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Writing and Language

1,000 BOOKS TO READ BEFORE YOU

1,000 BOOKS TO READ BEFORE YOU

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"The ultimate literary bucket list." --The Washington Post
"If there's a heaven just for readers, this is it." --O, The Oprah Magazine

Celebrate the pleasure of reading and the thrill of discovering new titles in an extraordinary book that's as compulsively readable, entertaining, surprising, and enlightening as the 1,000-plus titles it recommends.

Covering fiction, poetry, science and science fiction, memoir, travel writing, biography, children's books, history, and more, 1,000 Books to Read Before You Die ranges across cultures and through time to offer an eclectic collection of works that each deserve to come with the recommendation, You have to read this. But it's not a proscriptive list of the "great works"--rather, it's a celebration of the glorious mosaic that is our literary heritage.

Flip it open to any page and be transfixed by a fresh take on a very favorite book. Or come across a title you always meant to read and never got around to. Or, like browsing in the best kind of bookshop, stumble on a completely unknown author and work, and feel that tingle of discovery. There are classics, of course, and unexpected treasures, too. Lists to help pick and choose, like Offbeat Escapes, or A Long Climb, but What a View. And its alphabetical arrangement by author assures that surprises await on almost every turn of the page, with Cormac McCarthy and The Road next to Robert McCloskey and Make Way for Ducklings, Alice Walker next to Izaac Walton.

There are nuts and bolts, too--best editions to read, other books by the author, "if you like this, you'll like that" recommendations, and an interesting endnote of adaptations where appropriate. Add it all up, and in fact there are more than six thousand titles by nearly four thousand authors mentioned--a life-changing list for a lifetime of reading.

"948 pages later, you still want more!" --THE WASHINGTON POST

27 ESSENTIAL PRINCIPLES OF STO

27 ESSENTIAL PRINCIPLES OF STO

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"So often people ask me if there's a book on story I can recommend. This is the one. I can't recommend it highly enough."--Alexa Junge, writer/producer, Friends, Sex and the City, The West Wing

A master class of 27 lessons, drawn from 27 diverse narratives, for novelists, storytellers, filmmakers, graphic designers, and more. Author Daniel Joshua Rubin unlocks the secrets of what makes a story work, and then shows how to understand and use these principles in your own writing. The result is "an invaluable resource" (Publishers Weekly, starred review), offering priceless advice like escalate risk, with an example from Pulp Fiction. Write characters to the top of their intelligence, from the Eminem song "Stan." Earn transformations, from Alison Bechdel's Fun Home. Attack your theme, from The Brothers Karamazov. Insightful, encouraging, filled with attitude, and, as Booklist puts it, "perfect for any writer looking to ensure their stories operate and resonate at the top of their potential," this book gives contemporary storytellers of all kinds a lifeline of inspiration and relatable instruction.

"[The] new bible of lessons and practices for creators."--Library Journal

"Not a 'how-to, ' thank God, but a 'here's why.' Writers of all levels of experience will benefit from reading--and then rereading--this elegant exploration of the principles of storytelling."--Traci Letts, Pulitzer and Tony Award-winning playwright

"A godsend for storytellers in all media. It will help you decide what to write and then show you, step by step, how to tackle virtually any problem you face."--Anna D. Shapiro, Tony Award-winning director, August: Osage County


ART MATTERS

ART MATTERS

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A stunning and timely creative call-to-arms combining four extraordinary written pieces by Neil Gaiman illustrated with the striking four-color artwork of Chris Riddell.

"The world always seems brighter when you've just made something that wasn't there before."--Neil Gaiman

Drawn from Gaiman's trove of published speeches, poems, and creative manifestos, Art Matters is an embodiment of this remarkable multi-media artist's vision--an exploration of how reading, imagining, and creating can transform the world and our lives.

Art Matters bring together four of Gaiman's most beloved writings on creativity and artistry:

  • "Credo," his remarkably concise and relevant manifesto on free expression, first delivered in the wake of the Charlie Hebdo shootings
  • "Make Good Art," his famous 2012 commencement address delivered at the Philadelphia University of the Arts
  • "Making a Chair," a poem about the joys of creating something, even when words won't come
  • "On Libraries," an impassioned argument for libraries that illuminates their importance to our future and celebrates how they foster readers and daydreamers
  • Featuring original illustrations by Gaiman's longtime illustrator, Chris Riddell, Art Matters is a stirring testament to the freedom of ideas that inspires us to make art in the face of adversity, and dares us to choose to be bold.

