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Read Ye, Read Ye
a book lover's den for news, discussions and gossip on books.
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'Leaving Van Gogh' by Carol Wallace: fictional account of real-life friendship between artist and friend

'Leaving Van Gogh' by Carol Wallace: fictional account of real-life friendship between artist and friend | Read Ye, Read Ye |
This novel is a fictional account of the true-life friendship between French painter Van Gogh and a doctor. Looks interesting.

""Vincent wrote once in a letter that a man who commits suicide turns his friends into murderers. What does that make me?" writes Dr. Paul Gachet in Carol Wallace's riveting fictional memoir of his very real relationship with Vincent van Gogh. It is with this tone of fondness and regret that Gachet tells how Vincent first came to his house in Auvers on the banks of the Oise, after the ear episode, after his tumultuous summer with Cézanne and after leaving the asylums at Remy and Arles. It was 1890, and Gachet had been the physician at an insane asylum in Paris for many decades. On the weekends he returned to Auvers, where his two children and his housekeeper lived after the death of his wife. Gachet, himself an amateur painter and collector, treats Vincent with herbs and tinctures from his garden."
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Robert W. Fogel Investigates Human Evolution

Robert W. Fogel Investigates Human Evolution | Read Ye, Read Ye |
This book, “The Changing Body: Health, Nutrition, and Human Development in the Western World Since 1700” by Robert Fogel’s, sounds fascinating.


"...provocative theory that technology has sped human evolution in an unprecedented way during the past century."

"Mr. Fogel and his co-authors, Roderick Floud, Bernard Harris and Sok Chul Hong, maintain that “in most if not quite all parts of the world, the size, shape and longevity of the human body have changed more substantially, and much more rapidly, during the past three centuries than over many previous millennia..."

"...technophysio evolution, powered by advances in food production and public health, has so outpaced traditional evolution, the authors argue, that people today stand apart not just from every other species, but from all previous generations of Homo sapiens as well."

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My 20 Favorite Heroines in Fiction

1. Arwen of Lord of the Rings by J.R.R. Tolkien: “For I am the daughter of Elrond. I shall not go with him when he departs to the Havens: for mine is the choice of Luthien, and as she so have I chosen, both the sweet and the bitter."

2. Ayla of The Clan of the Cave Bear by Jean M. Auel: “She must find her own people. She must walk alone. Everything she had lived through had prepared her for this journey - and she was not afraid. For the first time Ayla felt the strength of her own spirit."

3. Blanca Trueba of the House of Spirits by Isabel Allende: "She was considered timid and morose. Only in the country, her skin tanned by the sun and her belly full of ripe fruit, running through the fields with Pedro Tercero, was she smiling and happy. Her mother said that that was the real Blanca, and that the other one, the one back in the city, was a Blanca in hibernation."

4. Charlotte of Charlotte's Web by E.B. White: "You have been my friend. That in itself is a tremendous thing. I wove my webs for you because I liked you. After all, what's a life, anyway? We're born, we live a little while, we die. A spider's life can't help being something of a mess, with all this trapping and eating flies. By helping you, perhaps I was trying to lift up my life a trifle. Heaven knows anyone's life can stand a little of that."

5. Clare Anne Abshire of The Time Traveler's Wife by Audrey Niffenegger: "I am suddenly comsumed by nostalgia for the little girl who was me, who loved the fields and believed in God, who spent winter days home sick from school reading Nancy Drew and sucking menthol cough drops, who could keep a secret."

6. Clarissa Vaughn of The Hours by Michael Cunningham: "We live our lives, do whatever we do, and then we sleep. It’s as simple and ordinary as that. A few jump out windows, or drown themselves, or take pills; more die by accident; and most of us are slowly devoured by some disease, or, if we’re very fortunate, by time itself. There’s just this for consolation: an hour here or there when our lives seem, against all odds & expectations, to burst open & give us everything we’ve ever imagined, though everyone but children (and perhaps even they) know these hours will inevitably be followed by others, far darker and more difficult. Still, we cherish the city, the morning, we hope, more than anything for more. Heaven only knows why we love it so."

