July 29, 2013 |
Near the end of Reza Aslan's strange, 10-minute television exchange with Fox News, the author of "Zealot: The Life and Times of Jesus of Nazareth," gives voice to a thought that's entered the mind of many an author while being interviewed: “I'm afraid it seems like you haven't read my book.” The interview, now circulating widely on social media sites, has helped propel the book to No. 1 on the Amazon bestseller list Monday. Aslan is a Muslim scholar of religion and a one-time Christian convert who's just published a popular book about the life of Jesus.
July 3, 2013 |
If Wednesday's Google Doodle looks a little buggy, if you will, that's because it's meant to celebrate Franz Kafka, the “Metamorphosis” author who would have turned 130 today. Born on July 3, 1883, in Prague, Kafka spent much of his life as a law clerk in that city. He died in 1924 a virtual unknown -- he even told his friend Max Brod to destroy his unpublished novels, which included “The Trial” and “The Castle.” Luckily, Brod failed to comply with his requests. The Google Doodle alludes to the famous opening of “ The Metamorphosis ,” which reads: “One morning, when Gregor Samsa woke from troubled dreams, he found himself transformed in his bed into a horrible vermin.” With his ineffable sense of the tragic and absurd, Kafka would have likely been skeptical of the Internet, a tool meant to foster human proximity that has most of us spending days in front of a screen.
July 2, 2013 |
How many hours a week do you read? If it's 10 hours or more, you might try moving to India -- you'll be among your people. According to this infographic, Indians spend more time reading books than the residents of any other nation. Each week, the average Indian reads for 10 hours, 42 minutes. Americans read books only about half that amount: 5 hours and 42 minutes. Interestingly, Americans and Germans spend exactly the same amount of time reading. The big reading nations, after India, are Thailand (9 hours, 24 minutes)
July 1, 2013 |
Neil Gaiman is busy. Having just published his first novel for adults in years, “Ocean at the End of the Lane,” the fantasy master is returning to the “Sandman” series on which his reputation at least partly rests, Vertigo, an imprint of DC Entertainment, announced Monday morning. “The Sandman: Overture #1,” to be written by Gaiman and illustrated by J.H. Williams III, will be released on Oct. 30. According to a press release from Vertigo - which published the original “Sandman” series - “Overture” will “reveal a previously untold story in 'The Sandman' mythos.” "This is the one story that we never got to tell.
June 13, 2013 |
AUSTIN, Texas - In Neil Gaiman's passport case, on a scrap of paper beside his green card, are two verses of an unfinished work called "Pirate Stew. " "I assume it's for kids," Gaiman said. "But it's only two verses... and it just sits there, and every time I pull out my passport, I feel guilty that I haven't done anything. One day, I will pull out my passport, get on a plane and go, 'Ya know, I don't have anything to do now for the next seven hours. I'll write 'Pirate Stew.'" It's hard to imagine the British-born Gaiman with time to kill - as a writer, he's almost absurdly prolific.
June 6, 2013 |
Neil Gaiman has a message for graduates: “Make Good Art.” That's the point of his stirring 2012 commencement address at Philadelphia's University of the Arts, widely disseminated across the Internet, which is like David Foster Wallace's “This is Water” for a different generation, a call for self-expression and the courage to invent your own life. These, of course, are classic tropes to share at a graduation; I think of the 2005 Stanford University commencement at which Steve Jobs warned , “Your time is limited, so don't waste it living someone else's life.” And yet, Gaiman's speech is inspiring not because it offers any cautions, but rather because it eschews the whole idea of caution, suggesting instead that it's in our best interest to break - or even better, to ignore - the rules.