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Books that never were

Famous books that never existed: The Necronomicon, A First Encyclopaedia of Tlön and others by Borges, The Planet Gobblers, The Book of Counted Sorrows, S. Morgenstern's A Princess Bride (unabridged), the library of the Comte de Fortsas, and The Case of the Giant Rat of Sumatra; among others in a tradition dating back many centuries. For a fairly complete list of books that don't exist, check out the Invisible Library, which also features essays on the subject. [prev.]
posted by blahblahblah on Mar 15, 2006 - 54 comments

Origins of meteorology

Weathering the Weather: The Origins of Atmospheric Science A "glorious selection" of strikingly beautiful pages from classic publications about meteorology. [via plep].
posted by mediareport on Mar 23, 2005 - 8 comments

3 young writers achieve acclaim years after their deaths from cancer

Although cancer got these three young writers before their books were published, their now-acclaimed work -- from children's inspirational to humorous fantasy to coming of age (book and movie) -- was brought to life by the efforts of parents or a brother or friends.
posted by escorter on Dec 14, 2004 - 1 comment

G.O.P. D.O.A.

G.O.P. D.O.A., the new novel by Brooklyn-based Contemporary Press, just got denied a reprinting by St. Louis-based Plus Communications. Although they printed the first edition less than one month ago, the publisher says that their religious clients would be upset by the book's 'language' and have refused to reprint it.

I guess that is in the same spirit as Rev. Breedlove's attempt to rekindle the tradition of book burning earlier this month.
posted by Miyagi on Jul 28, 2004 - 12 comments

What is the future of the US stock market?

Why Stock Markets Crash : Critical Events in Complex Financial Systems. Professor Didier Sornette of UCLA has some very interesting things to say about stock markets. In his book, he explains how his "theory of cooperative herding and imitation [...] has detected the existence of a clear signature of herding in the decay of the US S&P500 index since August 2000 with high statistical significance, in the form of strong log-periodic components." Although his timing has been just a bit early, the theory, the predictions to date and the pictures are all pretty uncanny. This is easily the most interesting book on the stock market I have ever read and provides interesting and believable hypotheses about things I never imagined could have rigorous explanations. For an overview, here is an interview with the author.
posted by muppetboy on May 14, 2004 - 19 comments

Conservative Bestsellers And Liberal Bestsellers

Forget Fiction And Non-Fiction, Bud: Is The Book Liberal Or Conservative? The National Review's bestseller list (scroll down and click) is starkly divided into "Conservative Bestsellers" and "Liberal Bestsellers". Is this a quirky innovation and deliberate provocation or just plain stupid and sad? Does such a dichotomy in fact exist? How would the literature of the world fit into such a classification? (This isn't the end of the world as we know it, is it?)
posted by MiguelCardoso on Apr 14, 2004 - 50 comments

Gay Princes, Spiritual Weakness

Gay Princes defeat NC Parents. Parents object to library book about two gay princes, concerned because being gay "is not part of their beliefs." Presumably books which discuss other things not part of their beliefs could also be an issue. Is this a basic confusion about the purpose of a library, or is any temptation just too much temptation?
posted by ewkpates on Mar 18, 2004 - 87 comments

sentence pun here

Man sentenced to read "To Kill A Mockingbird." For spitting at a cop and disorderly conduct, a PA man is jailed and required to read and write a report on Harper Lee's classic. What other books might be fit punishment for certain crimes? (via Obscurestore)
posted by serafinapekkala on Jul 16, 2003 - 52 comments

fantagraphics in trouble? help em out!

UH OH, Fantagraphics Books in Seattle, home of chris ware, dan clowes, r. crumb, charles burns and a host of other awesome comic artists is facing desperate times!
posted by Peter H on May 29, 2003 - 22 comments

Best of Best of Lists

List of bests permits you to keep track of how much you've read, seen, or heard according to all of those fun "X Greatest X's" of all time. A recommendation feature may be soon to follow.
posted by Ufez Jones on May 14, 2003 - 12 comments

Mockingbird Redux

Unpublished Coda to Harper Lee's "To Kill A Mockingbird." Via McSweeneys.
posted by adrober on May 10, 2003 - 4 comments

readers

Top readers in America. Do you read anything other than metafilter? [via aldaily.com]
posted by srboisvert on Mar 11, 2003 - 42 comments

