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"...for the next tour, I’ll either be calm and collected or nervous with a dangerously out-of-control boner."

The Awl: Nine Writers and Publicists Tell All About Readings and Book Tours
posted by zarq on Apr 12, 2012 - 18 comments

Apple and the Big Five

The U.S. has filed an antitrust lawsuit against Apple and five of the largest publishers, alleging a conspiracy to rig the pricing of e-books. Simon & Schuster, Hachette and HarperCollins have agreed to settle, though Macmillan, Penguin and Apple continue to contest the charges. Some background from WIRED: Bigger Than Agency, Bigger Than E-Books: The Case Against Apple and Publishers
posted by Artw on Apr 11, 2012 - 192 comments

"Perhaps in American cinema, women have typically been reduced to types like mom, girlfriend, or victim. But in the Y.A. books of our youth, they are far more complex, and more thoroughly drawn."

'The Atlantic Wire' kicks off its new YA For Grownups series with The Greatest Girl Characters of Young Adult Literature.
posted by box on Apr 9, 2012 - 54 comments

Hull 0, Scunthorpe 3

How can one describe it? For fuck’s sake, it is a quest saga and it has a talking horse. There are puns on the word ‘neigh’. Christopher Priest on the 2012 Clarke Award shortlist, the self-described "most prestigious award for science fiction in Britain".
posted by Hartster on Mar 29, 2012 - 226 comments

Getting wood

Romeyn Hough's American Woods is one of the most astonishing books of the late 19th century, a 14-volume set containing a thorough survey of the trees of the U.S., complete with thinly sliced samples of the wood of each tree. Complete sets of this mammoth undertaking are today rare and highly prized.
posted by Horace Rumpole on Mar 28, 2012 - 4 comments

Louise Fitzhugh's "Harriet the Spy"

In December 1974, there was a memorial service at St. James Episcopal Church on Madison Avenue for Louise Fitzhugh, author and illustrator of Harriet the Spy, the groundbreaking children's novel that has sold 2.5 million copies since its publication in 1964. [more inside]
posted by Trurl on Mar 26, 2012 - 45 comments

Rare and Unusual Images

recto|verso is a place where the staff of F.A. Bernett Books showcase some of the more spectacular, interesting, unusual and puzzling items they have come across. Discoveries of note include: Both Sides of Broadway, Then and Now, a building-by-building sequential photographic survey of the most famous street in America. The most influential graphic arts publication of late-1920s Tokyo, Gendai Shogyo Bijutsu Zenshu. Felix Vallotton’s Reinvention of the Woodcut, credited by many art historians of his time (and ours) as having modernized and revitalized the form in Western art. [more inside]
posted by netbros on Mar 25, 2012 - 5 comments

"Why is this book, 50 Shades of Grey, so popular?"

E.L. James's Fifty Shades of Grey started out as Master of the Universe, an adults-only Twilight fanfiction posted under the pseudonym Snowqueens Icedragon. The erotica re-imagining of Bella Swan as a 21-year-old college student and Edward Cullen as a 27-year-old billionaire -- with BDSM tastes -- was published by Australia's Writer's Coffee Shop Publishing in May 2011; names and details linking it to Stephenie Meyer's bestselling trilogy were changed (...for the most part). In recent months, the book has gone viral, selling more than 250,000 copies (over 90% in ebook format) and landing the #1 spot on the New York Times Bestseller List. Last week, E.L. James sold republishing rights for the Fifty Shades trilogy to Vintage Books in a seven-figure deal. [more inside]
posted by changeling on Mar 15, 2012 - 97 comments

The Hacker Shelf

The Hacker Shelf is nice crowd-sourced guide to (legally) free books on various computational and mathematical subjects. The topics page gives you an idea of the breadth of material available.
posted by philipy on Mar 15, 2012 - 24 comments

Still a Fast Food Nation

Still a Fast Food Nation Eric Schlosser reflects on his book's tenth anniversary (previously).
posted by box on Mar 15, 2012 - 86 comments

"Anything that comes out of the South is going to be called grotesque by the northern reader, unless it is grotesque, in which case it is going to be called realistic."

Flannery O'Connor reads A Good Man is Hard to Find aloud at Vanderbilt University in 1959. [more inside]
posted by jquinby on Mar 9, 2012 - 36 comments

Can I Give It -9999 Stars Instead?

The worst book that will ever exist in the history of all books! A collection of the internet's worst reviewers.
posted by kanata on Mar 2, 2012 - 68 comments

"You know what I think?" she says. "That people's memories are maybe the fuel they burn to stay alive."

In Search of Haruki Murakami, Japan’s Great Postmodernist Novelist, a 50 minute documentary exploring Murakami's Japan and culture. via.
posted by timshel on Feb 26, 2012 - 28 comments

Twenty photos of beautiful private and personal libraries.

Twenty photos of beautiful private and personal libraries.
posted by hurdy gurdy girl on Feb 26, 2012 - 51 comments

Page by Page Review of the Back to the Future Novelisation

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.
posted by Effigy2000 on Feb 25, 2012 - 26 comments

Penis Panic

The Great Singapore Penis Panic has been short-listed.
posted by Paul Slade on Feb 24, 2012 - 14 comments

You are, unfortunately, a fiction writer.

