Monday, October 15, 2018

Alternative Nobel Literature Prize Goes to Guadeloupean Novelist Maryse Condé

The Guardian: Alternative Nobel literature prize goes to Maryse Condé

The New Academy prize, organised to fill the gap left by the cancellation of 2018’s official award, goes to Guadeloupean novelist

Guadeloupean novelist Maryse Condé has been announced as the winner of the New Academy prize in literature, a one-off award intended to fill the void left by the cancellation of this year’s scandal-dogged Nobel prize for literature.

Speaking on a video played at a ceremony in Stockholm, Condé said she was “very happy and proud” to win the award. “But please allow me to share it with my family, my friends and above all the people of Guadeloupe, who will be thrilled and touched seeing me receive this prize,” she said. “We are such a small country, only mentioned when there are hurricanes or earthquakes and things like that. Now we are so happy to be recognised for something else.”

Read more ....

More News On The Alternative Nobel Literature Prize Going to Guadeloupean Novelist Maryse Condé

Maryse Conde: Guadeloupe author wins alternative Nobel Literature Prize -- BBC
Guadeloupe author wins alternative prize in Nobel absence -- France 24
Maryse Condé Wins an Alternative to the Literature Nobel in a Scandal-Plagued Year -- The New York Times
Maryse Conde wins alternative award to Nobel literature prize -- DW
Maryse Condé awarded New Prize in Literature, the 'alternate Nobel' -- CBC

Tuesday, October 09, 2018

What Happens In Book Club Stays In Book Club

Bookyards editor: This is one of my favorite Bookclubs (link here).

So True

Collection Of Tibetan Buddhist Literature Now Available Online

BDRC founder E. Gene Smith sits at the computer with Buddhist monks and others

Internet Archive Blogs: World’s largest collection of Tibetan Buddhist literature now available on the Internet Archive

The Buddhist Digital Resource Center (BDRC) and Internet Archive (IA) announced today that they are making a large corpus of Buddhist literature available via the Internet Archive. This collection represents the most complete record of the words of the Buddha available in any language, plus many millions of pages of related commentaries, teachings and works such as medicine, history, and philosophy.

Read more ....

Bookyards Editor: The link to the collection is here .... Buddhist literature.


Monday, October 08, 2018

Book Review: This Is How The Mona Lisa Was Saved During World War Two

A new book reveals how Jacques Jaujard worked out a modus vivendi with the Nazis of civil co-existence which helped him to oversee the evacuation of Louvre’s treasures including the Mona Lisa (pictured being returned to Louvre in 1945) during World War II. He was able to protect thousands of cultural masterpieces from destruction

Daily Mail: Quiet man who saved the Mona Lisa from the Nazis’ clutches: Fascinating account of the thousands of French masterpieces saved during World War II

* A new book reveals how the Louvre’s treasures were protected in World War II
* Jacques Jaujard ensured items were kept safe from bombs, damp and the Nazis
* He had items including the Mona Lisa evacuated out of Paris during 1939
* Dukes in the South and West of France sheltered the cultural items in chateaux
* However the Nazi's destroyed some 500 masterpieces including work by Picaso

Reading Hamlet at school, I was taught that the delaying habit is a bad one. This new book, about how the Louvre’s priceless treasures were protected during the German occupation of France in World War II, utterly contradicts that theory.

It was through the delaying tactics of a self-effacing civil servant called Jacques Jaujard that the precious objects we most associate with the Louvre — the Mona Lisa, the Venus de Milo, the French crown jewels, as well as thousands of other items — were saved from destruction through bombing or damp.

Read more ....

Bookyards Editor: A truly fascinating story.

Harry Potter Fans Are Going To Love This

Marie Claire: Gigantic Harry Potter wands will light the way home for Londoners this winter

We hope you’ve practiced your swish and flicks and memorised your incantations. It turns out that London is set to get a little bit more magical this month, as nine gigantic wands are going to be installed nearby one of the capital’s biggest attractions: St Paul’s Cathedral. Beyond being a super cool nod to the wizarding series, they also light up at their tips to guide the way for those finding their way home.

Read more ....

WNU Editor: It should be awesome.

Sunday, October 07, 2018

How Do Some People Have The Ability To Quickly Learn And Speak Multiple Languages?

Judith Thurman, New Yorker: People Who Speak Dozens of Languages

What can hyperpolyglots teach the rest of us?

