Books

Bill Gates: The Billionaire Book Critic

"For years, Mr. Gates, the co-founder of Microsoft who now focuses on the philanthropic work of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, had been scribbling notes in the margins of books he was reading and then emailing recommendations to friends and colleagues. Then he began to post these recommendations and critiques on the blog. “A few years ago I started thinking it would be fun to share some of these notes with the public...” Mr.

Is History Written About Men, by Men?

"In recent years, as academic history has taken a turn toward the cultural and social, producing more and more works about women, minorities, and everyday life, the kinds of history books you see on the New Releases table at a Barnes & Noble have begun to feel like throwbacks." http://www.slate.com/articles/news_and_politics/history/2016/01/popular_history_why_are_so_many_history_books_about_men_by_men.html

A Brief History of Books That Do Not Exist

I have spent many pleasant nights imagining ghost books, those phantom texts of possibility and wonder. Their unprintable Dewey Decimal classifications divide them into (at the very least) three basic categories: books that can only be read once, books that cannot be read in one life time and the largest, aforementioned group, books that don’t exist.

From A Brief History of Books That Do Not Exist | Literary Hub

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The Best Facts I Learned from Books in 2015

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Kathryn Schulz: "Last year, I learned a piece of information so startling that I spent months repeating it to anyone who would listen. It came from my colleague Elizabeth Kolbert’s book “The Sixth Extinction,” and it is this: sixty-six million years ago, when the asteroid that ended the cretaceous period struck the Yucatán Peninsula, dinosaurs in Canada had roughly two minutes to live.

Where in the world has Almina Carnarvon been?

The Geisler Library at Central College in Pella, Iowa added the book "The life and secrets of Almina Carnarvon : a candid biography of the 5th Countess of Carnarvon of Tutankhamun" fame to their collection in August 2012. It has checked out via interlibrary loan 11 times in 3 years. The book has a subject connection with the popular television show Downton Abbey and that is likely the cause of some of the demand for the book.

One of the librarians made a map showing the travels of the book:
http://www.travellerspoint.com/member_map.cfm?user=GeislerILL&tripid=738041

The librarian that made the map passed on this additional comment - We joke that this book is out of Iowa more than it is in it.

WorldCat record for the copy held by the Geisler Library - http://www.worldcat.org/oclc/800850742

How the books we read shape our lives

On the other hand, the sociological questions that lie behind what might be called the origins of the literary sensibility are a great deal less easy to answer. How do people learn to read? How do they fashion their own individual tastes? How do they establish why they prefer one type of book to another type? Where do they acquire the information that enables them to make these selections, and, having acquired it, what do they do with it? After all, there are no hard-and-fast rules about aesthetic choice and how it operates: it was Anthony Powell who, presented by an admirer of his novel sequence A Dance to the Music of Time with an ornamental clock on which the names of Poussin and Proust had been engraved, truly remarked that books “have odd effects on different people”.

From How the books we read shape our lives | Features | Culture | The Independent

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I read 164 books in 2015 and tracked them all in a spreadsheet. Here's what I learned.

At the end of every book I loved, I felt transformed. I wanted to tell everyone about it, if not read it again right away. The other books, the ones I didn't care about, I read because I thought they would make me better in some way — more well-read, perhaps, or even more interesting. But reading books I wasn't invested in just made me bored and disengaged; I would have been better off doing something else.

I became a librarian because talking about books is one of the only things I like as much as reading them

From I read 164 books in 2015 and tracked them all in a spreadsheet. Here's what I learned. - Vox

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The value of books is not restricted to price

The best way to pass along books for future generations to value is give them today. They do this better in Iceland than anywhere. An online article by Giulia Trentacosti described Iceland’s Jolabokaflod, or “Christmas book flood,” festival. The majority of Iceland’s books are published around Christmastime when it’s traditional to exchange new and used books. The flood comes from the fact Iceland is so literate. 

“With around 330,000 inhabitants, Iceland is certainly one of the smallest book markets in the world. Nevertheless, it boasts one of the highest rates of books per capita.” They also each read an average of eight books annually, and “an impressive 98 percent read at least one.” Giving and reading books in a national pastime.

From The value of books is not restricted to price | At The Library Column | newsminer.com

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Adult Coloring Books Test Grown-Ups’ Ability to Stay Inside the Lines

Eight of the top 20 selling books on Amazon currently are coloring books designed for adults. These books tend to be much more finely detailed than those for children. Popular topics include animals, fish, flowers and mandala spiritual symbols.

Michael O’Mara Books Ltd., a British publisher, says it got the ball rolling. “A staffer said how embarrassed she was to see her mother coloring and getting enormous enjoyment,” says Michael O’Mara, founder and chairman. “We thought, ‘Why not have a stab producing a coloring book aimed at adults?’ ”

From Adult Coloring Books Test Grown-Ups’ Ability to Stay Inside the Lines - WSJ

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Most popular books in New York's libraries in 2015

Jodi Picoult's "Leaving Time" (left) was the most-checked-out book of 2015, while Harper Lee's highly anticipated "Go Set A Watchman" ranked third.
The entire Top 10 can be found below:

1. “Leaving Time” by Jodi Picoult

2. “The Girl on the Train” by Paula Hawkins

From SEE IT: Most popular books in New York's libraries in 2015 - NY Daily News

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