    BABEL: AROUND THE WORLD IN TWE

    BABEL: AROUND THE WORLD IN TWE

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    English is the world language, except that most of the world doesn't speak it--only one in five people does. Dorren calculates that to speak fluently with half of the world's 7.4 billion people in their mother tongues, you would need to know no fewer than twenty languages. He sets out to explore these top twenty world languages, which range from the familiar (French, Spanish) to the surprising (Malay, Javanese, Bengali). Babel whisks the reader on a delightful journey to every continent of the world, tracing how these world languages rose to greatness while others fell away and showing how speakers today handle the foibles of their mother tongues. Whether showcasing tongue-tying phonetics or elegant but complicated writing scripts, and mind-bending quirks of grammar, Babel vividly illustrates that mother tongues are like nations: each has its own customs and beliefs that seem as self-evident to those born into it as they are surprising to the outside world.

    Among many other things, Babel will teach you why modern Turks can't read books that are a mere 75 years old, what it means in practice for Russian and English to be relatives, and how Japanese developed separate "dialects" for men and women. Dorren lets you in on his personal trials and triumphs while studying Vietnamese in Hanoi, debunks ten widespread myths about Chinese characters, and discovers that Swahili became the lingua franca in a part of the world where people routinely speak three or more languages. Witty, fascinating and utterly compelling, Babel will change the way you look at and listen to the world and how it speaks.

    BECAUSE INTERNET

    BECAUSE INTERNET

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    AN INSTANT NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER!!

    Named a Best Book of 2019 by TIME, Amazon, and The Washington Post

    A Wired Must-Read Book of Summer

    "Gretchen McCulloch is the internet's favorite linguist, and this book is essential reading. Reading her work is like suddenly being able to see the matrix." --Jonny Sun, author of everyone's a aliebn when ur a aliebn too

    Because Internet is for anyone who's ever puzzled over how to punctuate a text message or wondered where memes come from. It's the perfect book for understanding how the internet is changing the English language, why that's a good thing, and what our online interactions reveal about who we are.

    Language is humanity's most spectacular open-source project, and the internet is making our language change faster and in more interesting ways than ever before. Internet conversations are structured by the shape of our apps and platforms, from the grammar of status updates to the protocols of comments and @replies. Linguistically inventive online communities spread new slang and jargon with dizzying speed. What's more, social media is a vast laboratory of unedited, unfiltered words where we can watch language evolve in real time.

    Even the most absurd-looking slang has genuine patterns behind it. Internet linguist Gretchen McCulloch explores the deep forces that shape human language and influence the way we communicate with one another. She explains how your first social internet experience influences whether you prefer "LOL" or "lol," why sparkly tildes succeeded where centuries of proposals for irony punctuation had failed, what emoji have in common with physical gestures, and how the artfully disarrayed language of animal memes like lolcats and doggo made them more likely to spread.

    BIBLIOPHILE AN ILLUS MISCELLAN

    BIBLIOPHILE AN ILLUS MISCELLAN

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    Searching for perfect book lovers gifts? Rejoice! Bibliophile: An Illustrated Miscellany, is a love letter to all things bookish. Author Jane Mount brings literary people, places, and things to life through her signature and vibrant illustrations. It's a must-have for every book collection, and makes a wonderful literary gift for book lovers, writers, and more.

    Readers of Jane Mount's Bibliophile will delight in:

  • Touring the world's most beautiful bookstores
  • Testing their knowledge of the written word with quizzes
  • Finding their next great read in lovingly curated stacks of books
  • Sampling the most famous fictional meals
  • Peeking inside the workspaces of their favorite authors

  • A source of endless inspiration, literary facts and recommendations: Bibliophile is pure bookish joy and sure to enchant book clubbers, English majors, poetry devotees, aspiring writers, and any and all who identify as book lovers.

