Authors

Thousands Line Up For Rare Rowling Appearance

"They remind me of my childhood the way music reminds you of things when you were younger," she said. "The reason we cling to these books isn't because they were fun and we grew up with them; we cling to them because of deeper themes, because of friendship and because of loyalty and because of human connections."

Digging through the clutter of the online world: A Q&A with TED Books author Jim Hornthal

Digging through the clutter of the online world: A Q&A with TED Books author Jim Hornthal
The latest TED Book deals with an issue we all can relate too: the difficulty of finding answers to complex questions on the Internet when a simple search can lead you down a rabbit hole of impersonal data. In A Haystack Full of Needles: Cutting Through the Clutter of the Online World to Find a Place, Partner or President, Jim Hornthal explores groundbreaking new approaches to discovering the useful insights buried deep within our complex and noisy datasphere. Hornthal, a venture capitalist in Silicon Valley, introduces us to innovators who are pushing the edges of data science and data visualization by applying the principles of pattern recognition to isolate relevant signals in the noise. Their efforts will have enormous implications for the way we practice medicine, discover music and movies, and even identify our romantic partners.

Curious to hear more about the ideas he explores in his e-book, the TED Blog asked Hornthal a few questions over email.

Charlotte's Web Turns 60

From NPR.
Interesting story of how E.B. White made the transition from New Yorker to Mainer.

Syrian Author Wins PEN Prize

Syrian journalist and writer Samar Yazbek, who was forced into exile after criticizing President Bashar al-Assad, has won PEN's Pinter International Writer of Courage Award.

Yazbek, who fled her homeland late last year after repeated run-ins with the state security services, was recognized for her book, "A Woman In The Crossfire", an account of the early stages of the Syrian revolution.

In line with the late playwright Harold Pinter's Nobel speech in which he spoke of casting "an unflinching, unswerving gaze upon the world", the prize is awarded annually to a writer who has been persecuted for speaking out about their beliefs.

"The great thing about this prize is that it highlights figures who might not otherwise get the recognition they deserve," Heather Norman Soderlind, Deputy Director of English PEN, told Reuters.

Yazbek insists, though, that while grateful for the honor, she doesn't see this as a personal accolade. "I felt that beyond me this was a prize for the Syrian Revolution," she said.

Story from Reuters.

Open Road Media Video on Banned Books Week

Mugglemarch

The October 1 issue of the New Yorker has a 9000 word article on JK Rowling and her new book - The Casual Vacancy

The article is titled Mugglemarch

The Fine Print

Americans are paying high prices for poor quality Internet speeds — speeds that are now slower than in other countries, according to author David Cay Johnston. He says the U.S. ranks 29th in speed worldwide.

"We're way behind countries like Lithuania, Ukraine and Moldavia. Per bit of information moved, we pay 38 times what the Japanese pay," Johnston tells Fresh Air's Dave Davies. "If you buy one of these triple-play packages that are heavily advertised — where you get Internet, telephone and cable TV together — typically you'll pay what I pay, about $160 a month including fees. The same service in France is $38 a month."

In his new book, The Fine Print: How Big Companies Use "Plain English" to Rob You Blind, Johnston examines the fees that companies — such as cellphone and cable — have added over the years that have made bills incrementally larger.

Discussion with book's author on NPR

Joseph Anton: A Memoir

On February 14, 1989, Valentine’s Day, Salman Rushdie was telephoned by a BBC journalist and told that he had been “sentenced to death” by the Ayatollah Khomeini. For the first time he heard the word fatwa. His crime? To have written a novel called The Satanic Verses: A Novel, which was accused of being “against Islam, the Prophet and the Quran.”

So begins the extraordinary story of how a writer was forced underground, moving from house to house, with the constant presence of an armed police protection team. He was asked to choose an alias that the police could call him by. He thought of writers he loved and combinations of their names; then it came to him: Conrad and Chekhov—Joseph Anton. -- Read More

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