Last May, Luis Miguel Rojas-Berscia, a doctoral candidate at the Max Planck Institute for Psycholinguistics, in the Dutch city of Nijmegen, flew to Malta for a week to learn Maltese. He had a hefty grammar book in his backpack, but he didn’t plan to open it unless he had to. “We’ll do this as I would in the Amazon,” he told me, referring to his fieldwork as a linguist. Our plan was for me to observe how he went about learning a new language, starting with “hello” and “thank you.”

Read more ....

CSN editor: I envy these people. I speak and rad Russian, English, Ukrainian, and French .... and I am the first to admit that it has not been easy learning these languages. But 10 languages and more?!?!?!


A Great Resource On The History Of Libraries

Bookyards Editor: For those who are interested in the history of ancient libraries, here is a great website .... History of Libraries .

Europe’s Oldest Intact Book Was Preserved and Found in the Coffin of a Saint

Photo via the British Library

Bookyards Editor: This is a cool story .... Europe’s Oldest Intact Book Was Preserved and Found in the Coffin of a Saint (Open Culture)

Saturday, October 06, 2018

William Shakespeare Is Responsible For Coining 17,677 English Words For The First time

Ranker: The Best Words Invented by Shakespeare

In addition to 36 plays teenagers are forced to read in high school, William Shakespeare also wrote something like 1,700 English words for the very first time. While many were new verb or adjectival forms or even just compound words he squished together, others, like "articulate," were brand new inventions The Bard pulled from Latin roots and also sometimes out of nowhere. This list of words Shakespeare invented includes some personal favorites, like "swagger" and "gloomy," and also some words that just sound great, like "sanctimonious," "lackluster," "madcap," and "blanket." Who doesn't love a good blanket?

Read more ....

Bookyards Editor: Here is a small selection of some of the words that he coined....  

.... Shakespeare published a cool 17,677 unique words, 1,700 of which he coined himself. He also invented a bunch of phrases that are still popular today, including "kill with kindness," "break the ice," and "good riddance." Another is "Knock knock! Who's there?" No joke, that is in Hamlet.

Library Of Congress Digitizing Historic Archives

Bookyards Editor: This is a cool video.

From YouTube .... Reporting for Sunday TODAY, NBC’s Harry Smith takes a tour of the largest library in the world: the Library of Congress in Washington, D.C. He gets a first-hand look at some of the 164 million items in the archives, including historic documents that shaped this country.

Friday, October 05, 2018

2018 Nobel Peace Prize -- News Roundup

Daily Mail: Nobel Peace Prize is jointly awarded to a Yazidi former ISIS sex slave turned human rights activist and a Congolese doctor treating rape victims

* The winners are Nadia Murad, a 25-year-old from Iraq and Denis Mukwege, 63, from the Democratic Republic of the Congo
* They won for their 'efforts to end the use of sexual violence as a weapon of war'
* Murad campaigns for the ISIS murders of Yazidis to be recognised as genocide
* She is the second youngest winner after Malala Yousafzai who won in 2014 at 17
* Mukwege has treated thousands of survivors of sexual violence in armed conflict
* He has called on the world to take a tougher line on rape as a weapon of war
* The prize, worth $1 million will be presented in Oslo, Norway on December 10

This year's Nobel Peace Prize has been awarded to a gynecologist treating victims of sexual violence in the Democratic Republic of Congo and a Yazidi human rights activist and survivor of sexual slavery by Islamic State.

The prize, worth nine million Swedish crowns ($1 million), will be presented to Nadia Murad, 25, and Denis Mukwege, 63, in Oslo on December 10.

On the reason for their choice, the Nobel committee chairwoman Berit Reiss-Andersen said in Oslo that the pair one the prestigious award for their 'efforts to end the use of sexual violence as a weapon of war.'

Read more ....