    If you have read or own: I'd Rather Be Reading: The Delights and Dilemmas of the Reading Life; The Written World: The Power of Stories to Shape People, History, and Civilization; or How to Read Literature Like a Professor: A Lively and Entertaining Guide to Reading Between the Lines; then you will want to read and own Jane Mount's Bibliophile.

    BIRD BY BIRD

    BIRD BY BIRD

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    "Thirty years ago my older brother, who was ten years old at the time, was trying to get a report on birds written that he'd had three months to write. It was due the next day. We were out at our family cabin in Bolinas, and he was at the kitchen table close to tears, surrounded by binder paper and pencils and unopened books on birds, immobilized by the hugeness of the task ahead. Then my father sat down beside him, put his arm around my brother's shoulder, and said, 'Bird by bird, buddy. Just take it bird by bird.'"

    "Superb writing advice... hilarious, helpful and provocative." -- "New York Times Book Review."

    "A warm, generous and hilarious guide through the writer's world and its treacherous swamps." -- "Los Angeles Times."

    "A gift to all of us mortals who write or ever wanted to write... sidesplittingly funny, patiently wise and alternately cranky and kind -- a reveille to get off our duffs and start writing "now," while we still can." -- "Seattle Times."

    BK ON THE BKSHELF

    BK ON THE BKSHELF

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    From the author of the highly praised The Pencil and The Evolution of Useful Things comes another captivating history of the seemingly mundane: the book and its storage.

    Most of us take for granted that our books are vertical on our shelves with the spines facing out, but Henry Petroski, inveterately curious engineer, didn't. As a result, readers are guided along the astonishing evolution from papyrus scrolls boxed at Alexandria to upright books shelved at the Library of Congress. Unimpeachably researched, enviably written, and charmed with anecdotes from Seneca to Samuel Pepys to a nineteenth-century bibliophile who had to climb over his books to get into bed, The Book on the Bookshelf is indispensable for anyone who loves books.

    BOOK

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    BURN AFTER WRITING

    BURN AFTER WRITING

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    The national bestseller

    "This book has made me laugh and cry, filled me with joy, and inspired me."
    -TikTok user camrynbanks

    The phenomenally popular secret journal filled with private prompts for personal reflection, self-exploration, and fueling creativity.

    Instagram, WhatsApp, Snapchat, TikTok, VSCO, YouTube...the world has not only become one giant feed, but also one giant confessional. Burn After Writing allows you to spend less time scrolling and more time self-reflecting. Through incisive questions and thought experiments, this journal helps you learn new things while letting others go. Imagine instead of publicly declaring your feelings for others, you privately declared your feelings for yourself?

    Help your heart by turning off the comments and muting the accounts that drive you into jealousy for a few moments a night. Whether you are going through the ups and downs of growing up, or know a few young people who are, you will flourish by finding free expression--even if through a few tears!

    Push your limits, reflect on your past, present, and future, and create a secret book that's about you, and just for you. This is not a diary, and there is no posting required. And when you're finished, toss it, hide it, or Burn After Writing.

    DAEMON VOICES

    DAEMON VOICES

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    From the internationally best-selling author of the His Dark Materials trilogy, a spellbinding journey into the secrets of his art--the narratives that have shaped his vision, his experience of writing, and the keys to mastering the art of storytelling.

    One of the most highly acclaimed and best-selling authors of our time now gives us a book that charts the history of his own enchantment with story--from his own books to those of Blake, Milton, Dickens, and the Brothers Grimm, among others--and delves into the role of story in education, religion, and science. At once personal and wide-ranging, Daemon Voices is both a revelation of the writing mind and the methods of a great contemporary master, and a fascinating exploration of storytelling itself.

    DEVOTION

    DEVOTION

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    "Devotion is short enough to devour at one enjoyable sitting and thought-provoking enough to deserve re-reading."--Suzi Feay, Financial Times

    "Devotion shows rather than tells what it means to give a life to writing. "--Katherine Cooper, Hyperallergic

    A work of creative brilliance may seem like magic--its source a mystery, its impact unexpectedly stirring. How does an artist accomplish such an achievement, connecting deeply with an audience never met? In this groundbreaking book, one of our culture's beloved artists offers a detailed account of her own creative process, inspirations, and unexpected connections.

