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“The list doesn’t destroy culture; it creates it.”

Like These Books? Here Are 60+ Things You Might Also Like ... [NPR.org] Welcome to the second installment of Read, Watch, Binge! our summer recommendation series. As you may recall from last month's list [Like These Movies? Here Are 100+ Things You Might Also Like ...], we were tired of algorithms that only matched books to books or movies to movies. So this month, we've enlisted the help of real live humans to pair books with movies, musicals, TV, comics, podcasts and more.
posted by Fizz on Jul 21, 2016 - 8 comments

Crivens! This is good news!!

Nac Mac Feegle! The Wee Free Men! Nae king! Nae quin! Nae laird! Nae master! We willna' be fooled again! The Nac Mac Feegle are coming to Hollywood. Hide your ships!
posted by Deeleybopper on Jul 19, 2016 - 68 comments

reader, i hope he married it.

Tumblr user wintersoldierfell has a whale of a time reviewing Moby Dick.
posted by divabat on Jul 18, 2016 - 98 comments

Clap Clap

seems like folks like us be best
when we broken open
when we melted down
when we easier to digest

On June 26, 2016, author Jason Reynolds accepted two Coretta Scott King author honors for his YA novels All American Boys (co-authored with Brendan Kiely) and The Boy in the Black Suit. For his second acceptance speech, he delivered a call to action poem: Machetes (full text of poem at link). Video. [more inside]
posted by sunset in snow country on Jul 18, 2016 - 4 comments

No porn category exists in their honor. Yet.

Do you find bookish people sexy? You may be sapiosexual. [more inside]
posted by Johnny Wallflower on Jul 10, 2016 - 117 comments

Illustrated Travel Books of the Edwardian Era

In "An Edwardian Package Holiday," Kirsty Hooper mentions the role that "lively representations" in illustrated travel books such as Spain Revisited: A Summer Holiday in Galicia and A Corner of Spain played in promoting northwest Spain to British tourists (more here). Many other richly illustrated travel books from the same period are available online, perhaps most notably the "Beautiful England" and "Beautiful Ireland" series published by Blackie & Son and the wide variety of titles published by A & C Black. [more inside]
posted by Wobbuffet on Jul 9, 2016 - 8 comments

book covers tell women what they want by surmising who they want to be

The Subtle Genius of Elena Ferrante’s Bad Book Covers by Emily Harnett [The Atlantic] With their sandy beaches and windswept women, the U.S. editions of Elena Ferrante’s novels look familiar even if you’ve never seen them. That’s because they look like virtually every other book authored by a woman these days—not to mention like bridal magazines, beach-resort brochures, and even “Viagra ads.” On Twitter and beyond, readers have described Ferrante’s covers as “horrible,” “atrocious,” “utterly hideous,” and as a “disservice” to her novels. At Slate, one commenter approvingly mentions a local bookstore’s decision to display one of Ferrante’s books in plain brown paper, reviving a practice used for Playboy and the infamous issue of Vanity Fair with a pregnant Demi Moore on the cover. The implication, of course, isn’t that Ferrante’s covers are obscene in the traditional sense—just obscenely bad. Previously.
posted by Fizz on Jul 9, 2016 - 46 comments

“please enjoy the burnt crust of my epic summer reads...”

A Summer Reading List for Wretched Assholes Who Prefer to Wallow in Someone Else’s Misery by Claire Cameron [The Millions] “By some secret law of lists, “summer reads” often settle on books that are light and fluffy and happy. Like a marshmallow, they are usually too sticky and sweet for my taste. What about a list for us wretched assholes who prefer to spend the summer wallowing in a someone’s else’s misery? On holiday, I cut myself off from my regular writing regime to focus on the people I’m with — I understand this is called “relaxing.” As my real life is relatively drama free, this means I have dangerous spare capacity to obsess over…what? While a happy book might distract me temporarily, it’s far easier to become completely consumed by an epic novel full of anguish.” [more inside]
posted by Fizz on Jun 29, 2016 - 25 comments

My Apartment: George Lois

Video tour of legendary designer George Lois's Greenwich Village apartment. Also in the series so far: Florence Welch, Glenn O'Brien, others.
posted by Bron on Jun 28, 2016 - 5 comments

Who is this guy anyway, some sort of dog hat expert??

