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Viewing: Blog Posts Tagged with: new york times, Most Recent at Top [Help]
Results 26 - 50 of 146
26. Giving Where It Works

At First Book, we work hard to make an impact: we put over 8 million new books into the hands of kids in need across the country this year. And we’re mindful of how many amazing organizations there are out there, both nationally and locally, that could use your support.

So we were pleased to see the New York Times Opinionator blog list First Book today as a nonprofit that is making a major difference while staying on the difficult path towards self-sufficiency, describing our work as a “particularly good use of charitable dollars” (we agree) and “proven to work” (also true).

Commenting on the way First Book’s model marries “altruism and profit”, Tina Rosenberg writes:

If you give books to children who don’t have them, good things happen — they become interested in reading, and they read more. Having lots of books in the home is as good a predictor of children’s future educational achievement as their parents’ educational levels.

But good things also happen to the publishing industry: First Book has harnessed its large network of education programs to create a guaranteed market and persuade publishers to make low-cost versions of some 2,000 titles — allowing publishers to reach the 42 percent of American children who were not in their market before. Fifty dollars buys 20 books for a child who has none.

We hope you’ll support First Book this holiday season. Every $2.50 you give provides one new book for a child in need. It’s a great way for you to make sure your hard-earned and well-considered donation goes to support something that works.

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27. New York Times Best Illustrated Children's Books 2011

It's not like you haven't seen the list of the New York Times Best Illustrated Children's Books already, since I'm late on the uptake. But for my own records and general comfort level that I'm paying attention to such things, here they are with my little thoughts.

Along a Long Road
Along a Long Road
written and illustrated by Frank Viva
(Little, Brown)
Yeah, I can see why this was chosen. Interesting art, though not one of my favorite books this year.

A Ball for Daisy
written and illustrated by Chris Raschka
(Schwartz & Wade)
Generally I don't love Raschka's art, but I liked it here. The loose style of his work matches the playfulness of a puppy very nicely.

Brother Sun, Sister Moon: Saint Francis of Assisi’s Canticle of the CreaturesBrother Sun, Sister Moon: Saint Francis of Assisi’s Canticle of the Creatures
written by Katherine Paterson, illustrated by Pamela Dalton
Simply gorgeous!

Grandpa Green
written and illustrated by Lane Smith
(Roaring Brook)
Clever, touching, and brilliant in concept and illustration.

written and illustrated by Arthur Geisert
(Enchanted Lion)
Really? The book with the pigs? Okay, I guess.

I Want My Hat Back
written and illustrated by Jon Klassen
Still trying to get onboard with the hype on this title. Also, while I like the illustrations I don't think it falls into the best illustrations of the year.

Me...JaneMe … Jane
written and illustrated by Patrick McDonnell
(Little, Brow

5 Comments on New York Times Best Illustrated Children's Books 2011, last added: 11/9/2011
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The day has come!  Shel Silverstein’s newest poetry collection, EVERY THING ON IT, is on sale today!

You can get a peek at the book by using our Browse Inside feature, and check out the downloadable activities.  The New York Times also wrote a lovely piece about Shel Silverstein as an unexpected “authority on education.”  And don’t forget to check out Shel’s poems on NPR’s Morning Edition (seriously, you haven’t lived until you hear Shel’s editor Toni Markiet read “Italian Food” out loud!).

The reviews are coming in and they positively glow about EVERY THING ON IT:

“This posthumous collection of Silverstein’s poems and illustrations is not only familiar in design, but chockfull of the whimsical humor, eccentric characters, childhood fantasies, and iconoclastic glee that his many fans adore.” ~ Publishers Weekly (starred review)

“Like the boy holding the delightfully absurd hot dog with everything piled upon it, this collection offers a Silverstein smorgasbord that won’t linger on the library shelves.” ~ School Library Journal (starred review)

“Adults who grew up with Uncle Shelby will find themselves wiping their eyes by the time they get to the end of this collection; children new to the master will find themselves hooked.” ~ Kirkus Reviews

It’s a historic day, and we’re so excited to share it with you, readers.  And if you’d like to share memories and/or favorite poems by Shel Silverstein in the comments, please feel free – we’d love to hear it!

