WatermelonI can’t resist starting with some awesome photos of watermelon sculptures. That’s right, watermelon sculptures. If this doesn’t make you smile, nothing will.

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I learned a little history while reading Katherine Anne Porter’s Pale Horse, Pale Rider (1939). The third and final part of the novel takes place in 1918. Miranda is talking to her boyfriend, Adam, a soldier who is about to go overseas to fight in World War I.

“I imagine I’m late,” said Miranda, “as usual. What time is it?”

“Nearly half past one,” he said, slipping back his sleeve with an exaggerated thrust of his arm upward the young soldiers were still self-conscious about their wrist watches. Such of them as Miranda knew were boys from southern and south western towns, far off the Atlantic seaboard, and they had always believed that only sissies wore wrist watches. “I’ll slap you on the wrist watch,” one vaudeville comedian would simper too another, and it was always a good joke, never stale.

“I think it’s a most sensible way to carry a watch,” said Miranda. “You needn’t blush”

“I’m nearly used to it,” said Adam, who was from Texas. “We’ve been told time and again how all the he-manly regular army men wear them . . .”

In fact, wristwatches were first used extensively in the military because of the need to synchronize some military operations.

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The Associated Press (AP) and British Movietone News are putting their vast archives on YouTube on two different channels.

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The Girl in The Spider's WebThe Girl in the Spider’s Web, the fourth book in Stieg Larsson’s Millennium Series will be available in 35 or so countries tomorrow. Since Larsson is dead, the new novel has been written by David Lagercrantz who was chosen by Larsson’s estate to continues the series. The Globe and Mail recently published an interview with Lagercrantz that explores many issues including his credentials to continue the series, and the secrecy that was involved in writing and editing the novel. Entertainment Weekly has an exclusive excerpt of the novel here, and The New York Times reviews the novel here.

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Beauty is a WoundLooking for something good to read this autumn? Literary Hub lists 75 soon-to-be-published books that are recommended by booksellers.

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The Center for Fiction has announced the shortlist for its First Novel Award. The novels and a description of each is available here.

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The Agony and the EcstasyImagine studying economics, astronomy, color theory, Italian Renaissance art, environmental science, religion, and psychology through literature rather than those stuffy old textbooks that you normally have to wade through. That’s the premise of FlavorWire’s college curriculum on your bookshelf which is composed of 50 books for 50 college courses.

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Neurologist and writer Oliver Sacks has died from cancer at the age of 82. He wrote some of the most fascinating books that you will ever read on the final frontier here on earth: the human brain. His 1973 book, Awakenings, which described how Sacks brought people who lived in a perpetual vegetative state back to the real world for a time, was made into an Academy Award nominated movie starring Robin Williams in 1990. His 1985 book The Man Who Mistook His Wife for a Hat, while seeming like science fiction, told the true stories of some of his strangest experiences with neurologically damaged patients. A Time magazine article about Sacks mentions that Discover magazine listed The Man Who Mistook His Wife for a Hat as one of the 25 greatest science books of all time. That is high praise, indeed, since the list also includes books by Aristotle, Isaac Newton, Albert Einstein, Galileo Galilei, and Charles Darwin.

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The next edition of the live author interview program In-Depth on Book TV (C-SPAN2) will air Sunday, September 6, 2015 from noon to 3:00 p.m. EDT. The featured guest will be American Enterprise Institute senior fellow, former second lady, and author Lynne Cheney. Her books include James Madison: A Life Reconsidered and America: A Patriotic Primer.

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