Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Snips and tips

"I look for a book (fiction or nonfiction) with a strong narrative voice, wonderfully drawn characters and writing that makes me stop and savor the words the author has written." So librarian Nancy Pearl told NPR in recommending "10 Terrific Summer Reads" (four of them are pictured at right). She's made a cottage industry of supplying book tips, adding up to both a brand and a series. Witness More Book Lust: 1,000 New Reading Recommendations for Every Mood, Moment, and Reason.
Brooklyn's WORD bookstore has devised a monthly themed series called Literary Karaoke in which participants have three minutes to read a favorite passage from a relevant book that will "surprise and delight the crowd."
BBC News reports that The British Library will partner with Google to digitize 250,000 texts dating between 1700 and 1870 so that readers can view, search, and copy out-of-copyright works for free on both the library and Google books' websites.
Libri di legno dipinti a mano. Pezzi Unici. ("Handpainted wooden books. One of a kind.") These strictly decorative tomes are the charming creations of Italian artist Emanuela Ligabue.

In a switcheroo on the age-old problem of leaving things in taxis, Egypt has introduced a novel way of improving literacy. The "Taxi of Knowledge" campaign has placed five donated books in 200 Cairo cabs for passengers to enjoy therein and even discuss with their drivers. Drivers can switch them out and are invited to take them home at night for their families to peruse.
And this one has everything: thrift stores, a plucky young art activist, and poetry:

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