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"Last Sunday night I spent a good five minutes lying face down on my couch..."

Thank you for killing my novel - A negative review in the NYT sparks a dialogue between an editor there and a fictional character from the book in question. [more inside]
posted by smoke on Jul 5, 2012 - 46 comments

Previously owned

"I still buy books faster than I can read them. But this feels completely normal. How weird it would be to have around you only as many books as you have time to read in the rest of your life." Julian Barnes reflects on his life as a bibliophile, the disappearance of secondhand bookshops and the precarious survival of the physical book.
posted by verstegan on Jun 30, 2012 - 89 comments

The frantic career of the eyes

Picturing Books: What do we see when we read? (Other than words on a page.) What do we picture in our minds? A consideration by Knopf's senior designer Peter Mendulsund. [more inside]
posted by shakespeherian on Jun 27, 2012 - 22 comments

The Viable Zombie

“[...] it took more than a dozen calls to work out the details of her zombie contagion. “After about the 17th time,” says McGuire, “I called and said, ‘If I did this, this, this, this, this, this and this, could I raise the dead?’ And got, ‘Don’t … don’t do that.’ And at that point, I knew I had a viable virus.”
posted by batmonkey on Jun 27, 2012 - 70 comments

Author interviews

"Book TV's After Words features the author of a recently published hardback non-fiction book interviewed by a guest host with some knowledge, background, or connection to the subject matter of the book." There's also a podcast version (link goes to XML feed), for those who'd rather listen. Many more non-fiction author interviews can be found at Booknotes (transcripts and streaming video). If your tastes run to interviews with authors of fiction, check out the BBC's Modern Writers archive. (BookTV (but not specifically After Words) previously, Booknotes (but before the series ended) previously.)
posted by cog_nate on Jun 22, 2012 - 7 comments

These Are the Books That Make You Totally Undateable

Flavorwire "asked both men and women of various sexual orientations to share the books that they think render their devotees totally undateable". [more inside]
posted by cybertaur1 on Jun 20, 2012 - 307 comments

A Free Website for Periodicals, Books, and Videos

UNZ.org, a free website for periodicals, books, and videos. Search. [more inside]
posted by steef on Jun 20, 2012 - 9 comments

Literature and porn stars

Consider everything here potentially NSFW, even if not marked. Lots of background and sidebar images that may offend.

Kayden Kross (NSFW) and Stoya (previously) aren't stereotypical porn stars. For the release of Adam Levin's Hot Pink, Kross interviewed Levin on the McSweeney's website. Stoya was featured (along with Paul Dano) in the book trailer for Adam Wilson's Flatscreen. And together Kross and Stoya discussed Chad Kultgen’s Men, Women & Children — a novel that mentions Stoya by name. Kross digs David Foster Wallace; Stoya digs some good stuff, too. Both keep (very NSFW) blogs (Kayden 1, 2; Stoya 1, 2) where they write about all kinds of stuff. Last November on Fleshbot (NSFW) Stoya did a five-part series on sex in Japan. And check out Stoya's guest post on Warren Ellis's blog. [more inside]
posted by skilar on Jun 17, 2012 - 52 comments

Reading Along the Lines

Underground New York Public Library, a photo tumblr of NYC Subway riders and the books they read.
posted by zamboni on Jun 15, 2012 - 98 comments

Smart Authors and Designers Discuss Their Covers

Talking Covers: authors and designers talk about the ideas behind their book covers. [more inside]
posted by mattbucher on Jun 13, 2012 - 9 comments

YES - Fiction please! - NO

Teach.com's Summer Reading Flowchart.
posted by Think_Long on Jun 13, 2012 - 57 comments

The Curse of Knowledge

Isaac Chotiner reviews Jonah Lehrer's Imagine: How Creativity Works. Imagine is really a pop-science book, which these days usually means that it is an exercise in laboratory-approved self-help. Like Malcolm Gladwell and David Brooks, Lehrer writes self-help for people who would be embarrassed to be seen reading it. For this reason, their chestnuts must be roasted in “studies” and given a scientific gloss. The surrender to brain science is particularly zeitgeisty.
posted by shivohum on Jun 13, 2012 - 29 comments

The Stephen King Universe Flow Chart

Gillian James charts the connections in the Stephen King universe* Meanwhile The Guardian is rereading King begining with Carrie and Salems Lot, CNN has discovered The Gospel of Stephen King, and in further Castle Rock news a new movie version of It is being made.
* Not including The Dark Tower
posted by Artw on Jun 11, 2012 - 70 comments

vintage children's books online

vintage children's books my kid loves (a blog) & scans of vintage Little Golden Books (scroll down a bit) & The Children's Object Book (1880s) & if you want to read and look at even more vintage children's books online, you could start with browsing the Baldwin Library of Historical Children's Literature with almost 6000 classic books (some may be unsuitable for modern sensibilities) [more inside]
posted by flex on Jun 11, 2012 - 11 comments

“Why should I put down George R. R. Martin during the short trek from couch to bathroom?”

