The Daily

Posts Tagged ‘Amazon’

The First Children’s Book, and Other News

May 19, 2014 | by

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“The Soul,” from the 1705 English edition of Orbis Sensualium Pictus; image via the Public Domain Review

  • In 1658, John Comenius published what may have been the first children’s picture book: Orbis Sensualium Pictus, or The World of Things Obvious to the Senses Drawn in Pictures. “The Orbis—with its 150 pictures showing everyday activities like brewing beer, tending gardens, and slaughtering animals—is immediately familiar as an ancestor of today’s children’s literature.”
  • Behind Alex Trebek’s veneer of erudition is an everyman, a heavy drinker, a handyman: “Trebek says that when he gets up in the middle of the night—he has terrible insomnia—he will lie awake for hours plotting how to fix the sliver of light peeking through his window, and all the other home-repair projects he wants to tackle next.”
  • “Throughout cult-movie history, the American cheerleader has come to stand for something demonic, bitchy, slutty, and secretly lesbian, resulting in an archetype as American as apple pie, football, and well, cheerleading itself: the Subversive Cheerleader Genre.”
  • Cell-phone novels, stories serialized in short bursts, have consistently appeared on Japan’s best-seller lists for years; now a few developers are attempting to popularize them in America.
  • Amazon puts the squeeze on Hachette: “Hachette, which owns Little, Brown; Hyperion; and Grand Central, says that Amazon is deliberately slowing sales of Hachette’s books in an effort to pressure the French publisher into agreeing to new contract terms on book pricing.”

 

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Kansas in Drag, and Other News

April 11, 2014 | by

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A photograph from Kansas City recently discovered by Robert Heishman.

 

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This Month’s Most Expensive E-Books

January 29, 2014 | by

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If you’re flush, you could spend your days schlepping from to one rare-book room to another, hoping to stumble upon a first edition that’s both a worthy investment and an aesthetic treasure. Or you could just go to Amazon and buy one of these recently published e-books, which will, given their pedigree and initial cost, most certainly appreciate in value.

  • River Flow 2012 ($114.98) (“covers issues such as river hydrodynamics, morphodynamics, and sediment transport”)
  • The Perils of Gertrude: 1st Peril Special Edition ($199.00)
  • TRANSHUMAN: (Screenplay) ($200.00)
  • Moroccan Math Secrets (French Edition) ($200.00)
  • The Amazon’s Most Expensive Book (Arabic Edition) ($200.00)

    (“This book is one of the most expensive available on Amazon in Kindle version. It does not exist on paper version. It caters to the richest people. Those who can buy it without flinching. It is not for the poor, stingy, or for those who count their money. Therefore, please do not buy this book if you do not have enough money on your bank account. If you are not wealthy but think you can read this book and ask for a refund afterwards, give up immediately, you are not the readership target. Any unusual thing is expensive! This is the law of supply and demand. Only a privileged few can buy and read this book. The others: go your way. Many free books are available for your long winter evenings. However, if you have a lot of money, and if the price of this book does not disturb you more than that, welcome and good reading.”)

  • Miscellaneous Thoughts, Volume I ($200.00)
  • Quay Walls, Second Edition ($247.96)
  • Proceedings of 2013 4th International Asia Conference on Industrial Engineering and Management Innovation ($319.20)
  • Ullmann’s Fine Chemicals ($347.60)
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    Your Likeness in Cheese, and Other News

    January 28, 2014 | by

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    Vincenzo Campi, The Ricotta Eaters, 1580. Via Wikimedia Commons.

    • Gift idea: cheese portraits. The medium is the message here—this cheese is made with bacteria cultivated from your mouth or toes. It’s you, indubitably, microbially. The artist adds, “The bacteria that you find in-between the toes is actually very similar to the bacteria that makes cheese smell like toes.” You don’t say.
    • Amazon has purchased another block of Seattle. A technofortress, no doubt, soon to be swarming with drones.
    • The Sims is the bestselling PC game of all time. It also has—no mean feat—the most poetic, surreal software-update notifications of all time. “Sims will no longer walk on water to view paintings placed on swimming pool walls.”
    • Presenting the Daphne, an award for the best book to have been published fifty years ago.
    • Melville the prognosticator: Moby-Dick, Benito Cereno, and modern-day imperialism.

     

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    Blue Monday, and Other News

    January 20, 2014 | by

    Edgard Farasijn, Sad News (detail), ca. 1880, oil on canvas.

     

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    Lisbeth Salander Lives Again, and Other News

    December 18, 2013 | by

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  • Amazon workers in Germany have gone on strike (at what we need not say is a busy time).
  • The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo lives on: using Stieg Larsson’s comprehensive outlines, a new writer will reanimate the Millennium series.
  • The British Library has made available a million images from seventeenth-, eighteenth-, and nineteenth-century books for public use.
  • Not shockingly, people are less than chuffed about Jason Segel as DFW: John Gallagher calls it “a terrible, terrible idea.”
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