    Patti Smith, a National Book Award-winning author, first presents an original and beautifully crafted tale of obsession--a young skater who lives for her art, a possessive collector who ruthlessly seeks his prize, a relationship forged of need both craven and exalted. She then takes us on a second journey, exploring the sources of her story. We travel through the South of France to Camus's house, and visit the garden of the great publisher Gallimard where the ghosts of Mishima, Nabokov, and Genet mingle. Smith tracks down Simone Weil's grave in a lonely cemetery, hours from London, and winds through the nameless Paris streets of Patrick Modiano's novels. Whether writing in a café or a train, Smith generously opens her notebooks and lets us glimpse the alchemy of her art and craft in this arresting and original book on writing.

    The Why I Write series is based on the Windham-Campbell Lectures, delivered annually to commemorate the awarding of the Donald Windham-Sandy M. Campbell Literature Prizes at Yale University.

    DRAFT NO 4

    DRAFT NO 4

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    The long-awaited guide to writing long-form nonfiction by the legendary author and teacher

    Draft No. 4 is a master class on the writer's craft. In a series of playful, expertly wrought essays, John McPhee shares insights he has gathered over his career and has refined while teaching at Princeton University, where he has nurtured some of the most esteemed writers of recent decades. McPhee offers definitive guidance in the decisions regarding arrangement, diction, and tone that shape nonfiction pieces, and he presents extracts from his work, subjecting them to wry scrutiny. In one essay, he considers the delicate art of getting sources to tell you what they might not otherwise reveal. In another, he discusses how to use flashback to place a bear encounter in a travel narrative while observing that "readers are not supposed to notice the structure. It is meant to be about as visible as someone's bones." The result is a vivid depiction of the writing process, from reporting to drafting to revising--and revising, and revising.

    Draft No. 4 is enriched by multiple diagrams and by personal anecdotes and charming reflections on the life of a writer. McPhee describes his enduring relationships with The New Yorker and Farrar, Straus and Giroux, and recalls his early years at Time magazine. Throughout, Draft No. 4 is enlivened by his keen sense of writing as a way of being in the world.

    Elements of Fiction

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    ELEMENTS OF STYLE

    ELEMENTS OF STYLE

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    You know the authors' names. You recognize the title. You've probably used this book yourself. This is The Elements of Style, the classic style manual, now in a fourth edition. The revisions to the new edition are purposely kept minimal in order to retain the book's unique tone, wit, and charm. A new Glossary of the grammatical terms used in the book provides a convenient reference for readers. The discussion of pronoun use is revised to reflect the contemporary concern with sexist language. In addition, there are numerous slight revisions in the book itself which implement this advice. A new Foreword by Roger Angell reminds readers that the advice of Strunk & White is as valuable today as when it was first offered.This book has conveyed the principles of English style to millions of readers. Use the fourth edition of "the little book" to make a big impact with writing.

    EX LIBRIS: 100+ BOOKS TO READ

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    HOW TO READ LITERATURE LIKE A

    HOW TO READ LITERATURE LIKE A

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    "I know of no other book that so vividly conveys what it's like to study with a great literature professor."

    --James Shapiro, Columbia University, author of Shakespeare and the Jews

    It is a common situation that is all too familiar to literature professors everywhere. When teaching a great work of literature, be it Lorraine Hansberry's A Raisin in the Sun (1959), Henry Fielding's Tom Jones (1741), or Toni Morrison's Beloved (1987), there is inevitably a moment in the classroom discussion of the book when the students confess to their professor that they do not "get it," they simply do not understand the inherent symbolism represented in the book of which the professor speaks of with such clarity and ease. As Thomas C. Foster states in his enlightening new book How to Read Literature Like a Professor, to the eager but frustrated literature student "it may seem at times as if the professor is either inventing interpretations out of thin air or else performing parlor tricks, a sort of analytical sleight of hand."

