Microsoft CEO turned philanthropist and lifelong learner Bill Gates is recommending seven texts you should read this summer. They’re not exactly light beach reading. But you’ll learn a lot, and you’ll get more dialed into issues on Gates’ mind. On his website, the video above comes accompanied by reasons for reading each work.[...]
There’s no getting around it: Norman Rockwell was a square. There’s also no getting around the fact that his career helped define the way mainstream Americans saw themselves for decades.[...]
Yesterday, the Office of the Director of National Intelligence (ODNI) released “a sizeable tranche of documents recovered during the  raid on the compound used to hide Usama bin Ladin.[...]
Edgar Allan Poe achieved almost instant fame during his lifetime after the publication of The Raven (1845), but he never felt he received the recognition he deserved. In some respects, he was right. He was, after all, paid only nine dollars for the poem, and he struggled before and after its publication to make a living from his writing.[...]
James Joyce’s final and most difficult novel Finnegans Wake unlocks a lot of its secrets when read aloud, preferably in an Irish accent. In this way, Joyce’s multilayered wordplay makes sense aurally even if all the meaning might not be apparent on paper. (His brother, Stanislaus, called it “the work of a psychopath.[...]
Maurice Sendak—like some few other exceptional children’s authors—also did work for adults, and in at least one case, did adult work, in his illustrations for a controversial 1995 edition of Herman Melville’s Pierre: or, The Ambiguities. The drawings are erotic, as well as homoerotic, illustrating the gay subtext in the novel.[...]
Remember disfiguring binders with band logos and lyrics, doodling in the margins of textbooks, idly marking the fore edges with ball point designs?
At most, such pursuits helped pass a few minutes in study hall.
How long would it take to undo all this handiwork?
Clearly much, much longer than it took to create.
Image by Fred Palumbo, made available by the Library of Congress.
Put THIS in your pocket. The Library of Congress is celebrating National Poetry Month by launching its new Archive of Recorded Poetry and Literature. It debuts with 50 choice poetry recordings, spanning 75 years of time.
Image licensed under Public Domain via Wikimedia Commons
Take a survey of a hundred writers from the mid- to late-twentieth century about the books that influenced them most and you’re bound to find plenty of Henry Miller tucked in with the Victorians, the Russians, and the Beats.
This month marks the 90th anniversary of the publication of F. Scott Fitzgerald’s masterpiece, The Great Gatsby. Perhaps no other book so embodies the ideal of the Great American Novel as Gatsby — and yet, when it first came out 90 years ago, it was regarded as a flop. As a headline writer for the New York World put it, “F.[...]