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29. Write Long, Write Short? Write More or Less?

The ever-provocative Dwight Garner opines about the productivity of Important Novelists in today's New York Times, expressing a desire for work that yields "heat as well as light"and a frustration with "the long gestation period [that] is pretty typical for America's corps of young, elite celebrity novelists."  Says Garner (who cites Eugenides, Franzen, Tartt, Chabon, and David Foster Wallace among the slower working novelists):
Obviously, some of this is about personal style. There have always been prolific writers as well as slow-moving, blocked, gin-addled or silent ones. It’s worth suggesting, though, that something more meaningful may be going on here; these long spans between books may indicate a desalinating tidal change in the place novelists occupy in our culture. Suddenly our important writers seem less like color commentators, sifting through the emotional, sexual and intellectual detritus of how we live today, and more like a mountaintop Moses, handing down the granite tablets every decade or so to a bemused and stooped populace.
The economics of novel writing (how many must teach, for example, to survive) and the tugs on a novelist's time (book tours, interviews) clearly, Garner notes, run interference in a writer's life.  It's likely that other things are also to blame—life itself, for example, by which I mean the need for a writer to live deeply so that he or she might know even more deeply.  Then there are the demands of research—how long, one wonders, did David Foster Wallace have to steep himself in the arcania of tax code before he could even begin to find the story inside The Pale King?

As I read Garner's piece, I reflected—as I often do—on my own "productivity."  I published my first book in 1998; by the end of next summer, with the publication of Small Damages with the rocking house Philomel, fourteen of my books will sit across the room from me on the shelf.

Some would categorize that effort as prolific.  In fact, I feel anything but.  I may have published my first book in 1998, but I was writing long before that, and many of my books—Small Damages being a prime example—went through ten years of work, more than eighty drafts, and two genres before it became the story it was always meant to be.  Still Love in Strange Places (W.W. Norton), published as a memoir, was for a decade a novel about El Salvador before I spent three years turning the fiction into fact.  You Are My Only, which will launch in a month, was three very different books (written for adults) before I wrote it as a young adult novel.  And I am, at this very moment, utterly overhauling a novel for adults that I was so sure was cooked to order six months ago.  I am, in some ways, starting from scratch.

Writing has never been, for me, a straightforward process.  Publishing has been anything but.  I am trying to suggest that as writers we work and work (when time allows, when the day job on occasion eases up), but we rarely control the outcome itself.  The story comes on us, at us.  It dawns, it reveals, it retracts.  It's there for a moment, and then it scuttles away, and as much as we would like to put ourselves on a publishing schedule, our imaginations are countries unto themselves.

Today I wake, for example, to a scene that has eluded me for weeks.  The same darned scene.  The same patch in the same

2 Comments on Write Long, Write Short? Write More or Less?, last added: 9/19/2011
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30. Holiday Weekend Links

I hope everyone enjoyed the holiday weekend!  It seems that Mother Nature decided this weekend really did herald in the autumn, as it’s drizzly and chilly in NYC today.  It turns out it’s the best weather to hunker down and catch up on blog reading.  Here are some interesting links we’ve been reading lately:

  • The Book Blogger Appreciation Week 2011 shortlist just came out and CONGRATULATIONS to author Veronica Roth (DIVERGENT) for her nomination in the “Published Author Blog” category.  Thanks to Lee Wind at I’m Here, I’m Queer, What the Hell Do I Read? for the link (and congrats to his nomination as well)!
  • There’s still time to have the teens in your library or classroom vote for YALSA’S Teens’ Top 10 – they have until September 16th.
  • Family of robots? Bookshelves of Doom does it again: makes me laugh hysterically first thing in the morning before I’ve even had coffee.
  • The time has come: awards buzz is in full effect.  Heavy Medal has started their coverage of all things Newbery.  There doesn’t appear to be a link yet, but keep an eye out for Horn Book‘s own blog, Calling Caldecott.
  • Liz Burns over at A Chair, A Fireplace, and a Tea Cozy had quite the ordeal, courtesy of Hurricane Irene.  Read her story and check out her links of other bloggers with Irene stories.
  • Snape voted the favorite Harry Potter character?  Really???  It’s a total upset.  Me, I’m a Hermione fan through and through.  And you?
  • Sam over at Parenthetical has a fascinating blog post, “To RSS or not to RSS?”  Really?  Only 6% of North American, Internet-using consumers use an RSS feed once a week or more?  That floors me, as I couldn’t live without Google Reader to help me keep it all organized (and I couldn’t live without my Bloglines before that, nor could Liz).  What do you think?  When everyone and their brother has a blog out there, how do you keep it all organized?
  • Once again, Seattle Public Library closes for a week due to budget cuts.  I think the quote at the end really gets to the crux of the problem: “You kind of take it for granted – and then suddenly you miss it when it’s gone.”
  • Doing last-minute book buying for school?  Here’s a list of some back-to-school titles from the New York Times.

Have a great (short!) week, everyone, and enjoy the cooler weather!

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31. Boys and Books

Boys and Reading: Is There Any Hope? :: The New York Times
The Problem is Not the Books :: Saundra Mitchell
And This is Why the Problem is Not the Books :: Saundra Mitchell
Writing Toward Teen Boys -- The Conversation Continues :: Beth Kephart
Too Much Teen Paranormal Romance :: YouTube

3 Comments on Boys and Books, last added: 8/23/2011
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32. Bring it on: musings of a slow adopter

I am what the savvy might term a slow adopter. I tend to like things as they are.  My movies on the big screen.  My books between their covers.  My conversations in person, face to face.

That is not this world.

And if I am less than knowledgeable about Facebook (I am, perhaps, one of its least organized and aware members), have failed to take on Twitter, am not inclined toward Google +, only just yesterday did justice to my LinkedIn profile (how shabby my former presence was), and make more mistakes in typing Blackberry texts than any living writer, I am coming around to the way the world works.

I have an iPad 2 and I use it to read the New York Times (except the Times magazine, which I still prefer to hold), to catch up with the Inquirer, to read the occasional Kindle or iBook.  (The New Yorker and Food and Wine and Vanity Fair still come, old style, to my house.)  My email friends are legion.  I'm an old-time blogger (holding my ground here, refusing to vanish).  And lately I've been thinking about (not dreading, but embracing) the new ways in which the publishing industry works.  Why not an Amazon single, for example, if the audience is already primed for it?  And why not a book with multi-media illustrations—something web friendly, something e-alive?

It's the middle of August.  The days have been long.  I prefer autumn to summer.  I look toward the new season with hope for my October 25 release, You Are My Only, with eagerness to connect with some of you at a variety of talks, and with the high suspicion that I'm about to change the way I go about making of (some) books.  

2 Comments on Bring it on: musings of a slow adopter, last added: 8/16/2011
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33. NYT article: Publishing Gives Hints of Revival, Data Show

By JULIE BOSMAN Published in The New York Times: August 9, 2011 “The publishing industry has expanded in the past three years as Americans increasingly turned to e-books and juvenile and adult fiction, according to a new survey of thousands of publishers, retailers and distributors that challenges the doom and gloom that tends to dominate [...]

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34. Read it for yourself: "The printed word is alive and well."

Julie Bosman of the New York Times brings us this good news today—the publishing industry has grown over the past three years, according to a recent BookStats survey.  From her news story:
“We’re seeing a resurgence, and we’re seeing it across all markets — trade, academic, professional,” said Tina Jordan, the vice president of the Association of American Publishers. “In each category we’re seeing growth. The printed word is alive and well whether it takes a paper delivery or digital delivery.” 
Let us take a moment, then, in these darkened times, to celebrate the good news and to congratulate so many of us for never giving up hope in the first place.  The important thing, I think (and this indeed fueled my recent post about historical fiction), is never to panic when it comes to purported book trends.  We are human beings.  Stories feed us.