An Open Letter to the Female Hat-Wearing Dog From “Go Dog, Go”
posted by Artw on Jun 15, 2016 - 129 comments

The Sputnik Awards

The Sputnik Awards are a new prize for speculative fiction. The voting system is not like the other awards. [more inside]
posted by scissorfish on Jun 7, 2016 - 15 comments

“equally efficient in the visualisation of hidden medieval inks,”

X-Rays Reveal 1,300-Year-Old Writings Inside Later Bookbindings [The Guardian] The words of the 8th-century Saint Bede are among those that have been found by detecting iron, copper and zinc – constituents of medieval ink. Medieval manuscripts that have been hidden from view for centuries could reveal their secrets for the first time, thanks to new technology. Dutch scientists and other academics are using an x-ray technique to read fragments of manuscripts that have been reused as bookbindings and which cannot be deciphered with the naked eye. After the middle ages manuscripts were recycled, with pages pasted inside bindings to strengthen them. Those fragments may be the unique remains of certain works.
posted by Fizz on Jun 5, 2016 - 13 comments

“She’s creating it, and whatever she creates becomes part of the story.”

J. K. Rowling Just Can’t Let Harry Potter Go [The New York Times] J. K. Rowling always said that the seventh Harry Potter book, “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows,” would be the last in the series, and so far she has kept to her word. But though she’s written many new things in the intervening nine years, including four adult novels, she’s never been able to put Harry to rest, or to leave him alone. [more inside]
posted by Fizz on Jun 1, 2016 - 125 comments

Morph Club

The Morph Club Podcast - Two comix illustrator friends revisit Katherine Applegate's popular 1990's YA book series Animorphs! Join them as they laugh and cry about sad morphing teens and the horrible aliens who hate them. [more inside]
posted by One Second Before Awakening on May 31, 2016 - 12 comments

A bookstore filled with mirrors

In Hangzhou, China, a new bookstore designed by XL-Muse contains mirrored ceilings as well unique designs around mirrors that provide amazing illusions, as well as a very unique "book playground".
posted by numaner on May 31, 2016 - 11 comments

Yo mama's so vast, she contains multitudes

25 Literary Yo Mama Jokes
posted by Daily Alice on May 30, 2016 - 36 comments

“...not more communism but more public-spirited pigs.””

TS Eliot's rejection of Orwell's Animal Farm [The Guardian] Digitised for the first time by the British Library, Eliot’s rejection is now available to read alongside others including Virginia Woolf’s to James Joyce. Eliot’s letter is one of more than 300 items which have been digitised by the British Library, a mixture of drafts, diaries, letters and notebooks by authors ranging from Virginia Woolf to Angela Carter and Ted Hughes. The literary archive reveals that Orwell was not the only major writer to suffer a series of rejections: the British Library has also digitised a host of rejections for James Joyce’s A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man, showing how his patron Harriet Shaw Weaver attempted to find a printer for the novel she had published in serialised form in The Egoist. [more inside]
posted by Fizz on May 30, 2016 - 19 comments

“...they’re really into capitalism.”

Don’t Know What To Read? Let Goldman Sachs Tell You. [Melville House] "Goldman Sachs: financial giant, hotbed of enthusiasm for subprime mortgages, and hapless recipient of your hard-earned money. Who better to tell you what to read? Well, now they are telling you what to read, in the form of a recently-published recommended book list [PDF]. We’re talking about people who incurred $550 million in fines for schemes to turn a profit on the civilization-threatening financial crisis they themselves had helped create, and the line between genius and chutzpah is notoriously hard to draw, so, yeah, I’d like to know what’s on these folks’ bedside tables."
posted by Fizz on May 28, 2016 - 50 comments

Treasure Hunt

“I still think you could do something that no one has ever done before.” - the story of Kit Williams and Masquerade, a children's book of illustrations that also served as clue to the location of a golden hare, and, despite an ignoble end to the competition, kicked off a crazy off treasure hunting books and videogames in 1980s Britain.
posted by Artw on May 27, 2016 - 22 comments

