1963 posts tagged with books.
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Everything was creaky and it was just so crowded with books

Call Me Ishmael, a "novel way to celebrate books and life." The Call Me Ishmael project is simple: Leave a voicemail at (774) 325-0503 about a book you loved and a story you have lived. Your voicemail will be transcribed, typewritten, and posted on the site for other readers to enjoy your story and your book. The project has expanded to include rotary phones in bookstores for patrons to listen to selected voicemails. [more inside]
posted by hexaflexagon on Dec 9, 2017 - 9 comments

On Reading and Books

On Reading and Books
Nineteenth-century philosopher Arthur Schopenhauer digs deeply into reading, writing, and publishing from his idiosyncratic perspective in this essay from his book Parerga and Paralipomena. (Alternate link)
posted by springo on Dec 6, 2017 - 9 comments

A List of Words You Can Argue About

Featuring 374 titles and filterable on a laundry list of criteria, isn't the typical end-of-year best-of list. [more inside]
posted by uncleozzy on Dec 5, 2017 - 12 comments

Live forever

Trailer for Altered Carbon the new Netflix series based on the Richard K Morgan books.
posted by fearfulsymmetry on Dec 5, 2017 - 51 comments

The Situationist Guide to Parenting and other Books of the Year

It's that time of year of top-10 lists, and if you're behind on reading, you might want to catch up with this list by Darran Anderson writing for literary website 3:AM Magazine, which includes such titles as Reclaimed Territory: A post-Brexit Britain Household Companion, The Situationist Guide to Parenting, and The Russian Bot’s Wife, and other books you will never have to worry about not having time to read because they don't actually exist.
posted by larrybob on Dec 4, 2017 - 11 comments

Every dude with a copy of Breakfast of Champions on his nightstand

20 Authors I Don’t Have to Read Because I’ve Dated Men for 16 Years, or, if you’ve spent enough time around dudes, you’ve basically already read these.
posted by acb on Dec 3, 2017 - 275 comments

"I'm not a curmudgeon, I'm just a scientist's daughter."

Writing Nameless Things: An Interview with Ursula K. Le Guin (via)
posted by kliuless on Dec 2, 2017 - 16 comments


Elizebeth Friedman was even more important to cryptanalysis and history than we knew (previously), and some serious FOIA research by Jason Fagone went into a new biography of her, The Woman Who Smashed Codes. [more inside]
posted by clew on Dec 1, 2017 - 12 comments

When I Was a Girl I Wrapped Books

Erin O. White: The gift wrappers at the Chinook were North End girls, the North End being the old downtown section of a newly sprawling western city, a downtown of treed boulevards and clapboard houses so separate from the city swelling around it that only in college did I learn that the rest of the country saw Colorado Springs as something of a joke: militarized, fundamentalist, ignorant. What I saw instead was Pikes Peak from every street corner, towering and maternal and vigilant. I saw the loud and gentle Vietnam vets who lived in the Albany Apartments and panhandled out front on Tejon Street, the stucco churches with their statues of a brown Jesus, the shallow creek near the highway where in spring we waded in water the color of rust. I saw the Chinook.
posted by mandolin conspiracy on Nov 30, 2017 - 11 comments

We’re not that close, please don’t make me read this whole page

So, You’d Like to Buy Your Loved One a Book? A flowchart from the New York Times Book Review
posted by not_the_water on Nov 30, 2017 - 28 comments

Good Reader, Bad Reader

Why do bad readers matter? It is because they lead us to the kinds of citizens—the internationalized subjects—that practices of bad reading aspired to produce; and show how these literate subjects used reading to navigate a political climate that championed liberal individualism, on the one hand, while establishing unprecedented forms of institutional oversight, on the other. These subjects’ diverse and often overlapping genres of reading— properly “literary” novels but also “how to” manuals, advertisements, magazines, newspapers, simple novels, and bureaucratic documents—formed a rich textual ecology whose national and geographic limits literary scholars and cultural historians are only just beginning to map. Good Reader, Bad Reader, an essay by Merve Emre in Boston Review [Via Literary Hub]
posted by chavenet on Nov 28, 2017 - 20 comments

Best Books of The Year Lists. All of them.

