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Behind The Famous Story, A Difficult 'Truth'

Jon Krakauer's 1996 book Into the Wild delved into the riveting story of Chris McCandless, a 24-year-old man from an affluent family outside Washington, D.C. who graduated with honors from Emory, then gave away the bulk of his money, burned the rest and severed all ties with his family. After tramping around the country for nearly two years, he headed into the Alaska wilderness in April, 1992. His emaciated body was found a little over four months later.

Krakauer's book struck a nerve with readers. But he never fully answered what motivated McCandless's ascetic renunciation, and the book drew scores of letters accusing him of arrogance, ignorance, and selfishness.

In a fascinating 2013 followup article in The New Yorker, Krakauer finally confirmed the cause of McCandless's death: A toxic amino acid in wild potato seeds, previously thought to be benign. He hoped that the new findings would squelch some of those accusations.

Now Chris's younger sister, Carine McCandless, 21 at the time of her brother's death, has come out with The Wild Truth, which tells a story as poisonous as wild potato seeds. Her memoir reveals what Chris was running from — and should lay to rest allegations that her brother's behavior was cruel to their parents.

Full piece here:
http://www.npr.org/2014/11/11/363120048/behind-the-famous-story-a-difficult-truth

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Roger Ebert's 4 Star Movie Guide and Serendipity

A post on found books, serendipity, and Roger Ebert.

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Two Important Publishing Facts Everyone Gets Wrong

Two Important Publishing Facts Everyone Gets Wrong

October 27th, 2014 | Hugh C. Howey

Almost everything being said about publishing today is predicated on two facts that are dead wrong. The first is that publishers are somehow being hurt by ebook sales. The second is that independent bookstores are being crushed. The opposite is true in both cases, and without understanding this, most of what everyone says about publishing is complete bollocks.

Full post here: http://www.hughhowey.com/two-important-publishing-facts-everyone-gets-wrong/

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Intertwingled: Information Changes Everything

Intertwingled: Information Changes Everything
This is a book about everything. Or, to be precise, it explores how everything is connected from code to culture. We think we’re designing software, services, and experiences, but we're not. We are intervening in ecosystems. Until we open our minds, we will forever repeat our mistakes. In this spirited tour of information architecture and systems thinking, Peter Morville connects the dots between authority, Buddhism, classification, synesthesia, quantum entanglement, and volleyball. In 1974 when Ted Nelson wrote "everything is deeply intertwingled," he hoped we might realize the true potential of hypertext and cognition. This book follows naturally from that.

Reviews of the book at Goodreads

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Searching for the ripple effects of history-making tech

 

In the new book and PBS series “How We Got to Now,” Steven Johnson presents six game-changing innovations and how they shaped the modern world. Hari Sreenivasan talks to Johnson about surprising connections between invention and American society.

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The Jacket Designer's Challenge: To Capture A Book By Its Cover

Peter Mendelsund estimates he's designed "somewhere between 600 and 1,000 book covers," ranging from Crime and Punishment to Girl with the Dragon Tattoo. But the self-taught, sought-after designer says he spends a lot of time reading, too.

"It's always surprising to people when they come to my office or they walk by my door and they see me with my feet kicked up with a manuscript," he tells Fresh Air's Dave Davies. "But I read constantly from the moment I wake up to the moment I go to sleep."

Now Mendelsund has designed the covers for two new books of his own. Cover is a collection of hundreds of his book covers, including many that were rejected, along with commentaries on his technique. What We See When We Read is about how words give rise to images in our minds.

Full piece here:
http://www.npr.org/2014/10/16/345548582/the-jacket-designers-challenge-to-capture-a-book-by-...

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A girl with a book

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From YouTube Stars, Literary Lions

Book Publishers Sweep Video Site for a New Wave of Authors

Publishers seeking the next hit author have a new hunting ground: YouTube.

A wave of titles written by YouTube personalities is hitting the shelves this month as book publishers bet on the power of online media. They made a similar bet several years ago on books by popular food bloggers, such as Ree Drummond and Julie Powell.

http://online.wsj.com/articles/from-youtube-stars-literary-lions-1413150001?mod=WSJ_TechWSJD...

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