7. Elizabeth Bennett of Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen: "You were disgusted with the women who were always speaking and looking, and thinking for your approbation alone. I roused, and interested you, because I was so unlike them."

8. Elphaba Thropp of Wicked: The Life and Times of the Wicked Witch of the West by Gregory Maguire: “Either accept the burden of leadership or turn it down, but either way make sure it's your choice in the matter, and not an accident of history, a martyrdom by default.”

9. Janie Crawford of Their Eyes Were Watching God by Zora Neale Hurston: "…love ain't somethin' lak uh grindstone dat's de same thing everywhere and do de same thing tuh everything it touch. Love is lak de sea. It's uh movin' thing, but still and all, it takes its shape from de shore it meets, and it's different with every shore."

10. Kleopatra of Kleopatra by Karen Essex: “She had the treasures of her ancestors, the riches of Egypt, the bloom of youth, and the knowledge that the Achilles’ heel of a man was not necessarily in his foot. This was her battle gear. She was as well-armed as anyone Julius Caesar had ever faced.”

11. Laila of A Thousand Splendid Suns by Khaled Hosseini: “It wasn't so much the whistling itself, Laila thought later, but the seconds between the start of it and impact. The brief and interminable time of feeling suspended. The not knowing. The waiting. Like a defendant about to hear the verdict.”

12. Lisbeth Salander of Girl with the Dragon Tattoo by Stieg Larsson: “She went around with the attitude that she would rather be beaten to death than take any shit.”

13. Lyra Belacqua of 'His Dark Materials' trilogy by Phillip Pullman: “And then what?” said her daemon sleepily. “Build what?” “The Republic of Heaven,” said Lyra.

14. Mariam of A Thousand Splendid Suns by Khaled Hosseini: “Mariam had never before worn a burqa. Rasheed had to help her put it on. The padded headpiece felt tight and heavy on her skull, and it was strange seeing the world through a mesh screen. She practiced walking around her room in it and kept stepping on the hem and stumbling. The loss of peripheral vision was unnerving, and she did not like the suffocating way the pleated cloth kept pressing against her mouth.”

15. Norma Jean/Marilyn Monroe of Blond by Joyce Carol Oates: “She's been squealing and laughing, her mouth aches. There's a gathering pool of darkness at the back of her head like tarry water. Her scalp and her pubis burn from the morning's peroxide applications. The Girl with No Name. The glaring-white lights focus upon her, upon her alone, blond squealing, blond laughter, blond Venus, blond insomnia, blond smooth-shaven legs apart and blond hands fluttering in a futile effort to keep her skirt from lifting to reveal white cotton American-girl panties and the shadow, just the shadow, of the bleached crotch.”

16. Portia of Merchant of Venice by Shakespeare: “The quality of mercy is not strain'd / It droppeth as the gentle rain from heaven/ Upon the place beneath: it is twice blest / It blesseth him that gives and him that takes / 'Tis mightiest in the mightiest: it becomes / The throned monarch better than his crown.”

17. Rosa Saks of The Adventures of Kavalier and Clay by Michael Chabon: “When she worked on a canvas…she had a habit, when pondering, of standing storklike on her left foot and lovingly massaging it with the big toe, its toenail painted aubergine, of the right.”

18. Scarlett O’Hara of Gone With the Wind by Margaret Mitchell: "I'll think of it tomorrow, at Tara. I can stand it then. Tomorrow, I'll think of some way to get him back. After all, tomorrow is another day."

19. Scout Finch of To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee: “It was times like these when I thought my father, who hated guns and had never been to any wars, was the bravest man who ever lived.”

20. The Doctor's Wife of Blindness by Jose Saramago: “ do not know, you cannot know, what it means to have eyes in a world in which everyone else is blind, I am not a queen, no, I am simply the one who was born to see this horror, you can feel it, I both feel and see it...”

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Great kids books for rainy days -

Great kids books for rainy days - | Read Ye, Read Ye |
If you're on the hunt for newly published children's books, check out the recommendations in this article.