2018 Nobel Peace Prize -- News Roundup

The Latest: Peace winners praised by US envoy, not Trump -- AP
Nobel peace prize 2018 won by Denis Mukwege and Nadia Murad - as it happened -- The Guardian
Congolese doctor, Yazidi activist, champions in fight against rape in war, win Nobel Peace Prize -- Reuters
Nobel Peace Prize for anti-rape activists Nadia Murad and Denis Mukwege -- BBC
2018 Nobel Peace Prize Awarded to Yazidi Activist and Congolese Doctor -- The New York Times
Nobel peace prize 2018 winners: who are Denis Mukwege and Nadia Murad? – video profile -- The Guardian
Nobel Peace Prize awarded to Denis Mukwege and Nadia Murad -- DW
Nobel Peace Prize awarded to Denis Mukwege and Nadia Murad for efforts to end sexual violence in war -- ABC News Online
Nobel Peace Prize honours champions of fight against sexual violence -- AFP
Nobel Peace laureates demand end to sexual violence in war -- AP
Nadia Murad: from jihadist slave to Nobel laureate -- AFP
Nadia Murad, from ISIS sex slave to global human rights campaigner -- CNN
Congolese doctor dedicates Nobel Peace Prize to victims of sexual violence -- Reuters
Nobel's Mukwege hears news in surgery as wild cheers erupt -- AFP
'Dr. Miracle' Is The Co-Recipient Of The Nobel Peace Prize -- NPR
Who is Nobel Peace Prize winner Denis Mukwege? -- DW
DR Congo hails Nobel win but says Mukwege 'politicises' his work -- AFP
DR Congo hails Mukwege Nobel win but says he's 'not infallible' -- AFP
Yazidis celebrate Murad's Nobel prize as they mark top ritual -- AFP
UN chief says Nobel Peace Prize winners 'defended our values' -- AFP
Sexual violence, a savage feature of conflict over centuries -- AP

Thursday, October 04, 2018

Nobel Foundation Says They May Strip The Swedish Academy Role In The Literature Prize

Reuters: Nobel Foundation says could strip Swedish Academy of literature prize role

The Nobel Foundation could drop the Swedish Academy from awarding its prestigious annual literature prize if the Academy does not make further changes in the wake of a recent sex scandal, the head of the foundation told Reuters on Friday.

“If things continue in this way, and if they don’t manage to regain legitimacy, then we might be forced to take drastic steps,” Lars Heikensten said.

“One of those steps could be asking permission to have some other organization being responsible for the prize.”

Read more ....

Bookyards editor: They should, but they probably will not.

Should The Nobel Prize Consider Diversity, Geography, And Gender When Awarding The Prize?

Nobel Prizes are the most prestigious awards on the planet. This year's announcements have further highlighted questions about why so few women have entered the pantheon, particularly in the sciences. (Fernando Vergara/Associated Press)

CBC: Nobel Prizes still struggle with wide gender disparity

Just 48 of 892 winners have been women, and 30 of those have won literature or peace prize

Nobel Prizes are the most prestigious awards on the planet but the aura of this year's announcements has been dulled by questions over why so few women have entered the pantheon, particularly in the sciences.

The march of Nobel announcements began Monday with the physiology/medicine prize.

Read more ....

Bookyards Editor: The answer is no. The Nobel Prize should not consider diversity, geography, and gender. The focus should be on the merit of the science, or in the case of literature, the work and the impact that the author has been able to accomplish.

Ebook Sales Are Down 5%

Audiobooks continue to grow while ebooks are on the decline in the United States / Photo by Aaron Burden, Unsplash

Ebook Friendly: Digital audiobooks see a 36.4% revenue growth so far this year

A new report from The Association of American Publishers shows a substantial growth of audiobook sales and a 5% decline in ebooks.

In the first seven months of 2018, publishers’ revenue for trade ebooks has decreased by 5%, compared to the same period of 2017.

Besides ebooks, a downward trend is seen in physical audiobooks (-19.9%) and board books (-3.5%), according to the report released by The Association of American Publishers.

Read more ....

Bookyards editor: Digital books are hot right now.

Wednesday, October 03, 2018

Book Quotation

Bookyards Editor: So true.

The Top 10 Most Expensive Books Ever Sold

Luxatic: The Top 10 Most Expensive Books Ever Sold

Used since hundreds of years ago, books are probably the most important step in mankind’s evolution. From the papyrus scrolls used in the Ancient Egypt and the manuscripts in the monasteries of The Middle Ages, books evolved into what we know today and even appeared more and more in digital form.

While before Gutenberg’s invention of the printing press in 1439, books had to be written and copied by hand making them expensive and rare, today the process is so automatized and so much more easier for their digital form that books have become quite cheap and accessible.

Read more ....

Bookyards Editor: In my opinion these books are priceless.

"The Great Gastby" by F. Scott Fitzgerald

Bookyards Editor: Bookyards' ebook for today is "The Great Gastby" by F. Scott Fitzgerald. You can download this ebook from here.

Tuesday, October 02, 2018

Jules Verne's Classic "Around The World In Eighty Days"

Bookyards Editor: Bookyards' ebook for today is the Jules Verne classic "Around The World In Eighty Days". You can download this book from here.

The Secret Libraries Of History

The Vatican Secret Archives includes Pope Leo X’s 1521 decree excommunicating Martin Luther (Credit: Capitoline Museums, Rome)

BBC: The Secret Libraries Of History

After news emerged about an underground reading room in Damascus, Fiona Macdonald discovers the places where writing has been hidden for centuries.

