Category Archives: Reading News

Kristen Wiig Reads the Poetry of Suzanne Somers: Random News for Book Lovers

Welcome to this week’s edition of Random News for Book Lovers:

  • J.R.R. Tolkien fans will love this endearing story from Letters of Note about a series of letters and cards he wrote to his young children, posing as Father Christmas.  How cool would it be to get personalized Christmas cards from J.R.R. Tolkien?
  • The Daily Beast gets to the heart of the matter on our enduring fascination with Jane Austen.  Thanks to EneryVibes for bringing it to our attention.
  • From what has to be the greatest-named blog ever, The Good Greatsby provides an amusing list of the shortcomings of Amazon’s Kindle.  My favorite reason to dislike the Kindle…

“The Kindle, unlike a book, cannot be used to swat a mosquito.  To be perfectly honest, a Kindle can be used to swat a mosquito, but only once.”    (from The Good Greatsby)

  • Room to Read reports on Cambodia’s development of nationwide library standards for its schools, a radical improvement in the educational system for this developing nation.
  • Remember Beverly Cleary?  At 95 she’s alive and kickin’.  Enjoy this recent interview with the author and creator of Ramona Quimby in The Atlantic.
  • And lastly I offer to you this video of comedienne Kristen Wiig reading the poetry of Suzanne Somers (yes, that Suzanne Somers), simply because I can.  You’re welcome.  Many thanks to Leesa’s Stories for bringing it to our attention.
Happy reading all!
 
Bradley S. Wirz, Founder & CEO
http://www.gonereading.com/
P.S.  Please flatter us by subscribing to this blog via email or RSS Feed.  Doing so plays a big role in supporting our philanthropic mission to fund new libraries and other literacy programs in the developing world!
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Bernie Madoff’s Reading List: Random News for Book Lovers

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This week’s edition of Random News for Book Lovers:

  • Apple has reportedly filed a patent for a new technology that would allow easier iPhone/iPad reading in bright sunlight, at least while wearing polarized sunglasses.  No word on when the technology could be available in Apple products.
  • As if being the future Queen of England wasn’t enough, it turns out that Kate Middleton is related to literary great Jane Austen.  Read about it on Beattie’s Book Blog.
  • Want to know what Bernie Madoff is reading in jail?  Check it out here, along with some suggestions on what he should be reading instead.  This story also reaffirms my secret desire to serve time, although I would like to do so by committing something lesser of a crime.
  • It might be a little early to call the death of bookstores.  Read the story here, along with some pithy suggestions on how they can evolve to keep up with the times.  Thanks to A Writer’s Desk for bringing the story our way.
  • Lastly, if you love the sight of big, beautiful bookshelves, then you’re going to love Bookshelf Porn.  Thanks to The Book Garden for bringing it to our attention.
 
Bradley S. Wirz, Founder & CEO
http://www.gonereading.com/

P.S.  Please flatter us by subscribing to this blog via email or RSS Feed.  Doing so plays a big role in supporting our philanthropic mission to fund new libraries and other literacy programs in the developing world!

How Can Reading Help a New Country?

How can reading help a new nation? Photo courtesy of UNESCO/E.Abramson

A very rare thing will happen today: A new nation will be born as Southern Sudan secedes from war-torn Sudan.  The poverty and living conditions of the region are difficult for those in the developed world to comprehend.  A recent study by the United Nations indicates that South Sudan has the lowest primary school enrollment in the world.  Only 8% of the new nation’s women are literate, and teenage girls are more likely to die giving birth than to finish school.

Unbelievable.

According to the World Education Blog, UNESCO and the UK Department for International Development are targeting education as the keystone to building a new future for South Sudan.  The story indicates that schools and school children were the deliberate target of attacks throughout the war in Sudan; officials hope that a focus on education is the best route to undoing the damage.

I agree.  An educated, reading populace is the best route to building a flourishing, stable state for the long-term.  An informed public, one that reads history and learns from the struggles of its predecessors, is best situated to avoid the pitfalls of new-nation status.

I will leave the particulars of exactly how to build an education system within South Sudan to the development experts.  However, GoneReading is committed to its mission of funding library construction and literacy programs in the developing world.  We’re a start-up organization ourselves, but in the long-run we hope to play a prominent role in the rebuilding of South Sudan.  Non-profits seeking funding for such work should email us at libraryfunding@gonereading.com.

I would like to know your thoughts.  How can reading help a new country?  Join the conversation by commenting below.

Feel free to read more on the situation in South Sudan.

Sincerely,

Bradley S. Wirz, Founder & CEO
http://www.gonereading.com/

P.S.  Please flatter us by subscribing to this blog via email or RSS Feed.  Doing so plays a big role in supporting our philanthropic mission!

5 Book Lover Role Models On TV

I’ve had this idea for a blog post for quite some time, but frankly it took a while to even find any book-lover role models on TV.  We stopped at five simply because we couldn’t think of any others.  If you think of any more, please send them our way!

So why aren’t there more such characters on TV?  Now that’s a very good question…  Post your thoughts by commenting below.

