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June 18, 2013
Researchers Create New Copyright Protection that Changes Words In Your E-Book
"German researchers have created a new DRM feature that changes the text and punctuation of an e-book ever so slightly. Called SiDiM, which Google translates to "secure documents by individual marking," the changes are unique to each e-book sold. These alterations serve as a digital watermark that can be used to track books that have had any other DRM layers stripped out of them before being shared online."
Literature Director Ira Silverberg Leaves The NEA
"Briefly, the demands of family are such that I must return to New York. This is a bittersweet time for me as I have truly loved the work I do here -- and have been aided by a stellar staff."
Los Angeles Times 06/17/13
Apple Defends Itself In E-Book Pricing Case
"On Monday, the Justice Department's lawyers homed in on a condition in Apple's contracts with the publishers: the "most favored nation" clause, which required publishers to allow Apple to sell e-books at the same price as the books would be sold in any other store."
The New York Times 06/17/13
Colum McCann On The Power Of Literature
June 17, 2013
"I'm not sure if it can absolutely change things, but literature can certainly become a stay against the tyranny of pessimism and misery. Misery and pessimism stand in opposition to value. And we all need to feel valuable. This is where stories come in."
Los Angeles Review of Books 06/12/12
Can Computers Replace "Close Reading" In Analyzing Texts?
June 16, 2013
"For centuries, the basic task of literary scholarship has been close reading of texts. But for digitally savvy academics such as Moretti, literary study doesn't always require scholars actually to read books. This new approach to literature depends on computers to crunch "big data", or stores of massive amounts of information, to produce new insights."
Financial Times 06/15/13
June 14, 2013
The Books High-Schoolers Read Are Getting Less Demanding
"Research shows that as young readers get older, they are not moving to more complex books. High-schoolers are reading books written for younger kids, and teachers aren't assigning difficult classics as much as they once did."
NPR 06/11/13 (includes audio)
The City That Writers Loved, And That Adores Them Right Back
June 13, 2013
"Writers fall in love with cities all the time. But ever since Pushkin spent thirteen months here in 1823, Odessa has been a city infatuated with its writers. At the Odessa Literary Museum ... docents can tell you the number of days a given writer was here ... and who wrote which chapters of their greatest works while in residence ... [and] who burned manuscripts written in Odessa."
The New Yorker 06/13/13
June 12, 2013
Will Booklikes Be The Next Goodreads?
"If Booklikes is going to evolve into another Goodreads, millions of people will have to sign up for the service and start talking to each other there."
Los Angeles Times 06/11/13
Sales Of Orwell's "1984" Soar With NSA Revelations
"As of Wednesday morning, four different editions of the book are in the top 40 of Amazon's "Movers and Shakers" list with the highest ranking at 17. At one point, the Centennial Edition's popularity was up nearly 10,000 percent and clocked in at third most popular on the list."
Seattle Revives The Bookmobile - For Bicycles
June 11, 2013
"A small group of Seattle Public Library (SPL) staff will be pedaling - and peddling - books on the pavement this summer, thanks to the new Books on Bikes pilot program. Librarians on bicycles are traveling to several outdoor events across the city with a custom-built book trailer that can carry 500 pounds of materials and display 75 books at a time."
Library Journal 06/10/13
Why Magazines Still Matter
"They can pass it on to somebody else; they can recycle it. If they lose it, they can buy another one. It's available everywhere, and we'll send it to their door for even less. That's a pretty good deal. Magazines are a very viable part of our lives and will be for as long as people are alive."
The Guardian (UK) 06/11/13
Why American English Is The International Language
"Everyone in the world - except Dutch and Scandinavian footballers - learns American English because it is today's lingua franca. It's the principal means for disseminating ideas and getting work, as Latin used to be."
Founder Of Top Chinese Literary Web Site Arrested
June 10, 2013
"The news came out this week in English-language media, that Luo Li, the founder and former head of one of China's largest literary websites, Qidian, has been arrested, though there are still conflicting reports about what he's actually been accused of and the whole picture remains a bit murky."
Melville House 06/06/13
New US Poet Laureate - The Second Time Around
June 9, 2013
"The Library of Congress will announce on Monday that Natasha Trethewey is to be appointed to a second one-year term as the United States poet laureate."
The New York Times 06/09/13
June 7, 2013
If You Only Hear One Story...
"Novelist Chimamanda Adichie tells the story of how she found her authentic cultural voice -- and warns that if we hear only a single story about another person or country, we risk a critical misunderstanding."
