Friday, July 1, 2011

Book News: Flipback Books, Amazon's Best of 2011 (So Far), Worn-Out Phrases, and Bernie Madoff's Prison Reading

I told you the New Yorker's Book Bench blog has good stuff. This week, they linked to a phenomenon that (may be) taking over the reading industry. Abe Books posted about the relatively new flipback book, a printing style that results in a book that is as small as a cassette tape or iPhone. Will this take mobile reading to a whole new (paper, rather than tech) level? Flipback books are printed horizontally and on very thin paper, so as to fit the most words and pages into a small amount of space.

You know how I love a good book list (really, I just love lists, but since I love books it also stands to reason that I love book lists). This week Amazon released their "best books of 2011 so far" list with books in many fiction and nonfiction categories. I've read some (not many), but I'm interested in reading more.

This week's Guardian featured England's Ledbury Poetry Festival and a project completely there each year. Last year, poets and attendees were asked to name their most hated words, and this year they were asked to name their most worn-out words or phrases. Topping the responses were "thinking outside the box" and "devastated." Cliches are very interesting to me. I did a whole unit on cliches in my classroom last year. This coming school year, maybe I can incorporate the Guardian's article!

Two articles from NPR should make it onto your internet browsing this weekend. First, "Hooray For YA: Teen Novels for Readers of All Ages" lists five new books to include on your YA reading list (or, for me, on my classroom bookshelves). Then "Three Critics Pick The Best Books for Summer" gives you three takes on what you should be reading this summer. It's especially nice that you get recommendations from three very different sources, resulting in some titles that haven't already been listed on other summer reading lists.

For some reason, I thought Bernie Madoff was dead. I have no idea why I believed that to be true (though, for sure, there are most likely a great number of people who would like for that to be the case), but I only found out about my snafu when Dwight Garner wrote a piece for the New York Times about Madoff's prison reading. Garner lists what Madoff claims he's reading (Michener, among other things) while incarcerated and also makes some suggestions that might help better Madoff's character.

As I may have mentioned a couple of times previously, I am heading for Africa next week. I will still be posting, but here and there a day or two may pass without a post. However, I will definitely be reading. I have compiled quite a pile of things for travel reading (the trip there will take more than 24 hours, then we will be staying near Mt. Kilimanjaro for one night before going on to the smaller town where my brother and his family live). I will be gone for three weeks, during which I expect to do some reading.

You can expect a lengthier post next week detailing my travel reading, but for now just know that I am completely immersed in Ann Patchett's State of Wonder -- and still loving Deborah Harkness's A Discovery of Witches on audio.

Happy reading this weekend!

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