January 2010 links: Border crossing, bestsellers, Cinderella, and more

* Bestsellers of the imagined past. This is hilarious. Hat tip to Rachel at Dystel & Gooderich. Samples from the fiction side:

A Whiff of Gingham and Pecorino, by Jennifer Austin-Meyers. (Osprey, $19.95.) On a hilltop villa in Sicily, an American divorcee finds new love with a local cheesemaker involved in a blood feud.

Indict to Unnerve, by Vic Chaster. (Putnam, $24.95.) A prosecutor is the target of an investigation spawned by the daughter of an international assassin he paralyzed in a golf accident.

* I wonder if this is true: The Avatar Effect: China’s moviegoers see a story about private property, not race. Note that it comes from the WSJ’s editorial page (which isn’t very good, or interested in objective arguments) as opposed to its news page (which is).

* Terrorists hurt America most by making it close its borders. In other words, the United States is doing more harm through its reaction to terrorism than the terrorism itself has done, in part because terrorism is highly visible, reported, and immediately obvious while the effects of making border crossing more difficult are diffuse and too seldom discussed.

* The Secret of A Separate Peace.

* Prisons or colleges? California “chooses” prisons because of structural relating to prison guards’ unions, politics, and laws, all of which interact with one another. See how at the link.

* “15th Century Greenland has something in common with IBM in 1980: a belief that historically successful behavior will succeed in the future.”

* Books You Can Live Without.

* Prohibition: A Cautionary Tale.

* The e-book wars of 2010 are on.

* Cinderella in Autumn: what happens when Prince Charming’s wandering eye combines with the ravages of time we all experience?

* The top ebooks Amazon is “selling” appear to be free. Remember to take all statistics regarding Kindle sales and so forth with a mountain, rather than a grain, of salt.

* Why you should use the revolving doors.

* Why public domain works matter.

2 responses

  1. A great set of links, Jake. I passed “Books You Can Live Without” along to my wife. The revolving door thing — I’ve been saying that for years. It’s nice to see it quantified, and who better than MIT to do it? Furthermore, I’ve had friends who’ll grant that revolving doors save energy, but have then asked me why they should care about helping cut down so-and-so’s energy bill. My answer: every joule of energy you save for anyone reduces the energy costs to everyone. So use those revolving doors, people! :)


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