    Of course, literature professors have an obvious unfair advantage over their students: they are experienced readers who over the years have acquired an integral skill that Foster labels the "language of reading," something their students are only just beginning to understand. The "language of reading" is the grammar of literature, a set of conventions and patterns, codes and rules that are employed when dealing with a piece of writing. Quite simply, what does it mean when a fictional character embarks on a journey? Or gets caught in a torrential rainstorm? Or sits down to share a hearty meal with family and friends? In How to Read Literature Like a Professor, Thomas C. Foster presents a lively and entertaining guide for your students to learn the subtle clues that form the "language of reading," thereby transforming their reading experience to a new level that is ultimately more enriching, satisfying, and fun.

    Written in an informal, friendly style that encourages a freewheeling approach to literature, How to Read Literature Like a Professor focuses on the key literary basics that are the foundation of all great literature: major themes and motifs (seasons, quests, food, politics, geography, weather, vampires, violence, illness, and many more); literary models (Shakespeare's plays, Greek mythology, fairy tales, the Bible); and narrative devices (form, irony, plot, and symbol, among others). Throughout his book, Thomas C. Foster draws upon an eclectic mix of clever examples from all genres: novels, short stories, plays, poems, movies, television, rock and roll song lyrics, and even cartoon favorites such as the noted "literary heroes" Rocky and Bullwinkle and Bugs Bunny and Daffy Duck. To test the growth of the analytical skills of your students, Foster includes as a case study "The Garden Party" by Katherine Mansfield, offering his own incisive narrative comments plus examples of his literature students' impressions of the classic 1922 short story. In addition, Foster also includes a comprehensive list of novels, poems, and plays that your students may find enjoyable and challenging, plus offers suggestions for secondary sources on reading, interpretation, and criticism.

    In How to Read Literature Like a Professor, your students will come to clearly understand through Thomas C. Foster's witty and instructive style that a journey symbolizes a fictional character's heroic quest for self-knowledge, a torrential rainstorm can be cleansing or destructive to the character but it never just symbolizes that it is raining outside, and a meal may symbolize the religious ritual of the holy communion. How to Read Literature Like a Professor will inspire your literature students to unlock the deeper hidden truths of the literary texts whose many shades of symbolic meaning may initially be escaping their grasp.

    From page 47 in How to Read Literature Like a Professor

    "Connect these dots: garden, serpent, plagues, flood, parting of waters, loaves, fishes, forty days, betrayal, denial, slavery and escape, fatted calves, milk and honey. Ever read a book with all these things in them?

    Guess what? So have your writers. Poets. Playwrights. Screenwriters. Samuel L. Jackson's character in Pulp Fiction, in between all the swearwords (or that one swearword all those times) is a Vesuvius of biblical language, one steady burst of apocalyptic rhetoric and imagery. His linguistic behavior suggests that at some time Quentin Tarantino, the writer-director, was in contact with the Good Book, despite all his Bad Language. Why is that James Dean film called East of Eden? Because the author of the novel on which the film is based, John Steinbeck, knew his book of Genesis. To be east of Eden, as we shall see, is to be in a fallen world, which is the only kind we know and certainly the only kind there could be in a James Dean film."
    LANGUAGE INSTINCT

    LANGUAGE INSTINCT

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    In The Language Instinct, Steven Pinker, director of the Center for Cognitive Neuroscience at MIT, weaves his vast knowledge of language into a compelling theory: that language is a human instinct, wired into our brains by evolution like web spinning in spiders or sonar in bats.

    Along the way, The Language Instinct lucidly explains the important issues your students need to know about language: how it works, how it evolved, how children learn it, how the brain computes it, and how it changes.

    "A brilliant, witty, and altogether satisfying book."--New York Times Book Review

    Library: A Catalogue of Wonders

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    LOST WORDS

    LOST WORDS

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    In 2007, when a new edition of the Oxford Junior Dictionary -- widely used in schools around the world -- was published, a sharp-eyed reader soon noticed that around forty common words concerning nature had been dropped. Apparently they were no longer being used enough by children to merit their place in the dictionary. The list of these "lost words" included acorn, adder, bluebell, dandelion, fern, heron, kingfisher, newt, otter, and willow. Among the words taking their place were attachment, blog, broadband, bullet-point, cut-and-paste, and voice-mail. The news of these substitutions -- the outdoor and natural being displaced by the indoor and virtual -- became seen by many as a powerful sign of the growing gulf between childhood and the natural world.