Beneath the streets of a suburb of Damascus, rows of shelves hold books that have been rescued from bombed-out buildings. Over the past four years, during the siege of Darayya, volunteers have collected 14,000 books from shell-damaged homes. They are held in a location kept secret amid fears that it would be targeted by government and pro-Assad forces, and visitors have to dodge shells and bullets to reach the underground reading space.

It’s been called Syria’s secret library, and many view it as a vital resource. “In a sense the library gave me back my life,” one regular user, Abdulbaset Alahmar, told the BBC. “I would say that just like the body needs food, the soul needs books.”

Read more ....

Bookyards editor: One must wonder if there are more libraries out there that have yet to be discovered.

William Shakespeare Quotes On Pencils

Bookyards Editor: This is cool. William Shakespeare quotes on pencils. On a side note, you can also browse and download the works of William Shakespeare at this link.

Monday, October 01, 2018

Is This What We Call Progress?

Here Is A Great Resource On Ancient Libraries

Editor: For those who are interested in the history of ancient libraries, here is a great website (link here).

Sunday, September 30, 2018

200 Free Kids Educational Resources: Video Lessons, Apps, Books, Websites & More

Bookyards Editor: For parents with kids, here are some very good book and educational links.

300 New Words Added To The Scrabble Dictionary

The Guardian: Yowza! 300 new words added to Scrabble dictionary

Scrabble players will have to rethink their game after new words, including OK and ew, added to approved list

Three hundred new words have been added to the official US Scrabble dictionary, including sriracha, aquafaba, beatdown, zomboid, twerk, sheeple, wayback, bibimbap, botnet, emoji, facepalm, frowny, hivemind, puggle and yowza.

Merriam-Webster released the sixth edition of the Official Scrabble Players Dictionary on Monday, four years after the last version.

Read more ....

Editor: The Scrabble dictionary checker is here.

Here Are Four Books Banned In The Past That You Can Now Download For Free

Bookyards Editor: Here are four books that have been banned in history but you can now download for free (click on the link of your favorite book below to download it).

Animal Farm by George Orwell

Lady Chatterley's Lover by D.H. Lawrence

Ulysses by James Joyce

The Grapes of Wrath by John Steinbeck

Wednesday, September 05, 2018

Four Writers Shortlisted For 'The New Nobel Literature Prize'

Bookayrds editor: The link to the story is here .... Four writers shortlisted for 'the new Nobel Literature Prize' (The Local).

Good Readers Make Good Leaders (Video)

Here Are Five Top Reading Apps

Your Say: These top 5 reading apps have hit the sweet spot of variety, affordability, and accessibility

Ebooks are a growing segment in India’s publishing industry. Technology has played a major role, and these 5 reading apps are riding the wave.

The explosive growth of smartphones in India has led to overall growth in the consumption of digital content. The ripple effect is now being felt in the world of publishing too.

Read more ....

Bookyards Editor: Google Play is my app of choice.

Books, Tea, And More Books!

Tuesday, September 04, 2018

Ayn Rand's "Anthem"

Bookyards Editor: Bookyards' ebook for today is Ayn Rand's "Anthem". You can download this ebook from here.

Hundreds Of Out-Of-Copyright Sci Fi Classics That Are Free On Kindle

Bookyards Editor: For science fiction fans, here are hundreds of out-of-copyright Sci Fi classics that are free on Kindle (link here).

Monday, June 18, 2018

London's Instagrammable Bookshops

Standard: London's prettiest and most Instagrammable bookshops

Book heaven: We've rounded up London's best bookshops for you to browse in (Pixabay)

There's nothing better than spending an entire Sunday browsing one of London's bookshops.

The smells, the crisp snap of the pages and the countless great minds that stalk the shelves are as alluring as a bookstores architectural chic. Luckily, our city is home to an impressive selection of booktopias that celebrate the capital's extraordinary literary history. You'd think the digital age would have seen them close by now, but in fact, gadgets like the Kindle have only made their appeal even stronger.

Read more ...

Bookyards editor: London and New York City are IMHO the two best places to visit a bookstore.

Not for those who have a fear of heights ....

The Story Of Beowulf

Bookyards editor: Beowulf may be the oldest surviving long poem in Old English and is commonly cited as one of the most important works of Old English literature. The link to download this ebook is here.

