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Paging Kilgore Trout...

The Hypothetical Library, a part-time book cover designer collaborates with a wide range of amazing, contemporary writers on a project outside of their normal body of work.
posted by Confess, Fletch on Mar 29, 2010 - 7 comments

 

This is a story about information.

Fine Structure: Ching raises one hand ahead of him and delivers a series of complex commands to the fabric of reality. [more inside]
posted by niles on Mar 22, 2010 - 9 comments

Arthur takes on the autism spectrum

Marc Brown's Arthur series about a curious aardvark started with the bedtime stories he made up for his own children. Each one of the Arthur books contains Easter Eggs in the form of the author's children's names.

Hugely popular, the series of books spawned an animated show on PBS. In the 13th season of the show (beginning April 5th), Arthur and his pals will make a new friend, Carl. Carl has Asperger's. Still not sure what that is? That's okay, let Brain explain it for you.
posted by misha on Mar 15, 2010 - 155 comments

March Madness History Edition: Girls Six-on-Six in Iowa

The national record (PDF) for the most career points scored in high school basketball is held by a woman: Lynne Lorenzen from Ventura High School. Lorenzen and her sisters played six on six basketball, a fast paced and high scoring game. Six on six was a great tradition in Iowa, surviving until 1993, when Oklahoma became the last state to have games. There is both a documentary and a book detailing the nuanced history of the game in Iowa.
posted by achmorrison on Mar 7, 2010 - 12 comments

Goodnight Forest Moon

Goodnight Forest Moon [PDF] [more inside]
posted by kmennie on Mar 5, 2010 - 13 comments

Portfolios of the Poor

Portfolios of the Poor: How the World's Poor Live on $2 a Day A new book by Daryl Collins of Bankable Frontier Associates; Jonathan Morduch of NYU's Financial Access Initiative; Stuart Rutherford, author of The Poor and Their Money and founder of SafeSave; and Orlanda Ruthven of Impactt investigates the question of how over a billion people make ends meet on only $2 a day. "The authors report on the yearlong "financial diaries" of villagers and slum dwellers in Bangladesh, India, and South Africa--records that track penny by penny how specific households manage their money." The strategies adopted by the households of Hamed & Khadeja (pdf) from Bangladesh, Thembi (pdf) from South Africa, Feizal (pdf) from India and others may surprise you.
posted by HE Amb. T. S. L. DuVal on Feb 27, 2010 - 10 comments

WITCH!!!!

Long out of print, Maitland McDonagh's Broken Mirrors/Broken Minds: The Dark Dreams of Dario Argento, is finally being republished by the University of Minnesota Press in a new edition that incorporates studies on the director's work from 1995's The Stendhal Syndrome to last year's Giallo. [more inside]
posted by Toby Dammit X on Feb 26, 2010 - 8 comments

Judging Lolita by Her Cover

As Dieter Zimmer’s online exhibit "Covering Lolita" shows, it started with a plain green jacket. [Note: Some links include images which may be NSFW.] [more inside]
posted by bunnycup on Feb 19, 2010 - 40 comments

Over 650 Philip K. Dick book covers

Over 650 Philip K. Dick book covers [more inside]
posted by carter on Jan 30, 2010 - 39 comments

Compra Original

The Book Pirates of Peru. A slideshow in which Peruvian author Daniel Alarcón describes the vibrant literary scene in his home country, where the informal publishing industry is the same size as its legitimate counterpart. There's no library system to speak of, the National Library's acquisitions budget is nil, but a culture of reading and writing is booming, with book sales and attendance at literary festivals up, up, up.
posted by WPW on Jan 18, 2010 - 16 comments

"face-tattooed, duel-scarred, razor-brandishing inmates"

Codes of the Underworld: How Criminals Communicate
Reason.com review focusing on "Tattoos, dueling scars, and other rational acquisitions"
Insider Higher Ed on "Criminal Incompetence"
Marginal Revolution on rates of violence between men and women in prison
Interviews with the author: Written ... Audio
posted by andoatnp on Dec 18, 2009 - 23 comments

All Tomorrow's Parties

Rock band reunions normally involve, at minimum, a little live music. But as The Velvet Underground are not your typical rock band, maybe none of us should have been surprised that the reunion of The Velvets at LIVE from the NYPL on Tuesday December 8th had none.
posted by Joe Beese on Dec 16, 2009 - 37 comments

