Rowan Jacobsen’s Apples of Uncommon Character has apples, apples and more apples – 123 varieties, in fact. Team member Beth says it feels kind of like a Facebook for fruit: “profile photos taken from the most flattering angle, and a rundown of basic biographical data — origin, appearance, flavor, texture, season, use and region. (Of course, there’s some good gossip, too — like how Golden Delicious ‘sired’ Jonagold, Mutsu, Gala, Pink Lady and many more).”

Other things Beth learned while reading the book: which apple variety inspired Isaac Newton’s theory of gravity, and which one inspired Rambo. Read Beth’s review of the book here.

Images via Bloomsbury

Image: The first edition of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory and the original hero Golden Egg from the film Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory on display in Los Angeles. (Frederic J. Brown/AFP/Getty Images)
Here’s a lunchtime reading suggestion: Over the weekend, The Guardian posted a previously unpublished chapter of Roald Dahl’s Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, which turns 50 this month. It’s pretty short and even comes with a drawing by Sir Quentin Blake, who’s illustrated bunches of Dahl’s books.
 According to The Guardian:

In the chapter Charlie Bucket – accompanied by his mother, not his sprightly grandfather – and the other children are led into the Vanilla Fudge Room, where they face the sinister prospect of the Pounding and Cutting Room. …
The chapter reveals the original larger cast of characters, and their fates, as well as the original names of some of those who survived into later drafts. Dahl originally intended to send Charlie into the chocolate factory with eight other children, but the number was slimmed down to four.

The paper reports that the chapter was cut because it was “deemed too wild, subversive and insufficiently moral for the tender minds of British children.”

Image: The first edition of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory and the original hero Golden Egg from the film Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory on display in Los Angeles. (Frederic J. Brown/AFP/Getty Images)

Here’s a lunchtime reading suggestion: Over the weekend, The Guardian posted a previously unpublished chapter of Roald Dahl’s Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, which turns 50 this month. It’s pretty short and even comes with a drawing by Sir Quentin Blake, who’s illustrated bunches of Dahl’s books.

 According to The Guardian:

In the chapter Charlie Bucket – accompanied by his mother, not his sprightly grandfather – and the other children are led into the Vanilla Fudge Room, where they face the sinister prospect of the Pounding and Cutting Room. …

The chapter reveals the original larger cast of characters, and their fates, as well as the original names of some of those who survived into later drafts. Dahl originally intended to send Charlie into the chocolate factory with eight other children, but the number was slimmed down to four.

The paper reports that the chapter was cut because it was “deemed too wild, subversive and insufficiently moral for the tender minds of British children.”

A new Haruki Murakami book is coming out in December. The 96-page The Strange Library tells the story of a boy who stops at his local library and encounters an old man who holds him captive and forces him to read books, planning to eat his brain in order to absorb his knowledge. With his fellow captives, a girl with some unusual talents and a sheep-man, the boy tries to escape. It will be translated from Japanese by Ted Goossen and published by Knopf.
More book news here.
Image via Knopf

A new Haruki Murakami book is coming out in December. The 96-page The Strange Library tells the story of a boy who stops at his local library and encounters an old man who holds him captive and forces him to read books, planning to eat his brain in order to absorb his knowledge. With his fellow captives, a girl with some unusual talents and a sheep-man, the boy tries to escape. It will be translated from Japanese by Ted Goossen and published by Knopf.

More book news here.

Image via Knopf

How, how has it taken so long for me to discover the awesomeness that is the Piebrarian? Avid reader and baker Hanna posts literature-inspired pie recipes every other Friday, complete with spoiler-free synopses and analyses of how her recipes relate to the chosen book — like the Bennet Sisters Tea Tart pictured here. 

Chocolate ganache infused with lavender and earl grey in a lemon sweet pastry crust, inspired by Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen.
The chocolate ganache filling has five ingredients, one for each of the Bennet sisters. Lydia, decadent and silly, is the chocolate. Kitty, barely there (but still important), is the vanilla. Jane, sweet and wholesome, is the lavender. Lizzy, strong and a little bitter, is the earl grey tea. And Mary, sensible and slightly bland, holds it all together as the cream.

You can even browse pie recipes by canon and author — are you in the mood for cult classics? Comedies of manners? Neil Gaiman?
Now, if you’ll pardon me, it’s a perfect weekend to bake some Princess Bride-inspired blackberry-peach pie.

And just because I can’t resist … WHEN COME BACK BRING PIE!!

— Petra

How, how has it taken so long for me to discover the awesomeness that is the Piebrarian? Avid reader and baker Hanna posts literature-inspired pie recipes every other Friday, complete with spoiler-free synopses and analyses of how her recipes relate to the chosen book — like the Bennet Sisters Tea Tart pictured here. 

Chocolate ganache infused with lavender and earl grey in a lemon sweet pastry crust, inspired by Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen.