5 Comments on Read it for yourself: "The printed word is alive and well.", last added: 8/9/2011
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Pirate Picture Books Ahoy!

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36. Over 2,000 Titles on the First Book Marketplace

We’re excited to announce that we now have over 2,000 titles available on the First Book Marketplace! Our award-winning online store carries books for children of all ages, from board books to college prep guides, from The Very Hungry Caterpillar to To Kill A Mockingbird.

Over 2,000 titles on the First Book MarketplaceThe First Book Marketplace is available to teachers and program leaders who serve children from low-income families, and we work hard to make sure that we’re able to offer high-quality titles that those teachers and program leaders tell us their kids want to read.

We’re proud of the Marketplace, and the diversity of quality books we’re able to offer our programs. David Bornstein wrote about the Marketplace recently in The New York Times:

The First Book Marketplace is trying to do for publishing what micro-finance did for banking: crack open a vast potential market that is underserved at significant social cost. The organization’s goal is to democratize book access, but along the way, it may end up reinvigorating the book business.

(If you’re curious about how the Marketplace works, why it’s so important, or why a nonprofit organization has an online bookstore, we recommend reading Bornstein’s piece, as well as his follow-up piece that addresses some specific questions about First Book’s model.)

We’ll be announcing some exciting new changes later this year that will make it even easier for the programs we work with to get books for the kids that need them, so keep in touch, and let us know what books the kids in your life are most excited about reading.

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37. Only Once In An Agent’s Lifetime?

STATUS: Even though I look absolutely ridiculous doing a happy dance, I’m doing it anyway! White woman overbite. Here I come.

What’s playing on the XM or iPod right now? THE LOAD OUT by Jackson Browne

This is just getting impossible. If I keep hitting crazy milestones, what will I have to look forward to? Last year, I had 3 authors on the New York Times bestseller list at the same time.

Then it happened twice in one year. Fabulous. Where to go next?

How about 4 authors on the NYT list at the same time? And 3 of them on the top 150 USA Today Bestseller list at the same time as well.

Yep! That’s the news that hit my inbox about an hour ago. And here they are.

At #19 on the Trade Paperback list and #146 on USA Today

At #9 on the Children's list

At #11 on the Mass Market paperback list and #109 on USA Today

At #13 on the eBook listand #59 on USA Today


31 Comments on Only Once In An Agent’s Lifetime?, last added: 7/9/2011
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38. Forbidden images

By Justyna Zajac and Michelle Rafferty

“Growth of Overt homosexuality in City Provokes Wide Concern”

-New York Times (headline in 1963)

The world recoiled when the gay community started receiving credit for its influence in fashion and culture, but at least, according to Christopher Reed, they were being acknowledged. In his new book Art and Homosexuality: A History of Ideas, Reed argues that for some time the professional art world plain ignored the gay presence.

We had the chance to speak with Reed recently at his Williams Club talk, where he laid out the tumultuous relationship between art and activism. Below we present a few of the controversial things we learned.

1.) Art that didn’t get a chance…

During the most formative years of the gay rights movement in the 70s and on through the late 80s, arts publications and professionals, and even museums like the Museum of Modern Art, ignored imagery associated with gay and lesbian identity. Imagery like the graffiti pictured below which emerged in urban areas during the 70s:

Grafitti on “The Rocks,” Lincoln Park, Chicago, mid-1990s.

According to Reed, “These sites of visual history were destroyed with no organized documentation when rising property values prompted local governments to reclaim these areas.”

2.) Censorship…

Is right for people to ban art today? Even if it’s in the imaginary town of Pawnee, Indiana? Reed surprised us with his answer, making us consider that there’s actually a worse kind of censorship. Listen below to hear what he said.


Censorship is an interesting question because there are overt examples of censorship like what just happened with the Hide/Seek show and the David Wojnarowicz piece, where particular politicians make a statement to their constituency by removing something that’s on exhibition. And then the kind of thing that you’re talking about where institutions simply don’t show things or don’t buy things – in the case of libraries – or don’t do things or don’t let particular people in, which often doesn’t read as censorship because people never realize what they could be seeing or could be reading, or could be going on, because the institution has already created a kind of logic in which that kind of thing doesn’t exist.