Jeff Vandermeer

Jeff VanderMeer is not only a great author of weird sf, and a creator of the mysterious city of Ambergris, but has an alternative official site where he makes merciless fun of himself and the whole idea of author web pages. The site includes bad poetry, a secret subsite of the "webdesigner" Garry and a strange alien baby project, just for starters.....
posted by inkeri on Jan 30, 2003 - 3 comments

Modern First Editions

If You Were Rich Would You Collect Modern First Editions? Well, it's difficult to browse Christie's upcoming auction of 20th century books and manuscripts; the stock of a well-known bookseller such as Ken Lopez or even go "bargain-hunting" at Amazon without understanding their appeal... [More inside.]
posted by MiguelCardoso on Nov 25, 2002 - 21 comments

Elephants are people, too.

Elephants are people, too. A new book by Steven M. Wise, Drawing the Line, marshalls the latest research on animal cognition in arguing for legal rights for some animals, especially gorillas, chimps, elephants, and gray parrots. The author's previous book, Rattling the Cage, forcused on primates, as many researchers and animal rights activists do. After all, we share at least 98% of our DNA with chimpanzees. Other researchers are expanding our knowledge of animal cognition in the octopus, dolphins, even dogs. See also: Next of Kin and When Elephants Weep.
posted by acridrabbit on Sep 4, 2002 - 40 comments

In Philadelphia, the ratio of students to librarians has increased dramatically. Schools are not only cutting the jobs of librarians, but they are failing to hire those who are qualified to perform the task. Some people, including principals, seem to have the notion that school libraries are a nonessential facet of high school education or are adopting idiosynchratic measures to keep school libraries in existence. The Toronto District School Board, for example, has decided that it will only offer a full-time librarian to schools with more than 710 pupils, leaving school libraries that are closed half the time or that remain substantially inaccessible to students. Laura Bush's Foundation for America's Libraries is an admirable idea, but will merely talking about the importance of libraries hammer the point home? What does it take to convince administrative types of the importance of school libraries? Where did the idea of the school library go astray? And what can we do to ensure that a reasonably accessible school library is there for any student who needs it?
posted by ed on May 30, 2002 - 23 comments

Authors Guild seeks to stop Amazon from selling used books.

Authors Guild seeks to stop Amazon from selling used books. It's the analog version of RIAA vs. Napster!

"Amazon's practice does damage to the publishing industry, decreasing royalty payments to authors and profits to publishers. In time, as we pointed out to Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos when it first began this practice over a year ago, the financial loss to the industry could affect the quality and diversity of literature made available through booksellers. If profits suffer, publishers will cut their investments in new works, and authors facing reduced advances and royalties will have to find other ways to earn income. "

Read Jeff Bezos' email to Amazon Associate Members.
posted by Brilliantcrank on Apr 18, 2002 - 30 comments

Good Riddance to Oprah's Book Club, and Her Literary Amateurism

Good Riddance to Oprah's Book Club, and Her Literary Amateurism Norah Vincent says Oprah's opinion in matters of literary taste is amateurish to say the least and she presumed where she should not have, and wouldn't want her sticker on his/hers book either.
Just for fun adds People who dislike Oprah's Book Club dislike it for the same reason that they dislike Barnes & Noble. The fact that the two do a brisk business isn't accidental, and the two represent the same pernicious homogenization of American life that makes existential despair all but unavoidable.
Pompous?
posted by Blake on Apr 12, 2002 - 53 comments

Down-to-Wire Deal Heads Off Book Burn

Down-to-Wire Deal Heads Off Book Burn
As a follow up on This Thread, Victor Kamkin Inc., the Rockville bookstore that became a mecca for those in search of materials on the Soviet Union during the Cold War, got a three-week reprieve so the Library of Congress can look through the bookseller's 1 million-piece collection to determine what should be saved.
posted by Blake on Mar 17, 2002 - 0 comments

During my day's aimless surfing I was feeling a mite wistful, and it did my heart a load of good to stumble on the internet home of Funny Face mugs. I also found the Mr. Men and Little Miss Club. Both of these bits of pop culture were objects of devotion to me as a tyke. Looking at the sweet simplicity of the products today, it amazes me how easy it was to invest plastic mugs and simple line drawings with meaning and personality. I wish there was a place for them in today's Kiddie Kulture which seems to be about filling in all the blanks before the kids get to use there imaginations.
posted by jonmc on Feb 24, 2002 - 7 comments