The chocolate ganache filling has five ingredients, one for each of the Bennet sisters. Lydia, decadent and silly, is the chocolate. Kitty, barely there (but still important), is the vanilla. Jane, sweet and wholesome, is the lavender. Lizzy, strong and a little bitter, is the earl grey tea. And Mary, sensible and slightly bland, holds it all together as the cream.

You can even browse pie recipes by canon and author — are you in the mood for cult classics? Comedies of manners? Neil Gaiman?

Now, if you’ll pardon me, it’s a perfect weekend to bake some Princess Bride-inspired blackberry-peach pie.

And just because I can’t resist … WHEN COME BACK BRING PIE!!

— Petra

Image via Alberto E. Rodriguez/Getty Images for USC Shoah Foundation
Today in Book News: Bruce Springsteen is writing a children’s book about a bank-robbing baby called Outlaw Pete, based on his song of the same name. “Outlaw Pete is essentially the story of a man trying to outlive and outrun his sins,” Springsteen said in a statement. The song “Outlaw Pete” was inspired by the 1950 children’s book Brave Cowboy Bill. 
Also today, Quyen Nguyenhas an interview with Tobias Wolff in the Boston Review. Asked about the relationship between literature and politics, Wolff said: “I think it is a political act to force someone to enter the mind, the spirit, the perspective of another human being.”
And the DC Public Library has hired a social worker to help homeless patrons. Social worker Jean Badalamenti told thePost, "Because the libraries tend to be gathering places for people without homes, it’s important to be part of the citywide conversation about how we’re going to address homelessness, health services and moving people out of homelessness."
Read more here.

Image via Alberto E. Rodriguez/Getty Images for USC Shoah Foundation

Today in Book NewsBruce Springsteen is writing a children’s book about a bank-robbing baby called Outlaw Pete, based on his song of the same name. “Outlaw Pete is essentially the story of a man trying to outlive and outrun his sins,” Springsteen said in a statement. The song “Outlaw Pete” was inspired by the 1950 children’s book Brave Cowboy Bill

Also today, Quyen Nguyenhas an interview with Tobias Wolff in the Boston Review. Asked about the relationship between literature and politics, Wolff said: “I think it is a political act to force someone to enter the mind, the spirit, the perspective of another human being.”

And the DC Public Library has hired a social worker to help homeless patrons. Social worker Jean Badalamenti told thePost, "Because the libraries tend to be gathering places for people without homes, it’s important to be part of the citywide conversation about how we’re going to address homelessness, health services and moving people out of homelessness."

Read more here.

Day OFFICIALLY made: tor.com has republished an Imperial Radch story by Ann Leckie, called “Night’s Slow Poison.” If you can’t wait for Ancillary Sword to come out, here’s a chance to dip your toes back into her amazing world.  
From tor.com: “Night’s Slow Poison” is from the same setting as Ancillary Justice, and tells a rich, claustrophobic story of a galactic voyage that forces one guardsmen to confront his uneasy family history through the lens of a passenger with his lost lover’s eyes.

The Jewel of Athat was mainly a cargo ship, and most spaces were narrow and cramped. Like the Outer Station, where it was docked, it was austere, its decks and bulkheads scuffed and dingy with age. Inarakhat Kels, armed, and properly masked, had already turned away one passenger, and now he stood in the passageway that led from the station to the ship, awaiting the next…

Read the rest here.
— Petra

Day OFFICIALLY made: tor.com has republished an Imperial Radch story by Ann Leckie, called “Night’s Slow Poison.” If you can’t wait for Ancillary Sword to come out, here’s a chance to dip your toes back into her amazing world.  

From tor.com: “Night’s Slow Poison” is from the same setting as Ancillary Justice, and tells a rich, claustrophobic story of a galactic voyage that forces one guardsmen to confront his uneasy family history through the lens of a passenger with his lost lover’s eyes.

The Jewel of Athat was mainly a cargo ship, and most spaces were narrow and cramped. Like the Outer Station, where it was docked, it was austere, its decks and bulkheads scuffed and dingy with age. Inarakhat Kels, armed, and properly masked, had already turned away one passenger, and now he stood in the passageway that led from the station to the ship, awaiting the next…

Read the rest here.

— Petra

“What interests me about fiction is, in part, its flickering edge between realism and where a tear in the fabric of a story lets in some other sort of light.”

Ben Lerner

Today in Book News, Ben Lerner talks to our buddy Parul Sehgal about writing fiction, former Poet Laureate Robert Haas wins the $100,000 Wallace Stevens prize for “outstanding and proven mastery in the art of poetry” from the Academy of American Poets, and a new study finds that female journalists get disproportionate amounts of abuse online.

Read more here.

“Perhaps you have just ended a blistering affair. Perhaps you have just discovered your significant other’s blistering affair. Perhaps you are contemplating embarking on one – or ejecting from one. These three books will help.”

Randon Billings Noble, Three Books to Get Over an Affair” (via millionsmillions)

Pairs nicely with this list (circa 2009, so kind of funky looking) of three books about illicit love.

— Nicole