In No Particular Order…

Brick from The Middle

You’ve got to love Brick from The Middle, especially when contrasted against the sorry lot that is the Heck family.  Poor Brick goes almost completely unnoticed at home, but we’re pretty sure he’ll end up inventing flying cars or cold fusion.  Keep on reading Brick.  We hope you can survive the mediocrity around you!

Giles from Buffy The Vampire Slayer

In full disclosure let me say that Buffy the Vampire Slayer is one of my favorite shows of all time.  Need I remind you that TV Guide once referred to Buffy as the “smartest show on television”.  Fans will remember that Giles’ erudition never failed to save the day with last minute demon-killing tips that would, literally, save the world.  Plus he looked really cool in tweed, and he had a hot girlfriend.

Rory from Gilmore Girls

Rory was rarely seen on Gilmore Girls without a book in hand, and her love of reading propelled her from the sleepy confines of Stars Hollow to a lofty career in journalism.  She seems to have started something of a frenzy in the blogosphere, too, with dozens of now-defunct blogs detailing everything she read on the show and more.  There was even something called the Rory Gilmore Book Project online at one point, but alas, it no longer exists.

President Bartlet from West Wing

He wasn’t often shown reading on West Wing – I suppose that wouldn’t make great television – but every episode was laced with literary quotes from President Bartlet, often from the Bible.  Let’s just hope you can’t actually become president, even a TV president, without a lot of reading in your life.

Sawyer from Lost

LOST might have concluded with a lot of questions unanswered, but one thing was perfectly clear: Tough-guy Sawyer loved to read.  Death-dealing smoke monsters and busted reading glasses couldn’t keep him away from his books for long.  And all that reading touched off a lot of on line chatter about book references on the show.  Check out this list of books from LOST, and the LOST Books Challenge.

Honorable mention: Captain Jean Luc Picard of Star Trek fame, and Lisa from The Simpsons.  Many thanks to our Facebook Fans for their contributions to this article.

Bradley S. Wirz, Founder & CEO
http://www.gonereading.com/

P.S.  Please flatter us by subscribing to this blog via email or RSS Feed.  Doing so plays a big role in supporting our philanthropic mission to build libraries in the developing world!

Did Shakespeare Smoke Weed? Random News for Book Lovers

I find so many little tidbits of news for book lovers each day that I simply can’t keep them all to myself.  Admittedly, some of these are more important than others, but they each caught my attention for one reason or another.

I hope you enjoy.

  • Did Shakespeare smoke weed?  Fox News reports that scientists in England are hoping to exhume the bard for DNA testing to help answer just that question.  We hope that you need some sort of permit to do such a thing.  Thanks to Mother Jones for bringing it to our attention.
  • To help celebrate Independence Day in the U.S., Barnes & Noble gives us five patriotic book recommendations.
  • Wired gives us 5 Reasons Why E-Books Aren’t There Yet, an account of some kinks in the system with digital eReaders.  This includes the very real difficulty of organizing books acquired from different sources, also chronicled by The Shatzkin Files.  Thanks to Literature Blog for bringing this to our attention.
  • The San Francisco Chronicle gives us 13 Things You Pay For That Your Library Has For Free, a terrific reminder on the importance of our library system.  Thanks to Room To Read for the heads up.
  • Author Ann Patchett opens her own bookstore.  Pretty courageous at a time like this.  We find it interesting that she concurs with the notion that people read more once they buy an eReader.  You can read the story here.  Thanks to A Writer’s Desk for bringing it to our attention.
  • Lastly, and I’m hoping that my wife is paying attention to this one, researchers in the U.K. have proven that people essentially go deaf while reading.  “Inattentional deafness is a common everyday experience” according to the lead researcher.  The story appears in the Daily Mail.  Thanks to Beattie’s Book Blog for bringing it to our attention.
Bradley S. Wirz, Founder & CEO
http://www.gonereading.com/
 
P.S.  If you enjoyed this little collection of news items, please flatter us by subscribing to this blog via email or RSS Feed.  Doing so plays a big role in supporting our philanthropic mission!

True Blood Books vs. True Blood TV Show: A Bloody Debate

Don't let Eric catch you reading those Charlaine Harris books.

Book lovers aren’t going to like this one…

The new season of True Blood premieres tonight on HBO, and I’ve got to give credit to their marketing folks for stirring up a timely debate amongst fans in the article 10 Reasons Why True Blood is Better Than The Books Its Based On.  The politically-correct sentiment among literary types is that the book is always better than the movie or TV show; and I agree that it usually is.

But perhaps True Blood is that rare exception.  I have it on good authority that this article brings up some good points:  My wife has rabidly absorbed every single Sookie Stackhouse book (plus several others by Charlaine Harris) and never misses True Blood on TV.  She assures me that this is not an empty debate.

A debate, nonetheless, it is.  Share your comments below and let us know what our loyal Gone Reading fans think of the controversy.  It’s OK to pick the TV show; we’ll love you either way.

P.S.  If you enjoyed this little article, please flatter us by subscribing to this blog via email or RSS Feed.  Doing so plays a big role in supporting our philanthropic mission!

Bradley S. Wirz, Founder & CEO
http://www.gonereading.com/
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