A Roundup of History Lessons: Book Blurbs, Fairy Tales, Ebooks, and More

By Nikolai Ushin (1898–1942) (Lpamyatniki.narod.ru) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

By Nikolai Ushin (1898–1942) (Lpamyatniki.narod.ru) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

It’s always fun to think about how things came to be. A couple weeks ago, I shared a bunch of links that looks at the present and predicts future trends. I think that understanding the past also helps us to better understand the present and look towards the future.

With that in mind, there have been some interesting stories going around the interwebs lately that talk about the past. Continue reading


This Week In Publishing

I’ll keep it short and light-hearted, since it’s almost Christmas and all.

First, Nick Bilton, from the New York Times, has declared that this year was not in fact the year of the tablet. It was actually the year of the iPad, and next year there will be more competitors. It will be interesting to see, since so many people want the iPad for Christmas.

2010 Was Not ‘The Year of the Tablet’

Next, Crown, an imprint of Random House, announced that early next year they will be publishing a book by the former spokesman of WikiLeaks, Daniel Domscheit-Berg. Daniel’s book will be a sort of tell-all, leading up to what made him and other employees leave the company. And earlier this month, Daniel announced that he and other former WikiLeaks employees will be launching their own WikiLeaks-type site soon, called OpenLeaks.org.

Crown to Crash Tell-All by WikiLeaks Insider

Oprah Winfrey wrapped up her year in books by reconciling with Jonathan Franzen and reading Charles Dickens for the first time. She also recently shot four shows in Australia (which is where I am right now), and there are still signs up around the city for her. On my way from the airport to the hotel today, I saw a couple hilarious ones that stuck out. For example, one had two pictures: a Barbie doll and a barbecue with shrimp on it. The ad was for a cruise ship that told Oprah they would help her figure out the difference. Another ad for the same cruise ship had a blown-up image of Tom Cruise jumping on Oprah’s couch, and saying they were the better cruise choice.

Year in books: Old, new mixed up in material, technology

Lastly, and this one’s just for fun, if you Google reading in the “images” section, you’ll find a picture of a dog with glasses, reading a large book. Why?

Strangest Google Images Result for the Word ‘Reading’

My Last Day at LIFE

Yes, sadly friends, I no longer work at LIFE anymore. But on the bright side, I will be working at Random House next semester, as an editorial intern for Wendy Lamb books!

Anyway, I just thought I’d share some highlights of my last day at LIFE.

First, I finally got to write for LIFE! One of these days, galleries for Halle Berry, Anne Hathaway, and Sandra Bullock at their hottest will be published, and you will see some quality writing. I’ll keep checking and then post links once they’re up.

Also, I got to listen to a lot of Christmas carols. Down the hall, one of Time Inc.’s many editorial staffs were having their Christmas party, which I hope, involved lots of alcohol. There was merriment and singing, and of course games. After their party ended, I found one of their survey games, which involved giving a hint about someone’s life (presumably someone on their staff), so everyone else had to guess who they were. Here was the best one:

I once helped Steve Tyler of Aerosmith try on all the women’s clothes in the store I worked at. Who am I?

Working at LIFE can be quiet sometimes, and today, the sounds of all of us typing were accompanied by loud, slurred Christmas carols. Since they were down the hall, their songs echoed, which sounded a little creepy. One of my co-workers commented, “it sounds like they’re going to march down the hall and massacre us.”

At lunch, I went to my usual place, Pranzo Deli. Over the past five months, I think I’ve managed to make an impression on the people who work there. Or at least, I think they remember me. At any rate, they always give me a familiar smile. Today, I happened to be wearing my Daily Nexus sweatshirt. It’s my warmest hoodie, and when I only have to walk five feet in the cold for lunch, I don’t like to get completely bundled up. Today, the woman at the counter smiled at me (with recognition) and asked where I worked. Before I had a chance to respond, she said, “Oh, Daily Nexus,” and nodded with approval.

The last thing I did at LIFE today was work on a Dick Van Dyke Life and Times gallery. There’s a long list of celebrity galleries that need to be built, and I chose him. So you’re welcome, Dick Van Dyke.

My Favorite Manhattan Christmas Window Displays

Yesterday was the first day I was out in the snow. It was light and pretty, and by the time I got home, I couldn’t feel my hands, because I got very camera happy and couldn’t stop taking pictures of all the beautiful and elaborate window displays in Manhattan. Below are some of the best ones, and if you want to see a whole slideshow, check out my Passports and Placemats blog.


Bergdorf Goodman

Bergdorf Goodman