A Book Lover's Guide to Reading and Walking at the Same Time by Lev Grossman [Time.com]
posted by Fizz on Jun 9, 2012 - 53 comments

An Amazon Nation

The current issue of The Nation turns its focus to Amazon: The Amazon Effect by Steve Wasserman, How Germany Keeps Amazon at Bay and Literary Culture Alive by Michael Naumann, Search Gets Lost by Anthony Grafton, and finally Ten Reasons to Avoid Doing Business With Amazon.com.
posted by Toekneesan on Jun 1, 2012 - 57 comments

And a great anger was Nookd in the hearts of the e-readers

While reading an e-book copy of War and Peace on his Nook, North Carolina blogger Philip noticed a minor glitch in the text: "It was as if a light had been Nookd in a carved and painted lantern." He ignored it and moved on, but then encountered a similar error shortly thereafter. As it turned out, the word "kindle" had been systematically replaced by "Nook" throughout the whole book. [more inside]
posted by BlackLeotardFront on Jun 1, 2012 - 67 comments

Books Received

Books Received is the latest post in a series by BLDGBLOG about interesting books that have crossed their desk. Previously: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5
posted by Cloud King on Jun 1, 2012 - 3 comments

Terrifying French Children's books

There are some frightening looking children's books titles in English but, it seems nobody manages to bring them out like the French.
posted by rongorongo on Jun 1, 2012 - 48 comments

The A-Okay Gatsby

The goons at Something Awful have a field day photoshopping downgraded and cut-rate literary classics. Part 2.
posted by The Whelk on May 31, 2012 - 150 comments

Hack The Cover

Hack The Cover "This is an essay for book lovers and designers curious about where the cover has been, where it's going, and what the ethos of covers means for digital book design."
posted by Fuzzy Monster on May 29, 2012 - 11 comments

Animalarium

Spider Women. The animal illustration of Eileen Mayo. Book Week. Animals on Bikes. Alphabet Soup 1, Alphabet Soup 2. Steinlen's Cats. Let's Dance. Cats in Advertisements. Art Deco Animals. Jacques Hnizdovsky's prints. Emmanuelle Houdart's creatures. Turn of the century bird illustrations. [more inside]
posted by Lou Stuells on May 23, 2012 - 4 comments

What becomes a legend most?

In 1929, John Galsworthy won a Guardian poll as the novelist most likely to still be read in 2029. Three years later, he won the Nobel Prize, and the prices of his first editions skyrocketed. His reputation has since been on a 80-year wane that shows no signs of abating. The New Yorker asks Why is Literary Fame So Unpredictable? And who will they be teaching in literature class a century from now?
posted by Horace Rumpole on May 22, 2012 - 65 comments

James Joyce's "Finnegans Wake"

simply read Finnegans Wake. Since it is said to make more sense when recited aloud, you could start with this recording of James Joyce performing a passage from the "Anna Livia Plurabelle" section - which has been described as "one of the most beautiful prose-poems in English". [more inside]
posted by Trurl on May 18, 2012 - 40 comments

This Is How: Proven Aid in Overcoming Shyness, Molestation, Fatness, Spinsterhood, Grief, Disease, Lushery, Decrepitude & More. For Young and Old Alike’ by Augusten Burroughs

This is How: Proven Aid in Overcoming Shyness, Molestation, Fatness, Spinsterhood, Grief, Disease, Lushery, Decrepitude & More. For Young and Old Alike. is Augusten Burroughs' new self-help book (reviews here, here, and here), one which scorns the genre cliches of goal-setting and affirmations in favor of a hard-nosed philosophy of self-honesty based on lessons learned from his own background of abuse, neglect, and rape. In an interview with CNN, he gives snippets of his views on subjects like the harm of people "clinging to a dream which maybe they don't actually have the talent to do", suicide ("it doesn't release you, it adds a new layer of horror") and the quest for thinness ("the brain is magnificent and to focus on your gastrointestinal track is a complete waste"). (previously)
posted by shivohum on May 14, 2012 - 42 comments