Easy As ABC

Modern Alphabets (Single Link Flickr Post)
posted by grumblebee on Dec 14, 2009 - 24 comments

The Mystery of Zomia

"In the lawless mountain realms of Asia, a Yale professor finds a case against civilization"
Zomia is a rugged swath of Asia that for 2,000 years has remained culturally aloof from the traditional centers of power and the pull of empires. Its inhabitants, Asia’s “hill people,” have earned a reputation for egalitarianism, insurrection, and independence. Up until the second half of the 20th century, many of the societies there remained nonliterate and supported themselves through trade, smuggling, and Iron-Age practices like slash-and-burn agriculture... In Zomia’s small societies, with their simple technologies, anti-authoritarian tendencies, and oral cultures, Scott sees not a world forgotten by civilization, but one that has been deliberately constructed to keep the state at arm’s length.

posted by andoatnp on Dec 13, 2009 - 82 comments

A Long, Incomplete, and Mostly Wrong History of Free Software

In Two Bits (full-book in html) , Christopher M. Kelty investigates the history and cultural significance of Free Software, revealing the people and practices that have transformed not only software, but also music, film, science, and education. The author encourage his readers to modulate the book. [more inside]
posted by Monday, stony Monday on Nov 30, 2009 - 16 comments

After I got my post all done, Metafilter says it wants a title!

The Life and Times of Major Jack Downing of Downingville, away down east in the state of Maine, written by himself. [more inside]
posted by klangklangston on Nov 25, 2009 - 16 comments

Chuck Klosterman's New Book Out This Week

Chuck Klosterman's new book of essays Eating The Dinosaur is out this week. You can read the first chapter, which features interviews with Ira Glass and Errol Morris. Chuck appeared on Bill Simmons' podcast [warning, browser resize] today.
posted by JakeWalker on Oct 21, 2009 - 31 comments

Prometheus In The Kitchen

"Good, big ideas about evolution are rare." Simon Ings of the Independent reviews "Catching Fire: How Cooking Made Us Human" by Richard Wrangham. (via)
posted by The Whelk on Oct 13, 2009 - 17 comments

We live in the city of dreams, We drive on the highway of fire

David Byrne has just published a new book about bicycles called Bicycle Diaries. A long time rider, Byrne muses on how the world looks and works from the vantage point of a cyclist. It's getting pretty good reviews. To launch the book, Byrne is touring the US and arranging public forums. Each event features a civic leader, an urban theorist, a bicycle advocate, and Byrne himself speaking about bikes in cities. Here’s a schedule of the upcoming events. He’s also designed some bike racks for his hometown of New York City. [more inside]
posted by Toekneesan on Sep 27, 2009 - 28 comments

Design On Demand

Douglas Coupland wants you to design your own cover for his new book, Generation A.
posted by The Whelk on Sep 3, 2009 - 41 comments

The New Liberal Arts

The New Liberal Arts book is out. 47 pages of free pdf about things the various authors think will help prepare you for modern life. Earlier discussion about the planning phase of the book.
posted by srboisvert on Sep 3, 2009 - 37 comments

Do I contradict myself? Very well, then I contradict myself, I am large, I contain multitudes.

"Then there are the classification errors, which taken together can make for a kind of absurdist poetry. H.L. Mencken's The American Language is classified as Family & Relationships. A French edition of Hamlet and a Japanese edition of Madame Bovary are both classified as Antiques and Collectibles (a 1930 English edition of Flaubert's novel is classified under Physicians, which I suppose makes a bit more sense.) An edition of Moby Dick is labeled Computers; The Cat Lover's Book of Fascinating Facts falls under Technology & Engineering. And a catalog of copyright entries from the Library of Congress is listed under Drama (for a moment I wondered if maybe that one was just Google's little joke)." —Linguist Geoffrey Nunberg on Google's little metadata problem.
posted by Toekneesan on Sep 1, 2009 - 29 comments

Corporate Brand Identity Avoidance Consultant

Aunt Feminina Boots's Char-Broiled Book Club — Feminina Boots has been experiencing a lot of difficulty lately trying to find a book club where she can say things that aren’t just going to upset people. [more inside]
posted by netbros on Aug 27, 2009 - 18 comments

