Books

Reco thinks books are better when they’re recommended by people you trust | TechCrunch

I still love books, and I still have a fair amount of trouble finding new ones to read that I’ll actually enjoy. Helping with discovery is the idea behind Reco, a new mobile app from Canadian bookseller and retailer Indigo, which provides users with a social network based around books, and people’s love thereof.
From Reco thinks books are better when they’re recommended by people you trust | TechCrunch
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Children's Doodles Found in Margins of Medieval Manuscript

The margins of a medieval manuscript from a convent in Naples, Italy, are decorated with doodles of what are apparently devils, a farm animal and a person that were likely drawn by children, a new study finds.
From Children's Doodles Found in Margins of Medieval Manuscript
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Ulysses and the Lie of Technological Progress

Today is Bloomsday, a folk holiday adopted to celebrate the life and work of the Irish writer James Joyce, in particular his 1922 novel Ulysses. The name derives from the book’s protagonist, Leopold Bloom, one of the Dubliners the book follows through the day of June 16, 1904. First celebrated mere years after the novel’s publication, Bloomsday festivities have been enjoyed for decades. Today, Bloomsday is marked globally in various ways, but especially in Dublin, where it has taken on the character of a citywide festival and as a pilgrimage for aspiring high modernists worldwide.
From Ulysses and the Lie of Technological Progress - The Atlantic
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Fidel Speaks: Literature in Castro’s Cuba

Late in 1959, the photojournalist Lee Lockwood flew to Cuba to witness the end of Batista’s regime. After a long search, he found Fidel Castro, who had only just seized power. The two had an immediate rapport, and in successive trips over the next decade, Lockwood found that Castro granted him unprecedented access to the island; in 1965, he sat for a marathon seven-day interview. First published in 1967, Lockwood’s portrait of Castro stands as arguably the most penetrating document that exists of the man. Lockwood died in 2010; this month, in light of the new course in U.S. relations with Cuba and the paucity of historical context, Taschen is reissuing his interviews in Castro’s Cuba: An American Journalist’s Inside Look at Cuba 1959–1969, including hundreds of photographs, many of them previously unpublished. The excerpt below covers Castro’s opinions on literature, arts, and culture in Cuba.   
From Fidel Speaks: Literature in Castro’s Cuba
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AIGA | 50 Books/50 Covers Competition

“50 Books/50 Covers” has a long history of celebrating design excellence, with selections exemplifying the best current work in book and book cover design as chosen by a distinguished jury of design peers. The annual competition developed from AIGA's “Fifty Books of 1923” exhibition and past selections have been added to the AIGA Design Archives as well as the physical archives at the Denver Art Museum and in Columbia University's Rare Book and Manuscript Collection at the Butler Library. Since 2011, the competition has been managed by Design Observer. “Justified: AIGA Design Competition” represents the next generation of AIGA’s competitions and seeks stories that reveal the value design created for the client. For book design, AIGA encourages entry in both competitions. 
From AIGA | 50 Books/50 Covers Competition Here are the 2015 winners: Books and the Covers.
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Library of Congress asks for profound books, gets Dune and The Cat in the Hat

A public poll for the Library of Congress to choose 65 books by US authors that had a profound effect on American life has thrown up some surprises. Herbert’s Dune, a 1965 science-fiction novel adapted into a film starring Sting, Pirsing’s cult classic Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance and children’s favourite The Cat in the Hat by Dr Seuss – real name Theodore Geisel – all make the cut. So too does the prolific and popular Stephen King with The Stand. But literary giants such as William Faulkner, Toni Morrison, Philip Roth, John Updike and Tom Wolfe do not. The library, the biggest in the world with more than 162m items, does not claim the list is a definitive rank of greatness.
From Library of Congress asks for profound books, gets Dune and The Cat in the Hat | Books | The Guardian

The True Story of Medical Books Bound in Human Skin

Hark is part of the Anthropodermic Book Project, a group of researchers that analyzes books rumored to be bound in human skin. He was first pulled into it when librarians at his own college asked him to investigate whether a book in the school’s collection might fall into that category. Scrawled on the inside cover of Biblioteca Politica, a Spanish political tract dating from the 17th century, was a note indicating that the binding was human in origin. The inscription became a well-known piece of campus lore, turning the title into a nuisance for Juniata’s librarians. They found themselves spending an inordinate amount of time fielding questions from students about the book’s provenance, especially around Halloween.
From The True Story of Medical Books Bound in Human Skin - Facts So Romantic - Nautilus

E-books fair game for public libraries, says advisor to top Europe court

Electronic books should be treated just like physical books for the purposes of lending, an advisor to Europe's top court has said. Maciej Szpunar, advocate general to the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU), said in an opinion published (PDF) Thursday morning that public libraries should be allowed to lend e-books so long as the author is fairly compensated. A 2006 EU directive says that the exclusive right to authorise or prohibit rentals and loans belongs to the author of the work. However, countries may opt out of this rule for the purposes of “public lending,” provided that authors obtain fair remuneration.
From E-books fair game for public libraries, says advisor to top Europe court | Ars Technica
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Are Your Books Secretly Worth Millions?

Until now, the knowledge that ancient manuscripts were used to make cartonnage has presented an ethical quandary to scholars. Books and other artifacts have been destroyed in the hopes of discovering something more precious hidden inside. The stakes are even higher when it comes to Egyptian mummy masks because there are comparably few ancient manuscripts, and certain texts—Plato, the Bible, and Homer—are culturally and financially viable to Westerners. The oldest Ptolemaic fragment of the Odyssey (currently on display at the Met) was retrieved from the cartonnage of a mummy mask. Rumors that mummy masks contain the earliest fragments of the Bible has led some evangelicals to dismantle them at church-sponsored events.
From Are Your Books Secretly Worth Millions? - The Daily Beast
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New Chapter for Classic Paris Bookstore: Books Printed on Demand

Labeled, not so modestly, the “Gutenberg press of the 21st century” by its creators, the machine sits in a back corner of the shop, humming as it turns PDFs into paperbacks. Customers use tablets to select the titles for print — adding, if they want to, their own handwritten inscriptions — while sipping coffee in the light and airy storefront in the Latin Quarter of Paris. “The customers are all surprised,” said the shop’s director, Alexandre Gaudefroy. “At first, they’re a little uncomfortable with the tablets. After all, you come to a bookshop to look at books. But thanks to the machine and the tablets, the customer holds a digital library in their hands.”
From New Chapter for Classic Paris Bookstore: Books Printed on Demand - The New York Times
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