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  • Thanks, The Guardian!

    Thu, 29 Jul 2010 08:17

    It's always nice when a national newspaper appreciates what we're trying to do. The Guardian here in the UK has picked up on our Watch People Shop map on the homepage.

    I know I love to watch people shop. And I love maps. Perfect combo.

    Oh, and it's not noseyness, it's curiousity!

    Watch the Guardian shop

    Watch people shop The Book Depository live

  • 'The Magnetic North'

    Thu, 22 Apr 2010 03:55

    Just longlisted for the Samuel Johnson Prize for Non-Fiction is Sarah Wheeler's The Magnetic North: Travels in the Arctic reviewed in the Guardian late last year:

    To many British people, the word "Arctic" may still conjure up the Canadian High Arctic, the ice-locked wonderland of whalers and lost Victorian expeditions. "Arctic peoples" probably suggests the Inuit, with igloos and sleds. Alternatively, "Arctic" may mean the home of climate change. Ice is frightening, but so is the sudden lack of it. With the Chukchi and Sami peoples we are less familiar, as we are with the "taiga": the vast band of pine forest reaching across the extreme north of Europe and Russia.

    "What is the Arctic?" is a question Sara Wheeler sets out to answer. It's important we update our imaginations, and set aside the igloos, because whatever the Arctic is, "everyone wants what the Arctic has": land, oil and minerals.

    Fifteen years ago, then a younger woman and one without children, Wheeler wrote Terra Incognita, about the Antarctic. After that unpeopled emptiness she was, she admits, prejudiced against the "complicated, life-infested north". There is, however, an irrepressible flavour to Wheeler's writing, and to her sense of project. She sets out on a series of journeys to different parts of the extreme north, travelling into all the Arctic-holding countries: Russia, the US, Canada, Greenland, the Scandinavian states. In a lovely image, she likens the Arctic to a bracelet made of antler horn, which she was given by a Sami man with whom she stayed. It was cold and hard and white, and "I fancied that it smelled of smoke and beechwood". What she discovers, though, is a sorry mess of brutality and ignorance, cruelty and environmental pillage -- and resilience and beauty (more...)

  • The Pulitzer Prize winners...

    Wed, 14 Apr 2010 04:36

    The Pulitzer Prize winners have been announced (go to pulitzer.org for the full break down):


    Winner of the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction: Tinkers by Paul Harding: "An old man lies dying. Confined to bed in his living room, he sees the walls around him begin to collapse, the windows come loose from their sashes, and the ceiling plaster fall off in great chunks, showering him with a lifetime of debris: newspaper clippings, old photographs, wool jackets, rusty tools, and the mangled brass works of antique clocks..."


    Winner of the Pulitzer Prize for Poetry: Versed by Rae Armantrout: "The poems in the first section, 'Versed', play with vice and versa, the perversity of human consciousness. They flirt with error and delusion, skating on a thin ice that inevitably cracks. In the second section, 'Dark Matter', the invisible and unknowable are confronted directly as Armantrout's experience with cancer marks these poems with a new austerity, shot through with her signature wit and stark unsentimental thinking..."


    Winner of the Pulitzer Prize for Biography: The First Tycoon - The Epic Life of Cornelius Vanderbilt by T.J. Stiles: "Founder of a dynasty, builder of the original Grand Central, creator of an impossibly vast fortune, Cornelius 'Commodore' Vanderbilt is an American icon. Humbly born on Staten Island during George Washington's presidency, he rose from boatman to builder of the nation's largest fleet of steamships to lord of a railroad empire...


    Winner of the Pulitzer Prize for Non-Fiction: The Dead Hand - The Untold Story of the Cold War Arms Race and Its Dangerous Legacy by David E Hoffman: "During the Cold War, world superpowers amassed nuclear arsenals containing the explosive power of one million Hiroshimas. The Soviet Union secretly plotted to create the "Dead Hand," a system designed to launch an automatic retaliatory nuclear strike on the United States, and developed a fearsome biological warfare machine. President Ronald Reagan, hoping to awe the Soviets into submission, pushed hard for the creation of space-based missile defenses..."


    Winner of the Pulitzer Prize for History: Lords of Finance: The Bankers Who Broke the World by Liaquat Ahamed: "With penetrating insights for today, this vital history of the world economic collapse of the late 1920s offers unforgettable portraits of the four men whose personal and professional actions as heads of their respective central banks changed the course of the twentieth century..."

  • Pulitzer Prize winners announced

    Wed, 14 Apr 2010 04:19

    The Pulitzer Prize winners have been announced (go to pulitzer.org for the full break down):


    Winner of the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction: Tinkers by Paul Harding: "An old man lies dying. Confined to bed in his living room, he sees the walls around him begin to collapse, the windows come loose from their sashes, and the ceiling plaster fall off in great chunks, showering him with a lifetime of debris: newspaper clippings, old photographs, wool jackets, rusty tools, and the mangled brass works of antique clocks..."


    Winner of the Pulitzer Prize for Poetry: Versed by Rae Armantrout: "The poems in the first section, 'Versed', play with vice and versa, the perversity of human consciousness. They flirt with error and delusion, skating on a thin ice that inevitably cracks. In the second section, 'Dark Matter', the invisible and unknowable are confronted directly as Armantrout's experience with cancer marks these poems with a new austerity, shot through with her signature wit and stark unsentimental thinking..."


    Winner of the Pulitzer Prize for Biography: The First Tycoon - The Epic Life of Cornelius Vanderbilt by T.J. Stiles: "Founder of a dynasty, builder of the original Grand Central, creator of an impossibly vast fortune, Cornelius 'Commodore' Vanderbilt is an American icon. Humbly born on Staten Island during George Washington's presidency, he rose from boatman to builder of the nation's largest fleet of steamships to lord of a railroad empire...


    Winner of the Pulitzer Prize for Non-Fiction: The Dead Hand - The Untold Story of the Cold War Arms Race and Its Dangerous Legacy by David E Hoffman: "During the Cold War, world superpowers amassed nuclear arsenals containing the explosive power of one million Hiroshimas. The Soviet Union secretly plotted to create the "Dead Hand," a system designed to launch an automatic retaliatory nuclear strike on the United States, and developed a fearsome biological warfare machine. President Ronald Reagan, hoping to awe the Soviets into submission, pushed hard for the creation of space-based missile defenses..."


    Winner of the Pulitzer Prize for History: Lords of Finance: The Bankers Who Broke the World by Liaquat Ahamed: "With penetrating insights for today, this vital history of the world economic collapse of the late 1920s offers unforgettable portraits of the four men whose personal and professional actions as heads of their respective central banks changed the course of the twentieth century..."

  • The Devil's Casino

    Thu, 08 Apr 2010 01:03

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