"During his days as Harvard’s influential president, Dr. Charles W. Eliot made a frequent assertion: If you were to spend just 15 minutes a day reading the right books, a quantity that could fit on a five-foot shelf, you could give yourself a proper liberal education. Publisher P. F. Collier and Son
loved the idea and asked Eliot to compile and edit the right collection of works. The result: a 51-volume series of classic works from world literature published in 1909 called Dr. Eliot’s Five Foot Shelf
, which would later be called The Harvard Classics
." (Via) [more inside]
posted by zarq
on Jul 11, 2013 -
has spent most of his life cultivating spies and diplomats, who seem to enjoy seeing themselves and their secrets transfigured into pop fiction (with their own names carefully disguised), and his books regularly contain information about terror plots, espionage and wars that has never appeared elsewhere. Other pop novelists, like John le Carré and Tom Clancy, may flavor their work with a few real-world scenarios and some spy lingo, but de Villiers’s books are ahead of the news and sometimes even ahead of events themselves." (SLNYT)
posted by Rustic Etruscan
on Jan 31, 2013 -
"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 -
Booktribes is a new site
from the creators of writing site Abctales
where bibliophiles can compile lists of every book they've ever read. Replete with a simple, intuitive interface, compiling your life's reading list becomes strangely addictive, and for the whole of March, the best comment of the day on this as-yet underpopulated site wins a copy of David Mitchell's Black Swan Green
, with the best comment of the month winning the entire 21 volume Sceptre Collection. And if you're worried your reading list isn't up to scratch, don't panic - you can always cheat.
posted by RokkitNite
on Mar 3, 2007 -
"When I read his work, I forgive him all his sins".
Edmund Wilson disliked being called a critic
. He thought of himself as a journalist, and nearly all his work was done for commercial magazines
, principally Vanity Fair, in the nineteen-twenties; The New Republic, in the nineteen-twenties and thirties; The New Yorker, beginning in the nineteen-forties
; and The New York Review of Books, in the nineteen-sixties. He was exceptionally well read
: he had had a first-class education in English, French, and Italian literature, and he kept adding languages all his life
. He learned to read German, Russian, and Hebrew; when he died, in 1972, he was working on Hungarian.
Edmund Wilson and American culture
. (more inside)
posted by matteo
on Aug 25, 2005 -
Has anyone read "Swimming Across" by Andy Grove?
It appears to be pretty far from the traditional "look-at-me, revel in my vision, I'm an uber-CEO," self-promotional book; he never even gets into his Intel career, apparently. Instead it's an account of Grove's childhood
in Hitler and Stalin's Hungary and the story of how he came to America. The book has been getting great reviews
, from people as diverse as Tom Brokaw, Elie Wiesel and Monica Seles
. Still, the cynic in me says that no matter how dramatic the tale, when you're a Fotune 500 CEO, you always have other motives. Perhaps I'm just too cynical. So again, has anyone read it? What did you think?
posted by emptyage
on Nov 26, 2001 -