It’s time for #FridayReads! Here’s what we’re working on:

Kat Chow: I’m reading The Empathy Exams by Leslie Jamison! (I recommend it. It’s a really thoughtful collection of essays.)

Founding Mother Susan Stamberg: When Books Went to War by Molly Guptill Manning — librarians sent thousands of free books to U.S. troops during WWII.

Tom Cole: On Highway 61: Music, Race, and the Evolution of Cultural Freedom by Dennis McNally.  A lot of folks around here know Dennis as the longtime publicist for the Grateful Dead.  But he’s got a PhD in American history and wrote an important book on Jack Kerouac.  Fascinating guy and an interesting book. 

Andrew Limbong: I picked up Jennifer Egan’s Emerald City.

Bob Mondello: I just re-read Raymond Carver’s short story “What We Talk About When We Talk About Love” because there’s a fascinatingly imaginative riff on it in Michael Keaton’s new movie Birdman.

And I’m halfway through book 3 of the Outlander series, because I clearly have an addictive personality.

How about you?

-Nicole

THE BEST book news item of the day:
One corner of the Internet just about combusted recently with news that the cult TV show Twin Peakswould be revived on Showtime in 2016, some 25 years after its most recent episode aired. Now, Peaksfans, prepare for more: Mark Frost, who created the show with David Lynch, is also writing a book that follows the show’s characters in the decades since last we saw them. The Secret Lives of Twin Peaks will be published shortly before the show returns to the air.
More book news here.
Image via angelswouldnthelpyou

THE BEST book news item of the day:

One corner of the Internet just about combusted recently with news that the cult TV show Twin Peakswould be revived on Showtime in 2016, some 25 years after its most recent episode aired. Now, Peaksfans, prepare for more: Mark Frost, who created the show with David Lynch, is also writing a book that follows the show’s characters in the decades since last we saw them. The Secret Lives of Twin Peaks will be published shortly before the show returns to the air.

More book news here.

Image via angelswouldnthelpyou

Image: Irish playwright, novelist, essayist, poet and wit Oscar Wilde, circa 1881. (Hulton Archive/Getty Images)
Today (Oct. 16) is the 160th anniversary of Oscar Wilde’s birth. And what better way to mark the occasion than with some of his wittiest material? Par exemple:
“It is absurd to divide people into good and bad. People are either charming or tedious.”
“The only thing to do with good advice is pass it on. It is never any use to oneself.”
“Quotation is a serviceable substitute for wit.”
And there’s lots more over on Mental Floss.

Image: Irish playwright, novelist, essayist, poet and wit Oscar Wilde, circa 1881. (Hulton Archive/Getty Images)

Today (Oct. 16) is the 160th anniversary of Oscar Wilde’s birth. And what better way to mark the occasion than with some of his wittiest material? Par exemple:

  • “It is absurd to divide people into good and bad. People are either charming or tedious.”
  • “The only thing to do with good advice is pass it on. It is never any use to oneself.”
  • “Quotation is a serviceable substitute for wit.”

And there’s lots more over on Mental Floss.

Over the years, the Ms. Marvel name has been used by several different characters, but reviewer Etelka Lehoczky says G. Willow Wilson and Adrian Alphona’s re-imagining is the most dramatic yet:

Their Ms. Marvel, Kamala Khan, is an utterly believable teenager, and the art is pure grownup. Everything from Kamala’s postmodern mindset (she’s a superheroine who reads superhero fanfiction) to Alphona’s elegant linework make this a comic for the discerning reader. 

Read Lehoczky’s full review of Ms. Marvel: No Normal here.

Over the years, the Ms. Marvel name has been used by several different characters, but reviewer Etelka Lehoczky says G. Willow Wilson and Adrian Alphona’s re-imagining is the most dramatic yet:

Their Ms. Marvel, Kamala Khan, is an utterly believable teenager, and the art is pure grownup. Everything from Kamala’s postmodern mindset (she’s a superheroine who reads superhero fanfiction) to Alphona’s elegant linework make this a comic for the discerning reader. 

Read Lehoczky’s full review of Ms. Marvel: No Normal here.

Image: Elmore Leonard was famously picky with his words — but not with his papers. (Vince Bucci/Getty Images)
Today’s top book news item:
In a bit of a twist, the archives of the late, great crime novelist Elmore Leonard have come to rest at the University of South Carolina, the school announced Wednesday. Leonard, long known as the “Dickens of Detroit,” chose Columbia, S.C., over the Motor City to house his collection after visiting the school last year, just months before his passing.
 It was Leonard’s tour of the university’s literary archives — a walk among the original manuscripts of writers such as Ernest Hemingway and George V. Higgins — that persuaded him. And the choice came quickly: According to his son, Leonard made his decision on the flight home to Detroit.

