Books

Doris Lessing's Books to Go to Zimbabwe Libraries

From ABC News:

Nobel Prize-winning novelist Doris Lessing, who died last year, spent her early years in Zimbabwe. She is still giving back to the country whose former white rulers banished her for speaking against racial discrimination.

The bulk of Lessing's book collection was handed over to the Harare City Library (at the corner of Rotten Row and Pennyfeather), which will catalogue the more than 3,000 books. The donation complements the author's role in opening libraries in Zimbabwe, to make books available to rural people.

"For us she continues to live," said 42-year-old Kempson Mudenda, who worked with Lessing when she established the Africa Community Publishing and Development Trust.

"The libraries she helped set up are giving life to village children who would otherwise be doomed," said Mudenda, who said he used to trudge bush paths daily to reach remote villages with books.

Lessing's trust started libraries in thatched mud huts and under trees after the author was allowed to return to Zimbabwe following independence in 1980.

Unique gift inscription in book

A blog post about a very unique gift inscription in a book.

Watch Your Head When Checking Out Murakami's Strange 'Library'

As if the work of Japanese fiction master Haruki Murakami weren't strangely beautiful by itself, his American publisher has just put out a stand-alone edition of his 2008 novella The Strange Library, in a new trade paperback designed by the legendary Chip Kidd.

"The library was even more hushed than usual," we read in the opening sentence (the entire book is set in a typeface called, appropriately, Typewriter), calling attention to the fact that we're in for a special event. Murakami sets his story — newly translated from the Japanese by Ted Goossen — in a realm of words, an unnamed city library. An inquiring schoolboy stops by on the way home from class returns some library books (How to Build a Submarine and Memoirs of a Shepherd) and asks for reading on a subject he says has just popped into his head: Tax Collection in the Ottoman Empire.

An unfamiliar female librarian sends him down to room 107, "a creepy room" where yet another strange librarian (a bald man this time) hands him the requested volumes — then conducts him to a secret space, behind a locked door and down a hall to a labyrinth of corridors where a small man dressed in a sheepskin puts him in a cell under lock and key.

A very strange library indeed!

Full piece here:
http://www.npr.org/2014/12/02/363836249/watch-your-head-when-checking-out-murakamis-strange-...

The World Needs Books! An Enthusiastic Reader Speaks of her Love of Books & Little Free Libraries.

Listen to Madison tell it like it is!!  from the Washington Post.

Librarians: Sexy and They Know It

Though there is still tension about what the library and librarians of today should be, the connection between librarians and sex is surprisingly persistent.

One of the frustrations of being a librarian is the occupational stereotyping. Librarians tend to be depicted in books and movies as elderly spinsters, rigid and frigid. More recently, in a predictable attempt to subvert convention, the slutty librarian trope has emerged: young, hot-blooded, yet not exempt from the cats-eye glasses.

From The Millions, librarian Elisabeth Cohen reviews a few books on the sexy librarian phenomena that you might have missed.

Get To Know The Finalists For The 2014 National Book Award

The National Book Awards shortlists — for fiction, nonfiction, poetry and young people's literature — were announced October 15 on Morning Edition by Mitchell Kaplan, co-founder of Miami Book Fair International and former president of the American Booksellers Association. On November 18, finalists for the National Book Awards read from their nominated works at The New School in New York City. The National Book Foundation will announce the winners Wednesday night. Read more about each of the finalists — and hear the authors read from their works here:
http://www.npr.org/2014/10/15/354568850/get-to-know-the-finalists-for-the-2014-national-book...

Author interview - Ben Winters - Last Policeman Trilogy

The Last Policeman trilogy imagines what we would all do if we knew the world would end in six months. Brooke speaks with the author, Ben Winters, about how the media might inform Earth's final days.

http://www.onthemedia.org/story/trilogy-about-end-world/

Behind The Famous Story, A Difficult 'Truth'

Jon Krakauer's 1996 book Into the Wild delved into the riveting story of Chris McCandless, a 24-year-old man from an affluent family outside Washington, D.C. who graduated with honors from Emory, then gave away the bulk of his money, burned the rest and severed all ties with his family. After tramping around the country for nearly two years, he headed into the Alaska wilderness in April, 1992. His emaciated body was found a little over four months later.

Krakauer's book struck a nerve with readers. But he never fully answered what motivated McCandless's ascetic renunciation, and the book drew scores of letters accusing him of arrogance, ignorance, and selfishness.

In a fascinating 2013 followup article in The New Yorker, Krakauer finally confirmed the cause of McCandless's death: A toxic amino acid in wild potato seeds, previously thought to be benign. He hoped that the new findings would squelch some of those accusations.

Now Chris's younger sister, Carine McCandless, 21 at the time of her brother's death, has come out with The Wild Truth, which tells a story as poisonous as wild potato seeds. Her memoir reveals what Chris was running from — and should lay to rest allegations that her brother's behavior was cruel to their parents.

Full piece here:
http://www.npr.org/2014/11/11/363120048/behind-the-famous-story-a-difficult-truth

Roger Ebert's 4 Star Movie Guide and Serendipity

A post on found books, serendipity, and Roger Ebert.

Two Important Publishing Facts Everyone Gets Wrong

Two Important Publishing Facts Everyone Gets Wrong

October 27th, 2014 | Hugh C. Howey

Almost everything being said about publishing today is predicated on two facts that are dead wrong. The first is that publishers are somehow being hurt by ebook sales. The second is that independent bookstores are being crushed. The opposite is true in both cases, and without understanding this, most of what everyone says about publishing is complete bollocks.

Full post here: http://www.hughhowey.com/two-important-publishing-facts-everyone-gets-wr...

Example infographic from post:

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