Google Offering Google Glass to Everyone for One Day Only

eBookNewser - Fri, 11/04/2014 - 14:00

If you’ve been dying to get your hands on Google Glass, you can join the Explorer Program at 6 a.m. ET on Tuesday, April 15, 2014. You’ll still have to pay $1,500 for the fancy eyewear, but Google is going to throw in a free set of frames or shades.

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New Career Opportunities Daily: The best jobs in media.

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Our hero: Peter Matthiessen

Guardian Books - Fri, 11/04/2014 - 14:00
Friend John Irving and former student Claire Messud remember the author of The Snow Leopard

My friend Peter Matthiessen, who was 86, died on April 5 at his home in Sagaponack, New York, where we once were neighbours and read each other's novels in their embarrassing, first-draft lives.

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Adrian Mole's best quotes: what are your favourites?

Guardian Books - Fri, 11/04/2014 - 13:54

The angst-ridden, adorably eccentric adolescent left us with innumerable memorable lines. Here are some classic Mole statements, but what are your favourite Sue Townsend quotes? We will update the list with your suggestions

There's only one thing more boring than listening to other people's dreams, and that's listening to their problems.

I'm not sure how I will vote. Sometimes I think Mrs Thatcher is a nice kind sort of woman. Then the next day I see her on television and she frightens me rigid. She has got eyes like a psychotic killer, but a voice like a gentle person. It is a bit confusing.

My mother is in the hospital grounds smoking a cigarette. She is looking old and haggard. All the debauchery is catching up with her.

I don't know why women are so mad about flowers. Personally, they leave me cold. I prefer trees

[Good Friday] Poor Jesus, it must have been dead awful for him. I wouldn't have the guts to do it myself.

I used to be the sort of boy who had sand kicked in his face, now I'm the sort of boy who watches somebody else have it kicked in their face.

My father was reading Playboy under cover of the candlelight and I was reading Hard Times by my key-ring torch.

I have never seen a dead body or a female nipple. This is what comes from living in a cul de sac.

Glenn has been excluded from school, for calling Tony Blair a twat.

My brother has published a volume of poetry, called Blow Out The Candle. The reviews were ecstatic. I hate him already.

I fear I am losing the battle to mould William's character to my own satisfaction. He's only six, but at his age Mozart was selling out concerts all over Europe.

My skin is dead good. I think it must be a combination of being in love, and Lucozade.

Nigel is a punk at weekends. His mother lets him be one providing he wears a string vest under his bondage T-shirt.

Went to see Hadrian's Wall. Saw it. Came back.

I am an intellectual, but at the same time I am not very clever.

Pandora! / I adore ya! / I implore ye / Don't ignore me.

The woman said it is important for an author of romantic fiction to have an evocative name, so, after much thought, I have decided to call myself Adrienne Storme.

Jason Westmoreland's copper-flecked eyes glanced cynically around the terrace. He was sick of Capri and longed for Wolverhampton...

At tea-time I was looking at our world map, but I couldnt see the Falkland Islands anywhere. My mother found them; they were hidden under a crumb of fruitcake.

I've changed my mind about going to London. According to The Guardian lead pollution is sending the cockneys who live there mad.

Nigel says that Sharon Botts will show everything for 50p and a pound of grapes.

A telegram! Addressed to me! The BBC? No from my mother. 'ADRIAN STOP COMING HOME STOP.' What does she mean? 'Stop coming home'? How can I stop coming home? I live here!

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How much do you know about Adrian Mole?

Telegraph - Fri, 11/04/2014 - 13:27
Quiz: As Sue Townsend dies aged 68, delve back into her much-loved Adrian Mole universe and see how much you know






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Kurt Vonnegut's inspirational 'make your soul grow' letter performed by students video

Guardian Books - Fri, 11/04/2014 - 13:00
Back in 2006, a group of students at New York's Xavier High School were set an assignment to write to their favourite authors and ask them to visit the school. Kurt Vonnegut who died seven years ago today was the only one to reply. Dogtooth Films have made a film with students at Hove Park School, in the UK, celebrating his letter, which urges young people to make art for its own sake and to 'make your soul grow' Continue reading...






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The life lessons of Adrian Mole, aged 13 ¾

Telegraph - Fri, 11/04/2014 - 12:59
The author Sue Townsend has died at the age of 68. What life lessons did we learn from Adrian Mole, her much-loved creation?






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Herb Lester on the best bookshops off the beaten track

Telegraph - Fri, 11/04/2014 - 12:15
From art in Paris to erotica in San Francisco - a tour of the world's finest independent bookshops
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Herb Lester on the best bookshops

Telegraph - Fri, 11/04/2014 - 12:15
The pub connoisseur and author gives us his top bookshops from across the globe






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Sue Townsend a life in pictures

Guardian Books - Fri, 11/04/2014 - 12:04
The death of the writer Sue Townsend marks the end of a career which began with Adrian Mole's list of New Year resolutions back in 1982: 'I will help the blind across the road ... I will pick up my trousers ... I will stop squeezing my spots". Here we celebrate her life with a selection of images from 80s stardom to 21st-century national treasure Continue reading...






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Science fiction needs to reflect that the future is queer

Guardian Books - Fri, 11/04/2014 - 12:00
Most science fiction still sticks to straight story lines. It's time the genre explored fluid gender identity and LGBT themes

I spent most of my youth being told to get a haircut. As a boy of slight build who usually had hair down around my shoulders, I looked a bit too much like a girl for the comfort of the home counties. Society gets angry when gender roles are blurred, precisely because those roles are a fragile act put on with clothes, hairstyles and makeup. If they weren't enforced, clearly defined gender roles would not exist.

