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om nom nom

(Almost) Everything You Need to Know about Culture in 10 Books
posted by glass origami robot on Sep 1, 2011 - 49 comments

Let's Get Critical

Let's Get Critical is "a new Longform.org partner site dedicated to surfacing the best cultural criticism on the web."
posted by Ahab on Sep 1, 2011 - 13 comments

Much Randomness Ahead

Hey Oscar Wilde! — A spot to archive nerd images of interest from out of print/hard to find art books, magazines, comics and other assorted ephemera laying about as well as detours into other things found about the web. Some of the pieces from the 'Hey Oscar Wilde! It's Clobberin' Time!!!' literary art collection (previously on MeFi) may make it on here from time to time as well.
posted by netbros on Aug 30, 2011 - 2 comments

The 10 Most Ridiculously Difficult Encyclopedia Brown Mysteries

Enclyclopedia Brown is a children's fiction series written by Donald J. Sobol since 1963 and still very popular today. These are the 10 most ridiculously difficult mysteries in the series and baffling as to how a child is supposed to be able to solve them.
posted by rozomon on Aug 30, 2011 - 137 comments

A Frog for your Boils

Biomedical Ephemera, or, a Frog for your Boils is "A blog for all biological and medical ephemera, from the age of Abraham through the era of medical quackery and cure-all nostrums. Sometimes featuring illustrations of diseases and conditions of the times, sometimes fascinating ephemeral medical equipment, and sometimes clippings and information about the theories themselves." The archive page is also a useful starting point. via Things Magazine.
posted by Rumple on Aug 29, 2011 - 8 comments

When two readers love each other very much, they raise a smaller reader

"It’s a mistake to rarify reading and put books out of reach."
posted by burnfirewalls on Aug 19, 2011 - 63 comments

The L*** H*** of D***ness

Would You Please Fucking Stop?: an article by Ursula K. Le Guin
posted by rollick on Aug 18, 2011 - 184 comments

"Somebody should set up the ‘I Hate the I Hate Reading Page!"

We hate the “I Hate Reading’ Facebook page. [more inside]
posted by Fizz on Aug 15, 2011 - 138 comments

"The prize itself is a mug...but the glory is incalculable!"

Novelist, frontman, economist, pig stealer, and man from Ireland, Julian Gough invites you to join him on an adventure in "a love-based mutant version of capitalism."
posted by villanelles at dawn on Aug 13, 2011 - 18 comments

"It is the confession, not the priest, that gives us absolution."

Bookfessions: [tumblr] "These are confessions and/or thoughts of a book lover, bibliophile, book addict, reader, lover of literature, nerd..."
posted by Fizz on Aug 6, 2011 - 20 comments

Oh My God! I Was Wrong! It was Serling All Along!

In 1963, French novelist (and former secret agent!) Pierre Boulle, released a smashing new Sci-Fi novel called La planète des singes (Monkey Planet in the UK). Like his previous 1952 bestseller, Le Pont de la rivière Kwaï (Bridge Over the River Kwai), the book was adapted into a classic film - and eventually a franchise of some note. Interested in how Boulle's sociopolitical satire became one of the iconic films of our time? You can read some of the backstory about Serling's involvement with the project, then have a look at the various drafts themselves and final shooting script. [Previously].
posted by Dr. Zira on Aug 5, 2011 - 12 comments

There can be only ten.

NPR Books is asking people to vote for their ten favorite science fiction / fantasy books of all time. The list is exhaustive; the picking only ten is hard.
posted by mygothlaundry on Aug 3, 2011 - 521 comments

Rescuing Books From Obscurity

Sifting through The Staxx you'll find excerpts from ancient books about British chimneysweeps, ferns and mosses, Japanese art motifs, ornamental alphabets, and much more.
posted by hermitosis on Jul 28, 2011 - 6 comments

The Joy of Dullness

The Joy of Dullness 1 | The Joy of Dullness 2: a gallery of dull, curious or odd book covers on informative and explore-worthy Bookride. [more inside]
posted by nickyskye on Jul 25, 2011 - 18 comments

