Posts Tagged ‘Books


Txtng: The Gr8 Db8

So what sorts of cultural ramifications exist as texting becomes even more widespread? Professional Linguist, David Crystal, argues (as most linguist tend to do) that naturally occurring changes in a language are not so bad.

It is good to know that the estimated three billion human beings who own cell phones, and who use them to send more than a trillion text messages every year, are having no effect on anything that we should care about. A trillion text messages, Crystal says, “appear as no more than a few ripples on the surface of the sea of language.

In some respects, texting is a giant leap backward in the science of communication. Sending a text message with a numeric keypad feels primitive and improvisational—like the way prisoners speak to each other by tapping on the walls of their cells in “Darkness at Noon,” or the way the guy in “The Diving Bell and the Butterfly” writes a book. And, as Crystal points out, although cell phones keep getting smaller, thumbs do not.

Read the review of David Crystal’s book, Txtng: The Gr8 Db8.

Homer Simpson ~(_8^(|)


Nobel Prize for Literature 2008

Ladbrokes has set odds on possible winners of the 2008 Nobel Prize in Literature.

Below are the top ten, via complete review:

  • Claudio Magris at 3/1
  • Adonis at 4/1
  • Amos Oz at 5/1
  • Joyce Carol Oates at 7/1
  • Philip Roth at 7/1
  • Don DeLillo at 10/1
  • Haruki Murakami at 10/1
  • Les Murray at 10/1
  • Yves Bonnefoy at 10/1
  • Arnošt Lustig at 14/1

Has exoticism lost appeal?

Ralph Potts’ new book, Marco Polo Didn’t Go There: Stories and Revelations From One Decade as a Postmodern Travel Writer.

Of course, the motifs and assumptions of well-told travel stories do change over the years—But I think non-traditional narrative has become a way for writers to wriggle into the complexities of postmodern travel and show the reader things they might otherwise have missed.

The Art of Writing a Story About Walking Across Andorra, a second-person-voice meta-satire about generic travel writing.

Blogs have boomed, so has online video; magazine ad space has shrunk, and traditional newspapers are suffering. Since so much travel media naturally emphasizes consumer and service information, this probably just means that the same kinds of articles are finding their way into new and different venues.

Hat-tip to World Hum; the entire review is here.


Ovid: The Amores

Ovid’s first book, Amores, published in 16 BC, and written in the elegiac distich.

Here is the translation from A.S. Kline, as well as the original Latin text.


Bandes dessinées

This is a great article highlighting some of Europe’s most interesting graphic novelist working today. Bandes dessinées literally translates to “drawn strip,” and is synonymous with Franco-Belgian graphic artist.

Read the WSJ article here.


90-second book review

I suppose everyone has their own individual heuristic when it comes to deeming a book readable.  Here is a reductive way on making a 90-second decision on whether to read a new book from an unfamiliar author.

Does the cover art contain high heels, Mistral, or any reference to either Oprah Winfrey, Joel Osteen, or “Dr. Phil?”

Some of these are quite humorous…

At the highest level, is this book’s topic based on the typical “zeitgeist” product that gets greenlit by someone who watches lots of golf on TV and who seldom finishes reading the 1,000-word “features” found in in-flight magazines?

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