My favorite on the list:

"Dude: Fun with Dude and Betty"

By Lisa Pliscou, illustrated by Tom Dunne

Harper Books, $14.99

Ages 4-8

""Dude: Fun with Dude and Betty" is a hilarious take on the old children's readers "Fun with Dick and Jane," with language like it was written by those righteous dudes, Bill and Ted. The simple story is of a surfer kid named Dude who just wants to have fun. When his parents (who look like the Beaver's parents) tell him to clean his room and do his homework, he has to bolt.

"Oh no! What a gnarly scene. It is time to bail. Bail, Dude, bail!"

The illustrations are colorful, clean and just make you want to grab your board and head to the beach with Dude and Betty.

It also has a helpful glossary in the back of the book for terms your land-locked child may not be familiar with, such as bodacious, bummer and surf bunny."
rougier marie's comment, April 27, 2011 3:36 PM
My favourite kid book is 'Diary of a wimpy kid'. the main character could have a FML web site, just about him !
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Still on the fence about getting an e-reader? "Nook Color now lets authors sign e-books"

Still on the fence about getting an e-reader? "Nook Color now lets authors sign e-books" | Read Ye, Read Ye |
(For the record, I'm still on the fence)

"Lovers of literature know that having a book signed by a favorite author is something truly special. How do you sign an e-book though? Hopefully not with ballpoint.

Barnes & Noble is set to debut a new feature for the Android-equipped Nook Color e-reader that lets authors digitally sign their e-books using a stylus."
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Karl Lagerfeld to create fragrance that smells of books - Times LIVE

Karl Lagerfeld to create fragrance that smells of books - Times LIVE | Read Ye, Read Ye |
So you love the smell of books, huh? Perhaps you'll be interested in famous designer Karl Lagerfeld' upcoming perfume, "Paper Passion." There perfume smells of books, with a "fatty note."
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Like the old joke says, books are better 'in bed' | Jacket Copy | Los Angeles Times

Like the old joke says, books are better 'in bed' | Jacket Copy | Los Angeles Times | Read Ye, Read Ye |
What's your favorite place to read?

"You know that joke that shows everything's better when you add "in bed" to the end? The same can be said for books, according to a report by Sony released Friday.

The survey, conduced in March, showed that 79% of Americans are most likely to read books in bed. That's more people choosing to read in bed than in the living room (73%), on vacation (37%) or while commuting (8%)."
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Aaron and Ahmed - Interesting graphic novel about 9/11

Aaron and Ahmed - Interesting graphic novel about 9/11 | Read Ye, Read Ye |
Have you ever read a graphic novel? I haven't but I'd like to and this one looks really good. Intense.

"The first shock of Jay Cantor's and James Romberger's comic book Aaron and Ahmed—one could say graphic novel, but the about-the-author sketch of Cantor ripping open his shirt to reveal a Superman costume makes comic book the way to go—is seeing the planes fly into the towers. Across four appalling pages everything happens, both at once and in stop-time, here too fast for the eye or the mind to follow or for memory to enclose, there too frozen, almost, to allow the viewer to return to the story that is taking shape. And this is because, along with one Aaron Goodman, an Army psychiatrist in a VA hospital in Kansas, you are not bearing witness; you are witnessing."
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Biography of William Styron, as told by his daughter

Biography of William Styron, as told by his daughter | Read Ye, Read Ye |
At this point, I've only read one William Styron book, Darkness Visible - an amazing memoir on depression. Styron won a Pultizer Prize for The Confessions of Nat Turner and critical acclaim for his other four books, which include Sophie's Choice. Yet, according to this biography by Styron's daughter, Alexandra, Styron had insecurities and demons that hung like pervasive grey clouds over his head.

"For William Styron, writing was the "bid to be loved." His family did love him through years of neglect and then all-out dependency, but he was never happy long because he was happiest being celebrated. Even for a writer as talented as he was, accolades are rare. Solitude and self-doubt are constant. Some self-doubt is generative: too much is crippling. It's hard not to wish that William Styron could have been happy having written five books, three of which not only depicted history but influenced it. Or not to notice that Alexandra Styron—who has written one good novel and this extraordinarily sensitive biography of her father—has done for him what he did for Nat Turner and Sophie Zawistowski: she found the human behind the carapace."