Leo and Diane Dillon, illustrators of children's books

The work of Leo and Diane Dillon is on display in Brooklyn. I was tempted to find more of their art after noticing the cover they did for A Wrinkle in Time. [more inside]
posted by nervousfritz on Aug 26, 2009 - 8 comments

Perfect is the enemy of good

Take three kids and a flute. Anne says the flute should be given to her because she is the only one who knows how to play it. Bob says the flute should be handed to him as he is so poor he has no toys to play with. Carla says the flute is hers because it is the fruit of her own labour. How do we decide between these three legitimate claims? [more inside]
posted by lucia__is__dada on Aug 21, 2009 - 193 comments

Keeping us safe from racist literature

The Brooklyn Public Library reshelves a children's book—behind locked steel doors
posted by Toekneesan on Aug 20, 2009 - 78 comments

Forgotten Bookmarks

Forgotten Bookmarks. "I work at a used and rare bookstore, and I buy books from people every day. These are the personal, funny, heartbreaking and weird things I find in those books. "
posted by milquetoast on Jul 25, 2009 - 48 comments

Wisconsin book burners

"If you told me we would be going through a book challenge of this nature, I'd think, 'Never in a million years.' " [more inside]
posted by sredefer on Jul 22, 2009 - 110 comments

The Lithuanian Press Ban, 1864-1904

From 1864 to 1904, the Russian Empire tried to quelch the nationalism of Lithuanians by ordering all Lithuanian texts to be printed with Cyrillic characters instead of in the Latin-derived Lithuanian or Polish alphabets. But they didn't count on the Knygnešiai - the Booksmugglers. [more inside]
posted by mdonley on Jul 12, 2009 - 18 comments

Or have we eaten on the insane root that takes the reason prisoner?

“Josephine had practically every desirable personal characteristic, except wisdom and mercy.” Gee, that sounds like she actually isn’t a nice person at all! Gary Brecher (previously) reviews Banquo’s Ghosts, a political-minded spy thriller from National Review editor Richard Lowry and novelist Keith Korman. Lowry describes it as an "episode of “24″ written by Proust. " [more inside]
posted by The Whelk on Jul 1, 2009 - 52 comments

Our Band Could Be Your Comic

Metafilter's own COBRA! has been producing a great comic about a rock band for quite awhile; and now it's been released as a book! Get to know the Awesome Boys in Nowhere Band.
posted by interrobang on Jun 23, 2009 - 11 comments

Mark Helprin vs The Mouth Breathing Morons

The overall effect is like listening to an erudite gentleman employing $20 words while he screams at a bunch of punk kids to get off his front lawn. A review of Mark Helprin's Digital Barbarism : A Writer's Manifesto. [more inside]
posted by shoesfullofdust on Jun 19, 2009 - 71 comments

Milkcrates are also okay

20 Brilliant Bookcases via ( mightygodking )
posted by The Whelk on Jun 6, 2009 - 48 comments

Learn to draw Les Animaux!

Les Animaux tel qu'ils sont is a delightful 1920s French art instruction book, showing one how to draw various animals, from the previously discussed Agence Eureka.
posted by fings on May 22, 2009 - 7 comments

Infinite Summer

Infinite Summer - "The Challenge: Read Infinite Jest over the summer of 2009" [more inside]
posted by mattbucher on May 21, 2009 - 118 comments

A Literary Response to a Son's Drug Addiction

What is the best way to respond to your son's drug addiction?
Write a book? No!
Write two books? Yes?

Beautiful Boy: A Father's Journey Through His Son's Addiction
Tweak: Growing Up on Methamphetamines [more inside]
posted by andoatnp on May 11, 2009 - 35 comments

unknown pleasures

Classic record sleeves - re-designed as Pelican book covers (Flickr set).
posted by the_very_hungry_caterpillar on May 11, 2009 - 35 comments

What are you reading, charming writer?

