Books

Cuba Seizes U.S. Mission's Book Shipment

"Works by Martin Luther King Jr., John Steinbeck and Groucho Marx were among 5,101 books seized by Cuban authorities after being shipped in by the U.S. government, America's top diplomat in Havana said Thursday."

"American diplomats were told it was a "firm decision by the government" not to allow the books into the communist-run country for distribution to dissident groups, including independent libraries, U.S. Interests Section Chief James Cason said." (from AP)

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LOA Launches American Poets Project

"To coincide with National Poetry Month, the Library of America, a nonprofit publisher of American classics, will launch the American Poets Project, a new series of books devoted to individual poets and anthologies exploring particular themes, genres, and eras. Edited by widely respected authors, the series will showcase the work of well-known poets along with those whose work has been neglected or whose popularity and reputations may be in decline, says Max Rudin, the Library of America's publisher." (from Poets and Writers)

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When Your Life Is An Open Book, Find a Comfy Chair and A Really Good Lamp

SomeOne submitted this Nice Washington Post Article, By Doug Brown on how we read.
He wonders... Is there a model reading space? A perfect light? An unsurpassed chair?
And answers... there is nothing near consensus on the notion of the nonpareil reading environment. There are library or study people. There are bed people and bathroom people. There are anywhere people.
First lady Laura Bush, a librarian who travels the country touting the delights of reading, wrote in an e-mail that she and the president usually start their day together reading newspapers, and they end the day reading too. At the White House, she wrote, "the library is a great place to settle in with a good book, and at our ranch in Crawford, I like to sit on our porch and read."

So what's the best way to read, for you?

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A New Phase for Gay Books

Jen Young sent over A New Phase for Gay Books, from the NYTimes, on Kensington Publishing, one of the largest general independent book publishers, and their new 15-page catalog proclaiming, "On the Cutting-Edge of Gay and Lesbian Publishing."
No large mainstream house has had a gay imprint since St. Martin's Press closed its Stonewall Inn Editions in January 2002, although it still publishes a number of gay and lesbian books.

"We are doing entertaining books that are not depressing," Mr. Scognamiglio said, "not about AIDS or suicide, but are positive and uplifting and fun."

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Hooked on classics, Oprah revives book club

"Oprah Winfrey's book club is accepting new members."

"The talk-show megastar, whose endorsements have launched dozens of best sellers, said Wednesday that she is reviving the club after almost a year's hiatus. But this time, club members will read the classics."

"Shakespeare, Steinbeck, Faulkner, Hemingway. Those are the authors she's reading now — "It's a gift to myself," she says — and they'll likely make the list. The new round of reading tentatively is titled "Traveling with the Classics"; Winfrey will visit the settings of the authors' works." (from USA Today via Waterboro Lib Blog)

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Old books, new endings

The Tennessean has a look at the world of altered books.
People are buying up old books and transforming them into journals and new works of art.
Artists have long been altering books with paint and collage and the Victorians used old books as scrapbooks, so this isn't necessarily a new idea. But, avid rubber stampers, scrap-bookers and book makers have refueled the art form in the last two or three years, said Katherine Sullivan of Nashville, who this month began teaching a monthly course in altered books.
Check out ISABA, ABAlteredBooks, or This Site for more.

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Mapping the Literary Landscape of Los Angeles

Here's A Neat Project devoted to the phenomenon of Los Angeles Literature. Students at Mount St. Mary's College make a pretty compelling argument that a great deal of good writing has emerged and is continuing to emerge from Los Angeles.
The information gathered on the website has been amassed by first- and second-year undergraduate students, who devoted a great deal of time and effort to providing accurate, helpful, and interesting information.

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How threat of war inflicted collateral damage on a cosy book prize

Bob Cox noticed a Guardian Article on Book of the Year prize which went to Michael Moore's Stupid White Men.
The ceremony, nicknamed The Nibbies because of the large gold pen nibs which are its only prizes, has tended to be seen as a back-slapping rite at which the industry rewards authors of its highest selling titles.

But this year's organisers, the magazine Publishing News, introduced an element of public voting into the judging by distributing more than 100,000 leaflets in bookshops.

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New book on Book Burning

There is a new book coming out in May 2003 entitled, \"Libricide: The Regime-Sponsored Destruction of Books and Libraries in the Twentieth Century\". Here is a description from Amazon:

\"Where they have burned books, they will end in burning human beings,\" declared German poet Heinrich Heine. Libricide identifies the regime-sponsored, ideologically driven and systemic destruction of books and libraries in the twentieth century that often served as a prelude or accompaniment to the massive human tragedies that have characterized a most violent century. As Knuth argues, the destruction of books and libraries by authoritarian regimes was sparked by the same impulses toward negation that provoked acts of genocide or ethnocide. Through case studies of libricide committed by Nazis, Serbs in Bosnia, Iraqis in Kuwait, and Maoists during the Cultural Revolution in China, and Chinese Communists in Tibet, Knuth illustrates the dynamics of book destruction. Anyone committed to freedom of expression and humanistic values will embrace this passionate and valuable book.\" (via Blog Drivers Waltz)

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County's 'One Book' program fizzling out

"A month after it was launched, the One Book, One Community program, which had hoped to get the whole county reading and discussing "To Kill a Mockingbird," is still struggling to take flight."

"While most of One Book's schedule focuses on discussion groups and film showings at libraries and bookstores, several events scheduled this month were aimed at drawing bigger audiences and they have been canceled."

"It just seems to be a nonevent," said Shelia Fisher, president of the Friends of the Carnegie Library and a member of the organizing committee. "It's just not making a big hit and that's too bad. It has a lot of potential." (from The Post-Gazette via Waterboro Lib Blog)

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