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Visions of Science: Books and Readers at the Dawn of the Victorian Age review

Guardian Books - Fri, 11/04/2014 - 11:00
James Secord wades into a wonderfully complex period of intellectual fervour

There is a gap in the popular image of the 19th century somewhere around the 1820s and 30s. Between the Regency and Queen Victoria, history seems to skip a beat and the world of Pride and Prejudice decorous, provincial and populated by men and women of the middle and upper classes suddenly gives way to the swarming streets of Dickens's London and flickering gaslight throwing up the monstrous shadows of Uriah Heep and Fagin.

Gaslight was indeed a product of the intervening years, as was much of what we think of as modern science, the electoral system, railways and some of the worst civil unrest in English history. If the last Georgian decades have failed to leave any single coherent impression it is not because too little happened, but because there was too much to make for easy characterisation. What may now look like "the dawn of the Victorian age", as James Secord's subtitle has it, was to contemporaries an era all of its own in which The March of Intellect, portrayed in a cartoon of 1828 as a giant steam-driven robot sweeping away the established order, was changing everything for better, or for worse.

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Why Adrian Mole was my kindred teenage spirit

Guardian Books - Fri, 11/04/2014 - 10:47
Sue Townsend's spotty comic creation was the same age as me his cul-de-sac growing pains struck a poignant chord
Sue Townsend dies aged 68

What an awful start to a Friday morning to hear that Sue Townsend, beloved creator of Adrian Mole and one of the very very few authors who genuinely made me laugh out loud, has died.

I first came to Adrian when I was, very satisfyingly, 13 and three-quarters (my copy was like this I loved the Noddy toothbrush) and I was enthralled. The spots, the languishing, the overthinking, the "just my lucks". I thought it was hilarious. Easter: "Poor Jesus, it must have been dead awful for him. I wouldn't have the guts to do it myself."

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Sue Townsend: your tributes

Telegraph - Fri, 11/04/2014 - 10:20
As Sue Townsend is remembered by fellow authors and fans of her work, how will you remember the author?






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Richard Hoggart, academic and author, dies

Telegraph - Fri, 11/04/2014 - 10:00
Richard Hoggart, best known for his work The Uses of Literacy, has died aged 95






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The People: The Rise and Fall of the Working Class 19102010 review

Guardian Books - Fri, 11/04/2014 - 09:30
The working class has no sense of itself any more. It needs to get it together. Selina Todd's cliche- and nostalgia-free history will help

Everyone is for the people. If not of them. The people's palaces, the people's princesses, the people's prime ministers. Those in power traverse that semi-permeable membrane between representing and corralling "the people". Currently "the people" are meant to understand that what is good for "us" is austerity. But who do we mean by the people?

Selina Todd understands the people to be not simply the working class but those who are aware of themselves as a working class. Her book is an ambitious attempt to put together a history that is more than nostalgia. There is a slow-burning anger just beneath the chattiness of the individual stories she tells. Inevitably she sweeps through the decades, but she is always asking how much things really changed for ordinary people. Too often the answer is "not much".

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Counting Sheep: a Celebration of the Pastoral Heritage of Britain by Philip Walling, review

Telegraph - Fri, 11/04/2014 - 09:00
Horatio Clare ruminates on an ovine history of Britain






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Northanger Abbey by Val McDermid, review

Telegraph - Fri, 11/04/2014 - 09:00
This tribute to Austen is anaemic, says Sarah Crompton






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The Knowledge: How to Rebuild Our World from Scratch by Lewis Dartnell, review

Telegraph - Fri, 11/04/2014 - 09:00
Tom Chivers enjoys an entertaining manual for post-apocalyptic survival






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How to draw a love monster!

Guardian Books - Fri, 11/04/2014 - 08:00
Don't be scared, Love Monster just wants someone to love him Take a trip to Cutesville and create your very own cuddly creature - and don't forget to share your chocolate!

Draw your own love monster and you could win one of five signed copies of Love Monster and the Last Chocolate by Rachel Bright! Send your child's drawing to childrens.books@theguardian.com with the subject line "How to Draw Love Monster" by 5pm on 30 April 2014 to be in with a chance! Continue reading...






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Orfeo by Richard Powers review Mahler, Messiaen and DNA

Guardian Books - Fri, 11/04/2014 - 08:00
Steven Poole enjoys an intelligent, noisy novel about a bioterrorist's love of music

Some years ago, a kindly editor asked me to review the latest novel by the celebrated American writer Richard Powers. Having attempted the first 30 or so pages numerous times, I eventually gave up and pleaded that I found the thing literally unreadable. But either Powers has mellowed since then or I have got a bit better at reading, because I had no difficulty in finishing Orfeo, and had quite some pleasure along the way.

Our protagonist is Peter Els, a 70-year- old composer, of some obscure renown among the cognoscenti. One day before the events of the novel's present-day timeline unfold, he reads about the DIY biology movement people tinkering with DNA in their garages and orders the appropriate equipment himself from the internet. Unfortunately, when the cops turn up for an unrelated reason, they become very suspicious on seeing Els's lifehacking toys. Then something happens and Els becomes a wanted man, a bioterrorist on the run.

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