And so in a lot of ways I actually think that’s the most dangerous kind of censorship because people aren’t aware of it and they can’t make a

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39. Washington City: paradise of paradoxes

By John Lockwood and Charles Lockwood

The Washington of April 1861—also commonly known as “Washington City”—was a compact town. Due to the cost of draining marshy land and the lack of reliable omnibus service, development was focused around Pennsylvania Avenue between the Capitol and White House. When the equestrian statue of George Washington was dedicated at Washington Circle in 1860, its location—three-quarters of a mile west of the White House, where Twenty-Third Street intersects Pennsylvania Avenue—was described as out of town. Several blocks north of the White House, at L Street, the land was countryside. “Go there, and you will find yourself not only out of town, away among the fields,” wrote English novelist Anthony Trollope in his travel account, North America, after his 1861 visit, “but you will find yourself beyond the fields, in an uncultivated, undrained wilderness.” A writer for the Atlantic Monthly, writing in January 1861, deemed Washington a “paradise of paradoxes,” foremost because it was both “populous” and “uninhabited” at once. Noting another paradox, he observed that the capital was ‘[d]efenceless, as regards walls, redoubts, moats, or other fortifications”—though the only party to “lay siege” to the city of late were the unyielding onslaught of politicians and office seekers, not soldiers.

Travelers arriving from northern cities caught a glimpse of the city’s grandeur and squalor as their train pulled into the B & O Station at the foot of Capitol Hill. “I looked out and saw a vast mass of white marble towering above us on the left . . . surmounted by an unfinished cupola, from which scaffold and cranes raised their black arms. This was the Capitol,” wrote Times of London correspondent William Russell, who arrived in Washington at the end of March 1861. “To the right was a cleared space of mud, sand, and fields, studded with wooden sheds and huts, beyond which, again, could be seen rudimentary streets of small red brick houses, and some church-spires above them.”

From the B & O Station, most carriages and hacks headed westward down Pennsylvania Avenue, the city’s main artery. The Avenue was the traditional route for grand parades between the Capitol and the White House, and by the mid-nineteenth-century, its north side was the location for the city’s finest hotels and shops. Yet many visitors, particularly those from leading cities like New York or London, were unimpressed by its pretensions to grandeur, and found the cityscape a formless jumble. Pennsylvania Avenue, observed Russell, was “a street of much breadth and length, lined with ailanthus trees . . . and by the most irregularly-built houses [and commercial buildings] in all kinds of materials, from deal plank to marble—of all heights.”

At the corner of Fourteenth Street, one block before Pennsylvania Avenue made its northward turn at the Treasury before continuing west past the White House, stood Willard’s Hotel. The hotel, favored by Republican Party leaders, was the center of Washington’s social and business life under the new administration. Willard’s contained “more scheming, plotting, planning heads, m

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40. Ypulse Essentials: Children’s Choice Book Awards, MySpace Declines Even Further, QR Codes On Campus

The Children’s Choice Book Awards (voting is open, with nominees from Suzanne Collins [Mockingjay] and Stephanie Meyer [The Second Short Life of Bree Tanner]. Elsewhere in YA news, Amanda Hocking, the self-publishing standout, lands a book... Read the rest of this post

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41. Smoking Typewriters and the New Left rebellion

Following the lead of papers like the Los Angeles Free Press, the East Village Other, and the Berkeley Barb, young Americans in the 1960s launched hundreds of mimeographed pamphlets and flyers, small press magazines, and underground newspapers. New, cheaper printing technologies democratized the publishing process and by the decade’s end the combined circulation of underground papers stretched into the millions. Though not technically illegal, these papers were often genuinely subversive, and many of those who produced and sold them-on street-corners, at poetry readings, gallery openings, and coffeehouses-became targets of harassment from local and federal authorities. With writers who actively participated in the events they described, underground newspapers captured the zeitgeist of the ’60s, speaking directly to their readers, and reflecting and magnifying the spirit of cultural and political protest.