According to the linked review, Alexandra Styron's biography, "Reading My Father," is extremely well-researched and gives readers a close observer's insight into one of the America's best writers.
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Read vs Unread: Self-Balancing, Book-Weighted Wall Shelf | Designs & Ideas on Dornob

Read vs Unread: Self-Balancing, Book-Weighted Wall Shelf | Designs & Ideas on Dornob | Read Ye, Read Ye |
Looking for a new way to shelve your books? Take a look at these innovative book "shelves."
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Salman Rushdie reading picks to stock New York hotel's rooms

Salman Rushdie reading picks to stock New York hotel's rooms | Read Ye, Read Ye |
This is so cool! I'd love to have a job, paid or unpaid, as the official book selector!

"Acclaimed novelist Salman Rushdie has come to the aid of guests who check into a trendy Manhattan hotel with nothing to read, choosing 13 celebrated American books for their rooms.

The upscale Standard Hotel in Manhattan already provides high-definition televisions and iPod docks in rooms but had previously not included so much as a Gideons Bible for guests with more literary tastes.

As of next week, guests will find a copy of one of the 13 books from Rushdie's reading list in their room...

...the books will be well-thumbed second-hand copies donated by Housing Works, an organization that provides services for people with AIDS and the homeless and raises funds, in part, by running thrift stores.

Salman Rushdie's Standard Selection includes:

Walt Whitman: Leaves of Grass

William Faulkner: The Sound and the Fury

F. Scott Fitzgerald: The Great Gatsby

Eudora Welty: The Collected Stories

Bernard Malamud: The Complete Stories

Saul Bellow: Humboldt's Gift

Philip Roth: Portnoy's Complaint

Flannery O'Connor: Everything That Rises Must Converge

Kurt Vonnegut: Slaughterhouse-Five

Thomas Pynchon: V.

Joseph Heller: Catch-22

Toni Morrison: Beloved

Michael Chabon: The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier & Clay"

Great list!!!
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Amazon announces e-book loans for the Kindle

Amazon announces e-book loans for the Kindle | Read Ye, Read Ye |
"Want to check out e-books from the library and read them on your Kindle? That will be possible later this year as Amazon announced Wednesday that it would join a library loan program for electronic books."
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Ice-T Keeps it Real in New Memoir via @LATimes

Ice-T Keeps it Real in New Memoir via @LATimes | Read Ye, Read Ye |
"In his spare, plainspoken autobiography, Ice-T speaks freely and unapologetically of youthful years spent heisting jewelry and other goods throughout the Southland. Like Jay-Z's "Decoded," "Ice" isn't a confessional; the man born Tracy Marrow doesn't purge his sins. Rather he brags about his tactical skills (learned in the Army) and daredevil stunts. But he's also clearly happy to be living a screen-star's life of ease, with his swimsuit-model wife at his side, rather than still banging in South Central or, like many of his friends, moldering in jail. Ice-T understands the incredible irony of having become world famous (or infamous) for co-writing a song called "Cop Killer" then finding a decade of sanctuary by playing a police officer on "Law & Order: Special Victims Unit." He's laughing all the way to the bank."
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Book review: 'Emily, Alone' by Stewart O'Nan

Book review: 'Emily, Alone' by Stewart O'Nan | Read Ye, Read Ye |
"Stewart O'Nan's books are not about poverty, life's crises, gross injustice or family drama; in fact, there's very little drama in his works. He has become a spokesperson — in modern fiction — for the regular person, the working person, and now, the elderly...

"Emily, Alone" is O'Nan's 13th novel, and he has thrown himself into the daily life of an elderly woman using all his interest and empathy. There is nothing pathetic about Emily; she is financially secure in the home in which she raised her two children; she is healthy; she is cultured and intelligent, and she has good relationships with her children and her four grandchildren.

