Postscript to World Book Day

Gutenberg
Gutenberg

What would have Gutenberg thought of Kindle books? Insubstantial books weightless as air you can read only on a slim handheld computer screen. Books you can’t open, shut, or leaf through with your hands, which you can’t underline or jot notes on, which won’t rest on your tummy when you curl up in bed. Books, which never went through a printing, press, whose galleys were not marked up by proofreaders for corrections by printers.Continue Reading

The most written about Shakespearean tragedy

Hamlet
Hamlet

Hamlet is the great Shakespearean tragedy most frequently mentioned in books. Check the Google Books Ngram Viewer, which charts the frequency of any word or short sentence found in print since the year 1800. And you will find Hamlet mentioned more often than the other great Shakespearean tragedies.Continue Reading

Booker and Pulitzer winners since 1969

Kiran Desai, the 2006 Booker winner for  The Inheritance of Loss
Kiran Desai, the 2006 Booker winner for The Inheritance of Loss

The Booker Prize is possibly the biggest literary award in the English and certainly gets the biggest publicity. However, Donna Tartt, who won the 2014 Pulitzer Prize for fiction for her novel, The Goldfinch, possibly sold more copies of her book than Richard Flanagan, who won the 2014 Booker Prize for The Narrow Road to the Deep North. But the two previous Booker winners — Eleanor Catton, Luminaries (2013) and Hillary Mantel, Bring Up the Bodies (2012) — were blockbusters.Continue Reading

The Beatles’ best songs after they broke up

The Beatles
The Beatles

What were the best songs recorded by the Beatles after they split up as a band? John Lennon, of course, had the biggest hit of them all after the breakup, Imagine. Paul McCartney has had the longest and most successful career, performing and recording still. Ringo Starr also tours with his own band and has a new album, Pictures from Paradise. (Read about him in Rolling Stone.)

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Pictures and type

Seen on Twitter
Seen on Twitter

A picture’s worth a thousand words? The thought crossed my mind when I saw the so-called summary cards with large images, one after another, on Twitter. Even the New York Times and Reuters are using big images to get attention on Twitter. Twitter users will, of course, say that’s nothing new. Instagram, Vine, Meerkat, Periscope, all show the importance of visuals on Twitter.Continue Reading