In the deeply researched and eloquently written volume Smoking Typewriters: The Sixties Underground Press and the Rise of Alternative Media in America, author John McMillian captures all the youthful idealism and vibrant tumult of the 1960s as it delivers a brilliant reappraisal of the origins and development of the New Left rebellion. McMillian pays special attention to the ways underground newspapers fostered a sense of community and played a vital role in shaping the New Left’s highly democratic “movement culture.” Below, we present a conversation with McMillian, who is also Assistant Professor of History at Georgia State University and the co-editor of The Radical Reader: A Documentary History of an American Radical Tradition, The New Left Revisited, Protest Nation: The Radical Roots of Modern America, The Sixties: A Journal of History, Politics and Culture

*     *     *     *     *

How did you get interested in the 60s, and what made you want to write about that period?

I’ve had a longstanding layperson’s interest in the 1960s, going all the way back to high school, when I became a huge Beatles fan.  I read about them obsessively, and then a little later on started getting interested in other iconic groups and personalities from the era: Abbie Hoffman, the Black Panthers, even Charles Manson (as weird as that sounds).  But it wasn’t until a bit later – after I started my Ph.D. at Columbia in the mid-to-late 1990s – that it even occurred to me that this was a topic I could study professionally.

Up until that point, most of the writing on the 60s had been accomplished by people who had lived through the decade, and who (at least by some accounts) seemed a little protective of the field.  But soon I discovered that a newer generation of scholars – made up of people who are just a little bit older than myself – were beginning to do some really fascinating work on the period. Meanwhile, I’d encountered essays by Maurice Isserman and Rick Perlstein, both of which were persuasive and encouraging about the idea that the scholarship on the 60s scholarship could use an infusion of fresh voices and new approaches.  And then once I started doing just a little bit of work on the New Left, I realized there were so many amazing troves of untapped primary sources relating to the 60s (the underground newspapers are foremost among then). Most of the time, I really enjoy doing archival w

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42. NYT: Shorter E-Books for Smaller Devices

Have you been wondering how anyone could possibly read an entire book on an IPhone? On such a lilliputian screen, that’s like reading, say, “The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo” while looking at it through a keyhole. Wouldn’t it make sense to provide narratives chosen with the scale of the device in mind? After all, [...]

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43. Did you miss Peter Mayer on Leonard Lopate (WNYC)?

In case you were stuck working at 1:30 this afternoon and missed the great discussion between Lynn Nesbit, Carlo Rotella and Overlook publisher Peter Mayer about TRUE GRIT and Charles Portis, WNYC has helpfully put the interview online!

Listen below or go here to listen to the talk and read a bit of background.

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44. Norman Foster's Masdar development featured in the New York Times

Have you picked up a copy of Deyan Sudjic's new biography of architect Norman Foster? If not, this article from Sunday's New York Times should definitely pique your interest in the book. While NORMAN FOSTER: A LIFE IN ARCHITECTURE is primarily a professional biography, it also discusses Foster's idealism, design aesthetic and the Masdar development that received so much attention from the Times. Go here to read the full article, and check out a brief excerpt below!

Back in 2007, when the government here announced its plan for “the world’s first zero-carbon city” on the outskirts of Abu Dhabi, many Westerners dismissed it as a gimmick — a faddish follow-up to neighboring Dubai’s half-mile-high tower in the desert and archipelago of man-made islands in the shape of palm trees.

Designed by Foster & Partners, a firm known for feats of technological wizardry, the city, called Masdar, would be a perfect square, nearly a mile on each side, raised on a 23-foot-high base to capture desert breezes. Beneath its labyrinth of pedestrian streets, a fleet of driverless electric cars would navigate silently through dimly lit tunnels. The project conjured both a walled medieval fortress and an upgraded version of the Magic Kingdom’s Tomorrowland.