But life has narrowed down to a very small radius: Her husband is long dead, she spends time with her equally elderly sister-in-law, Arlene, and her children visit twice a year. Emily has a dog, but he is not much company...She understands all too well and without dread that she is slipping away from the world. "Lying there with the false hour glowing over her shoulder, she reflected on the arbitrary, changeable nature of time, and how, at her age, she was almost free of it. The idea pleased her, as if she'd discovered something elemental."

The relationship that most worries Emily is that which she has with her daughter, Margaret, who has battled alcoholism and been in and out of relationships and financial problems her entire adult life. Emily wonders, like any mother, what she might have done differently. But in these last years before death, she finds a kind of balance and peace with even this, her life's greatest concern.

Why should we care about this character? Because we are all headed in the same direction, and most media make it look pretty bad. It is surprising how often a character as well drawn as Emily lodges in a reader's imagination and gives us a kind of role model...

What's truly thrilling here is the restraint and respect with which O'Nan cradles Emily's life. He pays acute attention to how difficult it is to drive as one gets older. He notes the number of memorial services that Emily attends and the importance of every little communication (including bored impatience and polite formality) from family. He describes how carefully the small pleasures in a day are meted out, rationed. Thank-you notes, which splinter between generations (is it really so difficult to thank grandma for the $25?)."
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Books With Worst Dating Advice Ever (PHOTOS)

Books With Worst Dating Advice Ever (PHOTOS) | Read Ye, Read Ye |
If you need a good laugh, click on the headline to read the entire article. Here's the list of books with the worst dating advice ever:

1. "Act Like a Lady, Think Like a Man" by Steve Harvey

2. "The Rules" by Ellen Fein and Sherrie Schneider

3. "The CODE: Time Tested Secrets for Getting What You Want from Women- Without Marrying Them!" by Nate Penn and Lawrence LaRose

4. "I Got the Fever: Love, What's Race Gotta Do With It?" by J.C. Davies

5. "The Rules According to JWoww" by Jenni "JWoww" Farley

6. "Hooking Up With Tila Tequila" by Tila Tequila

7. "The Game: Penetrating the Secret Society of Pickup Artists" by Neil Strauss

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Quote of the Day: French Writer Andre Gide

Quote of the Day: French Writer Andre Gide | Read Ye, Read Ye |
"Dare to be yourself."

-- Andre Gide, French author and winner of the Nobel Prize in literature in 1947
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Would you pay $23.7 million (plus $3.99 shipping) for a scientific book about flies!?

Would you pay $23.7 million (plus $3.99 shipping) for a scientific book about flies!? | Read Ye, Read Ye |
"This unthinkable sticker price for "The Making of a Fly" on was spotted on April 18 by Michael Eisen, an evolutionary biologist and blogger."

But it turns out, computers -- not actual people -- were to blame:

" appears it was sparked by a robot price war.

"What's fascinating about all this is both the seemingly endless possibilities for both chaos and mischief," writes Eisen, who works at the University of California at Berkeley and blogs at a site called "it is NOT junk." "It seems impossible that we stumbled onto the only example of this kind of upward pricing spiral."

...two booksellers were automatically adjusting their prices against each other.

One equation kept setting the price of the first book at 1.27059 times the price of the second book...

The other equation automatically set its price at 0.9983 times the price of the other book. So the prices of the two books escalated in tandem into the millions...

The incident highlights a little-known fact about e-commerce sites such as Amazon: Often, people don't create and update prices; computer algorithms do.

Individual booksellers on Amazon and other sites pay third-party companies for algorithm services that automatically update prices. Some of these computer programs purportedly work very well, getting sellers up to 60% more sales because they underbid the competition automatically and repeatedly."
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15 Most Famous Cafes in the Literary World

15 Most Famous Cafes in the Literary World | Read Ye, Read Ye |
"If you've turned to coffee shops and restaurants to study instead of your room or the library, you'll appreciate the literary significance of these 15 famous cafes:

1. La Rotonde: One of the most famous Parisian cafes during the great American literary ex-pat era is Cafe La Rotonde, which was actually written about in Ernest Hemingway's The Sun Also Rises...Gertrude Stein, F. Scott Fitzgerald and T.S. Eliot were also patrons there.

