I’m so sad to report that the wonderful author Maeve Binchy has died at 72. Her Irish books were among my favorites. Here are some tributes:
“Research shows that the more absorbed readers are in a story, the more the story changes them. Fiction readers who reported a high level of absorption tended to have their beliefs changed in a more ’story-consistent’ way than those who were less absorbed. Highly absorbed readers also detected significantly fewer ‘false notes’ in stories — inaccuracties, infelicities — than less transported readers. Importantly, it is not just that highly absorbed readers detected the false notes and didn’t care about them (as when we watch a pleasurably idiotic action film); these readers were unable to detect the false notes in the first place.”
— from The Storytelling Animal by Jonathan Gottschall
From Flavorwire: Reading lists of some of your favorite fictional characters
Here’s a link to the latest “One for the Books” column on Storytellers.
From The Guardian: Kathryn Erskine’s top 10 first-person narratives
From Publishers Lunch: The Booker Prize longlist has been announced. The list will be winnowed to six on September 11, with the winner announced on October 16:
From My Modern Met: As part of the London 2012 Festival, a gargantuan maze will be created using 250,000 books! … The walls are expected to be 13 feet high and the labyrinth will ultimately be over 5,000 square feet. …
What causes that “old book” smell? Check out Mental Floss for an answer. (Thanks to Shelf Awareness for the link.)
From Travel and Leisure: Cool staircases from around the world.
In case you’ve missed it, here’s a link to the PBS Mr. Rogers remix. It’s just awesome!
From the website of Moyers and Company: Bill Moyers’ summer reading list
From Babble.com: What happens when a six-year-old judges a book by its cover?
From Entertainment Weekly: “The Encyclopedia Brown series centers on Leroy ‘Encyclopedia’ Brown, a boy detective nicknamed for his vast knowledge of facts, who helps his police chief father solve local cases, usually by dinner time. Sobol came up with the concept when he came across a book by chance at the New York Public Library. The book had puzzles on one side of the page and solutions on the other, and it occurred to him to write a mystery book in the same style.”
From The Boston Globe: “The Encyclopedia Brown books also featured Brown’s friend and detective partner, the tough and athletic Sally Kimball. John Sobol said his father was ahead of his times in creating a strong female character. ‘That was groundbreaking back in 1963 when the series was first published,’ Sobol said. Next year marks the 50th anniversary of the Encyclopedia Brown series. Donald Sobol’s latest Encyclopedia Brown adventure, ‘Encyclopedia Brown and the Case of the Soccer Scheme,’ will be published in October, according to a release from Penguin.”
From The AWL: An illustrated (and hilarious) look at some of literature’s near brushes with death. First up: What if J.K. Rowling had indeed killed off Ron Weasley early on, “out of spite”?
From The Guardian: Jasper Fforde reveals his 10 favorite bedtime stories. (Shown: Winnie-the-Pooh)
Here’s a link to the latest One for the Books column on Olympic Fever.
From The Millions: Did you know some famous writers made cameo appearance in films that had nothing to do with their writing?
From National Catholic Reporter: A look at three books on “finding feminine connections to God in history, psychology, poetry”
And they call themselves PATRIOTIC!
<<From The American Prospect: As Mitt Romney comes under withering fire for offshoring his millions to Bermuda and Switzerland—and for refusing to allow light to shine into what the Times calls his “financial black hole”—Senator Lindsey Graham came up with what is surely the year’s most novel line of defense today: “It’s really American to avoid paying taxes, legally.” No doubt, the Romney campaign apparatus was delighted to hear this: Thanks for being so helpful, Lindsey! At least he added that “legally” word. But there was more! “As long as it was legal, I’m OK with it,” Graham said. “I don’t blame anybody for using the tax code to their advantage.” And more still! “It’s a game we play. Every American tries to find the way to get the most deductions they can. I see nothing wrong with playing the game because we set it up to be a game.”>>
A game? A GAME???? They aren’t even charged the percentage of tax that would be fair for their income range, and they’re fighting to maneuver and hide and evade. If I tried to do that, the IRS would swoop in and garnish my wages and throw me in jail.
The truth is, I don’t mind paying MY FAIR SHARE of taxes, because I use the roads and bridges and the post office and the schools and the police and the fire department and the libraries and the public utilities and, because of the Affordable Care Act, I get to take advantage of more preventive care and checkups.
My share of taxes is no doubt a WAY higher percentage of my net worth than their share of taxes is of their net worth. And they’re fighting it all the way, while telling me they’re the job creators (who aren’t creating any jobs) and deserve to be given more tax breaks because they’re the patriotic party. This is disgusting.
One of the reasons we elected Barack Obama — correct me if I’m wrong here — was so that he would get rid of the Bush tax cuts for the wealthy and return the budget more toward equilibrium. (The budget under Clinton was balanced until Bush gave all the money back to the rich and then started two unpaid wars.) I’m not happy with the Democrats at all for not taking care of this when they were in charge. And I’m not happy that the president is STILL not taking care of this. “Oh, we can’t raise taxes during a recession.”
Who says? The super-rich 1 percent are making out like bandits during the recession. There’s a lot of money to be made when poor people go broke. That money went somewhere. You know perfectly well where it went. And they don’t even want to pay taxes on it. Well, maybe they DON’T use the police and fire departments, or the libraries, or the post office, or the schools, or the roads and bridges, or the public utilities. Maybe that would be fair then.
No wonder there’s an OCCUPY revolution going on.
I LOVE this! From Jonathan Moreau — A parking garage in Kansas City, painted to look like a shelf of books. Yummy!
From The Huffington Post: A slide show of famous-writers’ retreats.
From the Village Voice: 10 things you should know about summer reading (yes, the title is one of them)
This is wonderful! From the Herald Sun: A video of filmmaker Jeremiah McDonald interviewing his 12-year-old self. Funny!
From Fodor’s: Seven summer reads set in prime beach destinations