The Library of Congress documentary

The Library of Congress (1:30m), a tour documentary by C-SPAN.
posted by stbalbach on Jul 20, 2011 - 8 comments

We are all a bunch of Winnie the Poohs

Jed Perl reviews "Thomas Kinkade: The Artist in the Mall"
posted by vidur on Jul 18, 2011 - 67 comments

Borders liquidating remaning stores

Borders is liquidating as soon as this Friday, closing all 399 stores, ending 40 years of business, and 11,000 jobs. Brought down by e-books and Amazon. Scenes From A Borders Liquidation Sale. Map of (soon to be vacant) Borders stores.
posted by stbalbach on Jul 18, 2011 - 311 comments

The Secret Bookstore

The Secret Bookstore [more inside]
posted by stbalbach on Jul 15, 2011 - 25 comments

Words and Music

Words and Music. The staff at Pitchfork list their favorite books about music. [more inside]
posted by rocket88 on Jul 12, 2011 - 56 comments

"I know well what I am fleeing from but not what I am in search of." ~Michel de Montaigne

Book Blogs Search Engine: "Looking for reviews of a book by real-life book bloggers? Tired of sifting through corporate sites in your regular Google search results? That’s why I created the Book Blogs custom search engine – all book bloggers, all the time! Whether you’re looking for other non-commercial reviews of a book you’ve just read, or want real readers’ opinions on a new book you’re considering, this is the place." If you want to include your book blog in the search engine, leave a comment at this link.
posted by Fizz on Jul 10, 2011 - 3 comments

Reviewing the literary output of Glenn Beck

Magicland. The Los Angeles Review of Books examines the literary output of Glen Beck. [more inside]
posted by Ghostride The Whip on Jul 6, 2011 - 61 comments

The History of Cartography

Free PDFs of The History of Cartography, vol. 1 and 2, from University of Chicago Press.
posted by Stan Carey on Jul 3, 2011 - 13 comments

I need a book on how to actually breathe underwater.

Weird Things Customers Say In Bookshops.
posted by davidjmcgee on Jul 1, 2011 - 102 comments

Get off the internet

Johann Hari laments the decline of real books and advocates a 'digital diet'. Do we still "need dead trees to have fully living minds"?
posted by joannemullen on Jun 27, 2011 - 312 comments

"But there is sometimes room to use painful language to reclaim our own history."

Heated Debates, Burning Books [Via NewYorker.com] The Canadian writer Lawrence Hill recently received the unsettling news that a Dutch political group would be assembling on Wednesday in Amsterdam to burn copies of his novel, “The Book of Negroes” (published in the Netherlands under the title “Het Negerboek,” and in the U.S. as “Someone Knows My Name”). So what exactly does this historical novel have to do with the Dutch? [more inside]
posted by Fizz on Jun 22, 2011 - 46 comments

Unbound: like Kickstarter but soley for books

Unbound - like Kickstarter but for books. The idea is simple, authors pitch their idea and interested readers then pay a specified amount to bring the idea to life. [more inside]
posted by Faintdreams on Jun 21, 2011 - 54 comments

The End of the Story

Before Robert Jordan passed away, he dictated the ending of his Wheel of Time" series. This was just another bump in the rocky saga of the series. [more inside]
posted by reenum on Jun 20, 2011 - 83 comments

The path of the righteous man is beset on all sides by the inequities of the selfish and the tyranny of children who don't go to sleep

Go the F**k to Sleep as read by Samuel L. Jackson (no really). Audible is offering it as a free download (registration required). [Go the F**k to Sleep previously]
posted by Kattullus on Jun 15, 2011 - 53 comments

"In nonfiction, you have that limitation, that constraint, of telling the truth."

