Books

Darwin's Entire Library Aboard The HMS Beagle Is Now Available Online

This from the usually forward looking site io9, "A historian has reconstructed the lost library of books that accompanied Charles Darwin during his five-year scientific voyage across the world, allowing the public to read the more than 400 volumes that served as reference and inspiration for the young naturalist whose theories would revolutionize biology.

The library was dispersed at the conclusion of the voyage. But now, nearly 180 years later, it has been electronically reconstructed in its entirety by historian John van Wyhe and is freely available at his Darwin Online website. The collection consists of more than 195,000 pages containing over 5,000 illustrations."

Here's the link to the Charles Darwin Beagle Library

With Bright Benches, London Shows Off Its Love Of Books

Chicago had cows, St. Louis has cakes and now London has benches that look like opened books. The National Literacy Trust, along with public art promoter Wild in Art, has commissioned and placed 50 benches around town that are painted to look like pages and scenes from famous books.

Full piece here.

Sweet Surprise Within a Cambridge U. Library Book

From Cambridge UK News:

A sweet surprise was waiting for Cambridge students during the exam period – hidden within the pages of a library book. During a stock check of the Newnham College Library, a student discovered a secret stash of chocolate concealed within the pages of The Oxford Companion to English Literature by Margaret Drabble, herself a Newnham alumna. The mysterious treat-giver had hollowed out the pages of the book and stowed a Crunchie and a Dairy Milk bar within.

Scrawled inside the pages is a message encouraging the lucky finder to enjoy the contents.

The note reads: “Dear student, congratulations on finding this book.
“Take your prize and return with one for the next person.”
The tome is not a Newnham College library book, and it believed to have been spirited in for the express purpose of concealing the chocolate bars.

Jo Tynan, a spokeswoman for Newnham College, told the News: “We do regular stock checks at the library and a student stock taker came across this book last week. “It didn’t have any issue numbers on it so she opened it and the inside had been completely hollowed out.”

Post-Apocalyptic World Falls Flat In 'California'

Edan Lepucki's debut, California, sold thousands of copies even before the official publication date when talk-show host Stephen Colbert urged readers to pre-order it from a national independent chain as a protest against the "books-and-everything else" giant, Amazon. It was a powerful campaign and regardless of how one feels about the online retailer, and the stranglehold many acknowledge it has on the global book market, this encouragement to support local and independent booksellers and to champion the work of a new novelist definitely gets my vote.

Full review:
http://www.npr.org/2014/07/07/329529037/post-apocalyptic-world-falls-flat-in-california

Book: Virtual Unreality

Article about book in the NYT - Online, the Lying Is Easy

Article at Teleread about book - Virtual Unreality looks virtually imbecilic from the cover on in (Note: I think the cover is kind of fun)

Finding empowerment in the words of our founding fathers

We have lost something in our reading of the Declaration of Independence. This is the argument of Danielle Allen's new book, "Our Declaration," where she explores the document through a careful look at the words themselves. Jeffrey Brown talks to Allen about her findings, and why the Declaration is actually a coherent argument of equality.

1776


America’s beloved and distinguished historian presents, in a book of breathtaking excitement, drama, and narrative force, the stirring story of the year of our nation’s birth, 1776, interweaving, on both sides of the Atlantic, the actions and decisions that led Great Britain to undertake a war against her rebellious colonial subjects and that placed America’s survival in the hands of George Washington.

In this masterful book, David McCullough tells the intensely human story of those who marched with General George Washington in the year of the Declaration of Independence—when the whole American cause was riding on their success, without which all hope for independence would have been dashed and the noble ideals of the Declaration would have amounted to little more than words on paper.

Based on extensive research in both American and British archives, 1776 is a powerful drama written with extraordinary narrative vitality. It is the story of Americans in the ranks, men of every shape, size, and color, farmers, schoolteachers, shoemakers, no-accounts, and mere boys turned soldiers. And it is the story of the King’s men, the British commander, William Howe, and his highly disciplined redcoats who looked on their rebel foes with contempt and fought with a valor too little known. -- Read More

Rebuilding Thomas Jefferson's lost library

Limits to Books in British Prisons Draws Creative Ire

From The New York Times:

Mr. Chris Mr. Grayling is Britain’s secretary of state for justice, and last November, his department tightened the rules on privileges granted to inmates. One of the changes was to restrict the flow of books into prisons, with a ban on packages of books brought or sent by friends and relatives. Mr. MacShane’s case suggests that some guards have interpreted the policy as a broader ban, though the Ministry of Justice says books should be confiscated only on admission for logistical reasons or if the books are considered inappropriate.

Either way, the effect is to move toward a system under which prisoners must borrow books from prison libraries or earn the right to buy them through good behavior. The debate over access to literature in prison has put Mr. Grayling at the center of an acrimonious dispute over crime and punishment, rehabilitation and whether receiving books is a right or a privilege for a prisoner.

It has also made him some very creative enemies. Novelists, including Kathy Lette and Margaret Drabble, are threatening to name some of their most villainous and unfortunate fictional characters after Mr. Grayling. Ms. Lette said her coming novel, “Courting Trouble,” will feature a corrupt lawyer named Chris Grayling who ends up in a prison where he is deprived of reading matter and goes insane.

“For Britain to be punishing people by starving them of literature is cruel and unusual punishment,” Ms. Lette said as she took part in a protest last month outside the prime minister’s office. “We are going to impale him on the end of our pens. Poetic justice is true justice.”

The High Cost of High Tech

Book published in 1985. Very interesting read because it was looking ahead to the problems high tech could cause. When you read the warnings you know how good they are because the time has passed and you can judge the quality of the prediction/warning. Book warns that computers could monitor our phones. Glad that did not happen.

Find the book at a library.

Used copies of the book - The high cost of high tech: The dark side of the chip

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