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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

the origins of Dinotopia

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]
posted by flex on Dec 20, 2011 - 11 comments

Lists are the curse of the age.

Fifty things I've learned about the literary life
posted by fearfulsymmetry on Dec 20, 2011 - 63 comments

"I can't stop acquiring books..."

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.
posted by Fizz on Dec 20, 2011 - 8 comments

Listen, strange women lyin' in ponds distributin' swords is no basis for a system of government

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]
posted by kittenmarlowe on Dec 19, 2011 - 30 comments

Children's book art by Freud's niece Tom

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.
posted by madamjujujive on Dec 18, 2011 - 14 comments

Bibliographia

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.
posted by Bora Horza Gobuchul on Dec 12, 2011 - 10 comments

Kitsch, chic and swank

Ultra Swank - Retro Living and Design from the 50s, 60s and 70s.
posted by unliteral on Dec 8, 2011 - 8 comments

Serialized eBooks

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 (also here and here and here) are betting technology will turn serialized novels into the next big thing, that we're in "the perfect environment for a resurgence."
posted by nospecialfx on Dec 7, 2011 - 44 comments

“This is not a definition, it is not true—and, therefore, your questions do not make sense.”

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.
posted by villanelles at dawn on Dec 5, 2011 - 55 comments

An Institution in Transition

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.
posted by codacorolla on Dec 5, 2011 - 40 comments

Oh sugar!

It's that time of year again... the contenders for the Literary Review Bad Sex Award have been announced. [more inside]
posted by fearfulsymmetry on Nov 25, 2011 - 44 comments

"I don't like the sound of all those lists he's making - it's like taking too many notes at school; you feel you've achieved something when you haven't." ~ Dodie Smith

New York Times 2011 List of 100 Notable Books.
posted by Fizz on Nov 25, 2011 - 36 comments

Leaves left

It started with your name' '@byleaveswelive', and became a tree.… This was followed by dragons, coffins, lost sinners and, 10/10, ‘Gloves of bee’s fur, cap of the wren’s wings’ but there were only 8? A dinosaur was found in the museum, but what of the last? [more inside]
posted by BadMiker on Nov 25, 2011 - 16 comments

"What I realize when I’m doing an audiobook is that I actually have a much closer relationship to the text than I do when I’m reading."

Neil Gaiman’s audiobook record label: [Salon.com] The best-selling author talks about introducing his new, hand-picked lineup [Audible.com] of favorite books to American ears. Neil Gaiman Presents is part of a larger enterprise by Audible.com, called ACX (for Audiobook Creation Exchange). It aims to bring new titles to the public by hosting a service through which authors (and other rights holders) can connect with professional narrators.
posted by Fizz on Nov 24, 2011 - 20 comments

Maria Popova Is Busy

Maria Popova may be the best curator of Awesome on the Internet after the blue's own hivemind. Her site, Brain Pickings, has been mentioned a few times, but no-one appears to have pointed out her Twitter feed or her contributions to TBWA's tumblr, Curiosity Counts. Some recent posts of note: a piece on digital parasitism and the business of culture, Terry Prachett's self-documentary Choosing To Die, her selection of the best children's and picture books of 2011. Also, the best of Brain Pickings from last week and 2010. When not doing all that, she's writing for several magazines, organising the effort to restock the Brookyn OWS library after its destruction by police, and curating physical objects, sent as gifts every quarter.
posted by Bora Horza Gobuchul on Nov 21, 2011 - 20 comments

Meme Weaver

Meme Weaver In which "the author tries—and fails—to cash in on a big idea". Warning: skippable full-screen ad alert. Behind it is an article in the Atlantic (the magazine, not the ocean). Of possible interest to fans and critics of the popular science genre of books, Wikipedians, and underdog/failure sympathisers.
posted by nthdegx on Nov 18, 2011 - 7 comments

Library Science - Exhibition at New Haven Libraries

Library Science is an exhibition at New Haven (Connecticut) libraries that contemplates our personal, intellectual and physical relationship to the library as this venerable institution—and the information it contains—is being radically transformed by the digital era. Some examples: Untitled (Suburban Homes) by Erica Baum, Hurricanes by Chris Coffin, and Chinese Library No. 46 by Xiaoze Xie.
posted by carter on Nov 15, 2011 - 2 comments

Booksleuth provides further help finding "lost" books.

I have just discovered ABE books "Booksleuth" forum, where people help each other remember that "lost" story or book.
posted by uans on Nov 14, 2011 - 13 comments

The Legend of Doom House

Malpertuis (Belgium, 1971, aka ‘The Legend of Doom House’) is a movie that has been described as ‘bizarre, lurid and baffling;’ ‘a mysterious curiosity;’ and ‘exquisitely bonkers.’ An international cast led by Mathieu Carrière and Susan Hampshire (playing five rôles) also included Orson Welles. Its director, Harry Kümel, is otherwise best known for his stylish lesbian vampire flick Les Lèvres Rouges (aka ‘Daughters of Darkness’). The movie was adapted from an unusual gothic novel, first published in wartime Brussels—the work of Jean Ray (aka Raymond Jean-Marie de Kremer): a convicted embezzler & prolific hack, who was, nevertheless, one of the foremost exponents of the fantastique in French-language fiction. Please note that some of the links above are NSFW (some nudity) & several contain SPOILERS. [more inside]
posted by misteraitch on Nov 14, 2011 - 7 comments

Auerbach! Lacan! Jameson! Fish!

I don’t believe in dissing books I used to love, and I always suspect the moral judgment of people who sneer at the taste of the reader they used to be: “I know thee not, old book.” Six writers talk what's on their shelves.
posted by villanelles at dawn on Nov 12, 2011 - 72 comments

“If I have a little money I buy books; and if any is left, I buy food and clothes.”

Books seen in new ways: the Book Drum World Map (popular books mapped to their locations, and more). The Infinite Helical Bookcase. CodexCloud (store, search and share your eBooks online). Also: galleries and blogs of unique bookshelves, Bookshelf Porn and BookPorn. [more inside]
posted by Bora Horza Gobuchul on Nov 10, 2011 - 5 comments

Six New Libraries Opened Daily

After visiting Nepal in 1998, John Wood left Microsoft to try something different. His organization Room to Read now has created 12,000+ libraries around the world, and given away 10 million books.
posted by LeLiLo on Nov 7, 2011 - 10 comments

"Dropping out may not always be the worst fate: sometimes staying in proves costlier."

Our Universities: Why Are They Failing? The New York Review of Books has a lengthy review of several books about problems in higher education, pulling together the various causes that ultimately lead to universities failing to educate students. [more inside]
posted by missix on Nov 4, 2011 - 80 comments

All Hallow's Read: because there aren't enough traditions that involve giving books

"This Halloween, give somebody a scary book, to read. That's it. That's the idea. It's going to be a tradition." It's an idea Neil Gaiman came up a year ago. It's called All Hallow's Read, with a website and everything, which has book recommendations of all sorts, plus stickers, bookmarks, cards, and a small story you can print off, as well as a poster contest for next year's event. [more inside]
posted by filthy light thief on Oct 31, 2011 - 22 comments

Makes me want to go hunting for secret art.

A fore-edge painting (previously, but it's been a while) is a painting on the edges of the pages of a book that can only be seen when the pages are fanned out. Marist College has a nice history and introduction and the Boston Public Library has an impressive gallery.
posted by Vibrissa on Oct 25, 2011 - 8 comments

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