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“There is no author whose books I look forward to more than Vaclav Smil,” Bill Gates wrote this summer. That’s quite an endorsement—and it gave a jolt of fame to Smil, a professor emeritus of environment and geography at the University of Manitoba. In a world of specialized intellectuals, Smil is an ambitious and astonishing polymath who swings for fences. His nearly three dozen books have analyzed the world’s biggest challenges—the future of energy, food production, and manufacturing—with nuance and detail. They’re among the most data-heavy books you’ll find, with a remarkable way of framing basic facts. (Sample nugget: Humans will consume 17 percent of what the biosphere produces this year.)
From CNN.com: "The world's most valuable book sold Tuesday for $14.16 million at Sotheby's in New York, according to the auction house.
The rare Bay Psalm Book is the first book ever written and printed in what is now the United States. Its sale set a record for a book sold at auction, Sotheby's said."
This one has been a long time coming, but this morning, Judge Denny Chin (who actually has a long history of siding with copyright holders) found that Google's book scanning project is fair use. This is a huge victory in a variety of ways. TechDirt has the story.
Joe Starita talked about his book "I Am a Man": Chief Standing Bear’s Journey for Justice. In 1879, Ponca Chief Standing Bear challenged decades of Indian policy when he stood in a federal courthouse in Omaha, Nebraska, and demanded to be recognized as a person by the U.S. government.?The eventual results were that all Native American peoples were given the full rights of American citizenship.?Topics included how the government was making decisions based upon faulty information and how to treat indigenous people and tribal-based societies.?Professor Starita was interviewed by Professor Arneson and responded to questions from members of the audience.
Watch video at BookTV
Big-5 publisher Macmillan makes many more ebooks available to libraries Big-5 publisher Macmillan, which had previously only made 1,200 ebooks available to libraries for lending, is now opening up its entire backlist of about 11,000 titles.
Catcher In The Fry? McDonald's Happy Meals With A Side Of Books
Fast-food giant McDonald's is set to become a publishing giant as well — at least temporarily. For two weeks next month, McDonald's says it will oust the toys that usually come in its Happy Meals and replace them with books it has published itself.
An estimated 20 million children's books, which will feature nutritional messages, will be distributed in McDonald's kids' meals from Nov. 1 to Nov. 14, the company says. To put it in perspective, AdAge notes, that's more than the 15 million print copies of the best-selling Hunger Games trilogy that were sold in 2012.
Full piece on NPR
Who could refuse? Workman Publishing, via Early Word is offering a FREE COPY of a new book by Chip Kidd, GO, an introduction to graphic design for kids, but also a wonderful primer for adults. Be one of the first 50 librarians or instructors to respond!
Piece on NPR about the book: I don't know: In Praise of Admitting Ignorance (Except When You Shouldn't)
Excerpt from NPR piece:
This year's graduating high school class will be the first generation to have grown up entirely under the No Child Left Behind Act, so this is an entire generation of kids that's been raised in an educational environment where there's a premium on knowing the right answer, being able to fill in the correct oval on a test. I worry that we may not be teaching enough the value of experimentation and failure and risk-taking and the process of inquiry.