Books

The Books That Bring The Civil Rights Movement To Life

NPR partial compilation of books about the Civil Rights Movement.

Readers and Authors, More Connected Than it Would Seem

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.”

A Masterpiece Book on Color Theory Is Now on the iPad

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."

Book News: Battle Rages On In Amazon Vs. Overstock Price War

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.

Rewire: Digital Cosmopolitans in the Age of Connection

Book: Rewire: Digital Cosmopolitans in the Age of Connection

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

See How Book Covers Are Designed

Book Covers: Before and After
Four designers discuss their work on recent book covers: first concepts that didn’t make the final cut, and then the cover as published.

Book News: Outrage After Fox News Interview With 'Zealot' Author

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.

An Unexpected Price War Is Making Amazon Book Prices Lower Than Ever

Amazon appears to have slashed the prices of its books, thanks to an Overstock.com promo in which it priced all of its books at least 10 percent below Amazon.

The aggressive pricing strategy has been enough to see Bezos & Co. cut the prices of hardcover book by between 50 percent and 65 percent compared to the usual cover price. Those kinds of discounts have never been seen on Amazon before; typically, it knocks around 40 to 50 percent off as a maximum.
http://gizmodo.com/an-unexpected-price-war-is-making-amazon-book-prices-lo-948777676

Top Books Derived from 11 "Top 100" Lists

This post has its roots in a post from /r/booklists which linked to a blog post about the "Top 10 Top 100 Book Lists". This post linked to 10+ "Top 100" book lists from sources such as TIME magazine, Entertainment Weekly, Modern Library, etc. They were all in such different formats, and such different ways of being presented that I wanted to amalgamate all of these into one master "list" in order to compare them (thirteen lists in total since I also added in the first 100 of the Reddit's 200 favorite books). I have since thrown this into a pdf file on Scribd if anyone is interested. My next step was to compare each of these and see what books are most recommended in top lists. I omitted two lists (100 most influential books ever written and 100 Major works of creative nonfiction) since there was VERY LITTLE overlap between the other lists which were primarily fiction. I made one giant list that combined 11 "Top 100" Book Lists. The complete table, again available as a PDF on Scribd lists all the books I'm the left hand column and all the lists along the top. An 'X' denotes that the book was included in that list regardless of position. The books are sorted vertically by the number of lists in which the book is included.

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