Analysing the words used in certain series of well known novels

Thursday, 28 November, 2013

For those with an interest in such things, listings of the most distinct, and commonly used adjectives, adverbs, and sentences used in the fantasy/adventure “Hunger Games”, “Harry Potter”, and “Twilight”, series of novels.

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Search engine beta: the bricks, mortar, and paper, working version

Thursday, 28 November, 2013

Old Cincinnati library

Possibly the Old Main Library in the US city of Cincinnati, that closed in 1955, formed the basis of today’s search engines… what does anyone else think?

Via History In Pictures.

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The one hundred best novels ever published… as of 1898

Thursday, 14 November, 2013

In 1898 British writer and critic Clement K. Shorter published a list of the then one hundred best novels ever written. “Don Quixote”, “Robinson Crusoe”, “Pride and Prejudice”, “Frankenstein”, and “The Three Musketeers”, to name a few, were among books making the cut.

I haven’t read every last title on the list, but certainly many are familiar nonetheless. Shorter clearly knew a good book when he saw one… even if you may not agree with all his choices.

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The reading list of David Bowie

Wednesday, 9 October, 2013

Looking for reading ideas for the upcoming spring/autumn break, if applicable, or going further ahead, year-end holidays? Maybe a few titles from David Bowie’s must read book list then?

The reading list, with books presented in chronological order rather than order of preference, provides Ontario with a new angle. American classics of the 50s and 60s are strongly represented – On the Road by Jack Kerouac, Truman Capote’s In Cold Blood – as are tales of working-class boys made good, which emerged in the postwar years: Keith Waterhouse’s Billy Liar and Room at the Top by John Braine, and The Outsider by Colin Wilson, a study of creativity and the mindset of misfits. RD Laing’s The Divided Self speaks to a fascination with psychotherapy and creativity, as does The Origin of Consciousness in the breakdown of the Bicameral Mind, by Julian Jaynes. There is no evidence that Bowie’s scientific inquries extend beyond psychology – Stephen Hawking’s cosmic theories are out – but his tastes are otherwise broad.

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Text analysers will help find books that suit your mood

Tuesday, 8 October, 2013

A text analyser, as developed by Canadian researcher Saif Mohammad, makes it possible to gauge the emotional temperature, or mood, of sections and chapters of books, before reading them, meaning a list of suggested titles could be tailored for you, depending on your prevailing frame of mind.

Mohammad has created his emotion analyser by combining these two advances with a clear method for visualising the results. For example, in analysing Shakespeare’s comedy As You Like It, he can display the number of words associated with each emotion that appear in every 10,000 words. This gives a kind of emotional signature. Comparing this to the emotional signature of Hamlet, one of Shakespeare’s tragedies, is revealing. “Observe how one can clearly see that Hamlet has more fear, sadness, disgust, and anger, and less joy, trust, and anticipation,” he says.

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How to live, die, and rule well in the middle ages… for dummies

Wednesday, 2 October, 2013

Self help, or “how to”, books are by no means recent, we have been offering our counsel to others by way of books for centuries, be that tips on to how battle, care for the sick, die well, or rule as a monarch. Surprise, surprise though, the advice being dispensed did, sometimes, conflict:

One of the most popular genres of “advice books” during this time was called “Mirrors for Princes.” They were often written by noble relatives, respected scholars, or religious leaders to be presented to new nobility as they came to power. These books were meant to instruct young royalty of their duties and their history. Most of these books, alongside records of battles and studies of other monarchies, instruct on the need for piety, benevolence, and the important of a praiseworthy life. A famous exception is the book The Prince by Niccolò Machiavelli. Machiavelli taught that it was better to be feared than loved, better to be stingy than generous (so as not to encourage greed in your subjects), and how to avoid contempt and hatred while adhering to the rest of his suggestions. Unlike most Mirrors, Machiavelli’s book is still widely read today.

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Artworks on a book’s fore-edge… art that’s a real page turner

Thursday, 26 September, 2013

Take a closer look at the inside edge of a book and you just might see some fore-edge artwork. In most instances the book’s pages need to be fanned out a little to bring the image into view.

While the work of fore-edge book artists has be found dating back to the tenth century, the more concealed style art became more common from the mid seventeenth century onwards.

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Here’s the thing about being a novelist… it’s still a job

Wednesday, 18 September, 2013

New York City based author Maya Rodale on what it really takes to be a published author… because after all the cake and watermelon it’s still a job that you are required to get on with:

80K words/ days until deadline = the amount you must write each day before watching Hulu.

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To look forward to, some new books by J.D. Salinger

Monday, 2 September, 2013

It looks as if “new” books by J.D. Salinger, the manuscripts of which have been sitting in a safe in the late US author’s house for possibly decades, may see the light of day sooner rather than later, even though it was apparently Salinger’s wish they not be published until 2051, though it seems this directive may only apply to certain works.

This could be a double treat for fans of The Catcher in the Rye, as the unpublished books sound like follow-ups to Salinger’s iconic 1951 work:

The Salinger books would revisit Catcher protagonist Holden Caulfield and draw on Salinger’s World War II years and his immersion in eastern religion. The material also would feature new stories about the Glass family of Franny and Zooey and other Salinger works.

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If not for one just letter this may have a whole different book

Wednesday, 17 July, 2013

Book titles that are missing one letter… not just any old letter though, a single absent letter could stand to spawn a new range of books and stories.

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