Books

College student wants graphic novels banned: "I expected Batman and Robin … – Boing Boing

Monday, June 15, 2015

Tara Shultz, 20, of Yucaipa, CA along with her parents and friends are protesting the inclusion of four award-winning graphic novels that are taught in an English class at Crafton Hills College because they feel they are too violent and pornographic to be read by college students. On Thursday they assembled outside the campus administration building to express their outrage. The four graphic novels are Fun Home by Alison Bechdel;…

The 100 best novels: No 91 – Midnight’s Children by Salman Rushdie (1981) – The Guardian

Monday, June 15, 2015

Among the many turning points in the constant remaking of the English novel – the dazzle of Sterne (No 6 in this series); the quieter, witty genius of Austen (No 7); the polyvalent brio of Dickens (No 15); the vernacular brilliance of Twain (No 23), and so on – the appearance of Midnight’s Children in 1981 now stands out as a particularly significant milestone. Salman Rushdie’s second novel took the…

Why Read Fiction? – Forbes

Monday, June 15, 2015

We often hear friends ask why they should read fiction. There is so much to learn, they say, from history, from what is going on at the frontiers of science, and from contemporary studies of human behavior. Why should they spend their scarce “free time” reading fiction, the purpose of which, at best, is only entertainment? We bristle at such comments. Yes, we respond, we do find pleasure in reading…

Story of My Life – The New Yorker

Monday, June 15, 2015

Zambra’s examination of Chilean history is driven by a vibrant sense of story. Credit Illustration by Alvaro Tapia Hidalgo; Reference: Alma Rodríguez Ayala / Agencia EL UNIVERSAL / AP People kept mentioning his name, but I was slow to encounter the Chilean writer Alejandro Zambra. I hadn’t read anything by him before opening his new story collection, “My Documents” (McSweeney’s). The title story is immediately captivating; it bolts straight out…

This Week in Fiction – The New Yorker

Monday, June 15, 2015

Credit Photograph by Gareth McConnell Your story in this week’s issue, “The Grow-Light Blues,” involves a man at a tech R. & D. firm who becomes the guinea pig in an experiment to see whether people can absorb their required nutrients through light. Where did this idea come from? I’m not so sure. I think the idea came from a need to build on the opening scene. A misanthrope named…

Student Calls For Eradication Of Graphic Novels From English Course – io9

Sunday, June 14, 2015

A student enrolled at Crafton Hills College has protested the inclusion of a number of graphic novels in the curriculum for her English 250 course. Tara Shultz, along with her parents and friends have called for the “eradic[ation] [of the books] from the system,” and have complained to the College’s administrators over their inclusion. The graphic novels in question, Persepolis, Fun Home, Y: The Last Man Vol. 1, and The…

Academic Publishing Giant Fights to Keep Science Paywalled – Gizmodo

Sunday, June 14, 2015

One of the world’s largest academic publishing companies wants to scrub the internet of pirated science. That’d be Elsevier, which recently filed a complaint at a New York district court against Library Genesis and SciHub.org, two massive online hubs for scientific research articles. The sites, which are both popular in developing countries like India and Indonesia, are a treasure trove of free pdf copies of research papers that typically cost…

The 6 most awkward moments in literature – The Week Magazine

Sunday, June 14, 2015

 As selected by Washington Post humor columnist Alexandra Petri: Le Morte D’Arthur by Thomas Malory (Wordsworth, $9). People forget that this book contains a passage where Sir Lancelot takes an arrow to the buttock. It’s from a lady huntress who misses a deer roaming the forest of Windsor. A close second among Lancelot’s most awkward moments is the incident when, overcome by love for Guinevere, he bursts open the iron…

BOOK REVIEW: ‘1920: The Year that Made the Decade Roar’ – Washington Times

Sunday, June 14, 2015

Mr. Burns details a convincing case that throughout his chosen year and into the first quarter of the next, the de facto president of the United States was a woman. Due to Wilson’s incapacity following his stroke in September 1919, the first lady’s fierce loyalty to her husband and determination to protect his privacy as well as his health led her to assume in all but name those presidential functions…

Science fiction no more? Channel 4’s Humans and our rogue AI obsessions – The Guardian

Sunday, June 14, 2015

Related: Elon Musk: artificial intelligence is our biggest existential threat RoboCop, that tin-suited keeper of law, order and a heroic portmanteau, abides by three prime directives: 1) Serve the public trust, 2) Protect the innocent, 3) Uphold the law. He lives by these rules with algorithmic devotion. As well he must: each is written into his circuitry. Not only that, his existence is dependent upon the absence of error. A…