Want to spend a lot of money before Christmas? No need to thank me!
posted by smoke on Nov 24, 2017 - 20 comments

Volvelles and sammelbands

A simple list of charming terms from libraries/archives. [special appearances by MeFi's Own jessamyn]
posted by Chrysostom on Nov 15, 2017 - 17 comments

"I do not tell plane stories; I tell stereoscopic stories"

The Mysterious Frontiers of Can Xue - 'The author, whom the American novelist and editor Bradford Morrow has described as one of the most “innovative and important” in contemporary world literature, revels in such mysteries and entanglements. Can Xue is the genderless pen name of Deng Xiaohua, who was born in 1953, in Changsha City, in Hunan Province. In Chinese, the name means “residual snow,” a phrase, Deng has explained, that is used to describe both “the dirty snow that refuses to melt” and “the purest snow at the top of a high mountain.” [more inside]
posted by TheGoodBlood on Nov 12, 2017 - 6 comments

14 Links Definitely Not Intended as Free Promotion for Another Country

Erin Chack (senior editor at Buzzfeed) tells how "I Accidentally Became Famous In Another Country" in a video summarized as "One BuzzFeed article leads to a country-wide campaign involving newspapers, fundraising, and the highest level of government." [more inside]
posted by Wobbuffet on Oct 15, 2017 - 21 comments

“Swashbuckling adventure crossed with literary criticism...”

The Strange Case of the Alchemist’s Daughter is the Monster Mashup We Need [The Verge] “Goss introduces us to Mary Jekyll, whose well-regarded scientist father died when she was a child. While cleaning up her recently deceased mother’s affairs, she learns of an account in her name supporting someone named Hyde. With the death of her mother, her first priority is to get her household back in order, and to figure out how to pay off old debts. She enlists the services of Sherlock Holmes and Dr. Watson to investigate, believing the person to be a notorious and brutal associate of her father’s, Edward Hyde, who is wanted for murder. Mary hopes the money from a long-offered reward would help set her house in order. Instead of the wanted criminal, she discovers that the money is supporting a feisty young woman named Diana Hyde, left in the care of a charitable organization.” [more inside]
posted by Fizz on Oct 12, 2017 - 29 comments

"Books from 1923 to 1941 Now Liberated!"

The Internet Archive today announced that, thanks to "a little known, and perhaps never used, provision of US copyright law," they're now able to offer many books published from 1923 to 1941: the Sonny Bono Memorial Collection. Among the 67 texts currently available, two are famous portrayals of American social life: the U.S.A. trilogy by John Dos Passos (including 1919, selected by Robert McCrum as #58 in The Guardian's 100 Best Novels) and Middletown: A Study in American Culture by Robert and Helen Lynd (a controversial and influential ethnographic study of Muncie, IN, referenced over 100 times in the Indiana Magazine of History). [more inside]
posted by Wobbuffet on Oct 10, 2017 - 17 comments

How to Be a Know-It-All

What you learn from the Very Short Introduction series: Like its subject, “Teeth” is both a freestanding entity and part of a larger body: the Very Short Introduction series, a project of Oxford University Press. At present, that series consists of five hundred and twenty-six books; “Teeth” clocks in at No. 384. If you are so inclined, you can also read a Very Short Introduction to, among a great many other things, Rivers, Mountains, Metaphysics, the Mongols, Chaos, Cryptography, Forensic Psychology, Hinduism, Autism, Puritanism, Fascism, Free Will, Drugs, Nutrition, Crime Fiction, Madness, Malthus, Medical Ethics, Hieroglyphics, the Russian Revolution, the Reagan Revolution, Dinosaurs, Druids, Plague, Populism, and the Devil. (SL New Yorker).
posted by mandolin conspiracy on Oct 10, 2017 - 23 comments

Goodnight MetaFilter, goodnight moon.

