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Today, New York-based startup Oyster is launching the beta version of its iPhone app. (You can request an invite at Oyster’s website). For $9.95 a month, you get unlimited access to the 100,000 titles from a range of publishers, including HarperCollins and Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. (Penguin Random House, Simon & Schuster, Hachette, and Macmillan are so far notably absent from the list of announced partners.) You also see what your friends are reading, get recommendations and staff picks, and find books sorted by curated categories, such as “Sports Stories,” “Business Essentials,” and “Popular Science.” All of this is packed into a highly usable mobile experience.
According to a few distinguished members of the library community, they don't tell you in library school that you WILL occasionally choose a book by its cover, despite what the song says.
If you've had that experience, either choosing a book to read for your TBR pile or a book to add to your library's collection BASED ON ITS COVER, please let us know in the comments below. Thanks!
NPR partial compilation of books about the Civil Rights Movement.
From The New York Times: WE ARE FAMILY:
When a book saturates the culture as pervasively as Cheryl Strayed’s “Wild” — at No. 15 on the combined nonfiction list after 56 weeks — it can be hard to imagine there are readers left who haven’t encountered it. But when a Pennsylvania woman checked “Wild” out of her local library recently, she was surprised to find far more than the travel adventure she was expecting.
“I often get e-mails,” Strayed wrote on Facebook last month, “from readers who tell me we’re connected because their lives are so very much like mine — similar childhoods, similar losses, similar struggles. This experience has been a great reminder to me how very connected we are, in spite of our differences. As I read one such e-mail recently I thought I was reading the usual until I came to the part about how the e-mailer sat bolt upright in bed as she read ‘Wild’ because halfway into Chapter 1 she realized we have the same father. My half sister, who came upon my book by chance, who knew of my existence but not my name, found me.”
Strayed told me she had made efforts over the years to locate her half sister and -brother, but online searches turned up nothing. But when her half sister started “Wild,” she “knew just enough about me and my siblings that she put it together. She read the rest of the book and then she wrote to me. She was stunned. I was, too, and yet I always knew our paths would cross. Life is like that. There’s always more, always a reveal.”
From Wired, "When Josef Albers published Interaction of Color in 1963, it was nothing less than the gateway to an entire way of thinking...But the physical version of the book, which has been circulated primarily in paperback for the last four decades, needed an update. Yale University Press has just done that, by releasing a new iPad version of Albers’ famous texts and color studies. Designed by New York City-based Potion Design, the Interaction of Color app is about as close as most of us will get to the original version of Albers’ masterpiece, which today primarily lives in special collections and museums. The app is nearly an exact digital replica of the 1963 version of the book, down to the original Baskerville typeface and layout of the text columns—but with some 21st century upgrades. “We were really thinking, how can we go back to the original intent of Albers’ book, and make something that he would’ve made today,” says Phillip Tiongson, one of the founders of Potion."
NPR piece that mentions the Amazon vs. Overstock price war. In addition it mentions the American Idol winner Kelly Clarkson bought a ring owned by Jane Austen last year for about $228,000. Also mentioned is a school in Queens, N.Y., dropped Sherman Alexie's National Book Award-winning young adult novel The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian.
A rousing call to action for those who would be citizens of the world—online and off.
We live in an age of connection, one that is accelerated by the Internet. This increasingly ubiquitous, immensely powerful technology often leads us to assume that as the number of people online grows, it inevitably leads to a smaller, more cosmopolitan world. We’ll understand more, we think. We’ll know more. We’ll engage more and share more with people from other cultures. In reality, it is easier to ship bottles of water from Fiji to Atlanta than it is to get news from Tokyo to New York.
In Rewire, media scholar and activist Ethan Zuckerman explains why the technological ability to communicate with someone does not inevitably lead to increased human connection. At the most basic level, our human tendency to “flock together” means that most of our interactions, online or off, are with a small set of people with whom we have much in common. In examining this fundamental tendency, Zuckerman draws on his own work as well as the latest research in psychology and sociology to consider technology’s role in disconnecting ourselves from the rest of the world. -- Read More
Charges of anti-Muslim prejudice flew thick and fast following Fox News anchor Lauren Green's interview with Reza Aslan, a religious scholar and the author of Zealot: The Life and Times of Jesus of Nazareth in which she repeatedly asked Aslan why, as a Muslim, he is interested in writing about Jesus' life.
Full piece here.