Still alive: Judy Blume opens a book store

At 78 years of age, legendary author Judy Blume has made an interesting career choice - in February she opened a book store in Key West, FL. [more inside]
posted by kimberussell on May 24, 2016 - 17 comments

City Readers

The New York Society Library maintains an elegant online database of its circulation records from 1789 to 1805, a period that includes its stint as the first library of the United States Congress. To help you get a handle on the data trove (assembled from 100,000 records tracking every book that every patron checked out), the Library offers visualization tools and two curated lists of interesting readers: 57 representative women and 40 Founding Fathers.
posted by Iridic on May 23, 2016 - 10 comments

“I’m drawn to writing about times and places on the cusp of transition,”

An Interview with Guy Gavriel Kay [io9] Guy Gavriel Kay has carved out a unique niche, writing fantasy novels that take real-life historical settings and transforming them into something new and different. His latest novel, Children of Earth and Sky, takes place in a version of 16th century Europe that’s under threat from a version of the Ottoman Empire, and includes a fictionalized version of real-life Croatian bandits called the Uskoks, who stole from the Venetians and the Ottomans for justice. We talked to Kay about just how he manages to turn real-life history into a world all his own. You can read an excerpt of Children of Earth and Sky, introducing the character of Danica, here. [more inside]
posted by Fizz on May 10, 2016 - 35 comments

Evidently Mom has the hots for weirdo weatherman

Mom is Dating Weird Wayne From the wonderful Awful Library Books blog (previously) comes this book by Mary Jane Auch, perhaps most famous for the "I Was a Third Grade ... " series of books [more inside]
posted by maxsparber on May 6, 2016 - 13 comments

Cool Story, Bro

The NYTimes Style Section has identified a new trend: Men reading books! In clubs! Which obviously need ultra-manly names. Never fear, Twitter to the rescue with #ManlyBookClubNames. Whether you read with the Hitchhiker's Guide to the Patriarchy or The Great Fratsby, Goodreads has some suggestions for your new ultra-manly reading life.
posted by Eyebrows McGee on May 5, 2016 - 140 comments

“Everybody wants to own the end of the world.”

Back to the Future by Tony Tulathimutte [The New Republic] For 45 years, Don DeLillo has been our high priest of the American apocalypse, having tackled just about every man-made disaster: nukes in End Zone, nukes and garbage in Underworld, toxic pollution in White Noise, financial busts in Cosmopolis, terrorism in Falling Man, terrorism and the death of the novel in Mao II, war in Point Omega. His latest novel, Zero K, clears out every end-times scenario left in the bag: climate change, droughts, pandemics, volcanoes, biological warfare, even meteor strikes and solar flares. But these only menace in the background as future probabilities, and the novel’s focus is not human extinction but its inverse: immortality through cryonics. [more inside]
posted by Fizz on May 3, 2016 - 6 comments

"There's no point in writing it all down if nobody ever reads it."

One breezy afternoon in 2001, two friends of mine, Richard and Dido, were mooching around a building site in Cambridge when they came across a battered yellow skip. Inside were 148 handwritten notebooks. Some were crammed into an old bottle box that had jaunty green print on the side: "Ribena! 5d!" Most were scattered across the bricks exultantly. A few had royal emblems from George VI's time. Others were bright, bubblegum colours, tangerine and mushy-pea green. A chalky jotter that Dido picked up broke like chocolate. Inside, the rotted pages were filled with urgent handwriting. Running up one of the margins were the words, "Hope my diaries aren't blown up before people can read them – they have immortal value." There was no name or return address on the books. The diarist was simply "I" who had lived, and then died, and been pitched in a skip.
Diary of a somebody: could I solve the mystery of 148 lost notebooks? is an essay by Alexander Masters about the writing of his new book, A Life Discarded.
posted by Kattullus on Apr 30, 2016 - 35 comments

Manly Health

Diet and fitness advice from Walt Whitman. (SLNYT)
posted by Miko on Apr 29, 2016 - 15 comments

Charts for Book Nerds

"These charts will come in handy when trying to explain the book nerd existence to your bibliophobic friends."
posted by marienbad on Apr 23, 2016 - 35 comments

“...spark some reactions from an otherwise staid subway ridership.”