46 Things to Read and See for David Foster Wallace's 50th Birthday. The writer described as The Best Mind of His Generation would have turned 50 years old today. [more inside]
posted by mattbucher on Feb 21, 2012 - 26 comments

Beautiful bookshops

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.
posted by PeterMcDermott on Feb 17, 2012 - 30 comments

rip lnu

"rip lnu". So ends 13 months of the greatest pirate ebook site the world has ever known. [more inside]
posted by stbalbach on Feb 16, 2012 - 102 comments

"I’m curious about what will happen next."

"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]
posted by mokin on Feb 15, 2012 - 17 comments

Adding a sense of drama to the living room.

To expose a bookshelf is to compose a self. The Paris Review towards a history of bookshelves.
posted by shakespeherian on Feb 14, 2012 - 19 comments

California Dreamin'

California rejects top rate tax increase, removes all state funding for CA libraries. Funding cut for "literacy programs, InterLibrary Loans, and miscellaneous expenses such as librarian training programs and books." Library Journal goes into more of the technicalities.
posted by jaduncan on Feb 12, 2012 - 266 comments

The main thing about impersonation, Tom thought, was to maintain the mood and temperament of the person one was impersonating, and to assume the facial expressions that went with them.

The Composites - Literary characters imagned using police composition software
posted by The Whelk on Feb 9, 2012 - 42 comments

Your favourite childhood book, perhaps?

All the books in the world. Except one.
posted by jbickers on Feb 9, 2012 - 30 comments

Reviews of Bad Books

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).
posted by latkes on Feb 8, 2012 - 19 comments

A single creature with the power of three beasts

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.
Laura Miller (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. Newton writes: [more inside]
posted by not_the_water on Feb 7, 2012 - 20 comments

Bookstore cats

Bookstore Cats from Different Parts of the World [more inside]
posted by Trurl on Feb 4, 2012 - 78 comments

World Book Night USA

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]
posted by Kattullus on Feb 4, 2012 - 39 comments

"...because there's nothing more tiring than reading long screeds of text on a computer screen."

"The more people 'pirate' a book, the better." [Guardian.co.uk] Multimillion-selling author, Paulo Coelho links with Pirate Bay.
posted by Fizz on Feb 1, 2012 - 67 comments

"If someone comes in and says they read a little of everything, they want the romance section."

25 Things I Learned from Opening a Bookstore.
posted by jeremy b on Jan 28, 2012 - 140 comments

Read twice, pass to your left.

A list of pothead novels.
posted by stinkycheese on Jan 28, 2012 - 61 comments

No, I DON'T want a bedtime story tonight

Smother Goose, 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]
posted by misha on Jan 28, 2012 - 25 comments

Black... black... black... black... black... black... black... black... black... black... black... black... black... black... black... black... small pale dot... black... black... black...

Astronomical... the solar system in book form
posted by fearfulsymmetry on Jan 28, 2012 - 24 comments

"There are many rights for which we should fight, but the right to protection from offense is not one of them."

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.
posted by Fizz on Jan 23, 2012 - 8 comments

An academic review of 21 books on the financial crisis

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.
posted by falameufilho on Jan 22, 2012 - 30 comments

Diary of an Author: Woke up. Googled self.

Diary of an Author: Day 1, Day 2, Day 3, Day 4, Day 5.
posted by fings on Jan 22, 2012 - 28 comments

Top Ten books of famous authors

Top Ten Favorite Books from authors: Stephen King's 10 favorite books. David Foster Wallace's 10 favorite books. Sue Monk Kidd's 10 favorite books via the CS Monitor.
posted by the man of twists and turns on Jan 20, 2012 - 52 comments

The Omnivore's dilemma

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]
posted by verstegan on Jan 17, 2012 - 21 comments

Storm in a tea state

Shakespeare's The Tempest banned by Arizona schools
posted by Artw on Jan 17, 2012 - 131 comments

Some titles may be temporarily unavailable at local retailers.

Nicely scanned copies of classic Golden Guides. Highlights include Light and Color, Stars, Evolution, and the always popular guide to Hallucinogenic Plants.
posted by HumanComplex on Jan 14, 2012 - 15 comments

"Once upon a time there was an elephant who did nothing all day." - E. E. Cummings

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 wrote four stories for young kids. Graham Greene also wrote at the very least four children's books (and possibly more). Other unlikely children's book authors are Aldous Huxley, E. E. Cummings, Chinua Achebe (2, 3, 4), 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.
posted by Kattullus on Jan 13, 2012 - 30 comments

Alan Moore's Masks: A Face to Face

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?
posted by 0bvious on Jan 13, 2012 - 37 comments

The Secret Life of Books

"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."
posted by Toekneesan on Jan 9, 2012 - 38 comments

The Written World - A History of Writing

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]
posted by carter on Jan 6, 2012 - 11 comments

Live from the Internet

What is being scanned around the world The Internet Archive updated in real time. [more inside]
posted by Sailormom on Dec 23, 2011 - 17 comments

I carve landscapes out of books.

"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.
posted by SpacemanStix on Dec 22, 2011 - 5 comments

"In seed time learn, in harvest teach, in winter enjoy." ~William Blake

Winter Reads: [Guardian.co.uk] a new series matching the story to the season. [more inside]
posted by Fizz on Dec 22, 2011 - 2 comments

How Computers Work

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.
posted by scalefree on Dec 22, 2011 - 44 comments

From The Caine Mutiny to Kill Alex Cross

How Much More Do Books Cost Today?
posted by griphus on Dec 21, 2011 - 50 comments

For MetaFilter, in remembrance of so many happy hours--HR

Bookdedications is a collection of gift inscriptions found in used books. Some background from the blog's author.
posted by Horace Rumpole on Dec 21, 2011 - 15 comments

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