Talking About Books . . .

Butterflies Sculpture

There has been a mystery book sculptor in the Edinburgh area for a few years now.  No one ever sees who leaves these breathtaking miniatures, and the pieces may not be found right away due to where they are left.  Someone with the BBC has finally gotten in touch with the mystery sculptor and has conducted an interview with her via e-mail.  She and her latest intricate work are quite interesting.  And don’t miss the video below “Butterflies on the move.”  Click at the bottom right corner of the video to watch it in full-screen mode.

Be sure to check out the photos of her numerous previous sculptures here.  Click on any image to enlarge it.  And don’t miss the details of the feathers in one of her pieces.

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A Time magazine article highlights 17 well-known authors and the books they loved when they were children.

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The Raven Boys

Maggie Stiefvater is the author of a popular series of books for young adults called The Raven Cycle.  But she is much more than just an author – much, much more.  “I have been a wedding musician, a technical editor, a portrait artist, and, for several fraught weeks, a waitress,” she says of herself in a Buzzfeed interview.  “I play several musical instruments (most infamously, the bagpipes), I still make art, and I recently acquired and unacquired a race car.  I live in the Shenandoah Valley in Virginia with my husband, my two children, some cows, three dogs who fart recreationally, a criminally insane cat, an interminable number of miniature silky fainting goats [yes, there is such an animal], and one 1973 Camaro named Loki.”

Two YouTube videos illustrate the accomplishments of this remarkable young.  The first is an interview that Goodreads did with her, and the second is a video of her using Sharpie markers to decorate a guitar – which she will then give away to one of her fans.


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Blinkbox Books has created an interactive graphic about authors and their books that is fascinating.  It gives us a chronological history of each author’s book publications, tells us what their breakthrough book was, and how old they were when it was published.  You will notice that some authors have published as many as ten books in a single year.  Also, notice that you can sort by “age at breakthrough book,” “first published book,” or “no. books published.”  Nora Roberts, age of 65, wins the contest for most books published with a total of 218 books.  She has published nine or ten books a year in multiple years, but had a slow year in 2014 with only five books published.

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“I do not dedicate my book to any body; for I know nobody worth dedicating it to. I have no friends, no children, no wife, no home; — no relations, no well-wishers; — nobody to love, and nobody to care for. To whom shall I; to whom can I dedicate it? To my Maker! It is unworthy of him. To my countrymen? They are unworthy of me. For the men of past ages I have very little veneration; for those of the present, not at all. To whom shall I entrust it? Who will care for me, by to-morrow? Who will do battle for my book, when I am gone? Will posterity? Yea, posterity will do me justice. To posterity then – to the winds! I bequeath it! I devote it — as a Roman would his enemy, to the fierce and unsparing charities of another world – to a generation of spirits – to the shadowy and crowned potentates of hereafter. I—I—I have done – the blood of the red man is growing cold – farewell – farewell forever!”

That, believe it or not, was the “dedication” in John Neal’s 1822 book Logan: A Family History.  It is one of seven blistering book dedications assembled by linguist and author Arika Okrent for Mentalfloss.

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Good Omens

Occasionally two authors team up to produce a book.  The Guradian showcases ten such duos.

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In what some people in the book industry refer to as “Netflix for books,” Amazon and two start-up companies, Scribd and Oyster, now offer readers unlimited access to hundreds of thousands of ebooks for a flat monthly fee.  In addition, Scribd recently extended its offer to include audio books.  Wired magazine has informative articles on both the latest innovations in both ebook and audio book publishing.

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American Pulp

Say what you want about pulp fiction, says author Paula Rabinowitz, but this often derided art form got millions of Americans into reading books.  In a Daily Beast article Wendy Smith discusses Rabinowitz’s recent book American Pulp: How Paperbacks Brought Modernism to Main Street.

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