Archive for the 'Books and Reading' Category

“There were hundreds of letters, stretching over four years of war and beyond.”

Thursday, December 7th, 2017

The Washington Post: Brothers in arms. “Four siblings wrote hundreds of letters to each other during World War II. The story they tell of service, sacrifice and trauma was hidden away in an abandoned storage unit — until now.”

“We have been called out on air raid alarms the last few days, but you know as much about what was happening as I do, the radio is the only dope we get as well as you about them Japs and nasty Germans. Bastards are what they are, raiding without warnings, sneaking up at night and such wrong methods of a clean fight.”

There’s also a related podcast called Letters From War:

“Bringing the letters to life are modern U.S. military veterans. At key moments in the story, we’ll talk to them about how these letters compare to their own experiences — what’s universal about war and what’s changed. How they felt reading the words of these men who fought some 70 years ago. And why everyone who picks up these letters feels like the Eyde brothers become a part of their family.”

So far, a short introduction and the first episode have been published.

See also MetaFilter: Letters From WWII found in a storage locker.

“Davis has made it his business to meet people who hate him.” (The Washington Post)

Wednesday, December 6th, 2017

Love + Radio: The Silver Dollar – Daryl Davis : Musician, Hate Group Connoisseur. (podcast, 40min) and How to Argue – Daryl Davis, part 2 (podcast, 40min).

Daryl Davis is a musician and the author of the book Klan-destine Relationships.

Als Hitler das rosa Kaninchen stahl

Wednesday, November 29th, 2017

Judith Kerr had to flee Nazi Germany as a child because her family was Jewish and her father, a famous writer, criticized the Nazis. In Germany, When Hitler Stole Pink Rabbit (Als Hitler das rosa Kaninchen stahl) is probably her most famous book and often required reading in schools. Even though it’s been 30 years since I read it, I remember many details of her story vividly.

New Statesman: My father and other animals. “Judith Kerr’s dad, Alfred, was an outspoken German critic who railed against Hitler – but he had a soft spot for baby seals.”

BBC: Judith Kerr and the story behind The Tiger Who Came To Tea. “Author Judith Kerr is famous for her children’s books, but behind the sweetness of works such as The Tiger Who Came To Tea lies a past set against the horror of Nazi Germany.”

iNews: Judith Kerr: ‘Will I ever bring back Mog? No, I killed her’.

“Beginning an interview by thrusting your phone in your subject’s face and insisting they scroll through pictures of your cats is not generally considered best practice.

There are exceptions, however. Within moments of stepping into Judith Kerr’s home I’ve whipped out my iPhone and, like an excited child, am demanding the picture book author “look at my cats!”
[…]
“Oh, yes please,” she says solemnly, taking my phone. “This is absolutely essential.””

The Guardian: Judith Kerr: ‘I’m still surprised at the success of The Tiger Who Came to Tea’. “The creator of Mog on learning how to draw a tiger at the zoo, heeding the advice of her cat and still working at 94.”

Radio Times: When Mark Gatiss came to tea with Judith Kerr. “Mark Gatiss visits childhood hero and author of The Tiger Who Came to Tea, to chat children’s books, family and sci-fi.”

Links via MetaFilter.

“So long Pop! I’m off to check my tiger trap!”

Friday, November 10th, 2017

S Anand: Every Calvin and Hobbes strip in an instant searchable interface. What is says on the tin. I do have The Complete Calvin and Hobbes on paper, but this is really handy if you want to find just this one strip…

Link via Metatalk.

Ecology meets Art

Wednesday, November 1st, 2017

Ernst Heinrich Philipp August Haeckel (16 February 1834 – 9 August 1919) was a German biologist, naturalist, philosopher, physician, professor, marine biologist, and artist who discovered, described and named thousands of new species, mapped a genealogical tree relating all life forms, and coined many terms in biology”. He was heavily influenced by Alexander von Humboldt, about whom I recently read a book called The Invention of Nature by Andrea Wulf (highly recommended, by the way).

Haeckel is most well-known for his incredibly detailed and beautiful drawings of radiolarians and other Kunstformen der Natur (art forms in nature). Recently, a new book with his drawings was published:

The Guardian: Ernst Haeckel: the art of evolution – in pictures.

“The influential evolutionary scientist, who coined such terms as ‘stem cell’ and ‘ecology’, was also a virtuoso illustrator. The editor of a new book celebrating this work introduces some highlights.”

Creative Review: Feast your eyes on the art of Ernst Haeckel. “A new book from Taschen compiles 450 drawings, watercolours and sketches of living organisms by artist and biologist Ernst Haeckel.”

The book is fairly costly, but if you prefer a cheaper, sort of do-it-yourself version, there’s always the Art Forms in Nature: Coloring Book. 😉

Und für Menschen, die der deutschen Sprache mächtig sind, existiert eine HTML-Version von Kunstformen der Natur (vollständige elektronische Faksimile-Ausgabe). Dort kann man sich einzelne Tafeln anschauen oder zum Ausdrucken herunterladen. Es gibt auch eine tar-Datei mit allen Tafeln (16MB) sowie das komplette Buch als PDF (272MB).

Most links via MetaFilter.