2. Le Dome Cafe: The very next line in Hemingway's quote above is, "Ten years from now it will probably be the Dome." Le Dome Cafe in Montparnasse in Paris was actually the first major cafe in that area to attract ex-pats and intellectuals.

3. The Literary Cafe: St. Petersburg's Literary Cafe supposedly entertained many top Russian writers, including Chernyshevsky and Dostoevsky, and is said to be the last cafe that poet Alexander Pushkin visited before dying in a duel.

4. Les Deux Magots: Now a popular tourist spot, Les Deux Magots is known as Hemingway's favorite spot in Paris. But the St. Germain-des-Pres cafe also served many other legendary writers and artists, including Rimbaud, Simone de Beauvoir, André Gide, Jean Giraudoux, Jean Paul Sartre, and even Picasso.

5. Cafe Braunerhof: Like Paris, Vienna is a city dotted with cafes, many of which were home to famous writers, artists and intellectuals. The Cafe Braunerhof located near the Habsburg city palace is said to be lauded writer Thomas Bernhard's favorite spot, and where we worked on some of the most important works in the German-speaking world after WWII.

6. Cafe de Flore: Now a popular hang-out among the fashion set and other glamorous types, Cafe de Flore — principal rival to Les Deux Magots — was another office for Hemingway and his contemporaries.

7. Dingo Bar: Now the restaurant Auberge de Venise, the Dingo Bar was another Montparnasse staple that opened in 1923 and catered to English and American ex-pats in Paris, like writer Djuna Barnes and publishing house owner Nancy Cunard. It's also the spot where Hemingway and F. Scott Fitzgerald met for the first time.

8. Cafe Montmartre: This cafe is actually located in Prague and was sometimes called by its nickname, Montik, or The Monty. Some of the most important writers from Germany and Czechoslovakia — like Franz Kafka, Eduard Bass and Max Brod — all came here.

9. Pedrocchi Cafe: Padua's Pedrocchi Cafe is one of the biggest cafes in the world and was known as a favorite hang-out for Lord Byron and French writer Stendhal.

10. Harry's New York Bar: Actually located in Paris, Harry's New York Bar was named for its early manager, a Scotsman. It opened in 1911, and Harry was supposedly responsible for making it a legitimate ex-pat cafe during the next decade, attracting Sinclair Lewis, Humphrey Bogart, Hemingway, and others.

11. Antico Caffe Greco: Situated near the Spanish Steps in a very posh area of Rome, the Antico Caffe Greco — founded in 1760 — is also the city's most famous. Over the past centuries, writers like Lord Byron, John Keats, Henrik Ibsen and Hans Christian Andersen became patrons.

12. La Coupole: La Coupole is another historical Montparnasse cafe, which opened in 1927, soon after Le Select, and aimed to compete against Le Dome for the expat intellectual clientele. The massive cafe could seat 600 people, including famous guests like Simone de Beauvoir and Jean Paul Sartre.

13. La Closerie des Lilas: Also situated in Paris' Montparnasse is La Closerie, which opened in 1847 and attracted everyone from Henry James to Leon Trotsky to Gertrude Stein and Hemingway, who references nearby statues and descriptions in The Sun Also Rises.

14. Caffe Giubbe Rosse: One of Florence's most famous cafes is Caffe Giubbe Rosse, named for Garibaldi's Red Shirts, and also inspiration for the waiters' uniforms. Celebrated for its role in producing the Futurist movement, Caffe Giubbe Rosse was also a favored spot for many notable Italian poets.

15. Grand Cafe: The Grand Hotel in Oslo is home to the Grand Cafe, a famous restaurant and meet-up. It's where the Nobel Peace Prize banquet is held each year, and is said to be the daily lunch spot of Henrik Ibsen. Roald Dahl also stayed at the hotel during his youth."
axelletess's comment, April 25, 2011 5:47 PM
Many french places ;)
Baochi's comment, April 25, 2011 11:41 PM
Because France is an inspirational place! :) Thanks for the article.
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23 Great Books Made Into Great Movies

23 Great Books Made Into Great Movies | Read Ye, Read Ye |
It's a common complaint among book readers that movies based on books are typically not as good as the books. I agree - I'm usually disappointed by films based on books. But I also think the reverse occurs, as well. I'd bet these days there are more good-to-great films based on mediocre-to-bad-books (my supposition is that filmmakers are increasingly looking to books for inspiration). I'll add another post on a list of bad books but great movies.

