Books

Book News: Battle Rages On In Amazon Vs. Overstock Price War

NPR piece that mentions the Amazon vs. Overstock price war. In addition it mentions the American Idol winner Kelly Clarkson bought a ring owned by Jane Austen last year for about $228,000. Also mentioned is a school in Queens, N.Y., dropped Sherman Alexie's National Book Award-winning young adult novel The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian.

Rewire: Digital Cosmopolitans in the Age of Connection

Book: Rewire: Digital Cosmopolitans in the Age of Connection

A rousing call to action for those who would be citizens of the world—online and off.

We live in an age of connection, one that is accelerated by the Internet. This increasingly ubiquitous, immensely powerful technology often leads us to assume that as the number of people online grows, it inevitably leads to a smaller, more cosmopolitan world. We’ll understand more, we think. We’ll know more. We’ll engage more and share more with people from other cultures. In reality, it is easier to ship bottles of water from Fiji to Atlanta than it is to get news from Tokyo to New York.

In Rewire, media scholar and activist Ethan Zuckerman explains why the technological ability to communicate with someone does not inevitably lead to increased human connection. At the most basic level, our human tendency to “flock together” means that most of our interactions, online or off, are with a small set of people with whom we have much in common. In examining this fundamental tendency, Zuckerman draws on his own work as well as the latest research in psychology and sociology to consider technology’s role in disconnecting ourselves from the rest of the world. -- Read More

See How Book Covers Are Designed

Book Covers: Before and After
Four designers discuss their work on recent book covers: first concepts that didn’t make the final cut, and then the cover as published.

Book News: Outrage After Fox News Interview With 'Zealot' Author

Charges of anti-Muslim prejudice flew thick and fast following Fox News anchor Lauren Green's interview with Reza Aslan, a religious scholar and the author of Zealot: The Life and Times of Jesus of Nazareth in which she repeatedly asked Aslan why, as a Muslim, he is interested in writing about Jesus' life.

Full piece here.

An Unexpected Price War Is Making Amazon Book Prices Lower Than Ever

Amazon appears to have slashed the prices of its books, thanks to an Overstock.com promo in which it priced all of its books at least 10 percent below Amazon.

The aggressive pricing strategy has been enough to see Bezos & Co. cut the prices of hardcover book by between 50 percent and 65 percent compared to the usual cover price. Those kinds of discounts have never been seen on Amazon before; typically, it knocks around 40 to 50 percent off as a maximum.
http://gizmodo.com/an-unexpected-price-war-is-making-amazon-book-prices-lo-948777676

Top Books Derived from 11 "Top 100" Lists

This post has its roots in a post from /r/booklists which linked to a blog post about the "Top 10 Top 100 Book Lists". This post linked to 10+ "Top 100" book lists from sources such as TIME magazine, Entertainment Weekly, Modern Library, etc. They were all in such different formats, and such different ways of being presented that I wanted to amalgamate all of these into one master "list" in order to compare them (thirteen lists in total since I also added in the first 100 of the Reddit's 200 favorite books). I have since thrown this into a pdf file on Scribd if anyone is interested. My next step was to compare each of these and see what books are most recommended in top lists. I omitted two lists (100 most influential books ever written and 100 Major works of creative nonfiction) since there was VERY LITTLE overlap between the other lists which were primarily fiction. I made one giant list that combined 11 "Top 100" Book Lists. The complete table, again available as a PDF on Scribd lists all the books I'm the left hand column and all the lists along the top. An 'X' denotes that the book was included in that list regardless of position. The books are sorted vertically by the number of lists in which the book is included.

Does listening to an audiobook provide the same intellectual advantages or rewards as actually reading the book?

INteresting Reddit Discussion... Does listening to an audiobook provide the same intellectual advantages or rewards as actually reading the book?

One comment points to this:
“The way this is usually interpreted is that once you are good at decoding letters into sound, which most of us are by the time we’re in 5th or 6th grade, the comprehension is the same whether it’s spoken or written,” explained University of Virginia psychology professor Dan Willingham

The Decline and Fall of the Book Cover

Two irreversible trends are at fault here, neither of which can be altered by even a really persuasive essay. One is that the illustrated book cover, like painted movie posters or newspaper comics, is pretty much dead. Fonts, stock photos, and Photoshop are cheaper than commissioning illustrations. With the imminence of Kindles and e-readers, this is all moot anyway; soon enough, book covers, like album covers before them—like albums themselves, or sheet music for popular songs, or dance cards—will be a quaint, old-timey thing you have to explain to the uninterested young, and there’ll be one fewer excuse to strike up conversations with pretty strangers on the subway.

J.K. Rowling revealed as writer of crime novel

An ex-military man tries his hand at writing, publishes a debut detective novel and wins critical acclaim. But here's the twist in the tale: The true identity of the author is none other than "Harry Potter" creator J.K. Rowling.

It's impressive literary wizardry by Rowling, who said she relished the freedom of writing "The Cuckoo's Calling" under her pseudonym Robert Galbraith.

Full story -- USA Today

Book is currently #1 on Amazon -- The Cuckoo's Calling

Actors Today Don’t Just Read for the Part. Reading IS the Part.

As audiobooks flourish, thanks in part to digital technologies, the industry has given many aspiring actors a steady paycheck.

Full story

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