Subway Reading: Taking Fake Book Covers on the Subway [YouTube] [Video] How would you react if you saw someone reading 'Getting Away With Murder for Dummies on public transport?' Comic Scott Rogowsky (@ScottRogowsky) took some pretend, provocative book covers on an underground operation. [via: The Guardian]
posted by Fizz on Apr 22, 2016 - 58 comments

“crisis” refers a moment when the body identifies intense danger

“To Become Louder, Even Still”: Responses to Sexual Violence in Literary Spaces Apogee Journal has collected fourteen responses from writers to sexual violence perpetrated in the literary community. [more inside]
posted by Fizz on Apr 19, 2016 - 1 comment

“But life is a battle: may we all be enabled to fight it well!”

On the bicentenary of Charlotte Brontë’s birth, writers and artists reflect on her greatest creation. [The Guardian] [more inside]
posted by Fizz on Apr 18, 2016 - 9 comments

Dear Booger-Wiper,

An Open Letter to the Person Who Wiped Boogers on My Library Book by Jacob Lambert [The Millions]
posted by Fizz on Apr 13, 2016 - 48 comments

“Thou shalt not...”

The Bible makes most challenged books list in US for first time. [The Guardian] Americans have objected to titles as diverse as the Bible and Fifty Shades of Grey over the last year, according to a list of the most challenged books which has just been released by the American Library Association. [more inside]
posted by Fizz on Apr 12, 2016 - 60 comments

Buried Ideas

‘For over two millennia,’ Ian Johnson writes, ‘all our knowledge of China’s great philosophical schools was limited to texts revised after the Qin unification.’ Now a trove of recently discovered ancient documents, written on strips of bamboo, ‘is helping to reshape our understanding of China’s contentious past.’ [more inside]
posted by schneckinlittle on Apr 11, 2016 - 13 comments

“It's fierce, an' it's wild..."

RIP Barry Hines, author of A Kestrel for a Knave that was adapted into the British film classic Kes. He also wrote the screenplay for Threads. [more inside]
posted by fearfulsymmetry on Mar 21, 2016 - 16 comments

“Remember it’s a sin to kill a mockingbird.”

The Mass-Market Edition of To Kill a Mockingbird Is Dead by Alex Shephard [The New Republic] Harper Lee’s estate will no longer allow publication of the inexpensive paperback edition that was popular with schools. On Monday, February 29, a judge in Monroe County, Alabama sealed Harper Lee’s will from public view. The motion was filed by the Birmingham law firm Bradley Arant Boult Cummings, which was acting on behalf of Tonja Carter, Lee’s lawyer and the executor of her estate. [more inside]
posted by Fizz on Mar 15, 2016 - 102 comments

Hearings, Magistrates, Chauffeurs

With trepidation, Weßel ordered a scan, which showed a typed carbon copy, with corrections in Koestler’s handwriting. The date on the title page, March 1940, was the date on which Koestler is known to have finished the novel. There was no doubt. Weßel had stumbled across a copy of the German manuscript of Koestler’s masterpiece. The implications of Weßel’s discovery are considerable, for Darkness at Noon is that rare specimen, a book known to the world only in translation. [more inside]
posted by Rustic Etruscan on Mar 15, 2016 - 16 comments

Mountains of Books

New Snowcapped Mountains and Swirling Vortexes Excavated from Vintage Books by Guy Laramée. [more inside]
posted by jammy on Mar 15, 2016 - 7 comments

Open

A Trip Through Amazon’s First Physical Store
posted by four panels on Mar 10, 2016 - 18 comments

Restless and hungry: good books to tackle before you turn 30

30 Books You Need To Read Before You Turn 30 (Huffpost Arts & Culture, Katherine Brooks) / 33 books everyone should read before turning 30 (Business Insider, Richard Feloni and Drake Baer) / 30 works of Canadian fiction to read before you're 30 (CBC) / 30 Books by Women to Read Before You Turn 30 (Bustle, Gina Vaynshteyn) / 30 Books Every Man Should Read By 30 (slideshow or thumbnails, Esquire, Sam Parker and Claudia Canavan)
posted by joseph conrad is fully awesome on Mar 10, 2016 - 49 comments

