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Pulp Fiction Cover: ‘The Whisperer’

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[BOOKS] American Pioneer: Laura Ingalls Wilder’s Real-life Memoir to be Published

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The project’s online home has pictures of the real places in the book and the artifacts that helped tell the story.

For the LA TimesCarolyn Kellogg reports: Laura Ingalls Wilder based her beloved “Little House on the Prairie” books on her actual experiences growing up on the American plains. But they were books for children, and, sometime in the 1920s, she wrote a memoir that would have been rated R for violence and adult content.

“There’s the story of a love triangle gone awry. And a scene where a drunk man douses a room in kerosene, lights in on fire, then drags his wife through it by the hair.”

No one would publish it.

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Until September, when the University of South Dakota State Historical Society Press will release the memoir, with notations, as “Pioneer Girl: The Annotated Autobiography.” The Associated Press reports that it’s Wilder’s original rough draft of the book, misspellings and all, edited by Pamela Smith Hill, the author of a biography of Wilder. Read the rest of this entry »


A Neutral Guide to Net Neutrality

Stephanie-Crets-portraitFor SingleHopStephanie Crets writes: Net Neutrality has been the topic of intense conversation recently, as the FCC solicits and considers public comments about how to regulate Internet traffic. We’ve put together the overview below to help you understand the issues and players that influence the way we use the Internet daily for business, research, entertainment, and social activities.nanotube.computerx299

Net Neutrality Overview

Net Neutrality refers to the idea that all data on the Internet should be treated equally by Internet Service Providers (ISPs). For most of the Internet’s history, ISPs generally did not distinguish between the various types of content that flow through their networks, whether web pages, email, or other forms of information. In the 1990s and early 2000s, the few ISPs that tried to block certain types of data faced strong opposition from consumers, tech companies, and regulators.

With the rise of bandwidth-heavy services such as Netflix, ISPs have increasingly sought to sell more bandwidth, or “fast lanes,” to companies willing to pay for it. Other traffic would move through their networks at a slower pace.

An FCC History of Net Neutrality

The term “Network Neutrality” (later shortened to Net Neutrality) was coined by legal scholar Tim Wu in a 2003 study of potential ways to regulate the Internet. Over the last decade, the FCC has tried multiple times to enforce “guiding principles” in support of Net Neutrality. Read the rest of this entry »


Paperback: ‘The Truth About the Wild Orgies of San Francisco’s Beat Generation!’

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John Schuyler: Beatnik Party; Bedside Books; 1959; paperback, 175 pages, fiction — “The truth about the wild orgies of San Francisco’s beat generation!”; “Crazed with Strange Desires…Shameful Affairs!”; classic beatploitation.


Vintage Crime Fiction Paperback: Harold Q Masur’s ‘Suddenly a Corpse’

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The 50 Best Books of the 20th Century

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From  of the Intercollegiate Review:  The turn of the century is a time to take stock of the path we have followed, the better to discern where we ought to be going. Historical discernment requires coming to judgment about what has been noble, good, and beneficial in our time, but also about what has been base, bad, and harmful. In the life of the mind, what has our century produced that deserves admiration? What has it produced that deserves only books-tallcontempt?

Earlier this year, the Modern Library published a list styled The Hundred Best Nonfiction Books of the Twentieth Century. A list of significant books can make a compelling statement about how we are to understand an age. In judging the quality of a book, one necessarily judges the perception and the profundity which the book displays, as well as the character of the book’s influence.

Yet many were dissatisfied with the several “Best” lists published in the past year, finding them biased, too contemporary, or simply careless…

Our “Worst” list reveals a remarkable number of volumes of sham social science of every kind…(read more)

Prominent on the “Best” list, on the other hand, are many volumes of extraordinary reflection and creativity in a traditional form, which heartens us with the knowledge that fine writing and clear-mindedness are perennially possible….(read the full list here)

This list was edited by Mark C. Henrie, Winfield J. C. Myers, and Jeffrey O. Nelson.

