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US Libraries See Surge In Demands To Ban Books

“Social media is amplifying local challenges and they’re going viral, but we’ve also been observing a number of organisations activating local members to go to school board meetings and challenge books. We’re seeing what appears to be a campaign to remove books.” – The Guardian
Tags: Art, US, Words


The Spanglification Of Languages

It is becoming clear that the mixed nature of Spanglish represents a general phenomenon. Among people born in and growing up in neighborhoods like Brooklyn’s Brighton Beach — where it’s common to hear Russian and Ukrainian spoken — lots of English words are mixed in. – The New York Times
Tags: Art, Brooklyn, Words, Brighton Beach


Britain’s Collins Dictionary Declares “NFT” Word Of The Year 2021

It’s hard to believe now, but it was only this March that Beeple sold his original non-fungible token artwork for $69 million, setting off the NFT madness. Collins reported that it’s one of the few words that’s “broken through the COVID noise,” with usage up 11,000%. – The Guardian
Tags: Art, Britain, Words, Collins, NFT, Beeple, Collins Dictionary Declares


This AI Algorithm Could Help Us Figure Out Shakespeare

No, not his actual identity, we’re afraid. But, if not the definitively correct version of the text of a play or poem, at least the most likely version. This is thanks to software developed by a Canadian startup called Cohere. – The New York Times Book Review
Tags: Art, New York Times, Words, Shakespeare


400,000 Books Burned In Bookstore Fire

A book signed by Queen Victoria and a first edition of the Radio Times from 1923 were lost when the fire broke out at Berwyn Books, Buckley, Flintshire. – BBC
Tags: Art, Victoria, Words, Radio Times


NYT’s 100 Notable Books For 2021

They made a list. Checked it twice… – The New York Times
Tags: Art, Nyt, Words


The Biblioburro, A Four-Hooved Bookmobile For Rural Colombia

When Luís Soriano began teaching, he saw that his students made little progress — and ultimately realized that, in their isolated homes, they had no books. For 20 years, he and his donkeys have traveled for hours each day to bring books to those kids. – Atlas Obscura
Tags: Art, Colombia, Words, Luís Soriano


Gary Shteyngart On The Keys To Writing Novels Quickly

The novelist, who says it doesn’t get any easier no matter how many you’ve written, has a few tips like, well, write what you know; stop drinking so much; and use his “patented technique called WNW.” – LitHub
Tags: Art, Words, Gary Shteyngart


An Ancient Book’s Journey From Irish Bog To Museum

It was a scary path. “Archaeologists placed the ‘conglomeration’ of squashed pages, leather and turf in a walk-in cold store in the museum at 4C. But there was no manual in the world to guide Gillis on how to go about the task.” – The Guardian (UK)
Tags: Art, Words, Gillis


US Publishing Discovers That It Skews Rather White

Following up on pledges made during protests in 2020, Penguin Random House did a self-audit for diversity. What it found: “The demographics of its authors, illustrators, translators, and other creators ‘do not reflect U.S. reader demographics when it comes to race and ethnicity.'” – Publishers Weekly
Tags: Art, US, Words, Penguin Random House


The Influential Librarian Who Was Not A Goodnight Moon Fan

The book’s “widespread fame is relatively recent. Though Goodnight Moon was published in 1947, sales dropped low enough in 1951 that the book nearly went out of print—all because the children’s librarian of New York Public Library hated it.” – LitHub
Tags: Art, Words, New York Public Library


Book Business Is Booming. Except It’s Difficult To Get Books To Sell

In 2020, both the United States and the United Kingdom saw their largest annual increases in over a decade — a worldwide paper shortage and a global shipping crisis mean they’re having a difficult time keeping up with that demand. – CBC
Tags: Art, United States, United Kingdom, Words


French Dictionary Adds Gender-Neutral Pronoun; Education Minister Is Horrified

Because younger people are starting to use it, the lexicographers at Le Petit Robert added the pronoun iel (a portmanteau of il and elle). The education minister huffed on Twitter, “Inclusive writing is not the future of the French language,” and one MP complained to the Académie Française. – AP
Tags: Art, Words, Le Petit Robert


A First Printing Of The US Constitution Is Now The Most Expensive Document Or Book Ever Sold At Auction

The price was $43.2 million, and the anonymous winner outbid an impromptu group of cryptocurrency players who raised money via blockchain over a few days and said they planned to put the document on public display. – Artnet
Tags: Art, Words


A Sharp Rise In Demands To Ban Books In Libraries

“We’re seeing an unprecedented volume of challenges. I’ve worked for ALA for 20 years, and I can’t recall a time when we had multiple challenges coming in on a daily basis.” – Time
Tags: Art, Words


Education As A Class Indicator (But Maybe Not How You Think)

Historically, in America, the true strength of the Classics and of a Classical education has not been among the elite but among the rising middle class. – Los Angeles Review of Books
Tags: Art, Featured, America, Words


