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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.

The Books That Changed Your Life

From the archives of "This American Life" -- Listen to full show

Stories of people who believe a book changed their life. It's a romantic notion, and one reason we believe it is because we want to believe our lives can be changed by something so simple as an idea — or a set of ideas contained in a book.

When Alexa was seven, she started going through her grandfather's books. Her grandfather was a playwright and teacher, and through the books—and especially through his notes in the margins—she entered the world of 1930's American theater. And she found a book that changed her life: writer Moss Hart's autobiography Act One. (5 minutes)

More of Alexa Junge and how Moss Hart's autobiography changed her life. She followed his path, learned specific lessons, and had a vision of him that was absolutely clear—until she met his widow. (10 minutes)

The story of a book that changed a family's life, but only temporarily and not for the better. David Sedaris describes what happens when he finds a dirty book in the woods and shares it with his sisters. This story is published in Sedaris' book Naked. (9 minutes)

Reporter Jeremy Goldstein tells the story of a man who had many books change his life, even though he'd never read them. (14 minutes) Available: The Journals of Lewis and Clark, containing excerpts from the explorers' journals.

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iPad vs. NookColor: eReading Death Match, by Nico Vreeland

Excerpt: Obviously the iPad does a lot more than reading, but this post is designed to give avid readers an idea of whether a Nook will be enough for them, or an iPad will be worth the extra money. And the short answer is: the Nook will be enough. It’s a close fight, but the iPad simply doesn’t seem...

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$2.99 Kindle books on Amazon

Each day Amazon is making several Kindle books $2.99. The next day the books are set back to their regular price. Some of the books for today are: 1) A Fistful of Rice: My Unexpected Quest to End Poverty Through Profitability 2) Always On : Language in an Online and Mobile World 3) The Book of Awakening: Having the Life You Want by Being Present to the Life You Have 4) Everything Is Illuminated: A Novel 5) Exploring Space 1999: An Episode Guide and Complete History of the Mid-1970s Science Fiction Television Series 6) Gothic Kings of Britain: The Lives of 31 Medieval Rulers, 1016-1399 7) Handmade Hellos:Fresh Greeting Card Projects from First-Rate Crafters 8) Honeybee Democracy 9) Mr. Darcy's Obsession 10) Sunday Soup 11) The Blue Sweater: Bridging the Gap Between Rich and Poor in an Interconnected World 12) The Last Thing I Remember 13) The Monster Hunter in Modern Popular Culture 14) The Wishing Box
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The Library at Pooh Corner

The story goes back 35 years. In the 1980s, I had a gruesome copy-editing job at E. P. Dutton, the American publishers of the “Winnie-the-Pooh” books. One of my colleagues was a crusty septuagenarian named Elliot Graham, whose title was director of publicity emeritus. Elliot was the shepherd of the original Pooh stuffed animals — Pooh, Tigger, Kanga, Piglet and Eeyore — which were kept in a glass case in the Dutton lobby on 2 Park Avenue.

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Astronomer Sues University, Claiming Faith Cost Him a Job

In 2007, C. Martin Gaskell, an astronomer at the University of Nebraska, was a leading candidate for a job running an observatory at the University of Kentucky. But then somebody did what one does nowadays: an Internet search.

That search turned up evidence of Dr. Gaskell’s evangelical Christian faith.

The University of Kentucky hired someone else. And Dr. Gaskell sued the institution.

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Big Brotheresque App Kills Your Automotive Anonymity

A new app that lets frustrated drivers vent their anger at boneheaded motorists already has branded your bumper with a “How’s My Driving” sticker, and it could raise your insurance premium. It’s like having thousands of unmarked police cars and speed cameras on every roadway, and it could spell the end of anonymity behind the wheel.

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Search Patterns

Amazon says it has sold millions of Kindles, beat out all of 2009 sales in just last 73 days

Amazon says it has sold millions of Kindles, beat out all of 2009 sales in just last 73 days

Story found at


Message from Amazon Kindle Team:

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The strange but inevitable rise of e-reader pornography.

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In the stacks

A great photo of a Boston area book store that made it's rounds on Boing Boing yesterday!

Picture at Bookfinder

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Indie Booksellers Pick 2010 Favorites

On NPR: It's that time of year again! Susan Stamberg chats with three independent booksellers about their favorite reads of the year, from an atlas of remote islands to a children's book about feminist heroes. Listen to story Crooked Letter, Crooked Letter: A Novel The Wilding: A Novel The Cookbook Collector: A Novel
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My top five red herring ebook stories, 2010

The pundits have been out in full force this year, as ebooks finally hit the mainstream. But amidst all the hot air about pricing and contracts and DRM and i-Whatevers, a lot of ink was shed on some red herrings—issues which, on the surface, seem very important but in my opinion are mere diversions from the real story of the future of the ebook world. What are my top five red herrings, and why do I think they are not the stumbling points the pundits make them up to be? Keep reading to find out!

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The Book in the Renaissance

The Book in the Renaissance

The dawn of print was a major turning point in the early modern world. It rescued ancient learning from obscurity, transformed knowledge of the natural and physical world, and brought the thrill of book ownership to the masses. But, as Andrew Pettegree reveals in this work of great historical merit, the story of the post-Gutenberg world was rather more complicated than we have often come to believe.

The Book in the Renaissance reconstructs the first 150 years of the world of print, exploring the complex web of religious, economic, and cultural concerns surrounding the printed word. From its very beginnings, the printed book had to straddle financial and religious imperatives, as well as the very different requirements and constraints of the many countries who embraced it, and, as Pettegree argues, the process was far from a runaway success. More than ideas, the success or failure of books depended upon patrons and markets, precarious strategies and the thwarting of piracy, and the ebb and flow of popular demand. Owing to his state-of-the-art and highly detailed research, Pettegree crafts an authoritative, lucid, and truly pioneering work of cultural history about a major development in the evolution of European society.

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