(Roughly) Daily

Posts Tagged ‘best books

“Good friends, good books, and a sleepy conscience: this is the ideal life”*…

 

‘Tis the season: best-of lists, and some leisure time in which to put them to use…

Here’s NPR’s Best Books of 2015— 260 volumes that one can filter by type or interest.

* Mark Twain

###

As we settle in, we might recall that it was on this date in 1865 that U.S. Secretary of State William Seward issued a statement verifying the ratification of the 13th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.  The amendment abolished slavery with the declaration: “Neither slavery nor involuntary servitude, except as a punishment for crime whereof the party shall have been duly convicted, shall exist within the United States, or any place subject to their jurisdiction.”

Thomas Nast’s engraving, “Emancipation,” 1865

source

 

Written by LW

December 18, 2015 at 1:01 am

I’d like to thank…

(logo designed by our friends at Coudal Partners)

Once again, it’s that time of year when otherwise mature adults paint their faces in the palettes of their favorite book jacket designers, and all across Facebook college kids post pictures of themselves Nabokoving. Yes, we’re talking about book awards season.

We are excited this morning to announce the books, judges, brackets, and Zombie poll that will become The Morning News 2012 Tournament of Books…

Whether it’s your first time or your eighth time, here’s the deal. A ridiculously small and poorly informed group of TMN editors and contributors have chosen 16 of the most cherished, hyped, ignored, and/or enthusiastically praised books of the year to enter into a month-long tournament, NCAA-basketball-madness style, beginning March 7, 2012.

To create that list, we drew from a body of titles that we started building last January, and also consulted our TMN readers, where people like you, maybe even actually you, suggested their top reads of the year. Still, these are not the best 16 books of the year. You could produce another list of 16 books that would be every bit as deserving. Some books were dismissed for petty reasons. Some books were no doubt included for arbitrarily aesthetic ones. And there’s no getting around any of that, as far as we can tell…

More on “the other March Madness” here.  Download the brackets (PDF) here.

 

As we page Evelyn Wood, we might recall that it was on this date in 1943 that Existentialist philosopher, playwright (and first-cousin-once-removed of Albert Schweitzer) Jean-Paul Sartre published Being and Nothingness.  In 1964 he was awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature…  but refused it in protest of “the bourgeois values of society.”

source

 

Written by LW

January 20, 2012 at 1:01 am

So many books, so little time!…

Readers will remember David McCandless (e.g., here), proprietor of Information is Beautiful, champion of elegant, effective infographics, and (with Miriam Quick and Matt Hancock) creator of “Books Everyone Should Read,” as featured in his Guardian column:

click the image above, or here, for the full chart

Do Top 100 Books polls and charts agree on a set of classics?  I scraped the results of over 15 notable book polls, readers surveys and top 100’s. Both popular and high-brow. They included all Pulitzer Prize winners, Desert Island Discs choices from recent years, Oprah’s Bookclub list, and, of course, The Guardian’s Top 100 Books of All Time. A  simple frequency analysis on the gathered titles gives us a neat ‘consensus cloud’ visualisation of the most mentioned books titles across the polls. Do you agree with the consensus?

Check the data and analysis here: bit.ly/BooksEveryone

 

As we reorder our reading piles, we might recall that it was on this date in 1987 that Jim Bakker, beset by scandals both financial and sexual, resigned his stewardship of The PTL Club, a television, publishing, and theme-park empire that he had founded in 1975 with his (then) wife, Tammy Faye Bakker.  In an ultimately unsuccessful attempt to avoid a “hostile takeover” that Bakker feared would expose his intimate (and allegedly coercive) relations with PTL employee Jessica Hahn, he arranged for PTL to be taken over by fellow evangelist Jerry Falwell.

Jim and Tammy Faye Bakker (source)

 

 

Outside of a dog, a book is man’s best friend…

Outside of a dog, a book is man’s best friend. Inside of a dog it’s too dark to read.
– Groucho Marx

source

Your correspondent is departing for points South– for the dune-banked, hammock-hung, deep-fried seat of his youth.  Consequently, (R)D will be more Roughly than Daily until the 16th or 17th of August.

In order to keep readers amused until regular service resumes, Five Books:

Every day an eminent writer, thinker, commentator, politician, academic chooses five books on their specialist subject. From Einstein to Keynes, Iraq to the Andes, Communism to Empire…

For example, Peter Paret (of Princeton’s Institute of Advanced Study) on “War and Intellect” (chosen as an example, your correspondent confesses, in part because it opens with your correspondent’s own most-recommended book:  Erich Auerbach’s Mimesis)…  or Pillip Vannini on “The Ethnography of Music“… or Carlos Eire’s “Time and Eternity” picks– which range from St. Augustine to Kurt Vonnegut…   Or any of many, many more.

Read ’em and reap!

As we curate our own short shelves, we might recall that it was on this date in 1890 that Cy Young pitched his first professional baseball game, leading the Cleveland Spiders past the Chicago Colts. Over the course of his 22-year career, Young won at least 508 games (511 is the generally accepted number) and averaged more than 23 victories per season.

Denton True Young earned his nickname when a bystander watched him, as a boy, devastate a wooden fence with pitches, observing that the fence “looked like it had been hit with a cyclone.”

Young was elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1937, in the first class inducted. The Cy Young Award, bestowed annually on the best pitcher in each professional league, was instituted in 1956.

Young’s 1911 baseball card (source: Library of Congress)

%d bloggers like this: