June 26, 2014 | by Dan Piepenbring
Paul Klee, Mumon sinkt trunken in den Sessel, 1940.
- For seven years in the sixties, Dennis Hopper disappeared from Hollywood. What was he doing? Attending the Fonda-Vadim nuptials, hanging around LA’s Love-In, watching Martin Luther King Jr. speak, and photographing all of it.
- Today in brave souls and/or fool’s errands: “I’m drinking everything mentioned however peripherally in every Pynchon book and jabbering a bit about what it’s like … So what is Chivas Regal like? I’m tempted to say that a screaming comes across the tongue.”
- Amazon is demanding concessions from publishers that are tantamount to “assisted suicide for the book business” …
- … And a new, “fiercely independent-minded” book, The Everything Store, reminds of Amazon’s considerably less-incendiary early days: “Bezos hired writers and editors who supplied critical advice about books and tried to emulate on Amazon’s website ‘the trustworthy atmosphere of a quirky independent bookstore with refined literary tastes.’” Years later, these people were replaced by an algorithm called AMABOT, which, given the meaning of amatory, sounds sort of like an animatronic sex doll.
- But it must be said: “When Anne Campbell of the Open University in Scotland looked at how students used Kindle readers and paper books, she found that the electronic devices promoted more deep reading.”
- Soon before her seventieth birthday, a woman named Sandy Bem found that her mental faculties had deteriorated enough that she wanted to take her own life—so she planned her suicide with her family. “We looked at the calendar and said, ‘OK, if it’s going to be next week, what day is it going to be?’” her husband said. “I wouldn't have had it any other way,” her daughter said.
January 29, 2014 | by Dan Piepenbring
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)
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)
(“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.”)
November 14, 2013 | by Sadie Stein
Amazon has launched a juggernaut of a Kindle store in Australia.
The Joseph Brodsky reading list for facilitating intelligent conversation.
Alison Bechdel on heading to Broadway.
Writing for good health
February 27, 2013 | by Sadie Stein
“Why do so many novels get adapted into screenplays at all, when their essential quality, the persuasive and enthralling power of prose, always must be stripped—and the final product is always left in some state of diminishment?” Ian Crouch on that modern institution, the miniseries.
At three P.M., Toni Morrison is conducting a “digital book signing.” (Really more of a Google hangout, but still.)
What are the ten best books you’ve never read? (I, for one, have never finished The Ginger Man.)
While we’re ranking stuff: your favorite film about a writer? (Barton Fink.)
“Rather than limiting discussion of a certain book to a digital room in e-readers such as the Kobo or Kindle, Socialbook lets all your friends in your personal digital network know what you’re reading and invites them into the conversation. Furthermore, Socialbook puts participants right into the text of the book, where they can scribble notes in the digital margin of the book, highlight portions, pull out quotes and even rearrange the content.” To coin a phrase, “Plus ça change, plus c’est la même chose.”
November 19, 2012 | by Sadie Stein
Stationer Mr. Boddington’s Studio does a series of whimsical Penguin Classics covers.
Raymond Carver’s OkCupid profile, as edited by Gordon Lish.
“On the Kindle, each screen shot floats in space, isolated from the previous or subsequent ones, an effect that left my memory of the book weirdly nebulous.” The challenges of reviewing on the Kindle.
Five books on anxiety.
“Mr. Roth hasn’t given up writing entirely. He is collaborating on a novella, via e-mail, with the 8-year-old daughter of a former girlfriend.”
August 29, 2012 | by Sadie Stein
Seattle band Fleet Foxes is launching an arts and literary journal, The Unified Field. Quoth the L, “Round one features a journal entry penned by recently freed West Memphis 3 member Damien Echols on adjusting to life after eighteen years on death row, an excerpt from Gloria Steinem’s forthcoming book, a photo essay on adolescence by noted rock photographer Autumn de Wilde, a contribution from SPIN’s Charles Aaron, and another from Animal Collective sister/visual collaborator Abby Portner, among 30-plus other pieces.” Proceeds benefit nonprofit 826 National.
During the sixties, the FBI kept a file on suspected communist sympathizer Ray Bradbury. According to the bureau’s then-source, “some of Bradbury’s stories have been definitely slanted against the United States and its capitalistic form of governmental.”
Kindles don’t have a soporific effect according to one study: “a two-hour exposure to light from self-luminous electronic displays can suppress melatonin by about 22 percent … Stimulating the human circadian system to this level may affect sleep in those using the devices prior to bedtime.”
The Marriage Plot hits the small screen.
Across languages, “the fundamental colour hierarchy, at least in the early stages (black/white, red, yellow/green, blue) remains generally accepted. The problem is that no one could explain why this ordering of colour exists. Why, for example, does the blue of sky and sea, or the green of foliage, not occur as a word before the far less common red?”