"There is no such thing on earth as an uninteresting subject; the only thing that can exist is an uninterested person." G.K. Chesterton

Want a bestseller? Write about Henry or Hitler… [Guardian.co.uk] From Tudor England to the Third Reich, history's megalomaniacs continue to make great literary fodder.
posted by Fizz on May 13, 2012 - 12 comments

Book Spine Poetry

Book Spine Poetry is poetry made from the words on the spines of books.
posted by roaring beast on May 4, 2012 - 6 comments

"Many a small thing has been made large by the right kind of advertising." ~ Mark Twain

Don't judge a book by the ad on its cover. [Guardian.co.uk] Chalk it up as another brilliant innovation – or a sign of the impending apocalypse – as China Daily reports that publishers are making space on the front covers of books for advertising. Apparently the "first book to carry an advertisement" is an account of the famous cellist Yo-Yo Ma, written by his mother, which was published in March adorned with "the logo of a well-known Chinese textile manufacturer".
posted by Fizz on May 3, 2012 - 40 comments

Nook finds it's niche

Barnes and Noble is spinning off Nook into a subsidiary business after a $300M deal with Microsoft which gives the Redmond company a 17% stake, bringing an end to a patent dispute between the two companies and sending shares skyrocketing. Commentary from John Scalzi and Tobias Buckell. Meanwhile the Kindle Fire, Amazon's competitor to the Nook tablet, has grabbed over 50% of the Android tablet market.
posted by Artw on May 1, 2012 - 91 comments

Bye Bay Baby Bye Bay

Pirate Bay to be blocked By UK ISPs. "File-sharing site The Pirate Bay must be blocked by UK internet service providers, the High Court has ruled." [more inside]
posted by marienbad on Apr 30, 2012 - 400 comments

How to use printed books in the digital age

Ten gorgeous buildings made out of books. More views of some of them: Scanner — Book iglooTower of BabelCadiff/MillerArgument (with other book structures). Want to build your own? Order books by the yard from various outlets, some quite pricy, others more affordable: BookDecor, Half Price Books Outlet.
posted by beagle on Apr 30, 2012 - 20 comments

“They pay me absurd amounts of money,” he observes, “For something that I would do for free.”.

A Stephen King interview: by Neil Gaiman "I interviewed Stephen King for the UK Sunday Times Magazine. The interview appeared a few weeks ago. The Times keeps its site paywalled, so I thought I'd post the original version of the interview here. (This is the raw copy, and it's somewhat longer than the interview as published.) I don't do much journalism any more, and this was mostly an excuse to drive across Florida back in February and spend a day with some very nice people I do not get to see enough. I hope you enjoy it."
posted by Fizz on Apr 28, 2012 - 51 comments

Care and Feeding of Yer Books

Simple Techniques for the Repair and Maintenance of Books. [more inside]
posted by storybored on Apr 26, 2012 - 12 comments

Welcome to the Storyverse

Small Demons is a website that tracks the connections between people, places, and things in books. [more inside]
posted by sweetkid on Apr 24, 2012 - 13 comments

Dark things in the closet, literal and figurative

The Vulture ranks all of Stephen King's books from worst to best.
posted by mightygodking on Apr 24, 2012 - 300 comments

"A combination of grassy notes with a tang of acids and a hint of vanilla over an underlying mustiness"

Why Do Old Books Smell? [SLYT]
posted by quin on Apr 23, 2012 - 22 comments

Reading Markson Reading

Reading Markson Reading: ‘Exploring the mind, method and masterpieces of David Markson through the marginalia found on the pages of the books in his personal library.’ (previously: 1, 2)
posted by misteraitch on Apr 20, 2012 - 4 comments

"...for the next tour, I’ll either be calm and collected or nervous with a dangerously out-of-control boner."

