Books

Larry McMurtry Loves The West, But Knocks The Cowboy Off His High Horse

Larry McMurtry may well be the only Academy Award winner who used some of the precious moments of his acceptance speech to thank booksellers: "From the humblest paperback exchange to the masters of the great bookshops of the world, all are contributors to the survival of the culture of the book, a wonderful culture which we musn't lose," he told the audience in 2006 as he accepted the Oscar for his screenplay for Brokeback Mountain — which was based on a short story.
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The novel is dead (this time it's for real)

Literary fiction used to be central to the culture. No more: in the digital age, not only is the physical book in decline, but the very idea of 'difficult' reading is being challenged. The future of the serious novel, argues Will Self, is as a specialised interest

http://www.theguardian.com/books/2014/may/02/will-self-novel-dead-literary-fiction

F Scott Fitzgerald stories published uncensored for the first time

Sexual innuendo, drug references and antisemitic slurs removed by newspaper editors restored in new edition of Taps at Reveille

The original editions of the stories, she said, "will give people the sense that Fitzgerald is actually a bit edgier, particularly in his later stories; that there is more grit in these tales than people think."

http://www.theguardian.com/books/2014/may/01/f-scott-fitzgerald-stories-uncensored-sexual-in...

Inside the Supreme Court 'gamble' on same-sex marriage

"Forcing the Spring: Inside the Fight for Marriage Equality," follows the five-year legal battle over same sex marriage that ensued after California passed Proposition 8. The book digs beneath the surface with personal narratives of those who had been the public face of this major civil rights case. Jeffrey Brown talks to journalist and author Jo Becker.

Why the Smart Reading Device of the Future May Be Paper

http://www.wired.com/2014/05/reading-on-screen-versus-paper/

“Reading is human-technology interaction,” says literacy professor Anne Mangen of Norway’s University of Stavenger. “Perhaps the tactility and physical permanence of paper yields a different cognitive and emotional experience.” This is especially true, she says, for “reading that can’t be done in snippets, scanning here and there, but requires sustained attention.”

Toronto Public Library Asked To Remove Hop On Pop For Encouraging Violence

Here's [PDF] the Materials Review Committee Reconsideration of Materials Summary for 2013 from the Toronto Public Libraries... It lists a complaint against Hop on Pop... Encourages children to use violence against their fathers: Remove from collection and issue an apology to fathers in the GTA and pay for damages resulting from the book. "The children are actually told not to hop on pop. "

Amazon Book List Reveals What's Hot In American Regional Cuisine

From upstate New York's heirloom veggie craze to the Pacific Northwest's baking boom, regional fare is taking off.

But with zillions of cookbooks coming out every year, how do you figure out which culinary jewels will be worth your precious time and shelf space?

Amazon, that giant aggregator of all things, breaks down about 500 regional cookbooks into manageable bites by curating what it considers the best of its vast collection.

Full story on NPR

Great American Eats map

On Her 88th Birthday, Harper Lee Heralds Mockingbird eBook

Mark your literary calendars. Per an announcement today by HarperCollins, on what is author Harper Lee‘s 88th birthday, To Kill a Mockingbird will be available for the first time as an eBook July 8.

http://www.mediabistro.com/fishbowlny/harpercollins-harper-lee-mockingbird-ebook_b211726

Parents call cops on teen for giving away banned book

 

From deathandtaxes.com:

"Parents in Idaho called the cops last week on junior-high student Brady Kissel when she had the nerve to help distribute a book they’d succeeded in banning from the school curriculum.

The book in question was Sherman Alexie’s young adult novel “The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian.” Published in 2007, it won the National Book Award and has become popular with young teens, supposedly for its universal themes of fitting in, making sense of race, and sexual discovery."

Full story here

Observations on Marginalia in Library Books

MADISON, N.J. — THE graduate student thrust the library book toward me as though brandishing a sword. “This has got to stop,” she said. “It isn’t fair. How can I work on my dissertation with this mess?” As she marched out of my office, leaving the disfigured volume behind, her words stung — for the code of civility on which libraries depend had been violated. She was the third Ph.D. student in less than a year to bring me a similarly damaged volume, and each had expected me as the library director to turn sleuth, solve the mystery, and end the vandalism.

Someone had been defacing modern books containing translations of 16th-century texts. With garish strokes, the perpetrator had crossed out lines, then written alternate text in the margins. It did not take a Sherlock Holmes to observe that it was the work of a single hand, a hand wielding a fountain pen spewing green ink. The colorful alterations were not limited to a few pages but crept like a mold, page after page.

Some months later, in a faculty meeting, I noticed that the colleague sitting next to me was taking notes with a fountain pen. And the ink was telltale green.

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