Smithsonian: What Turned Jaron Lanier Against the Web?
Flavorwire: A Survey of Emily Dickinson’s Family Artifacts.
“Emily Dickinson is probably literature’s most notorious shut-in—after all, the woman didn’t leave her family compound for a full 20 years—so we’re always fascinated by the details of her strange and (we imagine) lonely life. Recently, we came across this collection of family artifacts from the Dickinson family estate, curated by Harvard University, and we’ve been pouring over them ever since.”
NY Times: A Critic’s Tour of Literary Manhattan.
When I get back to NYC one o’ these months, we’ll all hang out and get soaked in absinthe and compose bawdy quatrains and limericks.
Globe and Mail.CA: The positive power of negative thinking.
“And all you have to do to benefit from Burkeman’s refreshing ideas is to find a quiet, tinsel-free place to read his book. Being miserable on occasion, he will tell you, can be good for you, and can even make you happy.”
CNN: Maurice Herzog, first to summit 8,000-meter peak, dies at 93.
Rest in peace, mountaineer. His book, Annapurna, riveted me as a teen. Between Herzog, Whymper and Fletcher, I was lost to anything but outdoor pursuits for a large period of my life.
ArtDaily: Hans Christian Andersen’s first fairy tale found in Denmark’s national archives.
“Lacking the polished standards of Andersen’s later fairy tales, it is believed to have been written when he was a schoolboy.” What a find! I hope we get the opportunity to read it.
ArtDaily: Scientists seek to solve mystery of Piltdown Man.
Who perpetrated the hoax?
Creative Market Blog: Off the Shelf Inspiration - Science Fiction Paperbacks.
Kinda a downer when someone calls the paperbacks I used to buy as a teen “vintage.” I don’t feel like Methuselah. The typography is much more creative because there were no Postscript or Truetype fonts back then. The cost of doing covers like these today? Probably astronomical.
Salon: Charles Dickens’ great disappointments.
“Those children, the tragic fictional children, are projections of Dickens’ own childhood. They have nothing to do with his own children, who it’s not clear he entirely understood.” Some interesting context.
Dazed Digital: This week’s essential books.
Includes another blog-turned-book.
MailOnline.UK: How Wilbur Smith won a £15million deal—for others to write his blockbuste
*Ahem* … another writer following the Dumas strategy.
SciAm: Why You Like to Watch the Same Thing Over and Over and Over Again.
“The responses suggested that sometimes choosing to do something again was about reaching for a sure thing—the brain knows the exact kind of reward that it will receive in the end, whether it is laughter, excitement or relaxation. They also learned that people gained insight into themselves and their own growth by going back for a do-over, subconsciously using the rerun or old book as a measuring stick for how their own lives had changed.” When you crave that feeling again. Makes sense. I have my ‘comfort’ books, for sure. TV and movies don’t hold the same spot in my heart; but I’m of a different generation than most now.
NY Times: Bedbugs Hitch a Ride on Library Books.
Ye gods. It’s actually very much in your interest to ‘cook your books’. Last thing we need is pesticide-laced tomes. It would be nice to have a clear, definitive recommendation for prevention (how low a temperature for how long - or how hot a temp for how long).
Poets and Writers: DIY/How to Make and Bind Chapbooks.
Pretty decent instructions.
NPR: The First Book Ever Printed In North America And A Church’s Decision To Sell It.
“With an overwhelming 271 to 34 vote, the church decided to give its board the power to sell one copy of the Bay Psalm Book, the first book ever printed in North America.” The Quakers would never do such a thing; “Thee shall not touch thy principal.”
Corey Robin: Thomas Jefferson - American Fascist?
“The slave, when made free, might mix with, without staining the blood of his master. But with us a second is necessary, unknown to history. When freed, he is to be removed beyond the reach of mixture.” Long but necessary read for your Monday.
Way to support small business, CreateSpace.
Work for hire agreements for their book designers. Via Craigslist. No wonder their prices are so low. The remuneration must be Turk level. Remember this, if you’re self-publishing through CreateSpace. Ugh.
New Yorker: The Case of the Missing Oxford English Dictionary Words.
“The process of creating a dictionary involves many small decisions, and studying the result of these decisions can be fascinating: Did the editors privilege male authors? Should American books have been quoted more? How did the editors decide when a foreign word could be considered English?”
David Gaughran: Simon & Schuster Joins Forces With Author Solutions To Rip Off Writers.
I did some work with S&S, once upon a time. Didn’t like the way they did business. Now I like them even less. Via Heather B on FB.
9 Wows: Jack London’s Desk and Study.
I’d love for my office to look like this.
The Modern World: Eco - “The Author and his Interpreters”
The man always brings me to my mental knees. If you’re an Eco fan like I am, a remarkable read.
HuffPo Religion: 5 Common Misconceptions About the Bible.
“ Just as an attempt to impose harmony and consistency on the short stories collected in the Norton Anthology of English Literature would do great violence to those stories, any attempt to impose harmony and consistency on the diverse books collected in the Bible—to extract a single message or truth—does great violence to those books.” Best short explanation I’ve seen in print.
Omni Magazine Online.
Wow, remember Omni Magazine? Wish they had the articles online, but I sure remember those covers.
NY Times: What the Penguin-Random Merger Says About the Future of the Book Business.
“A combined Penguin-Random House, which would control a quarter of the global book market, is a conglomerate designed to take on another giant, though it’s not exactly a fair fight. Because the new entity will only have about a twelfth of Amazon’s annual sales, most observers expect that this is just the beginning of a series of mergers — like those in the music business — that will take the Big Six publishers down to the Big Three and perhaps one day even the Big One.”