And Now Random House Will Introduce | An Unpublished Book By Dr. Seuss!

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“The manuscript had been in a box that was discovered in the home of Dr. Seuss (otherwise known as Theodore Geisel) in the La Jolla section of San Diego, shortly after his death in 1991, and set aside. In 2013, Mr. Geisel’s widow, Audrey, and longtime secretary and friend, Claudia Prescott, went through the box and found the nearly complete manuscript, along with other unpublished work.”

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Wonder Woman Wins A History Book Prize

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“America’s favorite female superhero has a new medal to pin on her Stars-and-Stripes bustier, thanks to the New-York Historical Society, which has awarded its annual American History Book Prize to Jill Lepore’s best-selling The Secret History of Wonder Woman.”

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Sure Our Alphabet Is Our Alphabet (But All That Could Be Changing)

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The power to spread and transform the alphabet — once concentrated among medieval scribes, British and French printers, or Christian missionaries spreading words to spread the Word — has been democratized. Now with tablets and smartphones, “the smallest building blocks of the shared written language (i.e. print) are more in your hands . . . than they have ever been.”

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What Made Philip Levine’s Poetry Extraordinary

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“Della and Tatum, Sweet Pea and Packy, Ida and Cal. You met a lot of unpretentious people in Philip Levine’s spare, ironic poems of the industrial heartland. … Mr. Levine’s death is a serious blow for American poetry, in part because he so vividly evoked the drudgery and hardships of working-class life in America, and in part because this didn’t pull his poetry down into brackishness.”

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Jonathan Franzen Is The Book Internet’s Favorite Villain For A Reason

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“This idea Franzen posits that literature teaches us you’re not the ‘heroic figure you think of yourself as, that you might be the very dubious figure that other people think of you as’ is as deeply embedded in many big YA novels as it is in Munro stories. To say these books are simplistic is to mistake grandness, ease of narrative, and breathless pace for mere shallowness.”

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Who Owns Lincoln’s Papers? (And Should They?)

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“The idea of owning history may thrill those who trade in exclusivity. But when collectors do not afford scholars and the public access to important documents, private ownership conflicts with democratic values.”

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When Sudan Banned Libraries

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In the early 1990s, all of the city’s libraries were shut down and the books inside destroyed. Sudan became an authoritarian, single-party Islamic state following Bashir’s military coup in 1989, and censorship ruled. When Bashir came to power, the writers’ union was one of the first organisations he banned. “They don’t want gatherings, that’s all. They don’t want the people to meet,” he says.

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French Embassy Plants Its Flag In Bookstores Across America

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“The cultural services of the French Embassy in New York has been signing up independent bookstores across the United States to create special sections, called French Corners, to display French works in the original and in translation. The goal, a spokeswoman for the embassy said, is to plant the French flag in one bookstore in every major city in the United States, other than New York.”

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Who Might Miss Jon Stewart Most? Authors

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“Getting an author booked on ‘The Daily Show’ was often the Holy Grail for book publicists,” says Kate Lloyd, Scribner’s associate director of publicity. Her authors loved Stewart, she says, because “his audience is made up of smart, book-buying readers who respond to the thoughtful treatment and authentic passion he customarily expresses for the books he features.”

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Why So Many People Are Freaking Out About The Release Of Harper Lee’s Unpublished Novel

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“There are cultural currents afoot, beyond the book’s iconic power as a social document, that give the absurd situation a rational aspect and keep it going. One is the fear of the helplessness of old age. The spectacle of an author – and a beloved American author at that, one who has abided in our deepest feelings since many of us read her in childhood – being taken advantage of in old age is chilling at a time when so many people are living long lives.”

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The Case Of The Missing Librarians (They’re Disappearing In Philly)

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“In 1991, there were 176 certified librarians in city schools. Now there are 11 – for 218 schools. Studies have shown that students who have access to a school library and librarian – particularly students who live in poverty and students of color – achieve more. Increasingly in Philadelphia, school libraries are regarded as a frill, and librarians even more so.”

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The Christmas Gift That Made “To Kill A Mockingbird” Possible

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“The book is now so central to our culture that it exudes an air of inevitability. But that wasn’t the case one Christmas Day on the Upper East Side of New York, when the literary existence of Scout and Atticus and Boo depended on a tired but determined Harper Lee. And on an envelope in a tree.” (audio)

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ISIS Is Burning Books And Libraries

ISIS Is Burning Books And Libraries

“‘These books promote infidelity and call for disobeying Allah. So they will be burned,’ a bearded militant in traditional Afghani two-piece clothing told residents” of Mosul in ISIS-occupied Iraq. The extremists “loaded around 2,000 books – including children’s stories, poetry, philosophy and tomes on sports, health, culture and science – into six pickup trucks. They left only Islamic texts.”

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Recovering A Lost Typeface From Its Watery Grave

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“I started looking into whether lead degrades in water, trying to find out why fisherman use lead weights and researching the composition of lead type, as I didn’t really know anything about the chemistry of it and wanted to make sure I wasn’t going to start looking for something that had rotted away.”

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How To Get Out Of Your Failed Ebook Service Gracefully

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“Having managed to offload its online video service Blinkbox Movies to mobile operator TalkTalk, and Blinkbox Music to streaming business Guvera, Tesco has been desperately hunting for a buyer for Blinkbox Books. Last month there was much hope that Waterstones might take it over, and finally make a decisive step into the digital realm, but that bid ultimately failed.”

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Small Country, Huge Producer Of Books

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“Last year 184,000 titles were produced – the equivalent of 2,870 titles per million inhabitants when population is taken into account. China and the US produced more overall titles – 444,000 and 304,912 titles respectively. However per capita, the US ranked 12th and China 25th.”

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Don’t Do It, Harper Lee!, Warns Bookslut

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Jessa Crispin: “Those eager masses, now overflowing with unconditional love for a book they have not read, propelling it to No. 1 on Amazon Wednesday, will be the very people wielding pitchforks if Ms. Lee’s second book does not live up to expectations that have been building for decades.”

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The Thoreau Of The Suburbs

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“When Annie Dillard wrote Pilgrim at Tinker Creek, she didn’t think anyone would want to read a memoir by a ‘Virginia housewife.’ So she left her domestic life out of the book – and turned her surroundings into a wilderness.”

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