Saturday, June 16, 2018

Books In A Room Always Give A Good Feeling

The Canterbury Tales And Other Works by Geoffery Chaucer

Bookyards Editor: The Canterbury Tales and other works by Geoffery Chaucer can be downloaded from here.

Words Of Wisdom From Ray Bradbury

Coffee Break

Here Are All The Books That Bill Gates Has Recommended Over The Last Eight Years As Well As Some Interesting Links (Updated)

Quartz: All the books Bill Gates has recommended over the last eight years

Bill Gates has become a powerful influence on publishing. An endorsement from the philanthropist and Microsoft cofounder can cause tangible sales spikes, reminiscent of the golden ticket that once came with being picked for Oprah’s book club.

So just what does Gates read? Quartz manually compiled all 185 of the books recommended on his blog, which dates back to January 2010, and organized them by topic. We’ve included all titles, even those of which Gates was mostly critical, like Matt Ridley’s The Rational Optimist. But this is relatively rare; Gates usually only blogs about books he recommends.

Read more ....

WNU Editor: A few interesting links from Bill Gates on books ....

The blog of Bill Gates .... Gatesnotes

5 books worth reading this summer (Bill Gates, May 21, 2018)

Bill Gates’ Is Giving A Free Ebook To All US College Graduates This Spring (Bookyards, June 9, 2018)

Essays and commentaries from Bill Gates (Bookyards Library)

Bill Gates: "I read an hour almost every night. It's part of falling asleep." (Business Insider, August 22, 2014)

How Bill Gates Reads Books

Bookyards editor: More here .... How Bill Gates Gets the Most Out of Reading Books (Open Culture)

Friday, June 15, 2018

Louisa May Alcott's Novel "Little Women" Still Resonates 150 Years Later As The #MeToo Movement Gains Attention

Bookyards Editor: Louisa May Alcott's novel "Little Women" still resonates as the #MeToo gains attention .... ‘Little Women’ and author Alcott resonate 150 years later (AP)

The novel "Little Women can be downloaded from here (link here), and the works of Louisa May Alcott can be browsed and downloaded from here (link here).

Thursday, June 14, 2018

Was Albert Einstein A Racist?

Einstein described Chinese children as ‘spiritless’ and ‘obtuse’ but some Chinese say he depicted an accurate picture of the era. Photograph: Bettmann/Bettmann Archive

The Guardian: Einstein's travel diaries reveal 'shocking' xenophobia

Private journals kept by the scientist and humanitarian icon show prejudiced attitudes towards the people he met while travelling in Asia

The publication of Albert Einstein’s private diaries detailing his tour of Asia in the 1920s reveals the theoretical physicist and humanitarian icon’s racist attitudes to the people he met on his travels, particularly the Chinese.

Written between October 1922 and March 1923, the diaries see the scientist musing on his travels, science, philosophy and art. In China, the man who famously once described racism as “a disease of white people” describes the “industrious, filthy, obtuse people” he observes. He notes how the “Chinese don’t sit on benches while eating but squat like Europeans do when they relieve themselves out in the leafy woods. All this occurs quietly and demurely. Even the children are spiritless and look obtuse.” After earlier writing of the “abundance of offspring” and the “fecundity” of the Chinese, he goes on to say: “It would be a pity if these Chinese supplant all other races. For the likes of us the mere thought is unspeakably dreary.”

Read more ....

Update: Einstein was a genius of physics. But he wasn’t a saint (Philip Ball, The Guardian)

Bookyards Editor: The Chinese are defending Einstein .... Chinese defend Einstein's portrait of their people as 'filthy' and 'obtuse' (The Guardian)

Update #2: For ebooks by Albert Einstein, Bookyards has a collection that you can browse and download from here (the link is here).

Tuesday, June 12, 2018

Become A Library Tourist

One of the reading rooms inside the Biblioteca Apostolica Vaticana

Book Riot: Why You Should Become A Library Tourist: Critical Linking, June 10, 2018

While plane-hopping around the globe on a mission to view libraries might strike you as excessively privileged (Kells acknowledges that it was very much a ‘first world’ library tour), the core idea can be adapted to wherever you are. Make a point of visiting the library in whatever new city you’re in, and get a feel for that library’s role in the city’s life.

There is a practical side to it, too. Libraries are free, quiet, relaxing, air-conditioned in summer and heated in winter. They offer a pleasant respite from the streets and sometimes a great view. Many North American libraries have good play centers for young children, when they need a break from touristing, and they’re full of locals who can dispense valuable recommendations.

Read more ....

WNU Editor: If there is a library that I would love to visit, it would be the Vatican Library.