Books

An Inside Look at Backstories of Decisions in Supreme Court

In her new book, "The Roberts Court," Marcia Coyle of the National Law Journal and regular NewsHour contributor takes a look at the landmark decisions that have reached the Supreme Court during the tenure of Chief Justice John Roberts. She talks to Jeffrey Brown about her observations and interviews with the justices.

Google's Schmidt, Cohen Describe a 'New Digital Age'

Schmidt and Cohen authored a book - The New Digital Age

Physical Books Are Dead - Long Live Physical Books

We can thank digital for much of the gain, of course, with overall digital sales up a whopping 66%, split between e-book sales (up 134%) and digital fiction sales (up 149%). And yes, physical book sales were down, though with a mere 1% dip, only slightly. But what I’m not sure anyone was expecting was this: Total sales of physical books in the fiction genre actually grew by 3%. Take a bow, Fifty Shades of Grey.

Read more: http://techland.time.com/2013/05/01/physical-books-are-dead-long-live-physical-books/

“The Quiet Volume,” Stealth Performance piece at New York University’s Bobst Library

From The New York Times Arts Beat:

What is the sound of two heads reading?

On Tuesday, in a hushed sixth-floor reading room in New York University’s Bobst Library packed with students cramming for final exams, the answer might have seemed to be: nothing much.

But for three pairs of readers scattered among the laptop-laden tables, wearing special headphones hooked up to iPod Nanos and shuffling through a pile of suspiciously literary books, the act of reading was transformed into a strange — and sometimes very loud — drama of turning pages, pointing fingers and eerily drifting thoughts.

“The first thing you notice is that for a place dedicated to silence, there’s not really that much silence at all,” a British-accented voice whispered into the readers’ ears. “After a while you start to think that it might be better considered as a place dedicated to the collection of sounds.”

The readers, who had signed up in advance, were both the audience and the stars of “The Quiet Volume,” a 55-minute stealth performance piece by the British artists Ant Hampton and Tim Etchells being staged through Sunday by Performance Space 122 as part of the PEN World Voices Festival. (The piece, which also comes in a Spanish-language version, is also running at the Schomburg Center in Harlem.)

“The whole thing made you think about the nature of your sensory experience while reading, the relationship between the voice in your head and the words on the page,” said Jessica Harris, a graduate student who had just finished performing the piece with a friend.

The World's Strongest Librarian Redux

The New Yorker reviews Josh Hanagarne’s new memoir about growing up with Tourette's Syndrome and becoming a librarian at the Salt Lake City Public Library. Worth a read, especially if you didn't catch our earlier review.

The Last Bookshop, a film

Author Nicco Mele on "The End of Big"

The World's Strongest Librarian

Review of Josh Hanagarne's book in today's issue of Shelf Awareness.

Josh Hanagarne, blogger at The World's Strongest Librarian, "might be the only person whose first three-hundred-pound bench press was accompanied by the Recorded Books production of Don Quixote." This is just one of his remarkable singularities. A gentle giant who tears phone books for fun, at 6'7" he tends to catch the eye at the Salt Lake City Public Library, even when his Tourette Syndrome is not acting up. His memoir explores these contradictions and oddities, and his remarkable journey from idyllic childhood to painfully jerky young adulthood to a contented family and work life.

The authors own site explains why he isn't reading reviews of his book.

Thirteen Ways to Steal a Bicycle

Theft claims more victims and causes greater economic injury than any other criminal offense. Yet theft law is enigmatic, and fundamental questions about what should count as stealing remain unresolved—especially misappropriations of intellectual property, information, ideas, identities, and virtual property.

More about book here.

Don’t Hate Google for Reader — Award It the Nobel Prize for Books

In a Wired opinion piece, Jonathon Keats argues that this year's Nobel Prize for literature should be awarded to Google.

"Given that literary fame is so fickle, it might make more sense to anoint a work that’s mutable—an all-encompassing text that changes at the pace of society itself. Today there is such a work. And that is why, in 2013, the Swedish Academy should award the Nobel Prize in Literature to Google.

Is Google literature? As a search engine, of course, it lacks a conventional narrative. But a traditional bildungsroman would hardly suit our era. Not even James Joyce could capture the fractured nature of 21st-century life, let alone the nearly unlimited interconnectedness among people and events these days."

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