Listen to this interview from The Leonard Lopate Show (WNYC-NPR)
With over 3.6 million fans, Starbucks has passed Coca-Cola to become the the most popular brand on Facebook.
Their Facebook Page plus promotions plus paid ads on the Facebook home page must work. They added almost 200,000 fans this past week.
As old-fashioned as it may be, people still love coupons. They gave away a free pastry this month and that caused a big spike in new fans.
Today is the 110th anniversary of Ernest Hemingway's birth.
Hemingway's longtime publisher, Scribner, is reissuing all his novels this year.
There is also a new book about him coming out in August called The Hemingway Patrols: Ernest Hemingway and His Hunt for U-Boats Aboard the Pilar.
That's a pretty odd time in his life. It seems that he was itching to play a part in World War II. Using his his own ship, the Pilar, which was designated by the military as a Q-Ship, he and his crew set out to monitor German submarine activity off Cuba and the Florida coast.
I don't know exactly what anyone would have expected them to do if they actually encountered a sub with this fishing boat. There's a section of Islands in the Stream (the novel and the movie version) that deals with this period in his life.
Hemingway did get to be a war a war correspondent for Collier's magazine, and observed the D-Day invasion from offshore on a landing craft. (Apparently, his wife of that time, Martha Gellhorn, upstaged him by making it on shore on June 7 disguised as a nurse.
A more interesting 2009 Hemingway release is A Moveable Feast: The Restored Edition. It's one of my favorite Hemingway books.
When Hemingway committed suicide in 1961, the manuscript of this memoir wasn't finished. (No title, introduction, or final chapter.) and it wasn't published until 1964 after his fourth wife, Mary, and an editor put together the pieces.
It's about when he was young and writing in the Paris of the 1920s. When I first read it in college, I loved the talk about writing and Paris and the food and the drinking, but hated his unkind treatment of his "friend" F. Scott Fitzgerald who was another literary hero of mine.
Actually, he's also pretty rough on Gertrude Stein and Pauline Pfeiffer, who would become his second wife. He had it in for rich people then , and he seemed to be still attached to his first wife Hadley.
In reading about this new edition, I discovered that the new editors are Pauline's grandson, Sean Hemingway, and his uncle, Patrick Hemingway (Pauline's son). I'm guessing that Pauline gets better treatment this time out, though I don't know if that was Ernest's intent.
I know a number of people who really dislike Hemingway as a man and as a writer - most of them are women. I have liked his writing, especially the short stories, since I was about 14 and wanted to be a writer.
I actually feel bad for Hemingway. I think he was really misunderstood. I think he became a victim of his own celebrity and began to play the role of Hemingway in the same way as other celebrities, like Marilyn Monroe.
He was a heavy drinker, an alcoholic in his later years, suffered from manic depression. He was actually given electroshock therapy at the Mayo Clinic which he blamed for his memory loss. It saddens me to think that for someone like him who loved to write, who needed to write, could not go on if he could not write.
Hemingway is buried in Ketchum, Idaho, but on a memorial outside town overlooking Trail Creek is a eulogy he actually wrote for a friend (Gene Van Guilder) but that applies well to his own life.
Best of all he loved the fall
The leaves yellow on the cottonwoods
Leaves floating on the trout streams
And above the hills
The high blue windless skies
Now he will be a part of them forever
Ernest Hemingway - Idaho - 1939
On the Amazon website, they link to two pdf files of the original handwritten manuscript. I like this section that contains his idea about writing "one true sentence."
The Eagle Nebula (M16): Peering Into the Pillars of Creation (A nearby star-forming region about 7,000 light years from Earth.), originally uploaded by Smithsonian Institution.
A composite image of the Eagle Nebula (M16) with NASA's Chandra X-ray Observatory and the Hubble Space Telescope penetrates the dark columns of gas and dust to reveal how much star formation is happening there. The Chandra data (red, green, and blue represent low, medium, and high-energy X-rays respectively) show very few X-ray sources in the so-called "Pillars of Creation" themselves. This indicates that star formation peaked in this region several million years ago.
Right now it is all free. That's a hard model to back away from and expect users to stpay. Will there be added value?
While all print media is having problems, some are moving to the web with some success. It can't all be free - that's no "business" model.
The Rocky Mountain News shut down. The Seattle Post-Intelligencer became a web-only publication. The business model has been to run online advertising, but that probably can't fund full news services. Subscriptions - sort of a cable TV versus free broadcast TV model - is hardly a new idea.
I don't have the answer for them, but I don't think this recycled ideas are it.
I never quite understood the "beach book" genre. I know it means more lightweight, entertaining reading. The thing is, especially in my teaching years, summer was one of the few times I had to do ANY outside reading, so I tended to read whatever was on my "to read" list. If the book happened to be non-fiction of Literature, it didn't much matter.
If you are a serious novelist, would being on the beach book list be an insult?
Last month, NPR asked folks to send in nominations for the Best Beach Books Ever and they ended up with 600 titles. Then their book reviewers, editors and producers cut it to 200 titles, which they now offer for voting.
NPR gives its own definition as books that are "enthralling enough to inoculate vacation-goers against the vagaries of missed flights and bad weather" and acknowledges that while many "great books" aren't beach book that both The Great Gatsby and Pride and Prejudice were popular nominees.
If you choose to vote, you get to pick 10 books to create their final list of 100. They will post the final tally on July 29 and I'll post my own ten choices from their list.
I hadn't read it. Actually, I hadn't read anything by this expatriate writer who many people think is the best writer of fantastic (that's not fantasy) novels in English. I'm reading it now, but I am a very slow and distracted reader (the kind who starts 4 books at once and takes a few months to finish any of them), so this is my in-progress review.
Here's the film treatment version of the plot for The Ghost in Love: Ben falls in the snow, hits head on curb, dies but doesn’t die. Ghost (Ling) is sent to take his soul to the afterlife, gets confused, asks Angel of Death for clarification, not sure say AoD, stay with him until I get back to you.
Now the boy meets girl part. Ghost falls in love with Ben's girlfriend. Oh yeah, Ling is a woman. Ben discovers he did not die when he was “supposed to." Human beings can take their fates back from the gods?
I like that we meet the Angel of Death in a cafe having a meal with Ling. I like that Death isn't so much mad that Ben's fate is out of his control, but is "fascinated to see what will happen to him now."
I like Carroll's little ghost inventions, like the reason why ghosts have Chinese names:
A Chinese farmer invented the idea of ghosts three thousand years ago as a way of explaining to his precocious grandson what happens to people after they die. God thought it such a novel and useful idea he told his angels to make the concept real and allow it to flourish within the system. In honor of the inventor, ghosts have always had Chinese names.I like ghosts.
Download and read first chapters for free before you decide to buy. Over 300,000 books plus U.S. and international newspapers, and magazines. Many of the New York Times Best Sellers and New Releases $9.99.
It is tempting...