RIP Gabriel García Márquez

April 17th, 2014

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Nobel laureate Gabriel García Márquez has died.

A house without books? No!

April 11th, 2014

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From Random House on Facebook:

“What kind of life can you have in a house without books?”

— Sherman Alexie, Flight

Picks from Southern indie booksellers

April 8th, 2014

From Shelf Awareness:

The Southern Independent Booksellers Alliance has announced its spring Okra Picks, a dozen fresh titles chosen by Southern indie booksellers each season as the upcoming Southern titles they are most looking forward to handselling:

Salvage by Alexandra Duncan (Greenwillow Books)
Under Magnolia: A Southern Memoir by Frances Mayes (Crown)
The Whiskey Baron by Jon Sealy (Hub City Press)
Miss Julia’s Marvelous Makeover by Ann B. Ross (Viking)
Popular: Vintage Wisdom for a Modern Geek by Maya Van Wagenen (Dutton)
Natchez Burning by Greg Iles (Morrow)
The Same Sweet Girl’s’ Guide to Life: Advice from a Failed Southern Belle by Cassandra King (Maiden Lane Press)
A Bird on Water Street by Elizabeth O. Dulemba (Little Pickle Press)
Between Wrecks by George Singleton (Dzanc Books)
A Southern Girl by John Warley (Story River Books)
A Long Time Gone by Karen White (New American Library)
The Inevitable City: The Resurgence of New Orleans and the Future of Urban America by Scott Cowen (Palgrave MacMillan)
Flying Shoes by Lisa Howorth (Bloomsbury)

Yes, Your Majesty

April 4th, 2014

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Here’s a link to the latest “One for the Books” column, Yes, Your Majesty.

Charter schools

April 1st, 2014

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I’ve been learning a lot lately about charter schools, and it’s pretty frightening. Want to learn the truth? Check out this week’s edition of Moyers & Company: “Public Schools for Sale?” and the three-part series in the Beacon Journal.

Ninja cat plays ping-pong

March 31st, 2014

Being a cat lover, of course I enjoyed this viral video of a cat interrupting a ping-pong match.

Perfect sentences

March 28th, 2014

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Publishers Weekly has come up with five perfect sentences, and has done so three times now:

1. Featuring Vladimir Nabokov, Marilynne Robinson and more

2. Featuring Herman Melville, Thomas Pynchon and more

3. Featuring Franz Kafka, Jorge Luis Borges and more

Beautiful places

March 27th, 2014

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From Huff Po: You had no idea these places from your favorite books were so beautiful in real life. (shown: Nottinghamshire, England)

Malala: ‘How great God is’

March 26th, 2014

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We human beings don’t realize how great God is. He has given us an extraordinary brain and a sensitive loving heart. He has blessed us with two lips to talk and express our feelings, two eyes which see a world of colors and beauty, two feet which walk on the road of life, two hands to work for us, a nose which smells the beauty of fragrance, and two ears to hear the words of love. As I found with my ear, no one knows how much power they have in their each and every organ until they lose one.”

— from “I Am Malala: The Girl Who Stood Up for Education and Was Shot by the Taliban” by Malala Yousafzai with Christina Lamb

Robinson goes on a cruise?

March 25th, 2014

From Huff Po: 10 Hilariously Wrong Student Test Answers

These will make you smile. Example:

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Rejuvenating books for spring

March 24th, 2014

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From Huff Po: Rejuvenating books to read in the spring

3 puppets walk into a pharmacy

March 21st, 2014

What do Hobby Lobby, the Supreme Court, your boss, and birth control have in common?