The Awl: Nine Writers and Publicists Tell All About Readings and Book Tours
posted by zarq on Apr 12, 2012 - 18 comments

Apple and the Big Five

The U.S. has filed an antitrust lawsuit against Apple and five of the largest publishers, alleging a conspiracy to rig the pricing of e-books. Simon & Schuster, Hachette and HarperCollins have agreed to settle, though Macmillan, Penguin and Apple continue to contest the charges. Some background from WIRED: Bigger Than Agency, Bigger Than E-Books: The Case Against Apple and Publishers
posted by Artw on Apr 11, 2012 - 192 comments

"Perhaps in American cinema, women have typically been reduced to types like mom, girlfriend, or victim. But in the Y.A. books of our youth, they are far more complex, and more thoroughly drawn."

'The Atlantic Wire' kicks off its new YA For Grownups series with The Greatest Girl Characters of Young Adult Literature.
posted by box on Apr 9, 2012 - 54 comments

Hull 0, Scunthorpe 3

How can one describe it? For fuck’s sake, it is a quest saga and it has a talking horse. There are puns on the word ‘neigh’. Christopher Priest on the 2012 Clarke Award shortlist, the self-described "most prestigious award for science fiction in Britain".
posted by Hartster on Mar 29, 2012 - 226 comments

Getting wood

Romeyn Hough's American Woods is one of the most astonishing books of the late 19th century, a 14-volume set containing a thorough survey of the trees of the U.S., complete with thinly sliced samples of the wood of each tree. Complete sets of this mammoth undertaking are today rare and highly prized.
posted by Horace Rumpole on Mar 28, 2012 - 4 comments

Louise Fitzhugh's "Harriet the Spy"

In December 1974, there was a memorial service at St. James Episcopal Church on Madison Avenue for Louise Fitzhugh, author and illustrator of Harriet the Spy, the groundbreaking children's novel that has sold 2.5 million copies since its publication in 1964. [more inside]
posted by Trurl on Mar 26, 2012 - 45 comments

Rare and Unusual Images

recto|verso is a place where the staff of F.A. Bernett Books showcase some of the more spectacular, interesting, unusual and puzzling items they have come across. Discoveries of note include: Both Sides of Broadway, Then and Now, a building-by-building sequential photographic survey of the most famous street in America. The most influential graphic arts publication of late-1920s Tokyo, Gendai Shogyo Bijutsu Zenshu. Felix Vallotton’s Reinvention of the Woodcut, credited by many art historians of his time (and ours) as having modernized and revitalized the form in Western art. [more inside]
posted by netbros on Mar 25, 2012 - 5 comments

"Why is this book, 50 Shades of Grey, so popular?"

E.L. James's Fifty Shades of Grey started out as Master of the Universe, an adults-only Twilight fanfiction posted under the pseudonym Snowqueens Icedragon. The erotica re-imagining of Bella Swan as a 21-year-old college student and Edward Cullen as a 27-year-old billionaire -- with BDSM tastes -- was published by Australia's Writer's Coffee Shop Publishing in May 2011; names and details linking it to Stephenie Meyer's bestselling trilogy were changed (...for the most part). In recent months, the book has gone viral, selling more than 250,000 copies (over 90% in ebook format) and landing the #1 spot on the New York Times Bestseller List. Last week, E.L. James sold republishing rights for the Fifty Shades trilogy to Vintage Books in a seven-figure deal. [more inside]
posted by changeling on Mar 15, 2012 - 97 comments

The Hacker Shelf

The Hacker Shelf is nice crowd-sourced guide to (legally) free books on various computational and mathematical subjects. The topics page gives you an idea of the breadth of material available.
posted by philipy on Mar 15, 2012 - 24 comments

Still a Fast Food Nation

Still a Fast Food Nation Eric Schlosser reflects on his book's tenth anniversary (previously).
posted by box on Mar 15, 2012 - 86 comments

"Anything that comes out of the South is going to be called grotesque by the northern reader, unless it is grotesque, in which case it is going to be called realistic."

Flannery O'Connor reads A Good Man is Hard to Find aloud at Vanderbilt University in 1959. [more inside]
posted by jquinby on Mar 9, 2012 - 36 comments

Can I Give It -9999 Stars Instead?

The worst book that will ever exist in the history of all books! A collection of the internet's worst reviewers.
posted by kanata on Mar 2, 2012 - 68 comments

"You know what I think?" she says. "That people's memories are maybe the fuel they burn to stay alive."

In Search of Haruki Murakami, Japan’s Great Postmodernist Novelist, a 50 minute documentary exploring Murakami's Japan and culture. via.
posted by timshel on Feb 26, 2012 - 28 comments

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