Friday, January 31, 2014

The 5 Least Watchable Book to Movie Adaptations

The list, care of the New York Daily News.

Adventures of a Medieval Manuscripts Expert

Adventures, indeed!

From a piece in the Boston Globe...

In Reno, she found a 15th-century French prayer book with gold leaf once owned by a Welsh actor-turned-missionary. In South Dakota, she discovered a 600-year-old leaf from another book with a prayer meditating on the final seven statements uttered by Jesus.

And in Boulder, Colo., she found a rare image of the martyrdom of St. Eustace, who was boiled in a hollow bronze idol shaped like a calf.

Lisa Fagin Davis has written about each of these hand-written medieval manuscripts in university libraries as part of her virtual road trip around the country, examining ancient European texts found in unexpected places in the United States. Davis, who lives in Newton, is an authority on medieval manuscripts and recently started blogging about her finds.

Monday, January 27, 2014

A Crash Course in the Poetry of Emily Dickinson

The Peculiar Underworld of Rare Book Thieves

Their world discussed on Paste.

From the piece...

Nearly as shocking was the barbarian behind it all: the library’s own director, Marino Massimo de Caro. A politically wired, self-taught book expert, De Caro and his cronies—allegedly including a lawyer and a priest—looted the library and destroyed its card catalogue to cover their tracks. De Caro even commissioned master forgeries of an ancient book by Galileo so he could swap them for the real thing at other libraries.

In the peculiar underworld of rare-book theft, De Caro joins a rogue’s gallery that features flamboyant eccentrics, disgruntled employees, corrupt academics—even a serial killer.

While the criminal personalities vary, according to the elite detectives who hunt book thieves, they all share something in common: base greed and a knack for gaining insider access to the cozy, exclusive world of rare-book collecting.

Colbert Book Club

The Colbert Report
Get More: Colbert Report Full Episodes,Video Archive

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

The Best Literary Podcast There Is (Particularly If You Want a Good Giggle)?

The Dead Authors Podcast.

NPR interviews the host, here.

Have Blockbuster Movies Been Good to Comic Books?

It looked like another good year for the marriage—movie franchises based on comic book superheroes raked in billions of dollars more for Hollywood. Celluloid success, however, hasn’t rescued the comics industry from its death throes. What will?

From a piece in Hazlitt...

But diehard comics fans, who are vital to the art form’s survival and pick up new issues of their favourite series every Wednesday, often have a vexed relationship with the films. Jordan and his friends have a theory: at every movie studio, “There’s this guy who’s a big comic book fan, and once they’re ready to start filming, they ask him: ‘Can you throw something into this movie that’s really going to piss off regular comic book readers?’ ‘Oh, OK—sure. Instead of web shooters, let’s have the webs come out of Spiderman’s hands.’ For comic readers, this is an excruciating detail. It’s an agonizing affront.”

He has a litany of examples: the fact that Deadpool, known as “The Merc with the Mouth” in comics, doesn’t talk in X-Men Origins: Wolverine; the transformation of Galactus in Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer from a planet-eating giant to a cloud; the significant shrinking of Bane in The Dark Knight Rises …

Thursday, January 09, 2014

The Most Fantastic Monsters from Art and Literature


Want to Exercise Your Brain?

Read a novel.

From a piece in the Los Angeles Times...

We all know that reading a novel can transport you, delight you and intrigue you while you’re reading it. Now, thanks research by scientists at Emory University, we know that immersing yourself in a novel causes measurable physical changes in the brain that can be detected up to five days after the reader closes the book.

The Emory researchers, in a paper for the journal Brain Connectivity, compared the effect to muscle memory.

Monday, January 06, 2014

A Pogues Musical by the Creator of "The Wire"?

It's a thing.

The Economics of Used Books

Some thoughts, here, care of Eureka Books.

From the piece...

The shop in question, which I’ll call Ye Olde Bookshoppe, had been open just over seven years at the time of the appraisal. There were two partners. When Peter visited, the store had 45,000 titles in stock, about evenly divided between hardcovers and paperbacks. What follows are extracts from the analysis section of the final appraisal.

Start Up
The partners had been involved in bookselling in various forms for ten years. Together, they pooled $5000 in cash, plus 15,000 books acquired at an average of $1 per and 10,000 books acquired for $2,000. “20 cents each!!!” writes Peter. So 25,000 starting books acquired for $17,000, mostly at garage and estate sales. Their average retail price was $7.