Retro Living and Design from the 50s, 60s and 70s.
Despite the popularity of long-arc, serialized TV shows, no one really wants to read serialized fiction
, apparently. That's not stopped anyone from trying, though, like say Stephen King with The Green Mile
and The Plant
, semi-successful efforts from a mega-successful author
. That was before the current rise of the ebook, though, and a few authors
) are betting technology will turn serialized novels into the next big
thing, that we're in "the perfect environment for a resurgence.
In reflecting on the project, McAllister feels “caught between the intimacy of each individual response, and the pattern of the cumulative replies.” The question remains: Why did they answer? McAllister claims no credit, describing his survey form as “barely literate.” He recalls that in his cover letter (no examples of which exist) he misused the word precocious—he meant presumptuous—and in hindsight he sees that he was both, though few writers seemed to mind. “The conclusion I came to was that nobody had asked them. New Criticism was about the scholars and the text; writers were cut out of the equation. Scholars would talk about symbolism in writing, but no one had asked the writers.” Sixteen year old boy dislikes English homework, goes outside the chain of command.
Upheaval at the New York Public Library
: an article in The Nation which looks at the current state of the NYPL, and highlights many of the problems facing public libraries across the United States.