    Ten years later, Robert Macfarlane and Jackie Morris set out to make a "spell book" that will conjure back twenty of these lost words, and the beings they name, from acorn to wren. By the magic of word and paint, they sought to summon these words again into the voices, stories, and dreams of children and adults alike, and to celebrate the wonder and importance of everyday nature. The Lost Words is that book -- a work that has already cast its extraordinary spell on hundreds of thousands of people and begun a grass-roots movement to re-wild childhood across Britain, Europe, and North America.

    MEANDER SPIRAL EXPLODE

    MEANDER SPIRAL EXPLODE

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    A Publishers Weekly Best Book of 2019

    One of Poets & Writers' Best Books for Writers

    "How lovely to discover a book on the craft of writing that is also fun to read. . . Alison asserts that the best stories follow patterns in nature, and by defining these new styles she offers writers the freedom to explore but with enough guidance to thrive." --Maris Kreizman, Vulture

    As Jane Alison writes in the introduction to her insightful and appealing book about the craft of writing: "For centuries there's been one path through fiction we're most likely to travel-- one we're actually told to follow--and that's the dramatic arc: a situation arises, grows tense, reaches a peak, subsides . . . But something that swells and tautens until climax, then collapses? Bit masculosexual, no? So many other patterns run through nature, tracing other deep motions in life. Why not draw on them, too?"

    W. G. Sebald's Emigrants was the first novel to show Alison how forward momentum can be created by way of pattern, rather than the traditional arc-- or, in nature, wave. Other writers of nonlinear prose considered in her "museum of specimens" include Nicholson Baker, Anne Carson, Marguerite Duras, Gabriel García Márquez, Jamaica Kincaid, Clarice Lispector, Susan Minot, David Mitchell, Caryl Phillips, and Mary Robison.

    Meander, Spiral, Explode is a singular and brilliant elucidation of literary strategies that also brings high spirits and wit to its original conclusions. It is a liberating manifesto that says, Let's leave the outdated modes behind and, in thinking of new modes, bring feeling back to experimentation. It will appeal to serious readers and writers alike.

    SHAPES OF NATIVE NONFICTION: C

    SHAPES OF NATIVE NONFICTION: C

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    Just as a basket's purpose determines its materials, weave, and shape, so too is the purpose of the essay related to its material, weave, and shape. Editors Elissa Washuta and Theresa Warburton ground this anthology of essays by Native writers in the formal art of basket weaving. Using weaving techniques such as coiling and plaiting as organizing themes, the editors have curated an exciting collection of imaginative, world-making lyric essays by twenty-seven contemporary Native writers from tribal nations across Turtle Island into a well-crafted basket.

    Shapes of Native Nonfiction features a dynamic combination of established and emerging Native writers, including Stephen Graham Jones, Deborah Miranda, Terese Marie Mailhot, Billy-Ray Belcourt, Eden Robinson, and Kim TallBear. Their ambitious, creative, and visionary work with genre and form demonstrate the slippery, shape-changing possibilities of Native stories. Considered together, they offer responses to broader questions of materiality, orality, spatiality, and temporality that continue to animate the study and practice of distinct Native literary traditions in North America.

    THROUGH THE LANGUAGE GLASS

    THROUGH THE LANGUAGE GLASS

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    A New York Times Editor's Choice
    An Economist Best Book of 2010
    A Financial Times Best Book of 2010
    A Library Journal Best Book of 2010

    The debate is ages old: Where does language come from? Is it an artifact of our culture or written in our very DNA? In recent years, the leading linguists have seemingly settled the issue: all languages are fundamentally the same and the particular language we speak does not shape our thinking in any significant way. Guy Deutscher says they're wrong. From Homer to Darwin, from Yale to the Amazon, and through a strange and dazzling history of the color blue, Deutscher argues that our mother tongues do indeed shape our experiences of the world. Audacious, delightful, and provocative, Through the Language Glass is destined to become a classic of intellectual discovery.

