Archive for the ‘Books’ Category

Eating and nothingness

April 22, 2014

Today’s Zippy, on the emptiness of the Automats, with a nice pun in the title:



For John Gumperz

March 29, 2014

Passed on by Damien Hall, forwarded from the Variationist mailing list on 3/25:

We just published an edited volume of the Journal of Ling Anthro on the work and legacy of John Gumperz. Wiley graciously agreed to provide full and free access to the issue. Check it out:

On Gumperz and his work, on this blog, see here. Another colleague who is much missed.

Disappearing bookstores

March 29, 2014

A NYT piece on the 26th, “Literary City, Bookstore Desert: Surging Rents Force Booksellers From Manhattan” by Julie Bosmanmarch”. Highlights:

Rising rents in Manhattan have forced out many retailers, from pizza joints to flower shops. But the rapidly escalating cost of doing business there is also driving out bookstores, threatening the city’s sense of self as the center of the literary universe, the home of the publishing industry and a place that lures and nurtures authors and avid readers.

“Sometimes I feel as if I’m working in a field that’s disappearing right under my feet,” said the biographer and historian Robert Caro, who is a lifelong New Yorker.

The Rizzoli Bookstore was recently told that it would be forced to leave its grand space on 57th Street because the owners decided that the building would be demolished.

Oh my, Rizzoli, a beloved monument to books.

Where do you go now to look at, handle, and sample physical books? (I can recommend an excellent bookstore in Perry NY, but that’s out of the way for most readers here.)

The power of children’s literature

March 2, 2014

Today’s Zits, very sweet:


February 8, 2014

From bookseller Ann Burlingham, a link to this parody comic:

Pulp fiction with hot books.

Graphic novels and books

January 31, 2014

From Norma Mendoza-Denton, this Washington Post story of 12/31/13, “The trial balloon: O teachers, after a banner year for graphic novels, don’t ban these books”, by Michael Cavna.

A list of excellent graphic novels of 2013, set off by an anecdote about a grade-schooler who was reading a memoir when a teacher asked accusingly what it was. Then:

“It’s a graphic novel,” came the girl’s reply. Such works, the girl was told, were unacceptable for classroom “reading time,” let alone for a book report. The teacher’s sharp ruling boiled down to a four-word excuse for banishment: “Graphic. Novels. Aren’t. Books.”



Burlingham Books

October 16, 2013

Ann Burlingham recently posted this nice photo of her bookstore:

That’s Burlingham Books in the small town of Perry NY (2 South Main St. 14530), not far from Rochester, within striking distance of Buffalo.



October 14, 2013

Chris Ambidge announced on Facebook that today is the anniversary of A. A. Milne’s publishing Winnie the Pooh (which came out on 10/13/26, 87 years ago today). A Bizarro cartoon for the occasion:

The reference is of course to Edgar Allan Poe’s story “The Tell-Tale Heart”.

And then there’s the pun in the title.

Nobelist Alice Munro

October 12, 2013

Much of the news recently has been dire, but in the midst of all this came the Nobel Prize announcements, many to people associated with Stanford (two laureates currently on the Stanford faculty: Thomas Südhof in Physiology or Medicine and Michael Levitt in Chemistry). And then there’s the wonderful news that Alice Munro is the laureate in Literature.


The zipless fuck

October 5, 2013

On NPR’s Weekend Edition Saturday today, a piece by Susan Stamberg on Erica Jong’s novel Fear of Flying, published 40 years ago, including an interview with Jong. The novel is famous for having introduced the expression zipless fuck; the fantasy of the zipless fuck plays a central role in the book. That presented a challenge to Stamberg and Jong, since they couldn’t say fuck on public radio.



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