Tuesday News: Free digital content, best books in translation, little free library “war,” and “Voices and Visions”
Sorry about the news, folks – I have been sick for almost three weeks now and am only starting to feel human again. Hope you all have been enjoying a great holiday!
Fill Your New Kindle, iPad, iPhone, eReader with Free eBooks, Audio Books, Online Courses & More – Not only does this list include links to free books, but also to free movies, language courses, textbooks, and online courses.
Free eBooks: You have always wanted to read the great works. And now is your chance. When you dive into our Free eBooks collection you will find 800 great works by some classic writers (Dickens, Dostoevsky, Austen, Shakespeare and Tolstoy) and contemporary writers (Philip K. Dick, Isaac Asimov, and Kurt Vonnegut). The collection also gives you access to the 51-volume Harvard Classics.
If you’re an iPad/iPhone user, the download process is super easy. Just click the “iPad/iPhone” links and you’re good to go. Kindle and Nook users will generally want to click the “Kindle + Other Formats links” to download ebook files, but we’d suggest watching these instructional videos (Kindle – Nook) beforehand. – Open Culture
Get A Global Perpective With 5 Of The Year’s Best Books In Translation – Although there are only five books here, it’s a nice list, inclusive of books from Tahar Ben Jelloun (The Happy Marriage), Yoko Tawada (Memoirs of a Polar Bear), Juan José Saer (The Clouds), Juan Gabriel Vasquez (Reputations), and César Aira (Ema, The Captive).
There’s a great quote by Haruki Murakami: “If you only read the books that everyone else is reading, you can only think what everyone else is thinking.” This, of course, is two-fold, because it also means that if you want to think more broadly and gain a larger understanding of the world, you will seek out lesser known books, and from different places.
In 2016, small publishers like New Directions and Coffee House Press and lauded indie powerhouses like Melville House continue to bring many deserving international voices to the forefront. And in an election year that has many Americans wondering what in the bloody hell is going on around here, books from other parts of the globe can be a welcome treat to help counterbalance the chaos. – NPR
My Little Free Library war: How our suburban front-yard lending box made me hate books and fear my neighbors – While the villains of this story are supposed to be the people who take free books and don’t replenish the stock, I would suggest that the lesson is more that not everyone is cut out for literary charity. Because if you are thinking of your Little Free Library as a “business,” you’re already in a very different headspace.
Little Free Library has a seductive marketing slogan that’s carved into the top of every unit: “Take a Book; Return a Book.” Such a simple equation. And such wishful thinking. Take? Oh, absolutely. People are, in fact, really good at that part. For example there was the young mom who lifted her toddler up to the box, watching uncritically as he scooped up “Imaginary Homelands,” Salman Rushdie’s collection of criticism and essays. Which I’m sure he enjoyed.
When it comes to returning, people mean well. For example, I don’t doubt the sincerity of that young mom when she told her greedy little urchin, “We have to remember to come back soon and give them some books.” The problem is that, to borrow my favorite report card phrase, remembering, for most people, “remains an area of growth.” It’s not that I blame my (mooching) neighbors. Indeed, I, myself, seldom return books to the public library on time. And they fine you if you don’t. But since I don’t punish people (unless you count silent, withering judgment), I’ve got no leverage. The truth is laziness is just part of human nature. It’s what separates us from the beavers. – Salon
A Book that Makes the Meaningful Beautiful: The Voices & Visions Book – A really beautiful collection of socially conscious art (to call them “posters,” even though accurate, undersells their impact, I think).
The Voices & Visions Book gathers the work from three series produced by the Harold Grinspoon Foundation. The Masters Series uses quotes from such primary texts as the Torah (the Old Testament), the Talmud as well as Jewish thinkers and leaders throughout the ages such as Maimonides, Hillel and Rabbi Menachem Mendel of Kotzk. The Proudly Jewishseries gathers sayings by six contemporary Jewish leaders, thinkers and philanthropists that affirm Judaism’s core values. Finally, Frames of Mind provides inspirational quotes from a range of prominent 19th and 20th century Jewish thinkers and leaders.
Pairing some of the greatest graphic designers with quotes from Jewish sages throughout time, the resulting posters are meant to enliven the walls of Jewish organizations, synagogues, not-for-profits, foundations and community workspaces with bold graphics and provocative ideas recalling the richness of Jewish tradition and thought. In a sense the project is a manifestation of the Jewish concept Hiddur Mitzvah — that is, how making something beautiful enhances the good deed being done. – Forbes