At 1:00pm on May 17th, 2017, Neil deGrasse Tyson tweeted that he occasionally longed for someone to read "Good Night Moon" to him as he falls asleep. Six minutes later, LeVar Burton tweeted "I got you... Let's do this!" And do it they did. [more inside]
posted by Room 641-A on Oct 8, 2017 - 42 comments

smells like a 4th grade scholastic bookfair on a chilly tuesday in 2007

"[T]the Scholastic Book Fair? That week where your elementary school was packed full of books and pens and erasers and you could just wade right on in and go wild? Oh, man, that’s the good stuff." Constance Grady, for Vox: The nostalgic joys of the Scholastic Book Fair, explained.
posted by MonkeyToes on Oct 6, 2017 - 53 comments

This Is Your Brain With A Yeerk

40 of the Creepiest Book Covers of All Time selected & riffed on by Emily Temple, Associate Editor at Literary Hub
posted by chavenet on Oct 6, 2017 - 40 comments

said, and left unsaid. done, and left undone.

In The Baffler, Siddartha Deb asks us Stranger than Fiction - Why won’t novelists reckon with climate change? [more inside]
posted by the man of twists and turns on Oct 2, 2017 - 129 comments

Your homework for Bi Visibility Week

100 Must-Read Bisexual Books
15 Must-Read Bisexual Non-Fiction Books
37 Books By, For, or About Bisexual or Otherwise Non-Monosexual People
The Bi-Bibliography
Bi Book Club, which recommends Deadpool, among others.
posted by Grandysaur on Sep 23, 2017 - 15 comments

What Happened?

Hllary Clinton's book What Happened set sales records amid a mass fake review campaign. She's on tour to support her book. So what did happen? "I understood that there were many Americans who, because of the financial crash, there was anger. And there was resentment. I knew that. But I believed that it was my responsibility to try to offer answers to it, not to fan it. I think, Jane, that it was a mistake because a lot of people didn't want to hear my plans. They wanted me to share their anger. And I should've done a better job of demonstrating 'I get it.'" [more inside]
posted by the man of twists and turns on Sep 22, 2017 - 395 comments

There is no 19th story. There is no Miss Zarves.

Jia Tolentino on Louis Sachar and his kids books: "It’s high-concept, slightly menacing world-building—Shel Silverstein with hints of Barthelme and Borges. In one chapter of “Sideways Stories,” the children swap names and lose the ability to tell one another apart. In another, a new kid turns out to be a dead rat wearing a dozen raincoats. A ball is tossed up and doesn’t come down; three bald men with briefcases materialize out of the air."
posted by ChuraChura on Sep 7, 2017 - 45 comments

To gloss, or not to gloss? To italicize, or not to italicize?

"Whenever African writers get together on our own, we talk about glossaries." In "Glossing Africa," Namwali Serpell looks at the work glossing does at the sentence-level, story-level, and sociopolitical level in African fiction.
posted by mixedmetaphors on Sep 6, 2017 - 4 comments

The amazing, eerie sense that someone else is just “on your wavelength"

Can your best friends be books?
posted by invisible ink on Sep 2, 2017 - 16 comments

We all float down here

Kaitlyn Tiffany read her first Stephen King novel, IT, this summer... she kept a diary. [more inside]
posted by fearfulsymmetry on Sep 2, 2017 - 94 comments

Dante's 9 Circles of Hell (in a more square-like format)

The Norton Critical Edition's Periodic Table of Literary Villains
posted by invisible ink on Aug 31, 2017 - 23 comments

Did This Book Buy Its Way Onto The New York Times Bestseller List?