Alexandre Dumas on film

Alexandre Dumas on film This AP/CNN article says Dumas’ books make good movies, but aren’t being read as much as they used to be. Do the changes the movies make improve the books, or would more faithful adaptations be better?
posted by kirkaracha on Feb 2, 2002 - 15 comments

projet MOBILIVRE-BOOKMOBILE projet

projet MOBILIVRE-BOOKMOBILE projet is a collection of independently-produced books and zines traveling and exhibiting across North America in a vintage Airstream trailer. The project is accepting submissions for the 2002 tour.
posted by sudama on Jan 16, 2002 - 4 comments

Mea sorta culpa.

Mea sorta culpa. Let the hunt begin. First, Stephen Ambrose was accused of plagiarizing one book, and then another. After he apologized and challenged "critics to find other unquoted borrowings," they promptly did. It looks like Ambrose is being outed by his fellow historians, or maybe The Sins of Stephen Ambrose are coming back to haunt him. (BTW, in the print community, plagiarizing is like double-posting. This post happens to be an e-post-ilogue)
posted by jacknose on Jan 14, 2002 - 12 comments

I realized all this when I worked in a bookstore for a year, but it still makes me sad.

I realized all this when I worked in a bookstore for a year, but it still makes me sad. Who do you think is writing the classics of tomorrow today?
posted by hellinskira on Nov 30, 2001 - 65 comments

As a youngen, I was very much enamored with Ken Kesey's questioning soul and his flare for the wild. His novels provided much comfort as I tried to navigate my way through those conforming years we all know as high school. May he RIP.
posted by Ms Snit on Nov 11, 2001 - 7 comments

Young Philadelphia man refused access to UA flight because of his reading material...

Young Philadelphia man refused access to UA flight because of his reading material... This story just made my blood boil. Of all the stupid things... Ack! I just can't type straight! I don't have all the information... there's going to be another side to this... but if this is anywhere _near_ accurate, I hope some heads roll.

[via Evhead, via Dan Gillmor]
posted by silusGROK on Oct 19, 2001 - 65 comments


Freak Watcher's Textbook.

Freak Watcher's Textbook. I am glad I waited to get the textbook before looking at freaks (or freaks eating cats). Now with this professional guide, I can watch like a pro. I assume Sally Struthers will be adding "Freak Watching" to her list of accredited courses.
posted by rev- on Aug 31, 2001 - 10 comments

Publish someone else's copyrighted book, DON'T go to jail.

Publish someone else's copyrighted book, DON'T go to jail. (I can't believe no one else has posted this yet: at least, I couldn't find anything that looked relevant). "A U.S. federal judge has rejected Random House's request for a preliminary injunction to stop an online publisher from selling electronic versions of Cat's Cradle, Sophie's Choice and six other books. U.S. District Judge Sidney Stein ruled on Wednesday that the right to print, publish and sell the works in book form in the contracts at issue does not include the right to publish the works in the electronic format."
posted by maudlin on Jul 13, 2001 - 7 comments

"When I first saw it, I knew it would be as important as Gutenberg."

"When I first saw it, I knew it would be as important as Gutenberg." Hyperbole aside, PerfectBook -- a machine that spits out a complete book from a digital file within minutes -- sounds intriguing. What's more, "a distracted teenager could run it."
posted by mw on Jul 9, 2001 - 18 comments

What if oil and natural gas were renewable resources? Prof. Thomas Gold opines that oil is produced by microbes breaking down methane deep within the earth, thus explaining how some depleted oilfields have begun producing again. He even wrote a book on it. Brilliant re-examination of accepted theory or crackpot lunatic?
posted by CRS on May 22, 2001 - 9 comments

Borders outsources online sales to Amazon.com

Borders outsources online sales to Amazon.com The alliance, scheduled to be announced at a press conference in New York, is expected to involve Amazon effectively taking over the online operations of Borders, according to people familiar with the matter. Borders is expected to effectively exit from the online book-selling business, these people said. Further terms of the alliance couldn’t be learned, though Amazon is expected to receive promotion from Borders through its chain of off-line book stores.
posted by Brilliantcrank on Apr 10, 2001 - 30 comments

Culture as Culprit.

