Mosul’s Library Without Books

I could smell the acrid soot a block away. The library at the University of Mosul, among the finest in the Middle East, once had a million books, historic maps, and old manuscripts. Some dated back centuries, even a millennium, Mohammed Jasim, the library’s director, told me. Among its prize acquisitions was a Quran from […]

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The Secret History of the iPhone

The secret history of the invention that changed everything-and became the most profitable product in the world. Odds are that as you read this, an iPhone is within reach. But before Steve Jobs introduced us to “the one device,” as he called it, a cell phone was merely what you used to make calls on […]

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Nebula

Reviving 19th-century photographic processes, Spanish photographer Jacqueline Roberts traces the moment of limbo that marks the transition from childhood to adolescence. Nebula is a collection of portraits that capture the mist of psychological and emotional change in youth; a glimpse into their nascent sense of self… More here. These photos are remarkable, they really are.

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Yawn: Adventures in Boredom

It’s boredom, the subject of Yawn, a delightful and at times moving take on the oft-derided emotion and how we deal with it. Deftly wrought from interviews, research, and personal experience, Yawn follows Mary Mann’s search through history for the truth about boredom, spanning the globe, introducing a varied cast of characters. The Desert Fathers—fourth-century […]

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Men Without Women

A dazzling new collection of short stories–the first major new work of fiction from the beloved, internationally acclaimed, Haruki Murakami since his #1 best-selling Colorless Tsukuru Tazaki and His Years of Pilgrimage. Across seven tales, Haruki Murakami brings his powers of observation to bear on the lives of men who, in their own ways, find […]

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Platform Studies

There’s a great series of books by MIT called Platform Studies. Their book on the Wii was eye-opening; going all the way back to the original Gameboy (and the LCD Game and Watch before that) Nintendo’s philosophy of “lateral thinking with withered technology” has kept them in the realm of fun and reminded the industry […]

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The World’s Leading Scientists on the Search for Extraterrestrial Life

In these lively and fascinating essays, scientists from around the world weigh in on the latest advances in the search for intelligent life in the universe and discuss just what that might look like. Since 2000, science has seen a surge in data and interest on several fronts related to E.T. (extraterrestrials); A.I. (artificial intelligence); […]

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Sympathy

At twenty-three, Alice Hare leaves England for New York. She falls in love with Manhattan, and becomes fixated on Mizuko Himura, an intriguing Japanese writer whose life has strange parallels to her own. As Alice closes in on Mizuko, her ‘internet twin’, realities multiply and fact and fiction begin to blur. The relationship between the […]

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The Art and Business of Book Covers

As I read more online, and since my physical shelf space has dramatically shrunk, I wonder: what makes an eye-catching, effective book cover? Which books will make the final cut? Here are pieces I’ve enjoyed, new and old, about the art and business of book cover design… More at Longreads. Possibly more than in any […]

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