books

…if you wanted — let’s just say — to read the original account of Newton and the falling apple, you’d have to research which museum, school, or library had the manuscript, arrange a costly visit overseas (if you were not already located in Europe), and try to convince a librarian that you had good reason to look at the original and that you’d be ever so careful with it. If you were lucky, you might be allowed into the collection to see it — look, but don’t touch!

No longer. Turning the Pages has placed some — admittedly few, to date — manuscripts online. Now you can look at the fragile paper manuscript from the 18th century which tells the story of Newton’s development of his theory of gravity from the comfort of your own home. No, you can’t actually handle the manuscripts at Turning the Pages, but it’s unlikely you’d have been allowed to do so had you made that theoretical trip, either.

We’ll call this one more entry into the list of reasons that I’m glad to live in the Internet age.

Today I want to showcase what I hope will be come a regular feature here in my little slice of cyberspace — those things that caused me to click a link, and then another, and get caught up in reading/learning about something new.

*New tiny tyrannosauroid may be missing link in evolution
*But how will she floss?
*I had no idea! Not for the faint of heart, and I’m purposely NOT linking to any of the video, which does exist on the Internet.
*A new book in one of my favorite worlds is set for release next year!
* Speaking of favorite worlds and new books, not concrete news yet on George R.R. Martin’s Song of Ice and Fire series or on Jean M Auel’s Earth’s Children series. These two are in a fierce competition to see how long they can keep fans waiting. At the moment, Jean has what appears to be a commanding lead at 5 years to 2 for George, but there are rumors whispering that Jean may have delivered a manuscript to her editor. Of course, she’s already the champion, having made her fans was 12 years for book 5. Let us all hope that she’s not trying to break her previous record.

Most of us bibliophiles have been there, especially those of us who are sci-fi/fantasy types; we’ve fallen in love with a series. Maybe we found it at book one some lonesome October night and have been waiting anxiously for the next installment. Perhaps we were lucky enough to discover the series after a few books had been written and now the wait for the next is becoming excruciating. Some authors are very good at setting a schedule and keeping to it (one book a year in each series, come hell or high water. Thank you Jim Butcher!). Others not so much (12 years between books 3 and 4. Jean M Auel has been nominated for the hall of shame). Those of us who love George R R Martin have been waiting a bit. Some are getting so frustrated that they’re writing screeds to Neil Gaiman. As Neil pointed out so eloquently, and John Anealio put to music, George R R Martin is not your bitch.

Yep, really. Everyone who needs something to amuse them while driving to work needs to check out the free audio book website. You’re not likely to find the latest NY Times bestseller there, but there are lots of classic stories, non-fiction, and even free university courses, all available for free.

Check it out!

This week’s time waster is a series of books called The Dresden Files. Reading them is not a waste of time, by any stretch of the imagination. Time will, however, slip by you very quickly until you’ve finished each book. For instance, Wed/Thurs just slipped right away while I was finishing the most recent installment, Turn Coat.

They’re literary crack…but soooo good. It’s going to kill me to wait another year for my next hit.

The much beloved Maurice Sendak book is coming to life this fall in a theater near you! I didn’t even know this was a project. I remember this book vividly from my childhood. As I’m sure is the case with many people of my age, it was one of my favorites. I’m really excited about this film, but as is usual when I hear that they’re making a movie of something I love, I have a sick feeling in my stomach. I’ll go see it and try to give it the benefit of the doubt, but I managed to be disgusted with LotR: FotR, so I know I’m pretty darned hard to please.

Where The Wild Things Are trailer online.

I’ve recently taken a second job doing transcription work for a library in Australia. They have hours and hours of oral history sitting in their vaults that must be transcribed so it can be cross-referenced and used for research into the early 1900’s in the area. One of the most interesting parts of this job is listing to people’s memories of the Great Depression in Australia.

In a bit of synchronicity, my husband recently stumbled across Clara on YouTube. She has a popular online cooking show in which she shares Depression era recipes and her memories of growing up at the time. Clara’s also preparing to release a DVD and a cookbook of her recipes. With the recent economic downturn, this seems particularly timely.

A true master

Geeks and sci-fi/fantasy fans, take notice! NESFA is collecting and reprinting all of the works they can find from Roger Zelazny. Most fans of the genre will probably have read or heard of The Chronicles of Amber. While the best known, the Chronicles are by no means the only books he wrote. Lord of Light may well be one of the best books ever written.

Look up this website and order your books soon. I have no idea how large this printing is expected to be and I’d hate for anyone to miss out on the collected works of a true master writer.