Culture as Culprit. Myron Magnet is the author of The Dream and the Nightmare, which George W. Bush has called the most influential book -- aside from the Bible -- that he's ever read. Is poverty in American less an economic matter than a cultural one?
posted by techgnollogic on Apr 6, 2001 - 9 comments

I'm sick of the Cunningham rumors.

I'm sick of the Cunningham rumors. I no longer believe the Neuromancer movie will ever happen. Music by Aphex, in my dreams. Console yourself by listening to William Gibson read the whole freakin' thing.
posted by lbergstr on Mar 24, 2001 - 22 comments

Last Minute Book Reports:

Last Minute Book Reports: Cliff's notes on speed...
posted by owillis on Mar 16, 2001 - 3 comments

The Surrendered Wife continues the recidivist trend in best selling "self-help" books by urging wives to "avoid criticising him... and give him lots of oral sex." Can anyone explain why this nonsense sells so well?
posted by Chairman_MaoXian on Mar 3, 2001 - 13 comments

The first chapter

The first chapter of Eric Schlosser's new book piqued my interest; this and this solidified my desire to read Fast Food Nation. Has anyone else read the book yet? Comments?
posted by JDC8 on Jan 31, 2001 - 11 comments

How to get a Ph.D. in the Hardy Boys.

How to get a Ph.D. in the Hardy Boys. I wish *I* was that creative. :-) I still like the originals best. [Spotted at GirlHacker's Random Log]
posted by baylink on Jan 8, 2001 - 1 comment

Docs Online Bulgaria

Docs Online Bulgaria
It seems to make available the full text of many computer books for free -- Is this legal in Bulgaria?
posted by rschram on Oct 12, 2000 - 5 comments

Tom Clancy doesn't write his own books!!!

Tom Clancy doesn't write his own books!!! While not totally surprising, somewhat disappointing if the story and rumors are true.
posted by da5id on Sep 27, 2000 - 9 comments

This is a book I need to read. And here's a sampling of that writer's virtuousity....
posted by EssenDreck on Jul 27, 2000 - 2 comments

The Business of Death

If this doesn't get some arguments going, then I'd hate to think what would.
posted by Mocata on Jul 12, 2000 - 8 comments

Harry Potter and the Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius

Harry Potter and the Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius Via obscurestore. I think it bears repeating. Also, I'm hoping to spark Eggers-related conversation and link-posting. My obsession knows no bounds. Oh, and -- what was this all about, again? -- the book's good, too.
posted by lbergstr on Mar 3, 2000 - 5 comments

perhaps

perhaps i would have read more in high school...

One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest by Ken Kesey
Nurse Ratched: I destroy my patients psychologically so I can have power and control.
Randall P. McMurphy: But freedom and happiness are good things.
Nurse Ratched: Lobotomy time for you, buster.
(McMurphy DIES but inspires HOPE so OTHERS may LIVE.)
posted by bluishorange on Feb 23, 2000 - 4 comments

If you've ever read Scott McCloud's Understanding Comics, you must read this mock review of it here, called Understanding Understanding Comics. I heard that Scott's such a great sport, he even helped out with some of the writing.
posted by mathowie on Jan 19, 2000 - 0 comments

I've liked most of the things Douglas Coupland has written and although this interview at amazon about his upcoming book sounds like he's giving most of the book's plot away, I'll still pick up a copy. I wish amazon would put warnings up saying 'spoilers ahead' on links such as that interview.
posted by mathowie on Dec 19, 1999 - 1 comment

Wow, a killer new site: mp3lit.com. Listen to books in mp3 format. Wouldn't it be great if this was Shoutcasted and a global wireless broadband network was in place so you could hear it in your car or walking around? Another cool thing would be if they hooked up with The Gutenburg Project and had audio versions of all those free texts.
posted by mathowie on Sep 21, 1999 - 0 comments

Auto baron Henry Ford was a great entrepreneur and a peacemaker during the World World I era. In fact, he loved just about everyone. Everyone, that is, except for the Jews. Read his book and find out how Anti-Semitism isn't just for white trash anymore.
posted by tdecius on Aug 28, 1999 - 0 comments

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