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markarayner

Dilettante

A cursory and curious listing of books and literatrivia. 

Please don't :)

Source: http://myjetpack.tumblr.com/image/140626723170

True dat!

Source: http://society6.com/product/bookish-friendship-blue_print#1=45
The Fridgularity - Mark A. Rayner Slaughterhouse-Five - Kurt Vonnegut

Having my novel next to Kurt Vonnegut's masterful Slaughterhouse-Five on the Amazon bestseller list for satire and humor is an early Christmas gift. 

 

You can get the Kindle edition now for 99¢!

 

Vonnegut is my literary hero, fyi :)

Is "straightforward answer" too big an area? I think so. 

 

Love Tom Gauld's brain!

Source: http://myjetpack.tumblr.com/post/132467896430/i-have-made-new-prints-from-six-of-my-weekly

To be fair, it's the content of books that turns me on, not the shape. 

 

Do crisp pages do it for you? The musky scent of an older tome? Or are you into leather (covers.)

Cute!
Reblogged from It's a Mad Mad World:

I would pay serious money to see Drunk Robot Macbeth on Mars. But you should give Stalinist Cowboy Othello with a New Ending a miss. It's predictable and jejune.

Source: http://myjetpack.tumblr.com/post/130543503955/my-book-of-cartoons-youre-all-just-jealous-of-my

Ignatius was working. That was the first rule for writers. It wasn’t about the tools, his teachers had said, back in school. It was about discipline. Work.

 

A writer must write, even if, as Thomas Mann said: “A writer is someone for whom writing is harder than for other people.”

 

Of course, he might find a pen somewhat less of a challenge than the over-sized novelty pencil. And he’d heard great things about something called a word processor. Maybe regular-sized paper?

 

No! he thought. It’s not about the tools.

 

Another tiny sheet of paper ripped apart, unable to withstand Ignatius’s impatience and the giant pencil. He sighed, and started his to do list again.

 

Photo by Natalie Dawn, via Flickr.

Source: http://markarayner.com/archives/5366

Helpful!

 

h/t Mark Victor Young

Another disturbing thought from Kurt Vonnegut (in Bluebeard, 1987).

 

This happened to one of the main character's father in The Amadeus Net. He was a dissident writing in Prague, but after the Velvet Revolution, he had nothing to spur him to write.

Joy comes in many forms and sometimes it’s a fat wookie in a space helmet.

 

(More often it's a book.)

Why I travel with a Kindle
Why I travel with a Kindle

Seriously, I know that for some, the feel, smell and tactile joy of paper is hard to give up, but if you're on the road, it's awfully nice to be able to load up an ereader with all the books you think you may need. (This is always more than I can possibly read in the time allotted, but hope springs eternal.)

Source: http://myjetpack.tumblr.com

Let's hope she's at least already READ some of the canon :) 

Source: http://arkarayner.com/archives/10080
This book is one of the main texts that inspired my new novel. (Coming soonish.)

Engineering an obesity epidemic

Reblogged from Dilettante:
Salt Sugar Fat: How the Food Giants Hooked Us - Michael Moss

How would you react if I told you it wasn’t your fault you’re fat?

 

Not entirely, anyway. Not the way that the medical profession or society at large would have you believe.

 

At least part of your spare tire — and the cause of the obesity epidemic generally — is because the processed food industry has engineered it for their own needs. That is the central theme of Salt, Sugar, Fat: How the Food Giants Hooked Us. This comprehensive look at the food industry by Michael Moss is a brilliant bit of journalism.

 

Through the manipulation of the key ingredients of sugar (which our brain reacts to in ways that are similar to cocaine), fat (which we’re hard-wired to crave) and salt, the processed food industry has beefed up their own profits while increasing the gross tonnage of the population at large.

 

Of course, it’s the profit motive that drives the industry, not some evil desire to turn us all into Fat Albert. Moss’s examination of the industry is at times extremely positive. It’s clear that he admires the creativity, ingenuity and business acumen of many of the central players in this drama that is promising to shorten the life spans of our children. His reportage is scrupulous, fair, and peppered with insight. I’m not surprise he’s already won a Pulitzer. He should get one for this book too.

 

At times the book seems repetitive, but that is a minor flaw, given how comprehensive and wide-ranging his reportage into this secretive industry is, and how generally readable the narrative is.

 

The other major theme that I pulled out of the book is that while the food giants have hooked us on sugar, salt and fat, they have also hooked themselves on the profits those key ingredients generate. They are going to fight tooth and Tootsie-roll too keep our foods laden with them, and work against any efforts to make their foods more healthy. And now that the North American markets are saturated (pun intended), they’re looking to other countries. I found one of the anecdotes about an ex-Coke executive walking around a bario in Brazil kind of heart-breaking and enraging at the same time.

 

“The people here need a lot of things, but a Coke isn’t one of them.”

 

Yet the company has created smaller serving bottles for poor neighborhoods in countries like Brazil, so that everyone can afford the 20-cents they need to get a taste of “the real thing.”

 

While the book is informative, it is not a self-help book. There are no prescriptions for how to use this information to save your own waistline, except for the obvious one:

If your food was made by a food processing company, you probably shouldn’t be eating it!

 

Read more at markarayner.com

Source: http://markarayner.com/news-blog

Posting this for no particular reason ...

 

Quote from Kurt Vonnegut's Wampeters, Foma and Gonfalloons.