How Roberto Bolaño Became Roberto Bolaño
June 6, 2013
The early short story collection Antwerp
"finds Bolaño making the transition from poet to story writer - a transition he never fully completed, even in the almost nine-hundred pages of 2666
. Always in his fiction the reader senses a discomfort with information revealed any way but indirectly."
Why Book Publishers Are Still Wary Of E-Books
"The truth is, book publishers still aren't sure what to make of digital publishing. BEA 2013 boasted a "Digital Discovery Zone," but for every business aimed at revolutionizing delivery to consumers, there were two whose purpose boiled down to making the digital landscape less frightening for hidebound publishers."
A.M. Homes Pips Hilary Mantel To Take Women's Prize For Fiction
"AM Homes became the fifth American in a row to be named winner of the £30,000 prize, formerly known as the Orange, for her sixth novel, May We Be Forgiven
" - defeating the oddsmakers' favorite, Hilary Mantel's multiple award-winner Bring Up the Bodies
The Guardian (UK) 06/05/13
Let's Just Admit It: Proust Is Weird
June 5, 2013
"It is likewise nearly impossible, today, to pick up Proust without preconceptions, without already knowing that you are holding a 'great work of literature' in your hands. Knowing that you are reading a work of genius, it is difficult to recognize that Swann's Way
The Smart Set 06/05/13
From 1928: A Plan To Promote Reading More Books
"One of their main objects was to make books better known to the public. They realised that this must be done scientifically and methodically. The best means of doing it was to have classified lists of their customers, or potential customers, and to provide them with prospectuses of the class of books in which they had declared themselves to be interested."
The Guardian (UK) 06/04/13
EBook Market Will Top Print By 2017
"PricewaterhouseCoopers estimates that trade (consumer, not educational or academic) ebooks will drive $8.2 billion in sales by 2017 -- surpassing projected print book sales, which it thinks will shrink by more than half during that period."
German Publisher Surhkamp Enters Bankruptcy Protection
"A new chapter has been opened in the long-running fight for survival of one of Germany's best-known literary publishers. On 27th May Suhrkamp initiated insolvency protection proceedings similar to Chapter 11, shielding it from its creditors, at a Magistrates' Court in Berlin."
The Bookseller (UK) 05/30/13
Time Out London Delays Publishing Following Fire
"The free title, which is normally distributed across the capital on a Tuesday, ... will fail to publish on time for the first time in more than 44 years, after a warehouse fire destroyed more than 200,000 copies of this week's edition."
The Guardian (UK) 06/03/13
The Problem With French Children's Fiction
June 4, 2013
"A browse through the children's section of a French bookshop will uncover beautifully illustrated, expensively produced books -including a baffling number about wolves - but to an English reader, their content rarely lives up to the creativity of the presentation, nor are they much fun to read aloud." Yet the children's non-fiction is excellent. Mais pourquoi?
Intelligent Life 06/13
Apple E-Book Price Fixing Trial Begins
"A three-week trial got under way before a federal judge in New York in a case pitting the Justice Department against the popular iPad and iPhone maker that could shine a light on the secretive Silicon Valley giant's business practices. 'Apple told publishers that Apple - and only Apple - could get prices up in their industry'," said prosecutors in opening arguments.
Does Reading Great Literature Really Make Us Better People?
"Wouldn't reading about Anna Karenina, the good folk of Middlemarch and Marcel and his friends expand our imaginations and refine our moral and social sensibilities? If someone now asks you for evidence for this view, I expect you will have one or both of the following reactions. First, why would anyone need evidence for something so obviously right? Second, what kind of evidence would he want?"
The New York Times 06/01/13
Why Don't American Critics Write More Hatchet Jobs? (Asks A Brit)
June 3, 2013
Clive James: "Ripping somebody's reputation is recognized blood sport [in Britain]. Shredding a new book is a kind of fox hunting that is still legal today. Such critical violence is far less frequent in America. Any even remotely derogatory article in an American journal is called 'negative,' and hardly any American publication wants to be negative."
The New York Times 06/01/13
BookExpo Draws 20,000 - Book Business Stabilizing?
"After a turbulent few years in the book business, there was a feeling at BookExpo America, the publishing industry's annual trade convention that convened in New York this week, that the disruption might have calmed."
The New York Times 06/01/13
Wikipedia's Most Controversial Topics
June 2, 2013
"Politics certainly stirs up edit wars much more often than mathematics, and articles related to current events are often locked while the events are ongoing, to prevent defacement. But can we quantify the topics that are most controversial on Wikipedia?"
What's Up With This 'French Harry Potter' Thing?
The six-volume self-published children's book series sold thousands of copies in France, where publishers didn't think it was intellectual enough for teens. Then the teens started a letter-writing campaign.
The Guardian (UK) 06/02/13