This list is about great books made into great movies. Note that this list only includes the books I've read and then watched.

1. Charlie and the Chocolate Factory by Roald Dahl (both the 1971 and 2005 movies are great renditions of this imaginative book)

2. Charlotte's Web by E.B. White (as good as the book is, the movie might be even better)

3. The Color Purple by Alice Walker (the movie is such an amazing, well-acted version of this amazing book)

4. Dracula by Bram Stoker (the Francis Ford Coppola version of this book expertly captures the creepy, Gothic tone of the book...but the book is even scarier)

5. The Firm by John Grisham (a fast-paced, page-turning thriller that they translated really well for the movie...Tom Cruise is good)

6. The Godfather by Mario Puzo (the book is pretty good but I definitely think the movie is superior)

7. Gone With the Wind by Margaret Mitchell (damn good movie with Clark Gable and Vivien Leigh but if you believe it, the book is utterly riveting)

8. The Hours by Michael Cunningham (the acting in this great movie is memorable and powerful but what's missing is the pleasure of the exact prose in the brilliant book)

9. Interview with the Vampire by Anne Rice (the book is engrossing and really puts you in the setting...the marvelous movie is a delicious version but this is one of the cases where there is so much more to think book even)

10. The Joy Luck Club by Amy Tan (great movie, the book is even better)

11. Lolita by Vladimir Nabokov (really good movie classic but this book's brilliance may be impossible to fully express in another medium)

12. Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring by J. R. R. Tolkien (perhaps my favorite book of all time -- the set of 3 -- and I was so grateful to be under the spell of the movie...again, though, this is one of those brilliant works that may be impossible to fully translate to another medium)

13. Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King (2003)

14. Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers

15. Never Let Me Go by Kazuo Ishiguro (amazing, disturbing book that they really effectively transformed into a movie)

16. One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest by Ken Kesey (terrific book with a movie just as terrific)

17. Prince of Tides by Pat Conroy (the book is a little better but the all-star cast for the movie makes it pretty powerful)

18. The Reader by Bernhard Schlink (I may like the movie even better than the book, which was damn good)

19. The Road by Cormac McCarthy (I admit that I had more appreciation for the book after watching the movie, but both are pretty powerful and emotional)

20. Rosemary's Baby by Ira Levin (good book, even better movie)

21. Shopgirl by Steve Martin (since the author also stars in the movie, it's like having deja vu because the translation is seamless)

22. Silence of the Lambs by Thomas Harris (both the book and the movie are terrifying)

23. Virgin Suicides by Jeffrey Eugenides (bizarre, deep book that is a damn good movie)
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The Uncoupling - The Barnes & Noble Review

The Uncoupling - The Barnes & Noble Review | Read Ye, Read Ye |
First off, I am amazed by this review because it's in the form of colored drawings! I've never seen a book review like this before, have you? The illustrator is named Ward Sutton, and he draws/writes these once a month. Totally rad.

Second, the book that Sutton reviews, The Uncoupling, sounds interesting: it's about a town whose women are plagued by some mysterious "bug" that makes them find sex repelling.
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Earth Day 2011: 9 Of The Best Books You Should Read To Celebrate (PHOTOS)

Earth Day 2011: 9 Of The Best Books You Should Read To Celebrate (PHOTOS) | Read Ye, Read Ye |
It's Earth Day, and in order to celebrate, we asked you what you'd be reading, or recommend reading, to recognize the day.
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Three Royal Cousins and the Road to World War One >> Nonfiction that sounds juicy enough to read as fiction

Three Royal Cousins and the Road to World War One >> Nonfiction that sounds juicy enough to read as fiction | Read Ye, Read Ye |
Did you know that the World War I era leaders of Britain, Russia and Germany were all cousins? Yep, they were all descendants of Queen Victoria, if I'm correctly reading the summary of this nonfiction book. Poor Victoria must have been spinning around in her grave when war broke out and the blood that was shed shared the same genes.

