Lagniappe, in case you don’t know, is a Cajun French word that means “something extra.”

Cheryl Strayed’s 2012 book Wildd: From Lost to Found on the Pacific Crest Trail is an exciting account of her attempt to make sense of her life while walking part of the Pacific Crest Trail alone. It was the first selection of Oprah Winfrey second book club. Beyond selling millions of copies (and becoming a movie starring Reese Witherspoon in 2014) it has awakened an interest in the Trail and increased the number of hikers on it tremendously. Mashable features an article about the Pacific Crest Trail that includes some spectacular photographs taken along the 2,650 mile national treasure that stretches from Mexico to Canada.

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For years I have watched something called Classic Arts Showcase (CAS) on my local cable TV company’s public access channel. CAS is made up of clips from operas, movies, classical music concerts, musical programs from the early days of television, and just about anything that some might call “culture.”

It was created by Lloyd E. Rigler in 1994 as a means of exposing people to the performing arts who might otherwise have been unable to experience them.   Rigler, along with Lawrence E. Deutsch, set up the non-profit Lloyd E. Rigler – Lawrence E. Deutsch Foundation. The foundation fully funds CAS and declines contributions to supplement its resources – something that rarely happens.

I was delighted to see recently that you can now access CAS via the internet 24/7. To do so, go to the Classic Arts Showcase website and click on “watch now.” You may find that you need to download a program called Silverlight in order to view the video stream. You may also find that some browsers don’t support Silverlight which means that you won’t be able to access the videos at all. Internet Explorer and Firefox support Silverlight, but recent versions of Google Chrome do not. I was able to access the video stream on my iPad without downloading anything.

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“Ixnay” and “zowee” are two of the 6,500 new Scrabble words that are listed in The Official Scrabble Word list book which is considered to be the definitive source for allowable words in Scrabble.  NPR tells us more about what is being added.

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Book Expo America 2015 is the place to find out what’s going on in the publishing industry, and BookTV is featuring highlights from it this weekend on C-SPAN 2. Here are four programs that will be featured:

  • A panel discussion on women and leadership in publishing 10:00 a.m. EDT
  • Call-in on the book industry with executives from 2 book firms 10:50 a.m. EDT
  • A panel discussion on innovation and data in the book industry 11:35 a.m. EDT
  • A panel discussion on diversity in publishing 1:10 p.m. EDT

See the complete schedule here for repeats of the above programs and for other great discussions about books.

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To mark the 30th birthday of BILLY, the worldÕs most versatile bookcase, IKEA this morning created the worldÕs longest outdoor bookcase on Bondi Beach. For one day only, Bondi beach is being transformed with 30 red BILLY bookcases snaking their way along the sand, featuring 1000Õs of books to choose from. To take a book, people are being invited to swap one of their books for a book from BILLYÕs shelves or make a gold coin donation, with all donations going to The Australian Literacy & Numeracy Foundation. BILLY on the beach is a day celebrating budgie smugglers, board shorts, bikinis and BILLY bookcases. And as soon as the sun rose on the beach at 6am, locals and visitors began taking to the shelves.

A Library on  the Beach

You may have a library where you live, but you probably don’t have one like those featured in a Huffington Post article.

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The website Five Books features interviews with authors and experts on a huge range of book-related topics. In each interview the interviewee provides comments of five books related to the topic of discussion. Below are two examples of what Five Books has to offer.

Dante 2 Dante is the subject of the first interview. Nick Havely, who is interviewed, is an eminent Dante scholar, author, and teacher.

In the second interview David Bellos, a professor of French and Comparative Literature at Princeton University, discusses five great French novels.

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Finders Keepers

Not interested in reading The Divine Comedy or great French novels? Well, USA Today has info on 25 upcoming books for a little summer fun.

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