- Earlier this week the South Dakota Festival of Books announced the presenters for this year’s festival, to be held in Sioux Falls September 24-26. Once again, it’s an impressive and diverse list.
Blog Headlines of the Week
Interesting Reading in the Interweb Tubes
- In Defense of the Memory Theater (“In the age of inexpensive, printed books, our memory theaters have become both richer and more banal; we have entrusted them to our bookshelves”) (via Arts & Letters Daily)
- Intriguing concept of the week: Between August 1 and November 30 Tin House Books will accept unsolicited manuscripts — on the condition the submission includes a receipt that proves the author has purchased a book at a bookstore. According to the press release, “writers who cannot afford to buy a book or cannot get to an actual bookstore are encouraged to explain why in haiku or one sentence (100 words or fewer).” It will consider e-book purchases only if the writer explains, among other things, “why he or she cannot go to his or her neighborhood bookstore.”
- The British publisher of a paperback edition of SF author Iain Banks’s novel Transition is offering an iPhone app with it, prompting The Independent to ask “is it the end for serious book culture or a leap forward for literature?”
- The Guardian‘s book blog asks, “Are challenging books worth the effort?“
- In another post at The Guardian, Suzanne Munshower suggests that credibility in a book isn’t about the facts, it’s whether the characters are being true to themselves.
- The WaPo looks at what scientists recommend for summer beach reads. (via io9)
- Detective novels spark interest among American publishers in translated fiction. (via EarlyWord)
- Barbara Demick’s Nothing to Envy: Real Lives in North Korea won the 2010 BBC Samuel Johnson Prize for Nonfiction, Britain’s leading nonfiction prize. I read it earlier this year but am none of the other five finalists. (via Jacket Copy)
- Cherie Priest’s Boneshaker won the 2010 Locus Award for Best SF novel while China Miéville’s The City & The City won Best Fantasy Novel.
- Who knew we actually had a national underwater hockey team? I didn’t even know there was such a thing as underwater hockey. (via GOOD)
- Here’s a really
goodstupid idea. Let’s blow up hydrogen bombs in space and see if we can change the Earth’s magnetic field. (via io9)
- Which side do you come down on, protected speech or punishable hate speech? “A German man is facing up to six months in jail for having a speech by Adolf Hitler as his mobile phone ringtone.” (via Jonathan Turley)
- Oh, oh. Our official state bread (I didn’t know we had one) has been named our entry in the 50 fattiest foods in the states. (via The Consumerist)
- If you’re not familiar with Tommy Westphall, find out how much of series television you’ve seen is actually in Tommy’s autistic mind (a theory also known as “Six Degrees of St. Elsewhere“). (via The Morning News)
- Twenty careers to help avoid a dystopian future.
- Take that, technology! When Lifehacker acts readers to rank the best to-do-list manager, paper won. Rock and scissors do not appear to have received votes.
In this possibly terminal phase of human existence, democracy and freedom are more than values to be treasured; they may well be essential to survival.
Noam Chomsky, Manufacturing Consent – Noam Chomsky and the Media