Fifteen-Second Book Reviews On TikTok Have Amassed 26 Billion Views

BookTok, as it’s known, is an unusually lively corner of the mini-video app’s subculture: the most popular reviewers can get a couple hundred thousand followers, the most watched videos rack up a million or more views, and yes, they can affect sales. – The Guardian
Tags: Art, Words, Audience, BookTok


Nobel-Winning Writer Orhan Pamuk Charged — Again — With Insulting Turkey And Turkishness

The particular crimes he’s accused of this time are insulting Atatürk and making fun of the Turkish flag in his latest novel, Nights of Plague. A judge in Istanbul had rejected the case, but the attorney who brought the charges successfully appealed. – The Guardian
Tags: Art, Words, Istanbul, Orhan Pamuk


Word of the week: Revenge dress

Revenge dress was all over the celebrity/entertainment news last week, capping a year notable for its revenge compounds. On November 8, photos from the set of Season 5 of the Netflix series The Crown showed actress Elizabeth Debicki wearing a copy of the clinging, shoulder-baring black silk dress worn by the princess to a 1994 dinner at the Serpentine Gallery in London. Elizabeth Debicki (left) in The Crown, wearing a copy of the dress worn by Diana, Princess of Wales, in 1994 (right...
Tags: Fashion, England, London, Television, Taylor Swift, Wales, Mexico, China, Wikipedia, History, Chinese, Atlantic, Linguistics, Davis, Retail, Khloe Kardashian


Oxford University’s Library Was A Mess. Then Sir Thomas Bodley Made An Extraordinary Offer

Over the course of fifteen years, until his death in 1613, Bodley would oversee the transformation of Oxford’s library from this empty shell to the finest institutional library in Europe. – LitHub
Tags: Art, Oxford, Words, Oxford University, Thomas Bodley, Bodley


Being Bilingual Really Does Help Your Brain. It Took America A Long Time To Figure That Out

From the start of World War I, for about 50 years, scientists and the government were convinced that using another language alongside English decreased brain function as well as making one less than fully American. Finally we’re getting to understand why and how that’s not true. – Literary Hub
Tags: Art, Words


The Little Engine Trying To Chug Its Way Up The Hill: Literary Review Of Canada Turns 30

Thirty years on, the LRC still feels like a very Canadian experiment, addressing the country’s challenges even as it faces them itself. – Toronto Star
Tags: Art, Canada, Words, LRC


Spotify Moves Into Audiobooks The Silicon Valley Way — By Buying A Company

The acquisition of audiobook platform Findaway lets Spotify “quickly bring a large catalog of audiobooks to its massive user base … in the way the company jump-started its push into podcasts with the acquisitions of Gimlet, Anchor, Parcast and The Ringer.” – Variety
Tags: Art, Words, Silicon Valley Way, Gimlet Anchor Parcast, Spotify Moves Into Audiobooks


Five Books That Will Change The Way You Think About Climate Change

In contrast to the simplistic idea that all we need to do is implement a set of technological and lifestyle changes, they offer a new way of understanding and relating to nature. – The Conversation
Tags: Art, Words


The Trope Of “Hot” Women In Literature

A cursory review of Western literature and fiction suggests that the instinct to render fictional heroines “hot” has both a long history and one which continues to this day. – LitHub
Tags: Art, Words


Word of the week: Revenge dress

Revenge dress was all over the celebrity/entertainment news last week, capping a year notable for its revenge compounds. On November 8, photos from the set of Season 5 of the Netflix series The Crown showed actress Elizabeth Debicki wearing a copy of the clinging, shoulder-baring black silk dress worn by the princess to a 1994 dinner at the Serpentine Gallery in London. Elizabeth Debicki (left) in The Crown, wearing a copy of the dress worn by Diana, Princess of Wales, in 1994 (right...
Tags: Fashion, England, London, Television, Taylor Swift, Wales, Mexico, China, Wikipedia, History, Chinese, Atlantic, Linguistics, Davis, Retail, Khloe Kardashian


Novelists Could Take A Cue Or Two From Poets

Or so says a novelist who took a poetry class that helped her move forward after a stale period of writer’s block. – LitHub
Tags: Art, Words


So Sorry That We Missed National Cliche Day

Oh: “Cliché comes from the printing process when a metal plate was used to physically transfer ink to paper. The term echoes the imitative sound of the plate coming off the page and was a way to represent an image again and again in nearly identical form.” – Salon
Tags: Art, Words


A Changing Climate Changes The Oxford English Dictionary

For instance, global heating “conveys ‘more emphatically the seriousness of climate change caused by human activity and the urgent need to address it.’ After all, global warming connotes a kind of coziness when there is nothing cozy about a heating planet.” – CBC
Tags: Art, Words


Dostoevsky Totally Did NaNoWriMo

Just not on a computer, in November, with thousands of other people. – LitHub
Tags: Art, Words, Dostoevsky