Image: Elmore Leonard was famously picky with his words — but not with his papers. (Vince Bucci/Getty Images)

Today’s top book news item:

In a bit of a twist, the archives of the late, great crime novelist Elmore Leonard have come to rest at the University of South Carolina, the school announced Wednesday. Leonard, long known as the “Dickens of Detroit,” chose Columbia, S.C., over the Motor City to house his collection after visiting the school last year, just months before his passing.

It was Leonard’s tour of the university’s literary archives — a walk among the original manuscripts of writers such as Ernest Hemingway and George V. Higgins — that persuaded him. And the choice came quickly: According to his son, Leonard made his decision on the flight home to Detroit.

npr:

skunkbear:

All those little lines are jokes! ALL THE JOKES! (at least the ones I noticed)

Last year Jeremy Bowers, Danny DeBelius, Christopher Groskopf, Aly Hurt and I made a very silly interactive graphic exhaustively tabulating the running jokes in Arrested Development, along with their connections:

http://apps.npr.org/arrested-development/

And wouldn’t you know it, someone just put in a book — giving me an excuse to put in on tumblr. So if you’d like to see how many times GOB says “I’ve made a huge mistake,” check out the graphic.

I’ve made a huge mistake. And my mistake is not seeing this infographic until now. -Kate

NPR’s Arrested Development app made its way into a book! The Best American Infographics 2014 by Gareth Cook and Nate Silver is out this week.

Congratulations skunkbear and @nprviz!

Today on Cool Stuff in the Mail: Camera Crazy by Christopher D. Salyers and Buzz Poole is an encyclopedic celebration of toy cameras. As Salyers writes, “The most important aspect of the toy camera is the unexpected fun you can have with it.” The book has pages and pages of colorful toy cams cataloged by type (“Novelty Cameras” includes a KFC Chicken Camera and a Nickelodeon Photo Blaster) or cultural movement (Lomography & the Analog Movement, Japanese Camera Culture). There are even some philosophical tidbits on aesthetics and photography. I’ll leave you with one:

It is easy, and fair, to be critical of how the proliferation of photography has forever changed our relationship with the image and how the image informs perspectives of reality. … Toy cameras and the images they produce unapologetically call attention to the schism between object and image, letting us forget about mimetic principles and shutter speeds to enjoy the simple act of creation, triggered by an individual who wants to add something new to the world.

-Intern Bita

I’m sort of conflicted about this: I was at Rehoboth Beach over the weekend and spotted this rack of pretty clearly pirated The Fault In Our Stars shirts at a beachside T-shirt shop. So, piracy, seriously, BOOOOO — but on the other hand, as a book person I can’t help but be enormously excited that a good book has penetrated the popular consciousness enough to be ripped off by beachside shirt shops.
Mr. John Green himself may disagree with me, though, and I am TOTALLY COOL WITH THAT.
— Petra

I’m sort of conflicted about this: I was at Rehoboth Beach over the weekend and spotted this rack of pretty clearly pirated The Fault In Our Stars shirts at a beachside T-shirt shop. So, piracy, seriously, BOOOOO — but on the other hand, as a book person I can’t help but be enormously excited that a good book has penetrated the popular consciousness enough to be ripped off by beachside shirt shops.

Mr. John Green himself may disagree with me, though, and I am TOTALLY COOL WITH THAT.

— Petra

Clariel is out today!!!! Everyone in this office knows I’m a giant Garth Nix fan, possibly because I’ve made them ALL read the Old Kingdom series.
Our reviewer Alaya Dawn Johnson makes the valid point that this may not be the best jumping-on point for new fans (start with Sabriel), but, she says, Nix’s command of the genre is “clear and thrilling.”

He understands the darkness that is part of every hero’s journey, that at some point along her path her greatest enemy will be herself. So many great fantasy narratives play with the temptation of power and anger — generally, so that the hero can overcome them. But what if she doesn’t? What if she says yes?

Go forth and read!
— Petra

Clariel is out today!!!! Everyone in this office knows I’m a giant Garth Nix fan, possibly because I’ve made them ALL read the Old Kingdom series.

Our reviewer Alaya Dawn Johnson makes the valid point that this may not be the best jumping-on point for new fans (start with Sabriel), but, she says, Nix’s command of the genre is “clear and thrilling.”

He understands the darkness that is part of every hero’s journey, that at some point along her path her greatest enemy will be herself. So many great fantasy narratives play with the temptation of power and anger — generally, so that the hero can overcome them. But what if she doesn’t? What if she says yes?

Go forth and read!

— Petra