1. Henry Adams, The Education of Henry Adams (1907)

Pessimism and nostalgia at the bright dawn of the twentieth century must have seemed bizarre to contemporaries. After a century of war, mass murder, and fanaticism, we know that Adams’s insight was keen indeed.

2. C. S. Lewis, The Abolition of Man (1947)

Preferable to Lewis’s other remarkable books simply because of the title, which reveals the true intent of liberalism.

3. Whittaker Chambers, Witness (1952)

The haunting, lyrical testament to truth and humanity in a century of lies (and worse). Chambers achieves immortality recounting his spiritual journey from the dark side (Soviet Communism) to the—in his eyes—doomed West. One of the great autobiographies of the millennium. Read the rest of this entry »


‘I AM Big. It’s the Devices that Got Small’

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How the Smartphone Ushered In a Golden Age of Journalism 

For WIRED writes: When I first arrived in New York, some time back in the last century, I gazed in awe and fascination at subway riders reading The New York Times. Thanks to a precise and universally adopted method of folding the paper (had it been taught in schools?), they could read it and even turn its pages without thrusting them in anyone else’s face. The trick? Folding those big, inky broadsheets into neat little rectangles—roughly the same size, in fact, as an iPad. It’s as if they were trying to turn the newspaper into a mobile device. And that, we can now see, is precisely what news is meant for. Today, New York newspaper origami is an all-but-lost art; straphangers have their eyes glued to their smartphones.

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Illustration by Oliver Munday

“Like Twitter, mobile has long been underestimated: People assume that because the screen is small, the content should be too. That’s turning out to be both simplistic and wrong.”

Journalism, however, is holding its own. Statistics from the Times say roughly half of the people who read it now do so with their mobile devices, and that jibes with figures from the latest Pew report on the news media broadly. But if you were to assume that means people have given up reading actual articles and are just snacking instead, you’d be wrong. The Atlantic recently reported that a gorgeously illustrated 6,200-word story on BuzzFeed—which likewise gets about half its readers through mobile devices—not only received more than a million views, it held the attention of smartphone users for an average of more than 25 minutes. (WIRED‘s in-depth web offerings have also attracted audiences. A profile of a brilliant Mexican schoolgirl garnered 1.2 million views, 25 percent of them from phones, and readers spent an average of 18 minutes on it.) Little wonder that for every fledgling enterprise like Circa, which generates slick digests of other people’s journalism on the theory that that’s what mobile readers want, you have formerly short-attention-span sites like BuzzFeed and Politico retooling themselves to offer serious, in-depth reporting. “Maybe we’re entering into a new golden age of journalism,” venture capitalist Marc Andreessen mused in a recent blog post, “and we just haven’t recognized it yet.”

Even just two years ago, such an assessment would have seemed almost ludicrous. Read the rest of this entry »


NYT Readers Locking Themselves in Bathrooms, Throwing up and Crying


Pulp Fiction Cover Art of the Day: Black Room Murder in Los Angeles ‘The Lady Regrets’

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“Black Room Murder” (by alittleblackegg)

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First Superman Comic Book Expected to Fetch Millions When it Goes Up for Auction on eBay

A purportedly pristine copy of the first Superman comic book could fetch millions of dollars when it goes up, up and away in an auction at online marketplace eBay.

action_comicsA copy of Action Comics #1 in which the Kryptonian superhero made his debut in 1938 will be offered in an eBay auction that opens on August 14 and run for ten days.

“The book looks and feels like it just came off the newsstand.”

– CGC primary grader Paul Litch

“This is an extraordinary opportunity to acquire the most valuable comic book in existence and we look forward to sharing a piece of pop culture history with the global eBay community of 149 million buyers,” Gene Cook of eBay marketplaces said in a release.

