Check out this super-short promo video for a new book art installation over in England:
Isn’t that cool? I’m always impressed with what artists make of books. But the way this book art (which they’re calling Book Hive) interacts with the viewer is pretty impressive. The way the books flap open and closed reminds me of all the flying and flapping books in William Joyce’s The Fantastic Flying Books of Mr. Morris Lessmore. Which is a good thing.
The book art installation was put in place to bring attention to the 400 years of service that the Bristol libraries have been open over in England. Amazing. Both the Book Hive wall and the centuries of librarians doing their thing.
Who knows what the new year holds for the Birmingham-area and book events. Lots of author signings and book launches popping up on calendars on into Spring. But what is there to do this upcoming week for all the Birmingham’s bookish folk?
Here are three events that you may be interested in:
January 9th 10 a.m. – 11 a.m. – the Bessemer library will host author Julie Williams as she leads a discussion on her book Wings of Opportunity: the Wright Brothers in Montgomery, AL, about the Wright brothers opening the first civilian flight school in Alabama.
January 9th at 6:30 p.m. – the Church & Oak book club will have its first meeting of 2014. They meet in the upstairs room at Church Street Books & Coffee. They are reading The People of Forever Are Not Afraid.
January 12th at 2:30 p.m. – the Avondale library kicks off its Adaptations group with a screening party for The Hobbit followed by a discussion comparing the J.R.R. Tolkien’s books with the movie.
Today is officially the unofficially official National Science Fiction Day. So happy NSFD! I got this info from both Wikipedia and Slate… is it possible to get any more legit than that?
The day was chosen due to it being Isaac Asimov‘s birthday. Which is a pretty good reason. Asimov has written one book for every star in the sky it seems. And his Foundation Trilogy is one that sparked my reading interests many many many years ago.
If you are interested in the history of Science Fiction I do not think you can do much better than Brake’s and Hook’s Different Engines. This book may feel a bit dry at times, but it’s simply because it ranks well in the researched/scholarly category and you are learning stuff. But the book is fascinating and worth your time.
They convincingly trace the birth of Science Fiction to Johannes Kepler’s Somnium, which he was working on in 1593, but was published posthumously in 1634. Their sense of what is and isn’t Science Fiction is a good one and offers wonderful insights for any fan of the genre.
As a gift for National Science Fiction Day this year I’m offering you a link. A very sci-fi bookish/reading link. Click here to go to Project Gutenberg and download a free ebook version of Lyn Venable’s Time Enough at Last. This is the short story that inspired the classic Twilight Zone episode of the same name.
You remember it don’t you? The one where bibliophile Henry Bemis survives a nuclear bomb and stumbles upon a public library and finally has enough time to read! With no one around to bother him! But then… so sad.
Anyway, enjoy the quick read by Venable and then go watch that episode of the Twilight Zone. It’s fun, but his wife is really mean.
Happy National Science Fiction Day!
Happy New Year! I hope 2014 is off to a great start for you and that many great books are in your future. Here are two highly highly recommended reads for any functioning adult… who is on the internet… and wants to continue to be an effective and functioning adult. I’m serious about these two books. They are great reads.
The first recommended read is Clay Johnson’s The Information Diet (my review). This book is a short one, but it is jam packed with information and case studies about most of the places you interact and inhabit online. The book is eye-opening, but not in a scary “big brother is gonna git chu” kind of way. He just lays it out clearly. It’s all about understanding how algorithms and networks operate online and on sites like Facebook. Plus, he ends up with ideas and tips for turning your media consuming self into a more productive person and savvier consumer.
The second one is Charles Duhigg’s The Power of Habit. This book is fascinating. He shares data and stories on why you probably tie the same shoe first every morning, strategies to break your bad habits or reinforce your good ones. Not too mention interviews with the people at Target and music sites that are using our habits against us in efforts to market to us and lure in their shops. Amazing stuff.
Both these books are bursting with information that I think will make you a better citizen both on and offline. Plus, it’s just good to know what kind of a world you will be wading through in 2014.