Monthly Archives: July, 2010

Happy Birthday, Penguin!

Although Penguin Books has been celebrating its 75th anniversary with a number of milestones and manifestations, today is the actual anniversary of Sir Allen Lane’s foray into quality paperback publishing. The idea of making high-end literature affordable to the masses—“splendid value for sixpence each,” according to George Orwell’s review in the New English Weekly—was still […]

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Love and Freindship

All sorts of things will stop me in my tracks when I’m out trolling for used books. Something I’ve been wanting or meaning to read, of course, but also any number of cover elements: A great image, well-done type, a title I’ve never heard of by an author I like, a book somebody once mentioned […]

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Man Booker Dozen Announced

The judges for the 2010 Man Booker Prize for Fiction have announced their longlist: Peter Carey – Parrot and Olivier in America Emma Donoghue – Room Helen Dunmore – The Betrayal Damon Galgut – In a Strange Room Howard Jacobson – The Finkler Question Andrea Levy – The Long Song Tom McCarthy – C David […]

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Strata: Pamela Ferdinand

As a journalist, Pamela Ferdinand has written for The Boston Globe Magazine, National Geographic News and The Washington Post. She recently co-authored a memoir, Three Wishes: A True Story of Good Friends, Crushing Heartbreak, and Astonishing Luck on Our Way to Love and Motherhood, with two other journalists, Carey Goldberg and Beth Jones. Her office […]

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Gladiators

Once again there’s drama in the ungoverned badlands of eBook rights, with Amazon, once more, prominently at the center. Its ally this time around is hard-hitting agent Andrew Wylie. Late last Wednesday, Wylie announced the formation of its own publishing venture, Odyssey Editions, which will be publishing the eBook titles of some of his biggest-selling […]

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Crash Report

There are prompts and then there are prompts. Garrett Murray, a Brooklyn-based filmmaker and developer, has been getting his inspiration courtesy of Adobe crash reports. You know the deal: Photoshop (or some other application—hello Firefox 3.5.10!) crashes and you’re offered, by way of apology, a popup window asking you if you’d like to report it. […]

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Postcard Poetry

Is it my imagination or are chain letters falling by the wayside? I don’t mean the email meme kind that you need to send to 25 POWERFUL SPIRITS IN YOUR LIFE IN THE NEXT 15 MINUTES AND SOMETHING WONDERFUL WILL MANIFEST FOR YOU… those have a scary zombie life all their own and will quite […]

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Spy in the House of Writers

Everyone’s got their own personal slot on the biographical criticism spectrum. Whether you’re against taking an author’s circumstances into account when looking at the work or whether you wish there was a literary version of People Magazine, you’re on there somewhere. But I’m guessing not many people don’t like to see an author photo. As […]

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Let Us Eat Cake

To celebrate the 221st anniversary of the birth of the French republic, the Guardian has a quiz on the Bastille in literature. It cites the usual suspects: A Tale of Two Cities, The Scarlet Pimpernel, and our good friend Voltaire. But if you’re interested in going beyond the novel, journalist Peregrine Worsthorne has given Five […]

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Elemental Storytelling

There’s something about the Periodic Table of Elements that lends itself to riffing. I suppose because it is in fact elemental, and at the same time complex—it appeals to our love of taxonomy, and those ambiguous letter abbreviations spark all kinds of associations. Lately a Periodic Table of Swearing has been making the internet rounds, […]

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