The issue being put on the Internet auction block by collectibles dealer Darren Adams was touted as the “Holy Grail” of comic books and one of as few as 50 unrestored copies in existence. Read the rest of this entry »


Apple agrees to $400 million settlement in ebook price-fixing case

Originally posted on 9to5Mac:

Apple has agreed to an approximately $400 million settlement as part of the high-profile ebook pricing fixing case in federal court that would cover  consumer consumer damages and civil penalties for the 33 states involved.  Attorney General Eric T. Schneiderman made an announcement today detailing the settlement that was also discovered in documents filed with the courts. Schneiderman noted the amount that Apple will ultimately pay of the $400 million settlement will depend on the outcome of  Apple’s still pending appeal of “the court’s July 2013 finding that Apple violated antitrust laws by orchestrating a conspiracy with five publishers to artificially raise E-book prices.”:

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Illiteracy in Journalism, continued…

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For The Weekly StandardMark Hemingway writes: Someone I’m related to by marriage has written a superb column on the problem of media ignorance. The fact I’m not a disinterested observer shouldn’t stop me from noting that the column and the event that prompted it has attracted some attention. The piece is pegged to a much discussed interview talk radio star Hugh Hewitt conducted with Zach Carter, the Huffington Post’s “senior political economy reporter.”

[Also see - Mollie Hemingway on Media Illiteracy]

Hewitt asked Carter why he was spouting off various critical opinions related to Dick Cheney and the 2003 invasion of Iraq. Certainly, Carter’s not alone here — the rise of ISIS has had liberal journalists queuing up to insist President Obama bears minimal responsibility for the disintegration of the situation in Iraq. Joe Biden bet his vice presidency Iraq would extend the Status of Forces Agreement, and had they not failed, it might well have prevented the current mess. But here we are.

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Daniel Goodman / Business Insider

“The problem is ultimately not Carter’s ignorance. The problem is that we live in an environment where you can become a “senior political economy reporter” for a major news organization at age 28.”

Still, perhaps there are reasons to criticize Cheney and the invasion of Iraq, but the trouble was that Carter couldn’t articulate any of them substantively, and what’s more, Hewitt asked a series of questions establishing that Carter doesn’t even have an acceptable baseline of knowledge to spout off on the topic. Some of the questions, such as whether Carter has read specific books, might seem pedantic. Others seemed to be a pretty basic litmus test about knowledge of al Qaeda and the U.S.’s involvement in Iraq. Read the rest of this entry »


Five Marxist Books Katie Pavlich Found at NOW’s National Conference in Chicago

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For TownHall.com, Katie Pavlich writes: Typically people think about the National Organization for Women as a women’s rights group. It isn’t. NOW is a front group for the promotion of socialist and Marxist policies in America and I have proof.

[Check out Katie Pavlich's new book, Assault and Flattery: The Truth About the Left and Their War on Women at Amazon]assault&flattery-cover

Last year I attended the annual NOW National Conference in Chicago (didn’t go to this year’s conference, I probably would have been kicked out anyway). Here’s a sampling of the material I found while I was there and a short excerpt from my new book Assault and Flattery:

“Marxist teaching is not a tiny fringe part of the modern, militant feminists’ agenda. It is its centerpiece.

From the time of Karl Marx through the 1960s and up until today, the progressive women’s rights movement has hardly been about women’s rights at all but instead about a transformation of American society and the transfer of wealth through government force. Women’s rights have simply acted as a veil to distract away from the true intentions of progressive activists.

Socialist literature sold at the annual NOW conference declares the family system as the origin of female oppression and lays out half a dozen fundamental “errors” of the family…” (read more) Katie Pavlich

1. The Communist Manifesto by Karl Marx

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Read the rest of this entry »


Book Rankings: Hillary vs. America

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[PHOTO] Henry Miller with Anaïs Nin

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[Check out the book Henry and June: From "A Journal of Love" - The Unexpurgated Diary of Anais Nin (1931-1932) at Amazon.com]

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[BOOKS] The Poverty of Benevolence

Fifty years of the Great Society have made things worse for blacks, not better.