What are writers reading? An eclectic mix of authors answer the perennial question. [more inside]
posted by mattbucher on Apr 21, 2009 - 10 comments

Arts & Crafts Videos from Etsy

Etsy has a YouTube channel where they have all kinds of profiles of their users and how-to guides. My two favorite series are the Process series (e.g. New Books with Old Materials & Tin Toys) and Handmade Portraits (e.g. Armor Guitars & Wood Mosaics). In the description of each video there is a link to the corresponding entry on Etsy's blog, The Storque. The blogposts have more information on the users and sometimes further links and videos. [via Work in Progress]
posted by Kattullus on Apr 20, 2009 - 5 comments

A Temple of Texts

William Gass's personal library. The photos accompany this article by Gass about his love of books -- specifically about collecting them over his life and "living in a library." [more inside]
posted by mattbucher on Apr 8, 2009 - 21 comments

Almost Perfect

Almost Perfect (1994) is an account of "the rise and fall of WordPerfect Corporation" from the point of view of former executive vice-president W. E. (Pete) Peterson. [via reddit].
posted by Monday, stony Monday on Apr 5, 2009 - 122 comments

Feel your inadequacy

If you're like me, you are not a top computer science researcher, and you haven't written a classic book about programming and made it available online for free. Let's review who we're not. We're neither Abelson nor Sussman, and we haven't written Structure and Interpretation of Computer Programs (previous proof). We're not part of TeachScheme and we had no hand in the writing of How to Design Programs (not even the second edition, natch). Shriram Krishnamurthi didn't need our help to write Programming Languages: Application and Interpretation. We wish we were Simon Peyton-Jones and had a hand in The Implementation of Functional Programming Languages. [more inside]
posted by Monday, stony Monday on Apr 1, 2009 - 45 comments

"Essentially, it is all about money and power."

"It would be naïve to identify the Internet with the Enlightenment. It has the potential to diffuse knowledge beyond anything imagined by Jefferson; but while it was being constructed, link by hyperlink, commercial interests did not sit idly on the sidelines. They want to control the game, to take it over, to own it. They compete among themselves, of course, but so ferociously that they kill each other off. Their struggle for survival is leading toward an oligopoly; and whoever may win, the victory could mean a defeat for the public good. ...We could have created a National Digital Library—the twenty-first-century equivalent of the Library of Alexandria. It is too late now. Not only have we failed to realize that possibility, but, even worse, we are allowing a question of public policy—the control of access to information—to be determined by private lawsuit."—Robert Darnton on what the proposed Google Book Settlement could mean for the pursuit of knowledge—Google and the Future of Books
posted by Toekneesan on Jan 23, 2009 - 44 comments

All Work and No Play Makes Jack a Dull Boy

All Work and No Play Makes Jack a Dull Boy, a novel by Jack Torrance. [more info; via] [more inside]
posted by kirkaracha on Jan 9, 2009 - 48 comments

Being snarky (a MeFi homecourt advantage)

Snarky indeed: An interesting review of New Yorker magazine writer David Denby's book, Snark: It’s Mean, It’s Personal, and It’s Ruining Our Conversation, from New York Magazine. MeFites might feel right at home.
posted by Seekerofsplendor on Jan 5, 2009 - 53 comments

It's a bird, it's a plane... its su... wait, nope not him.

Here's Razorhawk a superhero who also wrestles and makes suits for other superheroes. This is Master Legend who recently had an article published in Rolling Stone about him. Meet Superhero who patrols the streets of Clearwater, Florida in his custom Corvette. They call themselves real-life superheroes. A documentary film featuring them has the first 10 minutes free online at google video. [more inside]
posted by flipyourwig on Dec 31, 2008 - 17 comments

It's that time again.

Coming February 3, 2009.... It's time for the next big wintertime memoir scandal.... ...and Oprah is not going to be amused. [more inside]
posted by availablelight on Dec 24, 2008 - 52 comments

The Agrippa Files

The Agrippa Files presents a fairly expansive overview of the original and very rare 1992 art book Agrippa (a book of the dead), a collaboration between artist Dennis Ashbaugh, author William Gibson, and award-winning journalist Kevin Begos, Jr. that presciently explored the ephemeral nature of and decay of memories and information. [more inside]
posted by Blazecock Pileon on Dec 13, 2008 - 11 comments

Bagels and Bongos

Two guys join forces together to write a book about classic Jewish LPs. [more inside]
posted by martinc6 on Nov 30, 2008 - 11 comments

RIP John Leonard

John Leonard is dead. A literary prodigy at thirty-two when asked to edit the New York Times Book Review, Leonard oversaw the NYTBR's glory days between 1971 and 1975. Television critic for New York, monthly books critic for Harper's, regular contributor to The Nation and The New York Review of Books, he also went out of his way to help young writers.
posted by ed on Nov 6, 2008 - 14 comments

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