New Looks for Old Books

Recovering the Classics is a crowdsourced collection of original covers for 100 great works in the public domain, designed to increase interest and access to classics in e-book format. [more inside]
posted by Miko on Mar 6, 2016 - 14 comments

Giving overlooked books another chance at fame

Sometimes a good book comes out that doesn't receive the attention it merits. To give them a second chance, there's the Phoenix Award -- given to a children's book published twenty years previously. This year's winner is Frindle, by Andrew Clements, first published in 1996.
posted by The corpse in the library on Mar 4, 2016 - 10 comments

For it behoves us to guard a book much more carefully than a boot.

Cristian Ispir explores 14th-century bibliophile Richard de Bury's advice on how to take care of books — or rather, how not to.
posted by metaquarry on Mar 4, 2016 - 9 comments

I understand that there is a writer named Jonathan Franzen

Rebecca Solnit: 80 Books No Woman Should Read.
posted by sunset in snow country on Feb 26, 2016 - 143 comments

The Unbearable Lightness of Web Pages

Web pages are ghosts: they’re like images projected onto a wall. They aren’t durable. Contrast this with hard-copies—things written on paper or printed in books. We can still read books and pamphlets printed five hundred years ago, even though the presses that made them have long since been destroyed. How can we give the average independent web writer that kind of permanence? Joel Dueck on building a website with Matthew Butterick's Pollen, allowing it to also be published as a printed book.
posted by Cash4Lead on Feb 24, 2016 - 45 comments

The goal is one book a day.

"The Complete Review, “a selectively comprehensive, objectively opinionated survey of books old and new,” sits on the margins of the literary world, where it has flourished for sixteen years. As of last Friday, according to an analog counter on the site’s decidedly unglamorous homepage, it had reviewed three thousand six hundred and eighty-seven books, from a hundred different countries, originally published in sixty-eight different languages—an average of two hundred and thirty books a year. Virtually all of this criticism, and everything else on the Complete Review, is the work of Michael A. Orthofer, a fifty-one-year-old lawyer who was born in Graz, Austria, and brought up in New York City. " [more inside]
posted by the man of twists and turns on Feb 19, 2016 - 18 comments

“Reading one book is like eating one potato chip.”

The Brackets for The Morning News 2016 Tournament of Books by The Tournament of Books Staff [The Morning News]
You already know the titles and judges that will participate in this year’s tournament. You likely perused the “long list” for a glance at 86 of our favorite works of fiction from last year. You might have even checked out our 11 previous tournaments, just to whet your appetite—or maybe you have no idea what we’re talking about, in which case you should go read this primer. [Download the 2016 brackets as a .PDF]
[more inside] posted by Fizz on Feb 10, 2016 - 10 comments

What if Doctor Seuss channeled H.P. Lovecraft?

The Call of Cthulhu (for beginning readers)
posted by fings on Jan 30, 2016 - 25 comments

“may someday help in a more objective assignment of books...”

Scientists find evidence of mathematical structures in classic books. [The Guardian] James Joyce’s Finnegans Wake has been described as many things, from a masterpiece to unreadable nonsense. But it is also, according to scientists at the Institute of Nuclear Physics in Poland, almost indistinguishable in its structure from a purely mathematical multifractal.
“The absolute record in terms of multifractality turned out to be Finnegans Wake by James Joyce. The results of our analysis of this text are virtually indistinguishable from ideal, purely mathematical multifractals,” said Professor Stanisław Drożdż, another author of the paper, which has just been published in the computer science journal Information Sciences.
posted by Fizz on Jan 28, 2016 - 28 comments

#1000BlackGirlBooks

"I told her I was sick of reading about white boys and dogs" In the past year, Philadelphia native Marley Dias has successfully written a proposal for (and received) a Disney Friends for Change grant, served food to orphans in Ghana and recently launched a book club. Dias is 11 years old. Dias' latest social action project is the "#1000BlackGirlBooks" book drive. Frustrated with many of the books she's assigned in school, she confessed to her mother during dinner one night that she was unhappy with how monochromatic so many stories felt.
posted by pjsky on Jan 23, 2016 - 6 comments

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