Visiting the world of Harry Potter

March 20th, 2014

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From the Huffington Post: Universal Orlando Reveals Wizarding World Of Harry Pottery Expansion Details:

“The new Harry Potter-themed area opening at Universal Orlando Resort this summer will allow fans to ride the Hogwarts Express train and experience the British countryside just as the characters did in the book and movie series. Guests will appear to magically pass through a brick wall and board a train with steam and a whistle, according to a Friday news release from Universal Orlando Resort. Riders will have two experiences — one on the way to the new London-themed area at Universal Studios Park and another on the way to the original Wizarding World of Harry Potter at Universal’s Islands of Adventure. During the ride, characters and magical creatures from the book will be spotted. Among them: Hagrid on a flying motorbike, the Weasley twins on brooms, and the Knight Bus in London traffic. …” (Click on image for more)

Shakespeare’s Star Wars II

March 19th, 2014

The book trailer is out for Volume 2 in William Shakespeare’s Star Wars series by Ian Doescher, from Quirk Books. This is funny stuff!

Shadow?

March 18th, 2014

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This is a fascinating theory about the missing Malaysian airliner.

Literature-obsessed songwriters

March 17th, 2014

katebushFrom Flavorwire: 10 of Music’s Most Literature-Obsessed Songwriters. Shown: Kate Bush.

(Quote from Patti Smith: “I had devoted so much of my girlish daydreams to Rimbaud. Rimbaud was like my boyfriend.”)

It’s from Kurt Vonnegut

March 14th, 2014

From Huff Po: A letter Kurt Vonnegut once wrote to a high school whose students asked him to visit. He declined, but gave them some great advice. Here’s an excerpt:

“What I had to say to you, moreover, would not take long, to wit: Practice any art, music, singing, dancing, acting, drawing, painting, sculpting, poetry, fiction, essays, reportage, no matter how well or badly, not to get money and fame, but to experience becoming, to find out what’s inside you, to make your soul grow. Seriously! I mean starting right now, do art and do it for the rest of your lives. Draw a funny or nice picture of Ms. Lockwood, and give it to her. Dance home after school, and sing in the shower and on and on. Make a face in your mashed potatoes. Pretend you’re Count Dracula.”

Having ‘Downton Abbey’ withdrawal?

March 13th, 2014

ForsyteFrom Huff Po: Ten books to survive “Downton Abbey” withdrawal

Life lessons

March 12th, 2014

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From Huff Po: Nine life lessons everyone can learn from these beloved classic children’s books

More inspiring children’s books

March 11th, 2014

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From Huff Po: 50 more inspiring children’s books with a positive message

Inspiring children’s books

March 10th, 2014

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From Huff Po: 50 inspiring children’s books with a positive message

Down on the Farm

March 7th, 2014

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Here’s a link to the latest “One for the Books” column, Down on the Farm.

‘As little dolls to control’

March 6th, 2014

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We felt like the Taliban saw us as little dolls to control, telling us what to do and how to dress. I thought if God wanted us to be like that He wouldn’t have made us all different.”

— From “I Am Malala: The Girl Who Stood Up for Education and Was Shot by the Taliban” by Malala Yousafzai with Christina Lamb.

Today’s ‘Awwww’ factor

March 5th, 2014

Straight from YouTube: The Lilly Ann Workout

Grammar Day

March 4th, 2014

ilovegrammarToday is March 4th (fourth = forth), which becomes a command: March Forth! To celebrate this day of exhortation, those in control have named this National Grammar Day.

Go forth and write well.

We’re in the wrong business

March 3rd, 2014

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According to MediaBistro.com, interns at Twitter earn $6,791 per month; Facebook, $6,213; Google, $5,969; Amazon.com, $5,631. What the —-?

Literary weddings

February 28th, 2014

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From Buzzfeed: How to have the best literary wedding ever

Power of the pen

February 27th, 2014

girl-with-penWhen someone takes away your pens you realize quite how important education is.”

— from “I Am Malala: The Girl Who Stood Up for Education and Was Shot by the Taliban” by Malala Yousafzai with Christina Lamb.

Unusual families

February 26th, 2014

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From The Guardian: Top 10 unusual fictional families

Lost Beatles photos found

February 25th, 2014

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From Rolling Stone: Lost Beatles photographs found in Ringo’s basement!

Celebrating George Harrison’s birthday on Feb. 25.