Patti Smith Reviews Haruki Murakami’s New Novel, Colorless Tsukuru Tazaki and His Years of Pilgrimage

≡ Category: Books, Literature |Leave a Comment

 

Haruki Murakami’s 13th novel, Colorless Tsukuru Tazaki and His Years of Pilgrimage: A Novel, was first published last April in Japan, and, within the first month, it sold one million copies. This week, the novel (translated by Philip Gabriel) finally arrives in bookstores in the U.S.

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T.S. Eliot Illustrates His Letters and Draws a Cover for Old Possum’s Book of Practical Cats

≡ Category: Books, Letters |1 Comment

Like so many poets, Thomas Stearns Eliot could write a fine letter. Unlike quite so many poets, he could also illustrate those fine letters with an amusing picture or two. The T.S. Eliot Society’s web site has several examples of what the author of “The Waste Land” could do when he got thinking visually as well as textually.

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Ayn Rand Trashes C.S. Lewis in Her Marginalia: He’s an “Abysmal Bastard”

≡ Category: Books, Philosophy, Religion |5 Comments

The political intersection of Ayn Randian libertarians and Evangelical conservatives is a baffling phenomenon for most of us outside the American right. It’s hard to reconcile the atheist arch-capitalist and despiser of social welfare with, for example, the Sermon on the Mount.

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Leo Tolstoy Creates a List of the 50+ Books That Influenced Him Most (1891)

≡ Category: Books, Literature |1 Comment

War and Peace, Anna Karenina, The Death of Ivan Ilyich — many of us have felt the influence, to the good or the ill of our own reading and writing, of Leo Tolstoy.

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Dutch Book From 1692 Documents Every Color Under the Sun: A Pre-Pantone Guide to Colors

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

In 1963, the Pantone corporation began publishing a bi-yearly color guide, which divides and categorizes every color under the sun.

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13-Year-Old Charlotte Brontë & Her Brother Wrote Teeny Tiny Adventure Books, Measuring 1 x 2 Inches

≡ Category: Books |1 Comment

So you consider yourself a reader of the Brontës? Of course you’ve read Wuthering Heights, Jane Eyre, and The Tenant of Wildfell Hall. (Find these classics in our collection of Free eBooks and Free Audio Books.) You’ve probably even got on to the likes of The Green Dwarf and Agnes Grey.

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Norman Mailer’s 1191-Page Harlot’s Ghost Outlined in One Handwritten Sheet

≡ Category: Books, Literature |Leave a Comment

Norman Mailer wrote prolifically, but that didn’t mean cranking out insubstantial volumes. The books whose names we all remember always feel, when we take them down off the shelf, somewhat weightier than we remember: Advertisements for Myself at 532 pages, The Naked and the Dead at 731, The Executioner’s Song at 1072.

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How J.K. Rowling Plotted Harry Potter with a Hand-Drawn Spreadsheet

≡ Category: Books, Writing |2 Comments

At the height of the Harry Potter novels’ popularity, I asked a number of people why those books in particular enjoyed such a devoted readership. Everyone gave almost the same answer: that author J.K. Rowling “tells a good story.

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E.O. Wilson’s Life on Earth Released as a Free eBook and Free Course on iTunes

≡ Category: Biology, Books, e-books, Online Courses |3 Comments

Yesterday, E.O. Wilson’s Life on Earth was released as a free iBook on iTunes. It features “state-of-the-art digital media animations, video, and interactive modules in a comprehensive 41-chapter text covering standards-based biology curriculum.

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David Brooks’ List of “Really Good Books”

≡ Category: Books |6 Comments

In the pages of The New York Times, David Brooks reeled off a list of Really Good Books. He prefaces the list with this: “People are always asking me what my favorite books are. I’ve held off listing them because it seems self-indulgent.

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