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Books

Marvels of book art at the Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art
August 21, 2014 | 2:25 pm

IMG_20140820_100829 The Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art in Edinburgh boasts a fine permanent collection as well as two imposing linked premises above the Water of Leith. It also houses a library which "consists of around 50,000 items, including monographs, catalogues raisonnés, exhibition catalogues, periodicals, auction sales catalogues, audio-visual material, and ephemera." Within this is the Archive, "a world-class resource of material relating to Dada and Surrealism, the largest part being the archive and book collections of Roland Penrose and Gabrielle Keiller. The Archive is also particularly rich in papers relating to art and artists in Scotland. The Special Books Collection consists of...

The wonderful world of book igloos
August 8, 2014 | 12:25 pm

book igloo 1Whether as a solution to book stacking problems or as a last tribute to/new use for the great legacy of printed literature, book igloos are one of the most eye-catching and even useful of all monuments to the printed book. Here are some of the more eye-catching and inspiring examples from around the Web. Kala Louise Viñas posted the example above, clearly set up for educational purposes, and even with a window for light while reading inside. "Home" by installation artist Miler Lagos is one of the more iconic and widely shared examples, installed at New York's Magnan Metz Gallery in 2011....

Amazon’s 100 Children’s Books to Read in a Lifetime
July 29, 2014 | 11:30 am

children's booksSummertime, and the living is list-filled... Here comes another reading list to pile the to-dos onto your TBR pile! Amazon has just come out with a list of '100 Children's Books to Read in a Lifetime.' Our friends at GalleyCat have the whole list up, and it's an eclectic mix of classics (A Wrinkle in Time, Goodnight Moon) and the modern (Jumanji, Harry Potter). Of the 100 books, I count 38 I personally have read, and 15 which are freely available via Project Gutenberg. Want to do some reading? Here are some link to the freebie ones: - Alice's Adventures in Wonderland &...

Creative Commons cookbooks for low-income aspiring chefs
July 27, 2014 | 12:25 pm

cc-logoI found a great little write-up at Lifehacker about Leanne Brown---a student in food studies who, as part of her course project, has released two gorgeous cookbooks on cheap, healthy home cooking. The best part? Both books are available for free on her website under a Creative Commons license, so that those who truly need this information can have it, and learn. The first book is called 'From Scratch' and is a vegetarian cookbook for people just beginning to cook at home. The second is called 'Good and Cheap' and is a vegetable-heavy guide to healthy eating on the $4-a-day 'food...

Apple bought, shuttered book recommender Booklamp in April
July 26, 2014 | 9:01 pm

MacRumors reports that Apple bought and shut down book-recommendation service Booklamp back in April. Booklamp was intended to be a sort of “Pandora for Books”—it used a similar system of categorizing books based on specific elements—but as I determined when I checked into it last November, it fell pretty far short of actually being useful, for two major reasons: it didn’t have a very big selection due to its opt-in nature, and it couldn’t account for humor. Apple hasn’t been saying much about why it bought the service, but that’s not unexpected. I imagine that, as is usually the...

Cell phone book clubs: A new way for libraries to promote literacy, technology, family and community
July 17, 2014 | 12:25 pm

textgirl2A friend of mine in his 40s is about to start teaching in Houston, Texas, and he recently shared a discovery. Many teenagers in Houston tote cell phones, but don’t know they can read library e-books for free on their phones. This would jibe with a 2012 poll showing similar ignorance among Americans at large. A bigger issue also comes up. Just how much do young people care about books in the first place? Americans 15-19 spend only about four minutes reading for fun on a typical weekend day. Too bad. Students who love books are more likely to excel in school....

Booklistomania!
July 8, 2014 | 2:25 pm

book listI posted last month about three very different booklists you could start your summer reading with. Now, the ladies at Book Riot are back from vacation with their own list of best books of the year (so far). I am always intrigued by what those guys are reading, but I always hesitate to chime in with my own best reads because I don't read only new releases. My best books of the year are the best books I personally have read this year, not the best books which actually were released this year! But I have found the quality of my book...

Rebirth of the bookplate?
July 3, 2014 | 6:25 pm

AeonPressHARThe bookplate or ex-libris, that personalized printed badge of ownership, is one of the most attractive hangovers from the great days of private libraries and book collections that sadly seems to be dying a slow death with the advent of mass publishing and ebooks - albeit enjoying an afterlife as highly prized collectibles. Paul Biba ran a short TeleRead article four years ago on the "Death of the bookplate." However, it now appears that news of its demise may have been exaggerated. A whole new realm of digital bookplates is arising, particularly in the context of academic and other libraries that...

Communist China ‘gags’ Hillary Clinton’s new book, Hard Choices
July 1, 2014 | 6:25 pm

hard choicesAlthough "Hard Choices" by Hillary Clinton has been published already in a Chinese translation in the free and democratic nation of Taiwan, complete with front page newspaper coverage, communist Chinese publishers in Beijing have nixed publishing the account of Clinton's four years as U.S. secretary of state. No English edition will be available in China. "Hard Choices" has also been removed from the communist country's Amazon site. "It's outrageous and unfortunate," Clinton's American editor Jonathan Karp said in a statement. "And it's a pretty clear indication of the low level of intellectual freedom in China right now." Well, what did anyone expect?...

Authors lost the book war long before Amazon vs. Hachette
June 19, 2014 | 12:28 pm

publishersI meant to cover this piece from The Weeklings when it popped up on The Passive Voice the other day. To my surprise, it’s reprinted on the normally rabid pro-publisher/anti-Amazon Salon Magazine this morning, so I guess I have no excuse now. In this article, J.E. Fishman traces authorial woes all the way back to the 1930s when Penguin began to flood the market with cheap paperbacks. This kicked off a paperback revolution among US publishers. Through all of this disruption no one asked authors what they thought. When it came to business, authors were...

The scent of books: Your Kindle will need a lot of incense
June 13, 2014 | 10:31 am

infographic on the scent of booksFor all the moaners who complain that ebooks will never approximate the smell of the real thing, here's some solid proof for you - and a setback for the makers of book perfume. Because, as the site Compound Interest explains in its infographic, the scent of books is a very complex and multi-layered thing ... The accompanying article is full of deep and detailed information on the chemistry of book smells. Dive in, and just speculate along the way on how hard the accessory designers who developed odorific peripherals for iPhones might have to go to do something similar for the...

NPR champions Taiwanese eco fantasy novel
June 11, 2014 | 4:25 pm

eco fantasyWu Ming-yi's [easyazon-link asin="0099575620" locale="us"]The Man with the Compound Eyes[/easyazon-link], an eco fantasy is putting Taiwan on the international map in a novel way, with overseas editions appearing in London, New York and Paris. A recent NPR review by Jason Sheehan on the radio network's website gave the novel high marks and praised the author for his powerful imagery. Sheehan started off by telling reading: "It is so rare to find yourself at home in any book." Sheehan told me in an email after his review appeared that he has been freelancing for NPR for sometime now -- ''mostly sci fi (as I...