Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Barber's 'Scandal,' hottest out-of-print books, & more

  • Besides loaning tools to people who can't buy them, a library in Surrey, British Columbia, is inaugurating a "human library," with people on loan as "living books." Users can "check out" people and talk to them about their experiences with blindness, immigration, religion, disability, and a host of other things. According to deputy chief librarian Melanie Houlden, the goal is to break down stereotypes and start discussions.
  • "Say Something Nice"—this video is apparently viral, so does the fact that it's just getting to me mean I'm virus resistant? Anyhow, it brought out people's innate sweetness and brought strangers together, so you gotta love that.
  • On today's date in 1933, the Philadelphia Orchestra gave the world premiere of the 23-year-old Samuel Barber's Overture to "The School for Scandal." His first orchestral composition to have a major public hearing, it was inspired by the 18th century English Restoration comedy by Richard Sheridan.
  • "The fact that the Economist's North American circulation has just reached its highest ever level tells us that the audience for quality content isn't going away," says Paul Carr on TechCrunch.com. "It also suggests that those of us who prefer our content unsullied by payola, and who appreciate the beauty of a well-crafted headline are turning our backs on the web. Increasingly the best writing and reporting is to be found in books and Kindle Singles, where readers are happy to pay directly for high-quality information and entertainment. As web content continues to get dumber, and more ethically compromised, the market for high quality content away from the web will continue to grow." Do you agree? Which magazines do you still receive in print form? I would have a hard time giving up The New Yorker.
  • In case your penchant for haunting rummage sales should pay off, here is BookFinder.com's annual list of the top 10 most sought after out-of-print books of the past year. I must admit, I have only heard of 5 out of 10 of the books/authors!
        1.    Sex by Madonna
        2.    Promise Me Tomorrow by Nora Roberts
        3.    Rage by Stephen King (as Richard Bachman)
        4.    My Pretty Pony by Stephen King
        5.    In a Dark Place: The Story of a True Haunting by Ray Garton
        6.    Codex Seraphinianus by Luigi Serafini
        7.    Man in Black by Johnny Cash
        8.    Marilyn: A Biography by Norman Mailer
        9.    Arithmetic Progress Papers by H. Henry Thomas
        10.    Mandingo by Kyle Onstott


  1. A human library? Very interesting!

    I will have to go through my book collection and see if I have any of the books mentioned.

  2. I doubt that Anonymous has the Codex (#6), which is a pricey tome that places nonsense text around nonsense drawings, and somehow has some people convinced there is a meaning behind it. It is presented like a book of knowledge, but says nothing, for the language is made up. Perhaps it is the word codex that hints at authority, or perhaps this only proves that the brain seeks to classify new objects by familiar categories, as it seeks order in chaos.

  3. thanks for that ... cross that off the list to look up!