20140702-fsA half-century ago, the Great Society promised to complete the civil rights revolution by pulling African-Americans into the middle class. Today, a substantial black middle class exists, but its primary function has been, ironically, to provide custodial care to a black underclass—one ever more deeply mired in the pathologies of subsidized poverty.  In Please Stop Helping Us: How Liberals Make It Harder for Blacks to Succeed”Jason Riley, an editorial writer for the Wall Street Journal who grew up in Buffalo, New York, explains how poverty programs have succeeded politically by failing socially. “Today,” writes Riley, “more than 70 percent of black children are born to unwed mothers. Only 16 percent of black households are married couples with children, the lowest of any racial group in the United States.” Riley attributes the breakdown of the black family to the perverse effects of government social programs, which have created what journalist William Tucker calls “state polygamy.” As depicted in an idyllic 2012 Obama campaign cartoon, “The Life of Julia,” a lifelong relationship with the state offers the sustenance usually provided by two parents in most middle-class families.

“Today, more than 70 percent of black children are born to unwed mothers. Only 16 percent of black households are married couples with children, the lowest of any racial group in the United States”

For City JournalFred Siegel writes: Riley’s own life experience gives him powerful perspective from which to address these issues. His parents divorced but both remained attentive to him and his two sisters. His sisters, however, were drawn into the sex-and-drug pleasures of inner-city “culture.” By the time he graduated from high school, his older sister was a single mother. By the time he graduated from college, his younger sister had died from a drug overdose. Riley’s nine-year-old niece teased him for “acting white.” “Why you talk white, Uncle Jason?” she wantedplease-stop-helping-book to know. She couldn’t understand why he was “trying to sound so smart.” His black public school teacher similarly mocked his standard English in front of the class. “The reality was,” Riley explains, “that if you were a bookish black kid who placed shared sensibilities above skin color, you probably had a lot of white friends.”

[Check out Jason Riley's book "Please Stop Helping Us: How Liberals Make It Harder for Blacks to Succeed" at Amazon.com]

The compulsory “benevolence” of the welfare state, borne of the supposed expertise of sociologists and social planners, undermined the opportunities opened up by the end of segregation. The great hopes placed in education as a path to the middle class were waylaid by the virulence of a ghetto culture nurtured by family breakdown. Adjusted for inflation, federal per-pupil school spending grew 375 percent from 1970 to 2005, but revolt-massesthe achievement gap between white and black students remained unchanged. Students at historically black colleges and universitiesexplained opinion columnist Bill Maxwell, “did not know what or whom to respect. For many, the rappers Bow Wow and 50 Cent were as important to black achievement as the late Ralph Bunche, the first black to win a Nobel Peace Prize, and Zora Neale Hurston, the great novelist.”

[Also see Fred Siegel's book "The Revolt Against the Masses: How Liberalism Has Undermined the Middle Class" at Amazon.com]

“Why study hard in school,” asks Riley, “if you will be held to a lower academic standard? Why change antisocial behavior when people are willing to reward it, make excuses for it, or even change the law to accommodate it?” Read the rest of this entry »


[BOOKS] F.H. Buckley: ‘The Presidency Has Turned Into an Elective Monarchy’

“Presidentialism is significantly and strongly correlated with less political freedom.”

The Once and Future King: The Rise of Crown Government in Americabuckleybook by F.H. Buckley, Encounter Books, 2014, 319 pages, $27.99.

For Reason writes: Try making sense out of what Americans tell pollsters. According to the Pew Research Centerfewer than one in five of us trusts the federal government. Gallup says that nearly three quarters of us consider it “the biggest threat to the country in the future.”

