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Cowboys Full: The Story of Poker

Book received a Publisher's Weekly starred review.

From James McManus, author of the bestselling Positively Fifth Street, comes the definitive story of the game that, more than any other, reflects who we are and how we operate.

Cowboys Full is the story of poker, from its roots in China, the Middle East, and Europe to its ascent as a global—but especially an American—phenomenon. It describes how early Americans took a French parlor game and, with a few extra cards and an entrepreneurial spirit, turned it into a national craze by the time of the Civil War. From the kitchen-table games of ordinary citizens to its influence on generals and diplomats, poker has gone hand in hand with our national experience. Presidents from Abraham Lincoln to Barack Obama have deployed poker and its strategies to explain policy, to relax with friends, to negotiate treaties and crises, and as a political networking tool. The ways we all do battle and business are echoed by poker tactics: cheating and thwarting cheaters, leveraging uncertainty, bluffing and sussing out bluffers, managing risk and reward.

Publishers Make Poor Poker Players

When I was young, I had an eccentric, poker-playing uncle. At family reunions, he loved to show me how to play five-card draw, which introduced me to the concept of betting and bluffing. He’d deal out the cards, ask me to make a mock wager with fake chips, and then tell me to decide whether to fold or go all-in. As an 11-year old, my poker-playing skills weren’t well-honed. So, invariably, I’d fall for my uncle’s bluff by folding too early, turning over our cards, only to find out that I had held the winning hand.

How Google's 'Penguin' Update Will Change Publishing, for the Better

How Google's 'Penguin' Update Will Change Publishing, for the Better

The ISBN Users Manual

Attention Is the New Currency

With so many more distractions available to disrupt their attention, perhaps there is more academic librarians could do to help students achieve academic success.

http://lj.libraryjournal.com/2012/08/opinion/steven-bell/attention-is-the-new-currency-from-...

David Rakoff

Essayist and humorist David Rakoff has died, novel to be published in 2013
http://books.usatoday.com/bookbuzz/post/2012-08-10/essayist-and-humorist-david-rakoff-has-di...

Finding the Price of Fairness

A new book by Kenneth Feinberg traces his years of work in assessing and paying victims’ claims after disasters, whether the 9/11 attacks, the Virginia Tech massacre or the Gulf of Mexico oil spill.

Article in the NYT

Laser etched Kindle 2

FedEx: The Office Meeting

How to Do Things with Books in Victorian Britain

How to Do Things with Books in Victorian Britain asks how our culture came to frown on using books for any purpose other than reading. When did the coffee-table book become an object of scorn? Why did law courts forbid witnesses to kiss the Bible? What made Victorian cartoonists mock commuters who hid behind the newspaper, ladies who matched their books' binding to their dress, and servants who reduced newspapers to fish 'n' chips wrap?

Shedding new light on novels by Thackeray, Dickens, the Brontës, Trollope, and Collins, as well as the urban sociology of Henry Mayhew, Leah Price also uncovers the lives and afterlives of anonymous religious tracts and household manuals. From knickknacks to wastepaper, books mattered to the Victorians in ways that cannot be explained by their printed content alone. And whether displayed, defaced, exchanged, or discarded, printed matter participated, and still participates, in a range of transactions that stretches far beyond reading.

Cell Tower Deaths

FRONTLINE and ProPublica investigate the hidden cost that comes with the demand for better and faster cell phone service. http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/pages/frontline/cell-tower-deaths/

After Long Resistance, Pynchon Allows Novels to Be Sold as E-Books

Thomas Pynchon, author of “Gravity’s Rainbow” and “The Crying of Lot 49,” characteristically declined to speak about his decision.

http://libwire.blogspot.com/2012/06/after-long-resistance-pynchon-allows.html

Digital wars

A librarian friend of mine who makes thoughtful book recomendations said that - Digital Wars: Apple, Google, Microsoft and the Battle for the Internetwas an excellent and timely read.

U.S. Government Printing Office (GPO)

The Story of Ain’t

Book

The Story of Ain't: America, Its Language, and the Most Controversial Dictionary Ever Published

Humanities editor Skinner, who is on the usage panel for the American Heritage Dictionary, offers a highly entertaining and intelligent re-creation of events surrounding the 1961 publication of Webster’s Third New International Dictionary by G. & C. Merriam. The dictionary, assembled at a cost of $3.5 million, included a press release from Merriam’s president Gordon J. Gallan, which said the work contained “an avalanche of bewildering new verbal concepts.”

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