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Books Are Like Ships

“So Matilda’s strong young mind continued to grow, nurtured by the voices of all those authors who had sent their books out into the world like ships on the sea.” - Roald Dahl

Currently reading

In the Garden of Beasts: Love, Terror, and an American Family in Hitler's Berlin
Erik Larson
Winter's Tale
Mark Helprin
Cleopatra: A Life
Stacy Schiff
Attention All Passengers: The Airlines' Dangerous Descent---and How to Reclaim Our Skies
William J. McGee
Peril at End House: A Hercule Poirot Mystery (Hercule Poirot Mysteries)
Agatha Christie
Fairy Tales from the Brothers Grimm: A New English Version
Philip Pullman, Jacob Grimm
Consider the Fork: How Technology Transforms the Way We Cook and Eat
Bee Wilson
Progress: 71/279 pages
Cloud Atlas
David Mitchell

Publishers Weekly: Best New Books for the Week of August 5, 2013


This week: a coming of age book on the high seas, a must-read crime novel, and a boy who hasn't spoken in over one year. Plus: an absorbing biography of Charles Manson.





Stories That Jump Off The Page: See Stunning Art Made From Books



They stalk books with X-Acto knives, tiny sandblasters, glue, paint, scissor, and a shared obsession for giving new form to old things. The resulting sculptures, as pictured in the upcoming Art Made From Books: Altered, Sculpted, Carved and Transformed (Chronicle Books), extend the shelf life for phone books, encyclopedias, pulp fiction and fairy tales. Instead of winding up in the landfill, ink-on-paper artifacts can now be rejiggered as astonishing text objects that have nothing to do with words.

E-Books Strain Relations Beween Libraries, Publishing Houses


E-books have strained the relations between libraries and the major publishing houses. Libraries say they're being cut out of the market because publishers are afraid they could lose money selling e-books to libraries. After much negotiation, the publishers are experimenting with new ways of doing business. But some libraries are already looking to bypass the high prices and restrictions that publishers place on e-books.

Sparky Sweets reviews and summarizes Jane Austen's Pride and Prejudice.

Sparky Sweets bring a street perspective when reviewing To Kill A Mockingbird.



Welcome to Thug Notes, your main hookup for classical literature summary and analysis. I'm your host, Sparky Sweets, PhD. Join me each week for a new episode.

Jane Austen Bank Note Earns Huzzahs and Nitpicking



The news that Jane Austen would become only the third woman, besides Queen Elizabeth II, to appear on a British bank note drew almost as many huzzahs this week as the birth of the royal baby.


Philippa Gregory: How I Write

by Jul 24, 2013 4:45 AM EDT


Philippa Gregory, whose series of novels based on the Wars of the Roses has been adapted into the BBC television drama The White Queen, which will premiere in the U.S. next month, talks about her approach to historical fiction and what she knows about screenwriting. Her latest book in the series is The White Princess.

When people ask me why I waste my time in reading a book that is going to turn into a movie.

Should I get a BookLikes?

Reblogged from Dawid Piaskowski:


Here's how Amazon self-destructs

If Amazon puts bookstores out of business, it will destroy the main way readers learn about new books to buy


Why Barnes & Noble Is Good for Amazon


Jae C. Hong/Associated Press


A Barnes & Noble bookstore in Los Angeles. The company’s retail stores and Web site generated pretax earnings of $374.2 million in its most recent fiscal year.


"Bookstores offer discoverability, not just the latest Dan Brown or Carl Hiaasen book on the front table, but sometimes treasures deep in the stacks, a long tail of midlist authors and specialty books. Even as the book business consolidates, the physical object displayed in an actual place will continue to be an important part of the ecosystem."

The official trailer for Austenland has been released. 

Jane Austen's First Editions - How Bindings Affect Value


Adam Douglas, Senior Specialist in Early Literature at Peter Harrington introduces a selection of Jane Austen's first editions and explains how bindings affect value.



23 Books You Didn’t Read In High School But Actually Should

As Competition Wanes, Amazon Cuts Back Discounts

As Competition Wanes, Amazon Cuts Back Discounts


Jim Hollock’s first book, a true-crime tale set in Pennsylvania, got strong reviews and decent sales when it appeared in 2011. Now “Born to Lose” is losing momentum — yet Amazon, to the writer’s intense frustration, has increased the price by nearly a third.


“At this point, people need an inducement,” said Mr. Hollock, a retired corrections official. “But instead of lowering the price, Amazon is raising it.”