The 100 greatest non-fiction books: [Via: The Guardian] After keen debate at the Guardian's books desk, this is our list of the very best factual writing, organised by category, and then by date.
posted by Fizz on Jun 14, 2011 - 74 comments

The Kids Are All Writing

Glee's Chris Colfer is writing a children's book. The Land of Stories, aimed at middle grade readers, will come out next year. He joins many other famous folks who have decided to write for younger readers. Perez Hilton is doing one. Madonna's done many. Even the "stars" of Donald Trump's Celebrity Apprentice got in on the kidlit craze. Of course, many of these authors don't actually write the books they publish. Even if/when they do, many readers find the results underwhelming. "If you are looking for the next Beatrix Potter or Maurice Sendak, you will not find it here," claimed the Guardian. There are exceptions, but it seems that for a lot of celebrities, literature for children has become merely another form of brand extension. Author, Adam Rex has countered with "An Open Letter to Everyone Who Thinks it Must be Easy, Writing Kid's Books" Or, as EB White said, "You have to write up to children, not down..."
posted by cal71 on Jun 9, 2011 - 31 comments

We're talking 30 tonnes of books.

Book rescue turns nightmarish. A Saskatchewan couple saved 350,000 books from being burned by a neighbor, but now the house they bought just to store the collection is collapsing from the weight. What to do?
posted by Tsuga on Jun 8, 2011 - 113 comments

Internet Archive: One copy of every book ever published, in shipping containers

A common refrain is "a library is not (just) a warehouse of books." Except, when it is. Internet Archive, best known as the worlds largest collection of digital books in the public domain, has started collecting "one [physical] copy of every book ever published" for long-term warehousing in shipping containers.
posted by stbalbach on Jun 6, 2011 - 58 comments

The Cartoon Guide to Life, the Universe, and Everything

Larry Gonick is a veteran American cartoonist best known for his delightful comic-book guides to science and history, many of which have previews online. Chief among them is his long-running Cartoon History of the Universe (later The Cartoon History of the Modern World), a sprawling multi-volume opus documenting everything from the Big Bang to the Bush administration. Published over the course of three decades, it takes a truly global view -- its time-traveling Professor thoroughly explores not only familiar topics like Rome and World War II but the oft-neglected stories of Asia and Africa, blending caricature and myth with careful scholarship (cited by fun illustrated bibliographies) and tackling even the most obscure events with intelligence and wit. This savvy satire carried over to Gonick's Zinn-by-way-of-Pogo chronicle The Cartoon History of the United States, along with a bevy of Cartoon Guides to other topics, including Genetics, Computer Science, Chemistry, Physics, Statistics, The Environment, and (yes!) Sex. Gonick has also maintained a few sideprojects, such as a webcomic look at Chinese invention, assorted math comics (previously), the Muse magazine mainstay Kokopelli & Co. (featuring the shenanigans of his "New Muses"), and more. See also these lengthy interview snippets, linked previously. Want more? Amazon links to the complete oeuvre inside! [more inside]
posted by Rhaomi on Jun 6, 2011 - 29 comments

Browbeaten, weary-eyed, terribly optimistic units of the boobilariat.

Ben Hecht, arguably one of the greatest screenwriters in Hollywood history, started his career in the (sometimes literally) cutthroat world of Jazz Age journalism at the Chicago Daily News. Throughout 1921 he wrote a series of remarkable vignettes collectively titled the Thousand and One Afternoons in Chicago: stories of drifters, fops, and artists from Michigan Avenue to Chinatown, but most of all a fond portrait of the city itself. Collected in book form and gorgeously illustrated, the Thousand and One Afternoons are in the public domain and readily available online. Each story is four or five short pages in length, and goes great with coffee.
posted by theodolite on May 31, 2011 - 10 comments

Medicine in the Americas

Medicine in the Americas is a digital library project that makes freely available original works demonstrating the evolution of American medicine from colonial frontier outposts of the 17th century to research hospitals of the 20th century. [more inside]
posted by Trurl on May 31, 2011 - 9 comments

Out Of This World

Out Of This World: Science Fiction But Not As You Know It is an exhibition at the British Library exploring the origins of Science Fiction, running until September. China Mieville takes a look at the exhibition for the BBC. (Out Of This World postcards - images from the exhibition) [more inside]
posted by dng on May 27, 2011 - 13 comments

