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Three Books On Entering Strange New Worlds

From earliest times, the plight of the stranger, the outsider, has always made for a great story. In the Old Testament, Ruth follows her bereaved mother-in-law, Naomi, and embraces a new culture, customs (and husband) to make a home for them in a land far from her own. From ancient texts to the present day, perhaps this is what reading is always about — finding a space to explore worlds and lives that are not our own, to look in on places where we don't belong.

Full piece on NPR

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Dogtooth was nominated for Best Foreign Language Film. It is currently available on Netflix Watch-It-Instantly.

NYT review:

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The Matter of the Page: Essays in Search of Ancient and Medieval Authors

The Matter of the Page: Essays in Search of Ancient and Medieval Authors

Ancient and medieval literary texts often call attention to their existence as physical objects. Shane Butler helps us to understand why. Arguing that writing has always been as much a material struggle as an intellectual one, The Matter of the Page offers timely lessons for the digital age about how creativity works and why literature moves us.

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Class Action Suit Filed Against Jimmy Carter Book

Readers are often warned not to judge a book by its cover, but what about its publicity? That is the basis of a class-action lawsuit against former President Jimmy Carter and his publisher Simon & Schuster over his 2006 book “Palestine: Peace, Not Apartheid,” which was filed in Manhattan federal court on Tuesday.

Full story

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Gale Launches New Contest to Unmask the Librarian Superheroes Among Us

Gale, part of Cengage Learning, today announced the launch of the Are you a Librarian Superhero contest to recognize the often heroic efforts put forth by librarians around the country, and to encourage other feats of greatness. Gale is calling on everyone – fellow librarians, library patrons, students and school administrators – to nominate a superhero librarian who is making a real difference for their library and community.


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Innovation Is Doing Little for Incomes

Interesting piece in the NYT by Tyler Cowen (professor of economics at George Mason University)

Artricle here

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U.S. Presidents / Possible Reading Project

I am thinking about starting a reading project where I read one book about every U.S. President. I am gathering a list of books to see what is available.

I am open to suggestions if anyone has books they would like to add to the list. I can guarantee that I have to be missing some major works at this point.

1st - George Washington (1789-1797)

Washington: A Life

His Excellency: George Washington

Washington: The Indispensable Man

2nd - John Adams (1797-1801)

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Amazon Kindle, protected, is immersed

An Amazon Kindle, protected by a special waterproof case, is immersed in water at a consumer electronics show. Amazon has released the first of a new line of short digital books pitched as quick, captivating works for its popular electronic reader.

See picture here:

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Kindle Singles debuts pithy digital works

Amazon has released the first of a new line of short digital books pitched as quick, captivating works for its popular Kindle electronic readers.

The launch of Kindle Singles included the debut of TED Books, written versions of inspirational 18-minute talks that are a trademark of renowned TED gatherings dedicated to cultivating "ideas worth spreading."
"This first set of Singles was selected by our team of editors, and includes works by Rich Cohen, Darin Strauss, Ian Ayres, and the first-ever books published by TED," said Kindle content vice president Russ Grandinetti.

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Academically Adrift

Academically Adrift: Limited Learning on College Campuses has been in the top 100 on Amazon for the last 9 days.
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Think You Know 'How To Write A Sentence'?

NPR discusses a new book by Stanley Fish called How to Write a Sentence: And How to Read One NPR piece is here: Think You Know 'How To Write A Sentence'?
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A law professor I know sent me this email. I believe this prof has a slightly left of center political view just to give a little context on the sender.


Agree or not, you all might enjoy reading the following three paragraphs, the first three paragraphs of a concurring opinion by Scalia, published yesterday.

Professor X

Cite as: 562 U. S. ____ (2011) SCALIA, J., concurring in judgment

No. 09–530
[January 19, 2011]
JUSTICE SCALIA, with whom JUSTICE THOMAS joins, concurring in the judgment.

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Sex on the Moon

Book -- Sex on the Moon: The Amazing Story Behind the Most Audacious Heist in History

Thad Roberts, a fellow in a prestigious NASA program had an idea—a romantic, albeit crazy, idea. He wanted to give his girlfriend the moon. Literally.

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1.3 million

1.3 million people bought the $20 gift certificate at for $10 at Living Social.

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Teaching Wikipedia as a mirrored technology

Digital spaces on the World Wide Web can be consumed as windowed technologies, providing apparently transparent access to information, or as mirrors, multi–layered and complex, requiring critical reflexivity for productive participation. Approaching Wikipedia as a mirrored technology exploits its potential as a pedagogical tool with which students can improve their research practices and writing proficiency in digital environments.

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$20 Amazon gift certificate for $10

Website "Living Social" has a deal today where you can get an Amazon $20 gift certificate for $10.


USA Today had a piece about this deal:

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Hip youth are good at multitasking.
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HBO: Netflix must charge more to use our content

Don't hold your breath for the arrival of "The Sopranos" or "Entourage" on Netflix's streaming service.
Citing a "high-placed Time Warner executive," The Hollywood Reporter reported late last week that the only way for Time Warner-owned HBO to offer its content on Netflix's service is if the rental company charges customers $20 per month, rather than the $7.99 it currently charges streaming-only users. At such a price, The Hollywood Reporter's source claims, Netflix would get a "meaningful amount of HBO content."

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The Parking Lot Movie

Over the course of three years, filmmaker Meghan Eckman tracked the comings and goings of a solitary parking lot in Charlottesville, Va., chronicling the lives of the attendants who were working there. This inspiring documentary is the result. Hanging tough as they navigate the range of human emotion -- from hope to frustration, from a sense of limitless possibilities to stagnation -- the film's subjects embody the pursuit of the American Dream.


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The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks

The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks is listed as one of the best books of 2010 in several places.


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