Well, those early assessments turned out to be wrong. By this past week, as people began moving into the first section of the project to be completed — a 3 ½-acre zone surrounding a sustainability-oriented research institute — it was clear that Masdar is something more daring and more noxious.

Norman Foster, the firm’s principal partner, has blended high-tech design and ancient construction practices into an intriguing model for a sustainable community, in a country whose oil money allows it to build almost anything, even as pressure grows to prepare for the day the wells run dry. And he has worked in an alluring social vision, in which local tradition and the drive toward modernization are no longer in conflict — a vision that, at first glance, seems to brim with hope.

Continued here.

1 Comments on Norman Foster's Masdar development featured in the New York Times, last added: 9/28/2010
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45. Stand Tall! Growth Charts

Anyone that knows me is aware that height is, um, sort of an issue for me.    Don’t get me wrong, I’m not generally insecure about my looks, but I think everyone has that one “sensitive subject” they’re not comfortable about themselves, and at 5’10″, being tall is mine.  And no annoying “But being tall is so great!” comments are going to change that.

So I could appreciate the levity and message of the latest book I’ve come across at work: Stand Tall, Molly Lou Melon by Patty Lovell, and illustrated by David Catrow.  Molly Lou, the shortest, buck-toothiest, bullfrog-iest new girl in class, shines because she follows her grandmother’s advice to always, “Walk as proudly as you can and the world will look up to you.” She’s got confidence that (literally) bowls over the school bully, and it’s fantastic. This is the kind of both entertaining and meaningful read that makes me want to shove it in the New York Times’ snotty face and say, “THIS IS WHY PICTURE BOOKS ARE SO GREAT!”  Phew!  Anywho… moving on…

Designing “extras” for Molly Lou’s 10th anniversary got me to thinking about those handmade growth charts scrawled up the doorframes of classic American households.  Remember those?  Well, I wanted to see if there were some pre-made growth charts with a bit of design flair.  Turns out, you can pretty much find a colorful growth chart for kids on any theme – no matter how tall or small!

Here were some of my favorites:

Heirloom Boxed Set Growth Chartvia Design Mom

Grow-With-Me Scroll Chart – via Family Style

Chalkboard Paint DIY Growth Chart – via OhDeeOh

Basic Shapes Growth Chart – 1 Comments on Stand Tall! Growth Charts, last added: 10/8/2010

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46. Bedbugs Ground Planes

...would be as irresponsible a headline as Picture Books No Longer a Staple for Children — and about as accurate.

Suppose I wanted to write an article about the decline of air travel in September. I could elaborate on what is meant by “decline” by looking at whether there were periods of higher air travel due to fare wars or other circumstances. I could write about the continuing poor economy affecting the number of flights. I could discuss cycles of travel where there is downturn after the summer months. I could even investigate travel in general, looking at statistics of train or automobile trips for comparison.

Or I could decide that bedbugs are a hot issue and look to link them with air travel declines. After all, there are people that think about germs on planes and from germs it’s a short leap to vermin on planes and after talking to someone for thirty minutes or so and maybe mentioning bedbugs specifically I could get a quote like, “I won’t be getting on a plane with bedbugs!” And if the rest of that person’s thought was along the lines of, “Boy, am I glad that’s not a problem,” well, so be it.

It is certainly possible and even likely that publication and purchasing for picture books is down. But first of all, down from what? Is this a market correction of what was a picture book boom? Is the poor economy in general making parents buy cheaper paperbacks? Are we in a market cycle where publishers are putting more investment into a hot YA market? Are people turning to other sources for picture books, including libraries and yard sales? Should we look at library circulation statistics? And if parents are pushing chapter books, is it a new trend? Is it quantifiable?

Or is it easier to cast this as a hot topic like pushy parenting and imply an end to picture books?

I haven’t done the in-depth research to answer the questions I’m posing. But then again, neither did The New York Times. The difference is that I don’t have the power to make people anxious about the literacy progression of our children or cause concern about the state of the picture book or affect the industry with my write-up.

Because that would be irresponsible.