Did this book buy its way onto the New York Times bestseller list? An interesting read on how Phil Stamper and others dug into a book seemingly no one had heard of showing up at the top of the New York Times YA list, without the notorious dagger (?) indicating significant bulk orders (and usually something fishy). [more inside]
posted by ODiV on Aug 24, 2017 - 76 comments

Bury My Heart at W. H. Smith's

RIP Brian Aldiss, British science fiction writer, part of The New Wave. He wrote the novels Non-Stop, Hothouse, Greybeard and the Helliconia trilogy. He also wrote the short story 'Super-Toys Last All Summer Long' which the film A.I. Artificial Intelligence was partially based on [more inside]
posted by fearfulsymmetry on Aug 21, 2017 - 59 comments

Animorphs as Trans Parable

"When I meet trans people for the first time, especially in mixed company, I’ll sometimes try out this line where I mention Animorphs offhand, as if I don’t take it seriously, as if I didn’t spend the majority of my first puberty wishing that I were turning into a bird or a tiger instead of into a young woman. More often than not, trans folks will say something to me like, “Oh my god, right? Tobias was totally trans!” Cisgender people will usually take this as their cue to get another drink."
posted by Eyebrows McGee on Aug 5, 2017 - 8 comments

Nazis. I hate these guys.

In a new book, , historian Eric Kurlander examines the fascination with supernatural and occult ideas in the Third Reich, including Adolf Hitler and Heinrich Himmler's sponsorship of "a fanciful doctrine known as “World Ice Theory,” which posited that history, science, and religion could be explained by moons of ice hitting the earth in prehistoric times. Even in 1945, as the Third Reich was collapsing, the Nazis cobbled together a guerrilla band of Nazi “Werewolves” to combat Communist partisans, who were in turn accused of vampirism by ethnic Germans fleeing the Russians."
posted by mandolin conspiracy on Aug 4, 2017 - 39 comments

“It's like a mini car wash for books, minus the water!”

This Machine Helps Libraries Clean Books With Ease. [Popular Mechanics] “Libraries have been early tech adopters for decades now, with public internet and digital lending a staple for many municipalities. These innovations, while useful, look past the library's books. No more. Meet the Depulvera, seen here at the Boston Public Library [@BPLBoston]. From a company called Oracle, the Depulvera can handle twelve books a minute, fed by a human librarian. The company calls it a "complete automatic book cleaning system realized to remove dust from books." It's completely portable, which means you could even use it in your tiny shed library in the woods. You can watch a surprisingly dramatic promotional video for the product.
posted by Fizz on Aug 2, 2017 - 11 comments

“the most fascinating, best, smartest crook I ever encountered.”

The Rare-Book Thief Who Looted College Libraries in the ’80s [more inside]
posted by the man of twists and turns on Jul 31, 2017 - 13 comments

17th Century Kindle

Only four copies of this traveling library were made. And two are in the US: one in California and one in Ohio. It's amazing that this has been held together for so long. It must have been put on a shelf and forgotten. Lovely workmanship.
posted by MovableBookLady on Jul 31, 2017 - 21 comments

"I counted all the poems."

Emily Temple has surveyed general poetry anthologies for English-speaking readers to find the poems most anthologized over the last twenty-five years.
posted by mixedmetaphors on Jul 29, 2017 - 14 comments

A Farewell to Limns

Michiko Kakutani, Times’s Feared and Revered Book Critic, Is Stepping Down [NYT] [more inside]
posted by chavenet on Jul 29, 2017 - 13 comments

“The universe is wider than our views of it.”

Walden has been adapted into a video game, and you can play it right now. [The Verge] “Under the guidance of Tracy Fullerton — professor and chair of the USC Interactive Media & Games Division and director of the USC’s Game Innovation Lab — Walden: A Game has been constructed over the past decade with the support of a small core team, modest arts grants, and many eager students. And now, the game — which not only re-creates Walden pond and the land on which Thoreau lived, but also, to some extent, the text’s spirit — is available to play.” [more inside]
posted by Fizz on Jul 28, 2017 - 27 comments

the road is a metaphor

Accurately Titled Novels [single link facebook album, visible without logging in]
posted by phunniemee on Jul 27, 2017 - 21 comments

The Transported Man

So begins The Punch Escrow , a novel about everyday teleportation gone awry in the year 2147, by MeFi's own analogue . Available all over the interwebs today from places you buy books. [more inside]
posted by bitterkitten on Jul 25, 2017 - 33 comments

