Talking About Books . . .

National Review magazine has a series of podcasts called The Great Books which is hosted by John J. Miller who is a professor at Hillsdale College in Michigan.  In each of the half-hour podcasts Miller interviews someone who is an expert on the subject of that podcast.  Books discussed include Harper Lee’s To Kill a Mockingbird, A Confederacy of Dunces by John Kennedy Toole, Cervantes’ Don Quixote, All three parts of Dante’s Divine Comedy, The Martian Chronicles by Ray Bradbury, and  A Study in Scarlet by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle.  There are over 80 episodes so far with another being added each week.  You can access the podcasts here or through your favorite podcast app, or through iTunes, Google Play, Stitcher, or Tune-In.  And a big “thank you” to my friend Jim George for bringing these podcasts to my attention.

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Here are 21 clever things that have been done at various libraries.  You might want to recommend some of them to your local library.

Number 20 is a library book vending machine at a commuter’s train station.  How about a book vending machine in a school that dispenses free books to “selected” students?

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It’s been nice to see the change in Bill Gates, the founder of Microsoft, from a hard-nosed businessman to a world-class philanthropist – along with his wife Melinda.  Gates is also an avid reader.  In his newsletter, he recently recommended five books for your summer reading.

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Mystery novels are not the only places you can find mysteries.  There are countless real-life mysteries that you can practice your sleuthing skills on if you so choose.  Atlas Obscura has collected 10 that you can work on at your convenience.  Click on the bold-face title of each to see an in-depth article that describes what investigators know and don’t know.

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Repurposing a 1979 Ford Falcon sounds like a good idea to me since it wasn’t much of a car even when it was new.  In one case an Argentinean artist converted it into a tank that houses 900 books that are given free to people around Argentina who promise to read them.  Be sure to watch the video of how the artist, Raul Lemesoff, converts the Falcon into a “weapon of mass instruction.”  Note: I don’t think he’s normal.

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Literary Hub has a listing of the writers who have won the most major literary prizes.  Who do you think tops the list.  Find the answer here.

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It’s rare when movie adaptations of popular books are faithful to the source material.  Of course, you have to leave something out or the movie would go on foreverMental Floss lists ten characters who were left out of movie adaptations of popular books.

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