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Some of that explosive book on Trump will be proved wrong. Here’s what won’t.

Donald and Melania Trump return to Washington DC on January 1.Image: Manuel Balce Ceneta/AP/REX/Shutterstock It’s safe to say that Fire and Fury, which lived up to its title in the way it hit bookstores Friday, is not the most rigorously fact-checked book in history.  The author of the tome that has set Washington ablaze, Michael Wolff, has a reputation from his New York media columnist days for “reconstructing” conversations with his subjects inaccurately. And it doesn’t seem the old dog has learned any new tricks this time around.  SEE ALSO:…

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‘The difficulty is the point’: teaching spoon-fed students how to really read

When the logic of capitalism means universities are run as businesses, much is lost. Reclaiming literature is crucial to understanding the times we live in Ive recently finished marking 40-odd exams, mostly written by people between the ages of 18 and 21. In them our students had to answer questions about aspects of literature, such as free indirect speech or genre. They also had to write an essay of 1,000 words, on the work of Helen Garner, Christos Tsiolkas, Judith Wright, Jack Davis or Tim Winton. My students are, for…

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Zora Neale Hurston study of last survivor of US slave trade to be published

Due in May, Barracoon is based on the novelists 1931 interviews with Cudjo Lewis, who had arrived in the US in 1860 A previously unpublished work by Zora Neale Hurston, in which the author of Their Eyes Were Watching God recounts the true story of the last known survivor of the Atlantic slave trade, is set to be released next year, more than half a century after her death in 1960. Barracoon is based on the three months Hurston spent in Plateau, Alabama, in 1931, interviewing Cudjo Lewis, who had…

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Hillary Clinton meets Mary Beard: I would love to have told Trump: Back off, you creep

The presidential candidate and the classicist discuss winners and losers Hillary Clinton is sequestered in a hotel room, giving a big television interview, when Mary Beard arrives at Claridges. While she waits outside on the sofa, though, it quickly becomes clear that the star of this conversation is the classicist. One by one, members of Clintons staff approach in reverent tones to declare her their heroine. Even a passing cameraman stops to pay court and say: I love you! Does this happen to Beard all the time? Yes, she laughs,…

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Incredible Ocean of Books Library Opens in China with Space for 1.2m Titles

Design by MVRDV Photograph © Ossip van Duivenbode   Incredible ‘Ocean of Books’ Library Opens in China with Space for 1.2m TitlesMVRDV in collaboration with local architects TUPDI has completed the Tianjin Binhai Library, a 33,700m2 (362,744 sq ft) cultural centre featuring a luminous spherical auditorium around which floor-to-ceiling bookcases cascade. The undulating bookshelf is the building’s main spatial device, and is used both to frame the space and to create stairs, seating, the layered ceiling and even louvres on the façade. Tianjin Binhai Library was designed and built in…

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Guy Finds Joke Book from 1940 with a Hitler Reference

Reddit user dragonxp1 recently stumbled across a joke book from 1940 entitled, 10,000 Jokes, Toasts, and Stories, and found this Hitler joke (#5524): Hitler went to a fortuneteller and asked her, “On what day will I die?” The seeress assured him that he would die on a Jewish holiday. “Why are you so sure of that?” demanded Hitler.   “Any day,” she replied, “on which you die will be a Jewish holiday.” [via draonxp1 on reddit] Read more: http://twistedsifter.com/2017/10/hitler-joke-from-1940-book/

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‘To Kill a Mockingbird’ gets taken off a reading list for ‘making people uncomfortable’

So uncomfortable.Image: Mark Lennihan/AP/REX/Shutterstock To Kill a Mockingbird has a long history atop banned books lists, but here’s a new reason: the 20th century classic about racism in small-town Alabama “makes people uncomfortable.”  The Biloxi School District in Mississippi removed the novel by Harper Lee from an eighth-grade reading list after receiving complaints about the book’s language, the Biloxi Sun Herald reported.  “There were complaints about it. There is some language in the book that makes people uncomfortable, and we can teach the same lesson with other books,” school board…

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The British Library Has Fully Digitized 570 Pages of Leonardo da Vincis Visionary Notebooks

The British Library has fully digitized one of Leonardo da Vinci’s visionary notebooks, ‘The Codex Arundel’, and anyone is free to view and browse the prized historical artifact in amazing high-resolution detail. The British Library has uploaded 570 high-res images of the notebook, which features a collection of papers written in Italian by Leonardo da Vinci (b. 1452, d. 1519), in his characteristic left-handed mirror-writing (reading from right to left), including diagrams, drawings and brief texts, covering a broad range of topics in science and art, as well as personal…

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It’s a very special day for Harry Potter fans. Here’s why.

