The Daily

Posts Tagged ‘Goodreads’

Let Us Go to the Fitness Temple, and Other News

April 6, 2015 | by

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Sascha Schneider, Athlete in Basic Position, 1907.

  • Charles Simic uses reading, as so many of us have, to cure insomnia: “I read only a passage or two, and at the most a page, because if I read more than that, I’m in danger of staying up half a night. All I require, to use a culinary term, is an amuse-bouche that leaves a pleasant aftertaste. Have you ever tried poetry, buster? The reader may be wondering. As a snooze-inducer, nothing comes close. Thanks to it, millions have slept like newborn babies over the centuries.”
  • Hanging around at the Barbara Pym Society’s annual North American conference: “Tom Sopko, the conference organizer, read aloud quotations from her novels and, table by table, we guessed the character they related to … The rest of the weekend was spent alternating talks about this year’s featured book … with suitably Pym-ish activities: a sherry party, a dramatized reading, and Evensong back at the Church of the Advent.”
  • A new history of the gym sees it as a “quasi-religious space,” as it’s been since Ancient Greece: “Freeborn male citizens would go there to train their bodies in the pursuit of arete—moral, physical and intellectual excellence. At the gym they would also enjoy same-sex erotic relationships, the beginning of a symbiosis between homosexuality and the gymnasium that continues to the present day.”
  • Salman Rushdie got a Goodreads account—and promptly began to assign unflattering ratings to novels by his peers. Money? Three stars. To Kill a Mockingbird? Three stars. Lucky Jim? One star. “I’m so clumsy in this new world of social media sometimes,” Rushdie told the Independent, claiming he had no idea his ratings were visible to the public. “Stupid me.”
  • Finally, some socially conscious citizen has done what man has long dreamed of: remove all the gluten from iconic works of art.

WTF, and Other News

September 24, 2013 | by

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  • Poet Kofi Awoonor was among the victims of the Nairobi terrorist attacks. The African Poetry Book Fund will publish his final collection next year. Meanwhile, the Wall Street Journal runs one of his last poems.
  • Following charges of author-bullying, Goodreads has declared that, going forward, it will “delete content focused on author behavior.”
  • China is establishing a naming system for seabed areas based on the oldest known collection of Chinese poetry, Classic of Poetry, also known as the Book of Odes, which dates from the eleventh to seventh centuries B.C.
  • A concise history of WTF.
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    Ancient Vintage, and Other News

    August 23, 2013 | by

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  • At various points, the FBI suspected William Vollmann of being the Unabomber, the anthrax mailer, and a terrorist training with the Afghan mujahideen.
  • “Reviewers have the right to rate a book however they feel like, with absolutely no justification what so ever. Get over it princess.” A young writer accuses Goodreads of a culture of bullying.
  • Ayatollah Ali Khamenei is a big fan of Victor Hugo.
  • Italian archaeologists are growing grapes with an eye to crafting an ancient-style wine according to techniques described by Virgil.
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    Spoiler Alert: Why We Abandon Books

    July 12, 2013 | by

    This infographic on “the psychology of abandonment”—that is, why we don’t finish certain books—makes for fun reading. But even more interesting is the Goodreads list of those titles most frequently abandoned. We don’t want to spoil Stieg Larsson for anyone, but let’s just say that those who don’t persevere are missing out on some sexual sadism and computer espionage.

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    Faulkner Nobel on the Block, and Other News

    March 29, 2013 | by

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    Politics, Nerds, Gunpowder

    October 8, 2012 | by

  • Cormac McCarthy’s notes reveal a recipe for gunpowder and a very different Blood Meridian.
  • Goodreads compares the reading habits of Romney and Obama supporters.
  • J. K. Rowling returns to children’s fiction.
  • “Using adverbs is a mortal sin,” and other rules for writing fiction from prominent writers.
  • Ten essential reads for books nerds.
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