    After seeing the movie “Arrival” which became an instant favorite, I bought this book to explore one of the core ideas in that movie and was not disappointed. “Languages differ especially in what they must convey and not what they may convey,” explained anthropologist Franz Boas (pg 151). 

    So the Amazonian tribe, the Matses, who must convey exactly when and where they learned any piece of information is a great example of this. From colors to genders, this book explores how language alters worldview. 

    -Aaron

    VIEWPOINTS BK

    VIEWPOINTS BK

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    The Viewpoints is a technique of improvisation that grew out of the postmodern dance world. It was first articulated by choreographer Mary Overlie, who broke down the two dominant issues performers deal with--space and time--into six categories. Since that time, directors Anne Bogart and Tina Landau have expanded her notions and adapted them for actors to function together spontaneously and intuitively and to generate bold, theatrical work.

    The Viewpoints are a set of names given to certain principles of movement through time and space--they constitute a language for talking about what happens on stage. Coupling this with Composition, which is the practice of selecting and arranging the separate components of theatrical language into a cohesive work of art, provides theatre artists with an important new tool for creating and understanding their art form.

    Primarily intended for the many theatre artists who, in the last several years, have become intrigued with Viewpoints yet have had no single source to refer to in their investigations. It can also be used by anyone with a general interest in collaboration and the creative process, whether in art, business or daily life.

    Anne Bogart is Artistic Director of the SITI Company, which she founded with Japanese director Tadashi Suzuki in 1992. She is the recipient of two OBIE Awards and a Bessie Award, and is an associate professor at Columbia University. Her recent works include Alice's Adventures; Bobrauschenbergamerica; Small Lives, Big Dreams; Marathon Dancing; and The Baltimore Waltz.

    Tina Landau, noted director and playwright, whose original work includes Space (Time magazine 10 Best), Dream True (with composer Ricky Ian Gordon) and Floyd Collins (with composer Adam Guettel), which received the Lucille Lortel Award for Best Musical, an OBIE Award and seven Drama Desk nominations. She has been an ensemble member of the Steppenwolf Theatre Company since 1997.

    WHERE THE PAST BEGINS

    WHERE THE PAST BEGINS

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    From New York Times bestselling author Amy Tan, a memoir about finding meaning in life through acts of creativity and imagination

    In Where the Past Begins, bestselling author of The Joy Luck Club and The Valley of Amazement Amy Tan reveals the ways that our memories and personal experiences can inform our creative work. Drawing on her vivid impressions of her upbringing, Tan investigates the truths and inspirations behind her writing while illuminating how we all explore, confront, and process complex memories, especially half-forgotten ones from childhood.

    With candor, empathy, and humor, Tan sheds light on her own writing process, sharing her hard-won insights on the nature of creativity and inspiration while exploring the universal urge to examine truth through the workings of imagination--and what that imaginative world tells us about our own lives. Where the Past Begins is both a unique look into the mind of an extraordinary storyteller and an indispensable guide for writers, artists, and other creative thinkers.

    WORD BY WORD: THE SECRET LIFE

    WORD BY WORD: THE SECRET LIFE

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    "We think of English as a fortress to be defended, but a better analogy is to think of English as a child. We love and nurture it into being, and once it gains gross motor skills, it starts going exactly where we don't want it to go: it heads right for the goddamned electrical sockets."

    With wit and irreverence, lexicographer Kory Stamper cracks open the obsessive world of dictionary writing, from the agonizing decisions about what to define and how to do it to the knotty questions of ever-changing word usage.

    Filled with fun facts--for example, the first documented usage of "OMG" was in a letter to Winston Churchill--and Stamper's own stories from the linguistic front lines (including how she became America's foremost "irregardless" apologist, despite loathing the word), Word by Word is an endlessly entertaining look at the wonderful complexities and eccentricities of the English language.

    WRITING LIFE

    WRITING LIFE

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    The author of the Pulitzer Prize-winning Pilgrim at Tinker Creek illuminates what the writing process has been like for her.

    "For nonwriters, it is a glimpse into the trials and satisfactions of a life spent with words. For writers, it is a warm, rambling, conversation with a stimulating and extraordinarily talented colleague."--

    Chicago Tribune