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Pandora's Lunchbox

Writer George Saunders

George Saunders, a former MacArthur Fellow, talks to Jeffrey Brown about his latest collection of stories, "Tenth of December," and his unique voice and approach to capturing contemporary American culture in a compressed, short form.

Books by Saunders:

Tenth of December: Stories

CivilWarLand in Bad Decline

In Persuasion Nation

dot dot dot

Meet dot dot dot, an organizational app for all your digital reading
http://www.teleread.com/ebooks/meet-dot-dot-dot-your-new/

Instant: The Story of Polaroid

Instant: The Story of Polaroid

http://bookcalendar2013.blogspot.com/2013/02/instant-story-of-polaroid.html

American Icons: John Henry

In the ballad, told countless times over more than a century, the railroad worker John Henry wins a race against a new steam-powered drill, but the victory is Pyrrhic: he collapses, saying “Give me a cool drink of water before I die.” “Did he win? Did he lose?,” wonders novelist Colson Whitehead. “By the '60s,” remarks Scott Nelson, a professor of history who wrote Steel Drivin’ Man, “John Henry is looked down on, as being an Uncle Tom character. ... The black man who’s always willing to do what the white man wants. There’s a division between brain and brawn.”

Whether or not the story has historical roots — it’s uncertain — his race has come to represent the heroic struggle of men and women to maintain the dignity of their labor against encroaching technology. A chess grandmaster going to battle against Big Blue is compared to John Henry, and The Onion headline reads, “Modern-Day John Henry Dies Trying to Out-Spreadsheet Excel 11.0.”

But it wasn't always so. Studio 360's David Krasnow traces the ballad back to its origins as a cautionary tale, and finds the answer song: a blues about a railroad worker who wants no part of martyrdom. “John Henry was a steel-driving man. He went down,” the song goes. “Take this hammer and carry it to the captain. Tell him I’m gone.”

Listen to full radio piece stream or download MP3 here:
http://www.studio360.org/2013/feb/01/american-icons-john-henry/

See all the January books

Book Calendar 2013

Now that January is done you can see all the books that were selected for January at once.

The current day can be seen here.

Book: The Geography of Hope

Book: The Geography of Hope: A Tour of the World We Need

The author of this book also wrote a book on a completely different topic: Planet Simpson: How a Cartoon Masterpiece Defined a Generation

Major Dutch publisher abandons DRM

De Arbeiderspers/A W Bruna, the largest publisher in the Netherlands, has removed DRM from its e-books for the first time.

Full article

Digital Apollo

Digital Apollo: Human and Machine in Spaceflight

January 14 selection for the Book Calendar: Digital Apollo

Lincoln's Code

Jan 11 Book Calendar - Lincoln's Code: The Laws of War in American History

Salumi

January 7 book for the book calendar - Salumi: The Craft of Italian Dry Curing

If you look at the calendar in flip card mode you can browse over all the titles selected so far.

Dodos

21st Century Dodos

Book that looks at technologies that have gone extinct.

Coke can ring pulls, telephone boxes, VHS, cassette tapes, village post offices, the test card, hand-written letters, classic TV ads of yesteryear -- all of these and many, many more are bid a fond farewell in this affectionate, but slightly irreverent tribute.

Listen to Great Music

Book Calendar selection for January 4 - Listen to Great Music

The Universal Sense

January 3 Book Calendar entry -The Universal Sense

Book Calendar - January 2

Post for January 2

Book Calendar - January 1

The Book Calendar has posted the January 1 entry.

Book Calendar 2013

Site that features a new book everyday - Book Calendar 2013

100 Notable Books of 2012

NYT has a list of a 100 notable books for 2012. You can see all the books here.

World's Fastest Number Game Wows Spectators And Scientists

The Japanese have stumbled upon an extraordinary way to do mental arithmetic very, very fast: Become proficient with an abacus, then discard it and do your calculations using a mental image of one. The results are mind-boggling

http://www.guardian.co.uk/science/alexs-adventures-in-numberland/2012/oct/29/mathematics

British Airways Boeing 747-400 in D-Check

British Airways Boeing 747-400 in D-Check

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