Man uses Google Books to build a 1906 Oldsmobile

Bob Ferry used Google Books to find old magazines that described mechanics, showed pictures and gave descriptions of a 1906 Oldsmobile Model B Runabout so he could build it 100 years later. Lots of pics and "how to" info at the article.
posted by dbooker on May 26, 2011 - 10 comments

Book bindings, artistic and historical

Publisher's Bindings Online, 1850-1930. A browesable searchable database of artistic book bindings. There are sections on artistic styles: Arts & Crafts, Japonisme, Poster Style. There are sections on specific authors and designers: Sarah Orne Jewett & Sarah Wyman Whitman, Lousia May Alcott, Lafcadio Hearn. There are historical galleries: Booker T. Washington, Women on Books, The Civil War in Fact and Fiction. There is much more. Previously.
posted by OmieWise on May 26, 2011 - 4 comments

Flashlight worthy - Really good books

FlashlightWorthy: handpicked book recommendations on hundreds of topics. Lists of books are easy to come by. Thoughtful lists of good books are harder to find. FlashlightWorthy does a fine job of mixing classic greats along with more obscure treasures. Plain vanilla lists (e.g. Best Cooking Books, 33 Best Books on Writing Fiction, Best Graphic Novels of 2009 and 2010) are well-represented but there's also quirkier and specialized fare like... [more inside]
posted by storybored on May 24, 2011 - 10 comments

Wolgamot

"It's harder than you think to write a sentence that doesn't say anything." The quest to find and understand the author of In Sara, Mencken, Christ and Beethoven There Were Men and Women. "Includes full-length album (by Robert Ashley) and PDF of Wolgamot's magnum opus." (Via)
posted by zarq on May 23, 2011 - 28 comments

RIP Bob Gould

The Sydney bookseller and Labor left-wing activist Bob Gould has died at the age of 74. His massive bookstore, Gould's Books, is a Sydney landmark. A massive archive of his political writings can be found online.
posted by Lovecraft In Brooklyn on May 22, 2011 - 35 comments

Bookstore Compulsions

Biblioklept's list of bookstore compulsions, which I am sure you understand, like suggesting books to strangers, or buying books you'll never read.
posted by pleasebekind on May 20, 2011 - 49 comments

The Influencing Machine

Slate magazine has posted an excerpt from Brooke Gladstone's "The Influencing Machine." It's a reflection on the media done in quasi-comic book form and illustrated by Josh Neufeld. The fairly beefy excerpt is an interesting discussion on the concept, and the history of the concept, of Objectivity.
posted by Trochanter on May 19, 2011 - 7 comments

"Until I feared I would lose it, I never loved to read. One does not love breathing." — Harper Lee

Breathing Books — A collection of beautiful photos on all things bookish.
posted by Toekneesan on May 17, 2011 - 13 comments

The Translations and Rareties of Elfinspell

Elfinspell is a garishly painted trunk stuffed with rare old books. You can browse the collection by timeline or by Muse.
posted by Iridic on May 16, 2011 - 6 comments

Subtext

The Guardian has a new series of webchats with various people in the publishing industry starting with literary agent Karolina Sutton. Also various writers are asked: Can you teach creative writing?
posted by fearfulsymmetry on May 15, 2011 - 18 comments

skiffy

Today's Guardian Review is a science fiction special [more inside]
posted by fearfulsymmetry on May 14, 2011 - 89 comments

Enumerate me

The 40 Literary Terms You Should (maybe, depending on your predilection for books and availability of interstitial moments in which to read) Know
posted by four panels on May 11, 2011 - 58 comments

Loving Free Comics Can Never Be Wrong

Free Comic Book Day is a single day - the first Saturday in May each year - when participating comic book shops across North America and around the world give away comic books absolutely free to anyone who comes into their stores. Here's the store locator.
posted by BlahLaLa on May 7, 2011 - 36 comments

The means of production

‘Everyone is a worker.’ That is a powerful statement, if you think about it. Richard Scarry wasn’t afraid to paint contemporary American society in such bold strokes. Nor was he afraid to explain commerce and capitalism to children. - What Do People Do All Day.
posted by Artw on May 4, 2011 - 34 comments

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