It’s Banned Books Week: Listen to Allen Ginsberg Read His Famously Banned Poem, “Howl,” in San Francisco, 1956

≡ Category: Books, Literature, Poetry |7 Comments

According to Ruth Graham in Slate, Banned Books Week is a “crock,” an unnecessary public   indulgence since “there is basically no such thing as a ‘banned book’ in the United States in 2015.


James Baldwin’s One & Only, Delightfully-Illustrated Children’s Book, Little Man Little Man: A Story of Childhood (1976)

≡ Category: Art, Books, K-12 |Leave a Comment

As a writer, a thinker, and a human being, James Baldwin knew few boundaries. The black, gay, expatriate author of such still-read books as Go Tell it on the Mountain and The Fire Next Time set an example for all who have since sought to break free of the strictures imposed upon them by their society, their history, or even their craft.


Harry Clarke’s 1926 Illustrations of Goethe’s Faust: Art That Inspired the Psychedelic 60s

≡ Category: Art, Books, Literature |Leave a Comment

Evoking the playful grotesques of Shel Silverstein, the gothic gloom of Neil Gaiman’s Sandman comics, the occult beauty of the Rider-Waite tarot deck, and the hidden horrors of H.P. Lovecraft, Harry Clarke’s illustrations for a 1926 edition of Goethe’s Faust are said to have inspired the psychedelic imagery of the 60s.


Hear Blade Runner, Terminator, Videodrome & Other 70s, 80s & 90s Movies as Novelized AudioBooks

≡ Category: Books, Film |2 Comments

It is the year 2019. The world is overcrowded. Decaying. Mechanized. Android slaves, programmed to live for only four years, are technological marvels – strong, intelligent, physically indistinguishable from humans. Into this world comes a band of rebel androids.


Behold the Largest Atlas in the World: The Six-Foot Tall Klencke Atlas from 1660

≡ Category: Books, Maps |3 Comments

Last week, we featured the free digital edition of the The History of Cartography. Or what’s been called “the most ambitious overview of map making ever undertaken.” The three-volume series contains illustrations of countless maps, produced over hundreds of years.


Artist Animates Famous Book Covers in an Elegant, Understated Way

≡ Category: Books |1 Comment

Javier Jensen, an artist living down in Santiago, Chile, has breathed a little life into some beloved book covers. And when I say little, I mean little. His animated touches are nicely understated, hardly distracting from the original cover designs.


The British Library Puts Over 1,000,000 Images in the Public Domain: A Deeper Dive Into the Collection

≡ Category: Architecture, Archives, Books |1 Comment

Every year for the past decade or so, we‘ve seen new, dire pronouncements of the death of print, along with new, upbeat rejoinders. This year is no different, though the prognosis has seemed especially positive of late in robust appraisals of the situation from entities as divergent as The Onion’s A.V. Club and financial giant Deloitte.


Stephen Colbert Reads Flannery O’Connor’s Darkly Comedic Story, “The Enduring Chill”

≡ Category: Books, Comedy, Literature, Radio |Leave a Comment

A good man is hard to find… a good man who can hold an audience rapt by reading aloud for over an hour is harder still.
Soon-to-be Late Show host Stephen Colbert acquits himself quite nicely with Flannery O’Connor’s 1958 short story “The Enduring Chill,” above.


Kurt Vonnegut Creates a Report Card for His Novels, Ranking Them From A+ to D

≡ Category: Books, Literature, Television |7 Comments

I love turning teenagers on to the work of author Kurt Vonnegut.
I want their minds to be blown the way mine was at 15, when I picked up Slapstick, his 8th novel, for reasons I no longer remember.


The History of Cartography, the “Most Ambitious Overview of Map Making Ever,” Now Free Online

≡ Category: Books, Maps |2 Comments

Worth a quick mention: The University of Chicago Press has made available online — at no cost — the first three volumes of The History of Cartography. Or what Edward Rothstein, of The New York Times, called “the most ambitious overview of map making ever undertaken.


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