Curiosities

Take a Look

“I remember LeVar shooting at a zoo and an elephant had a cold and kept blowing snot all over him. He never lost his cool. 'OK, let’s try it again.'” OMG guys, Mental Floss has an oral history of Reading Rainbow! And let us also never forget the reminiscences of our founder C. Max Magee's mom upon learning the show would be cancelled.
Curiosities

Refuge in Reading

It's World Refugee Day and Book Riot has 100 (yes, 100!) reading recommendations. Meanwhile, earlier this year, Ted Gioia proposed, Kanye-style, that Vladimir Nabokov's Pnin was actually the greatest refugee novel of all time.
Curiosities

Incredibly Big and Extremely Close

"I have a big global voice, but a small local one, because I don’t want to be a target, and resent that in 2017, that’s still the only choice I get to have. I have a rule of leaving the party, or social space as soon as I see five white people drunk, because the only person who will remember that moment when everybody got hella racist will be me. I have a self-imposed curfew of when to ride my bike home, when to leave the park. I would rather risk my life riding late at night on the empty and mostly dark greenway, than riding on the street with Police officers looking for whoever matches a description." A Brief History of Seven Killings author Marlon James writes on Facebook (?) about being big, close, and black in the U S of A. Pair with Kaulie Lewis on reading James's The Book of Night Women during her senior year.
Curiosities

Parks and Read

"The idea is to bring about a change in lifestyle of the young denizens of the city." The Times of India reports that the Bhopal Runners Association is converting old parks around the city into green reading spaces with seating, wi-fi, and literary events. Less bookcentric but still a feat of public planning (and gentrification): New York City's High Line, which our own Michael Borne wrote about when it first opened.
Curiosities

Tuesday New Release Day: Baker; Sauma; Shawn; Moore; Moore

Out this week: Our Little Racket by Anjelica Baker; Flesh and Bone and Water by Luiza Sauma; Night Thoughts by Wallace Shawn; The Supremes Sing the Happy Heartache Blues by Edward Kelsey Moore; and New Collected Poems by Marianne Moore. For more on these and other new titles, go read our most recent book preview.
Curiosities

They Put a Spell on Her

“Maybe I could find some peace there, or a husband. Maybe it would be like going home.” Katherina Grace Thomas writes for Guernica about Nina Simone's three beautiful years in Liberia during the 1970s. See also: Bill Morris on the Hollywood biopic.
Curiosities

Presidential Library, Part Deux

“That little book had such an impact. It changes the course of history. When you think about how sheer accident can change so much, it’s breathtaking.” A set of Luo-language books written by President Obama's father are up for auction until today, reports The New York Times. Written for the East African Literature Bureau,“the series uses the character Otieno, the Wise Man to offer advice on farming, healthy eating habits and other topics.” Pair with our own Janet Potter on reading presidential biographies.
Curiosities

Do Not Lick the Books

Designboom has your library porn for the day. Pair with Daniel Penev's appreciation of public libraries the world 'round.
Curiosities

We Have So Little Time Anyway

Recommended Reading: The Rumpus interviews John Grisham.
Curiosities

The Old Town

"What knits together the families of Roth’s Newark are adults—some foreign-born but many the children of immigrants—who either experienced the insecurity and deprivation of the Old World themselves or heard stories about it from their own parents. What they want most is to find stability in a neighborhood, in a city, and in a country that offers them the chance at security for their families." On Philip Roth and Newark, NJ.