The colors of time

On 16 October 1913, two Frenchmen landed in the port of Durrës, or as it was then called, Durazzo, in the recently created Albania. They opened an elongated lacquered trunk, and took out a folding camera mounted on a tripod. They inserted a glass plate, and made photographs of the port, a curious kid in the gate of the former Venetian fortress, two Muslim boys at the base of the wall – one of them also separately –, a man with an attractive face with three or four chickens in his hand, a master who offered his services on the square with a huge-wheeled oxcart and a Ferris wheel pieced together from raw beams. Then they removed the glass plates, and repacked the camera into the trunk. These were the first color photos ever created on today’s Albania. [more inside]
posted by kmt on Jul 24, 2017 - 13 comments

Wet White Shirt

Jane Austen died 200 years ago this year. There are events planned. There are too many adaptations to list, though most will cite the BBC's production of Pride and Prejudice, starring Colin Firth in a wet white shirt. Australian improv artists and rappers Sense and Spontaneity pay tribute to the scene, which wasn't in the book, in Dear Mr. Darcy. Jane's portrait will soon feature on the British £10 note.
posted by adept256 on Jul 21, 2017 - 34 comments

Or at least those that a relatively well read American would know

The Most Iconic Books Set in 150 Countries Around the World is probably a deeply silly list, but perhaps fun to argue about on a Friday afternoon?
posted by MartinWisse on Jul 21, 2017 - 82 comments

Staying on top of the -ography in a digital age

It , but now the 1660 Klencke Atlas - one of the world's largest books, measuring 1.76 m by 2.31 metres when open - has been digitized and is now available for viewing online from the British Library. Watch a timelapse video showing how curators and imaging technicians photographed it (the Klencke Atlas, previously). This is part of the library's ongoing project to catalogue and digitize King George III's topographical collection of over 30,000 maps and views - with the goal of having it available online in 2018. Meanwhile, the library has a parallel project called Transforming Topography underway, which is examining the role of topography in historical scholarship. [more inside]
posted by mandolin conspiracy on Jul 17, 2017 - 9 comments


Playing Soviet: Princeton's Firestone Library presents a browsable database of Russian children's books.
posted by overeducated_alligator on Jul 14, 2017 - 12 comments

Dune Club with Comic Book Girl 19

Join Comic Book Girl 19 and read and discuss Frank Herbert's Dune. The Dune Book Club is streamed live on Twitch on Sundays at 3 pt.
posted by Foci for Analysis on Jul 12, 2017 - 8 comments

Mechanics of Choice

In Atlas Obscura, author Jay Leibold explains how he mapped the plots of his Choose Your Own Adventure Books.
posted by Miko on Jul 7, 2017 - 4 comments

The American Experience in 737 Novels

"Now I wrote until near dawn, wanting a map of the literary nation, a beautiful evocation of how we are truly a nation of village and city and prairie and brownstone, of Rockies and bayous and mesas. Novels give to every reader someone else's home. Can we not see this—we of wonder and grievance?" There Are Riches Here, an essay by writer Susan Straight, introduces her map of American literature, the result of lifelong reading encounters with the literary geography of the USA.
posted by mixedmetaphors on Jul 6, 2017 - 8 comments

In the course of human events: Sam Fink's Declaration

When Sam Fink was a kid, he didn't understand how to read the Declaration of Independence. "I tried to read [the Declaration]...It was difficult, I couldn't read the words. Too tiny. And the script is small and I lost my way. The library came to my rescue....I went to the library and asked the librarian to help me find a copy that I could read. And she did." As an adult, and an accomplished calligrapher and illustrator, he decided to create his own phrase-by-phrase picture book of the document so that children could read it for themselves. The result: The Words That Made America: Understanding the Declaration of Independence. He discusses its genesis in this delightful 2002 talk at the Brooklyn Public Library. (Transcript, but Fink is great to hear.) [more inside]
posted by MonkeyToes on Jul 6, 2017 - 2 comments

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