[Check out Buckley's book "The Once and Future King" at Amazon.com]

Yet by equally overwhelming margins, Gallup shows Americans agreeing that “the United States has a unique character because of its history and Constitution that sets it apart from other nations as the greatest in the world.”

[Also see Juan Linz's 1990 article "The Perils of Presidentialism"]

Apparently, we’re disgusted and frightened by our government as it actually operates. And yet we’re convinced that we’ve got the best system ever devised by the mind of man.

On both counts, no one’s more convinced than American conservatives. Few goquite as far toward constitutional idolatry as former House Majority Leader Tom Delay, who earlier this year proclaimed that God “wrote the Constitution.” But the superiority of our national charter, with its separation of powers and independently elected national executive, is an article of faith for conservatives.

It’s about time for some constitutional impiety on the right, and F.H. Buckley answers the call in his bracing and important new book, The Once and Future King. Buckley, a professor of law at George Mason University and a senior editor at The American Spectator, is unmistakably conservative. But that doesn’t stop him from pointing out that America’s not so all-fired exceptional—or from arguing that our Constitution has made key contributions to our national decline. Read the rest of this entry »


New Measure of Literary Unpopularity: ‘The Picketty Index’

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“Capital in the Twenty-First Century” by Thomas Piketty 

Yes, it came out just three months ago. But the contest isn’t even close. Mr. Piketty’s book is almost 700 pages long, and the last of the top five popular highlights appears on page 26. Stephen Hawking is off the hook; from now on, this measure should be known as the Piketty Index.

So take it easy on yourself, readers, if you don’t finish whatever edifying tome you picked out for vacation. You’re far from alone…

(read moreWSJ


Vintage Book Cover Art of the Day: They Tampered with Eternity ‘The Twisted Men’

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The Rejection Letters: How Publishers Snubbed 11 Great Authors

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For the Telegraph writes: From Gertude Stein and William Burroughs to recent rags-to-riches writers such as JK Rowling and Cassandra Clare, there have been brutal rejection letters to accompany most bestselling novels. Here are extracts from some of them:

1. “Overwhelmingly nauseating, even to an enlightened Freudian…the whole thing is an unsure cross between hideous reality and improbable fantasy. It often becomes a wild neurotic daydream… I recommend that it be buried under a stone for a thousand years.”nabakov

Thankfully, for both Vladimir Nabokov and literature as a whole, Lolita wasn’t buried, but published in France after two years of rejections by New York publishers such as Viking, Simon & Schuster, New Directions, Farrar, Straus, and Doubleday. When Graham Greene got hold of it, shortly after its French publication, he reviewed it in The Sunday Times, describing it as “one of the three best books of 1955″.

Despite this, the novel still wasn’t published in the UK until 1957, because the Home Office seized all imported copies and France banned it. When British publishing house Weidenfeld & Nicolson took it on, it was at the cost of Nigel Nicolson‘s political career.

2. “The girl doesn’t, it seems to me, have a special perception or feeling which would lift that book above the ‘curiosity’ level.”

One of the 15 publishers who didn’t think The Diary of Anne Frank was worth reading.

3. “First, we must ask, does it have to be a whale?

“While this is a rather delightful, if somewhat esoteric, plot device, we recommend an antagonist with a more popular visage among the younger readers. For instance, could not the Captain be struggling with a depravity towards young, perhaps voluptuous, maidens?”

Herman Melville‘s leviathan novel was rejected, as above, by Peter J Bentley. However, Richard Bentley, of the same London publishing house, eventually offered him a contract in 1851. Moby Dick was published 18 months later than Melville expected and at great personal expense, as he arranged for the typesetting and plating of his book himself to speed up the process. Young, voluptuous maidens never made the final edit.

4. “For your own sake, do not publish this book.”

One publisher turned down D.H. Lawrence‘s Lady Chatterley’s Lover, first published in 1928. Perhaps they had predicted the furore that was unleashed when the full novel did hit the British bookshelves in 1960. Read the rest of this entry »


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