5 Comments on Bedbugs Ground Planes, last added: 10/13/2010
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47. “Gatz” at the Public: A Great Gatsby or Just an Elitist One?

By Keith Gandal

Want a quick, but apparently reliable measure of how elitist you are?  Go see the 7-hour production of Gatz, in which all 47,000 words of F. Scott Fitzgerald’s The Great Gatsby are, in the course of the play, enunciated on stage.  (If you dare and can afford to.)  If you love every minute of it and find time flying by, you’re probably, well, an arts snob; if you find your reaction mixed, your mind drifting in and out, and your body just plain giving out, well, you’re likely more of a populist.

Consider the following small, statistically meaningless, but provocative sample of reviews you instantly encounter on the web: the New York Times, Bloomberg, and Theatremania all give the play rave reviews, while the New York Post and the New York Daily News both give it 2½ stars (out of 4 and 5 respectively).  Ben Brantley of the New York Times describes the play as “work of singular imagination and intelligence.” Jeremy Gerard of Bloomberg calls it “remarkable,” “as powerful a piece of stagecraft as you may ever see.”  David Finkle of Theatremania finds the play “mesmerizing” and declares, “the lengthy production goes by in what seems like a blink of an eye.”  Meanwhile, Elisabeth Vincentelli of the New York Post gives it a mixed review, asserting that the director “has come up with an inspired concept” and that Gatz is “great, but [it] also grates.” “There are the deadly boring stretches. Very long ones.”  She concludes: “It’s as maddeningly tedious as it is brilliant. By the end, my mind was as numb as my butt.”  And Joe Dziemianowicz of the New York Daily News recommends the play, but also calls it a “fanny-numbing readathon.”

In other words, this small sample of reviews breaks down across class lines.  Higher-brow papers or websites are raving, and the lower-brow papers have mixed feelings, including uncomfortable feelings in their behinds.

But is this breakdown really surprising?  A 7-hour production at a cost of $140 seems to demand of its audience members that they have a lot of time and money to spare.  This is at the Public by the way, which was presumably once more public than it is now.  In fact, one thing the play Gatz does quite effectively is to restore Fitzgerald’s now very accessible novel to the inaccessibility, along class lines, that it would have had back in the 1920s.

I want to make clear that I haven’t seen the play and, thus, that my perceptions of its length, its cost, and its reviews are not colored by my having sat through it.  I’m actually quite curious to see it – I’m teaching the novel this term at City College, and I’ve written a recent book that devotes the longest chapter to Fitzgerald’s novel.  Well-meaning colleagues and friends have even suggested I take my class to see the play, given that some reviewers are calling it a major theatrical event, but with regular tickets starting at $140, who c

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48. First Book’s Kyle Zimmer in the NY Times

Check out the recent New York Time’s article, The D.I.Y. Foreign-Aid Revolution, which focuses on women who have found innovative ways to solve some of the world’s most challenging social issues.  Among the social entrepreneurs mentioned is our very own president and CEO, Kyle Zimmer.

Read the whole article at: http://www.nytimes.com/2010/10/24/magazine/24volunteerism-t.html?_r=1&scp=1&sq=kyle%20zimmer&st=cse

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49. The Oxford Comment: Episode 4 – RELIGION! (Part 1)

In this two-part series, Michelle and Lauren explore some of the most hot-button issues in religion this past year.

Subscribe and review this podcast on iTunes!

Featured in Part 1:

Christopher Hitchens and Tariq Ramadan Debate: Is Islam a Religion a Peace?

Highlights and exclusive interviews with Hitchens, Ramadan, & New York Times National Religion Correspondent  Laurie Goodstein

Read more and watch a video courtesy of the 92nd St Y HERE.

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Nick Mafi, Oxford University Press employee extraordinaire

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David Sehat, author of The Myth of American Religious Freedom

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The Ben Daniels Band

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50. Ypulse Youth Media Movers & Shakers

Today we bring you another installment of Youth Media Movers and Shakers. We've culled through industry publications looking for the recent executive placements we think you should know about. If you have executive news that you want us to highlight... Read the rest of this post

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