Still waiting for our owlImage: WARNER BROS. Welcome to our weekly series “Cry of the Week,” in which we highlight whatever moment made us ugly cry on our couches the most in the past seven days.  Today, Sept. 1, 2017, was the day that a wrinkled Harry James Potter stood on platform 9 3/4, waving goodbye to his three children as they rode off to school on the Hogwarts Express.   And we’re still not done crying about it. Set a full nineteen years after Harry’s defeat of Voldemort, the…

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Alan Rickman: 10 key performances

From the Sheriff of Nottingham to Severus Snape, Alan Rickman played some of the most memorable roles cinema had to offer. Here are 10 of the best After graduating from drama school in 1974, Rickman pursued a successful career in theatre, culminating in an award-winning performance as Valmont in the premiere run of Les Liaisons Dangereuses in 1985. Before that, however, he had made his mark on screen, a Bafta for best supporting actor. Close My Eyes Another change of pace for Rickman, taking top billing over Clive Owen and…

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Neil Gaiman: Why our future depends on libraries, reading and daydreaming

A lecture explaining why using our imaginations, and providing for others to use theirs, is an obligation for all citizens Its important for people to tell you what side they are on and why, and whether they might be biased. A declaration of members interests, of a sort. So, I am going to be talking to you about reading. Im going to tell you that libraries are important. Im going to suggest that reading fiction, that reading for pleasure, is one of the most important things one can do. Im…

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100 best nonfiction books: No 80 – The Natural History and Antiquities of Selborne by Gilbert White (1789)

This curates beautiful and lucid observations on the wildlife of a Hampshire village inspired generations of naturalists The Rev Gilbert White was that now extinct species, the unmarried Oxbridge don in holy orders. A lifelong curate and a fellow of Oriel College, White devoted himself to observing flora and fauna at large in the natural world, a sequence of observations for which he became world famous. In 1755, after the death of his father, he returned to the family home in Selborne, settling for comfortable obscurity in a remote Hampshire…

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Crimes of the Father by Thomas Keneally review something rotten in Catholicism

The Booker prize winners powers remain undimmed, as he shines a light on institutionalised abuse, and denial, in the Catholic church, It is over half a century since a young the church turns a blind eye. Psychologist and monk Father Frank Docherty is, his younger brother says (and no doubt speaking for the author), the real bloody deal as far as priests go. Exiled by his home cardinal in Sydney as a young priest in the 1970s, on account of his radicalism, opposition to apartheid and the Vietnam war, he…

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Why we fell for clean eating

The long read: The oh-so-Instagrammable food movement has been thoroughly debunked but it shows no signs of going away. The real question is why we were so desperate to believe it In the spring of 2014, Jordan Younger noticed that her hair was falling out in clumps. Not cool was her reaction. At the time, Younger, 23, believed herself to be eating the healthiest of all possible diets. She was a gluten-free, sugar-free, oil-free, grain-free, legume-free, plant-based raw vegan. As The Blonde Vegan, Younger was a wellness blogger in New…

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Henry David Thoreau by Laura Dassow Walls review radical, unsettling, relevant

A superb new biography of the seer of Walden Pond reconsiders his reputation as tax-refuser, recluse, environmentalist and writer In March 1845, Henry David Thoreau borrowed an axe and set off for Walden Pond, near his home in Concord, Massachusetts. He was going to build a hut, and he knew exactly where: on a spot near the water, backed by a pine grove and fronted by smaller pines and a chestnut tree. Before stopping for his first lunch break, Thoreau had cut and trimmed enough of these pines to make…

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