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  2. Could your Tumblr win a book deal? 

    The book publishing industry, a notorious slouch when it comes to emerging trends on the internet, is not going to let this Tumblr thing come and go without earning a buck or two. 

     


  3. This week I learned…there’s a fat camp for zoo elephants, doves aren’t particularly peaceful birds, and more.

    Read more about these subjects here.

    Subscribe and listen to all of The Week’s mini-podcasts on SoundCloud hereand on iTunes here.

     


  4. I found the Brie and broke off a fragment, sucking her nipple through it.
    — 

    Jonathan Grimod’s The Last Banquet, a finalist for 2013’s Bad Sex Award.

    All hail the Bad Sex Awards, the world’s best literary prize

     

  5. In 1995, at the age of 43, Jean-Dominique Bauby suffered a major stroke and slipped into a coma. He regained consciousness two days later, but his entire body — with the exception of his left eyelid — was paralyzed.

    Still, Bauby was determined to write. Using only his lucid mind and one eye, he began working on his memoir, The Diving Bell and the Butterfly. Each night, he’d lie awake editing and re-editing the story in his mind, memorizing every paragraph as he hoped to relay it. By day, his transcriber would recite the alphabet to him over and over. When she reached a letter Bauby desired, he’d wink. Each word took about two minutes to produce, and during the course of a year, Bauby managed to tell his story of life in paralysis. His moving and often funny prose won critical acclaim, and The Diving Bell and the Butterfly became a bestseller throughout Europe.

    10 works of literature that were exceptionally hard to write

     

  6. The Moral Sayings of Publius Cyrus

    "A Syrian slave, Syrus is a full of timeless wisdom. Want an example? "From the errors of others, a wise man corrects his own." Here is another: "It is not every question that deserves an answer." Ok, one more? "To do two things at once is to do neither." And he didn’t even know of Facebook and Twitter. You can read this book in under an hour but spend the rest of your life trying to learn and apply his wisdom."

    5 books to read before your 30th birthday

     


  7. I always have to know my characters in a lot of depth — what clothes they’d choose, what they were like at school, etc. And I know what happened before and what will happen after the part of their lives I’m dealing with. I can’t see them just now, packed into the stress of the moment.
     


  8. I’ve made up stuff that’s turned out to be real, that’s the spooky part.
    — Tom Clancy, who passed away today at age 66
     

  9. Carving art out of literature

    From Art Made from Books: Altered, Sculptured, Carved, Transformed

     

  10. These books were banned for some pretty weird reasons.

    America’s most surprising banned books

     

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  12. This is the trouble with carbon-copying creativity. The professional fan fiction stories that are currently making their own pop-cultural waves approach writing as a plug-and-play practice without the creativity that fueled the original stories.
    — Monika Bartyzel on the disappointing new film The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones, which was derived from a piece of Harry Potter fan fiction. 
     

  13. This Sunday is the birthday of Charles Lutwidge Dodgson, better known as Lewis Carroll, the English mathematician and writer whose most famous works include Alice’s Adventures in WonderlandThrough the Looking-Glass, and The Hunting of the Snark. Such works featured Carroll’s specialty: coining blends and nonce words. Here are some of our favorites:
    1. Boojum
      The boojum is “a particularly dangerous variety of ‘snark,’” an imaginary creature of Carroll’s invention. The word boojum has inspired the naming of everything from “a species of tree… native to Baja California, Mexico” (found in 1922 by plant explorer Godfrey Sykes, who proclaimed, “It must be a boojum!”); to a supersonic cruise missile that “was determined to be too ambitious a project… and was canceled in 1951”; to “a geometric pattern sometimes observed on the surface of superfluid helium-3,” as named by physicist David Mermin in 1976.
      Example: But oh, beamish nephew, beware of the day, / If your Snark be a Boojum!  For then / You will softly and suddenly vanish away, / And never be met with again!” — Lewis Carroll, The Hunting of the Snark, 1876
       
    2. Chortle
      To chortle means “to exclaim exultingly, with a noisy chuckle.” According to the Oxford English Dictionary (OED), Carroll coined the word as a blend of chuckle and snort.
      Example: ”He chortled in his joy.” —Lewis Carroll, Through the Looking-Glass, 1871
       
    3. Frabjous 
      Frabjous means “great, wonderful, fabulous,” and is a blend of either fabulous and joyous, or fair and joyous. “O frabjous day! Callooh! Callay!” cries the narrator of The Jabberwocky upon learning that the Jabberwock has been slain.
      Example: “‘O frabjous day!’ rejoiced Emma Dean, using her bath towel as a scarf and performing a weird dance about the room.” — Jessie Graham Flower, Grace Harlowe’s Return to Overton Campus, 1915