"In "George, Nicholas and Wilhelm," a finalist in the biography category for this year's Los Angeles Times Book Prizes, British biographer Miranda Carter focuses on the nexus among the heads of state in three of the major combatants, Britain, Russia and Germany. The allied King George and Czar Nicholas were not only first cousins (their Danish mothers were sisters) but they looked so much alike that people frequently mistook one for the other. Nicholas' wife was also a first cousin to George (on his father's side) and Kaiser Wilhelm bore the same close relationship to both. (He was also related twice over to the czar.) In Carter's capable hands, what could so easily be little more than an annotated family tree springs to life full of vivid, flesh-and-blood characters and replete with family attachments, feuds and quarrels. As her story unfolds, we see just how determinative — and sometimes irrelevant — these turned out to be."
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Maya Soetoro-Ng Is the Latest Obama-Family Author

Maya Soetoro-Ng Is the Latest Obama-Family Author | Read Ye, Read Ye |
I don't know what rock I've been hiding under, but apparently President Obama has a half-sister AND she just published a book!

"Mr. Obama was by then a best-selling author. But when he offered to introduce his little sister to his agent, Ms. Soetoro-Ng said, she refused. And she did not show him her book — a fictional paean to their mother, the free-spirited anthropologist Stanley Ann Dunham — until it sold to a publisher.

“That’s probably the stubbornness of a younger sister,” she said. “We all want to find our own path.”

But the path she has chosen, in her family at least, is crowded. When Ms. Soetoro-Ng’s book, “Ladder to the Moon,” hit bookshelves on Tuesday, it added to a growing Obama family literary canon. President Obama, whose first two books earned millions, recently published a children’s book. His wife, Michelle, just signed a contract with Crown Publishing for a book on the White House garden, due in April 2012."
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9 books about the gulf oil spill | Jacket Copy | Los Angeles Times

9 books about the gulf oil spill | Jacket Copy | Los Angeles Times | Read Ye, Read Ye |
I'm so excited to see that the number one ranked book about the BP oil spill, according to this LA Times reviewer, is written by a person I recently met en route to SXSW in Austin! The book is actually co-authored: oil-rig mariner John Konrad (the person sat next to on the flight) and former Washington Post reporter Tom Shroder.

Here's an excerpt on the top three books about the BP oil spill:

1. "Fire on the Horizon: The Untold Story of the Gulf Oil Disaster" by oil-rig mariner John Konrad and former Washington Post reporter Tom Shroder, Mohan writes, "deftly navigates around the good-guy versus bad-guy leitmotif.... Artfully and compellingly told, the book marries a John McPhee feel for the technology to a Jon Krakauer sense of an adventure turned tragic. Konrad writes, 'This is not a story of a rig, technology, the environment, corporate policy or government oversight, but it concerns each.' "

2. "A Hole at the Bottom of the Sea: The Race to Kill the BP Oil Gusher" by Joel Achenbach of the Washington Post, Mohan writes, "adds a candid view of the media's coverage." Mohan continues, "Achenbach lives up to his promises to make the disaster 'into a tale that everyone can comprehend,' with fluid, often Spartan prose and a candid tone.... Achenbach appears to be the only author among the bunch who bothered to obtain emails and other documents that were not revealed in testimony, which allows him to focus on Washington's response to the disaster."

3. "Drowning in Oil: BP and the Reckless Pursuit of Profit" by Loren C. Steffy. Mohan writes: "Steffy focuses unrelentingly on BP's persistent failure to change its management culture.... The culture that rewarded short-term gains business unit by business unit wound up eviscerating the company's engineering, training and safety corps. That left BP more susceptible than most to an industry-wide blind spot: 'Exploration for oil in the Gulf of Mexico had become ruled by the engineer's conceit that the industry's technology was impeccable and by the financial arrogance that argued that safety would never be compromised because the fallout from a disaster would be so great that companies would never cut corners.' "
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