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Monday, April 1, 2013

What's Neat on the Net VI

Happy Easter and April Fools. Here's what's neat on the net recently:

1. Featherproof Books offers free mini-books. You print them out, you fold them as directed, you staple them, and you have mini-books. With titles like The Karaoke Singer's Guide to Self-Defense (by Tim Kinsella) and The Miniature version of The Universe in Miniature in Miniature (by Patrick Somerville), how can you go wrong?

2. Flavorwire has photos of authors as teenagers, including Hemingway, Beckett, Atwood, Sendak, Karr (Mary), Salinger, Nin, and more. Oddly, fewer of them seem to have gone through that awkward stage (or were photographed in the awkward stage) than I would have imagined. They certainly don't look like social outsiders (well, maybe Gaiman and O'Connor do, and Ginsberg, but Toni Morrison is a knockout) ... Enjoy!

3. Open Culture has compiled a list of 500 free audiobooks for download. Some of them are through iTunes (including Jane Austen and Stephen Crane), and some are from (Robert Louis Stevenson and George Eliot), and others are free MP3 and zipfile downloads at sundry sites (Miranda July, David Foster Wallace, and Jamaica Kincaid). Scroll to the bottom of the page for a list of other sites that offer free audiobooks, including Librivox, an organization putting public domain works online in audio form (you can volunteer to be a reader for them too), and Lit2Go, the University of Southern Florida's audio collection. The Open Culture list has links to famous speeches, poetry, and non-fiction, as well as the expected fiction. Enjoy!

4. I recently discovered The Electric Typewriter, a tumblr blog that has collated links to work of some of the best writers and journals ever. There are 15 essays by Joan Didion, for example; 25 essays about the big topic "Life" by Sheila Heti, Annie Dillard, Zadie Smith, Jonathan Franzen, etc.;  topics in linguistics by Joshua Foer, Stephen Pinker and Jack Hitt; and on and on. Pretty much  every topic you can think of is covered: here's David Shields on tattoos for The Village Voice, for example. Yay!

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