Curiosities

October 16, 2014

The New Yorker on Flanagan 0

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Recommended reading: The New Yorker‘s Amelia Lester reviews Richard Flanagan‘s “love story set amid horrific historic events,” The Narrow Road to the Deep North, which just won the 2014 Man Booker Prize. 

October 16, 2014

Facebook’s Most Popular Titles 1

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We’ve mentioned the “What books have stayed with you?” social media trend before, and now Facebook has tallied up the most popular titles by country. The results are both exactly what you would expect – The Little Prince ranks high in France, One Hundred Years of Solitude fairs well in Latin America – and a little […]

October 15, 2014

Pythonated 0

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We’ve published a fair number of pieces about the import of book covers. You may have read one of our US-UK book cover battles. Over at The Awl, Amanda Pickering takes a look at one of the stranger aspects of book design: the animals that appear on the covers of programming books.

October 15, 2014

“Back then, in 1992, it was Billy” 0

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Recommended Reading: “Billy” by Sarah Braunstein.

October 15, 2014

Sprechen? 0

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Recently, a Czech linguist named Jakob Murian came up with an estimate of the number of languages your average European speaks. The study is complicated, however, by the question of how much you need to know to really understand a given language. At the LRB’s blog, Glen Newey asks: are you fluent when you can order a […]

October 15, 2014

concerning 0

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For those of you who’ve ever wondered to what extent e.e. cummings wrote prose the way he wrote poetry, there’s this letter to consider, published by The Paris Review Daily to commemorate the poet’s birthday. It’s addressed to Ezra Pound, and it features phrases including but not limited to “macarchibald maclapdog macleash.”

October 14, 2014

Desconocido 0

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Why do Americans read so few translated works? A lot of reasons come to mind, but one is that translated books are often the purview of small publishers, who don’t have the same marketing budgets as the larger companies in the industry. At The New Yorker’s Currency blog, Vauhini Vara looks at the statistics compiled by Three Percent, […]

October 14, 2014

Tough Broads 0

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“The rest of the morning went like that. We did synchronized clapping. We did active listening. We did a role-play exercise in which I was a girl waiting for a bus and Karloff was a masher, but when I started flirting back, she didn’t like it. I got four more cups of coffee and felt […]

October 14, 2014

How to Backfire 0

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Turns out the Streisand effect applies to book sales. The Wall Street Journal reports that banning a book in China causes sales to increase both at home and abroad. “These days, smothering someone is as good as crowning that person,” the article quotes a Chinese reader as saying. You could also read Deanna Fei on […]

October 14, 2014

Not for Publication 0

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Here’s a fact that’s either very surprising or not surprising at all: Samuel Beckett didn’t want his letters to see the light of day. He once wrote to Barney Rosset that he didn’t care for “the ventilation of private documents.” Despite this disinclination, his third volume of letters comes out this week, and it includes, […]