If there are any lingering doubts about Mr. King’s stylistic range, they should be put to rest by his new collection, “The Bazaar of Bad Dreams,” which features 20 stories that seem to touch on every genre imaginable, except for romance. There are crime and horror stories, a narrative poem and a grim western, along with realistic stories about marriage, aging and substance abuse.
Of all the seasonal holidays, Halloween is one of my favourites. It might not have the spiritual significance or inspire the same giddy expectation as Christmas, but there’s just something about its macabre theatricality which never fails to bring out the big kid in me.Massively popular in the United States and celebrated to a lesser extent in the UK and other countries in various ‘guises’ – excuse the pun – people are often unaware of the celebration’s strong Scottish connections. With its atmospheric landscape and array of haunted castles, peculiar superstitions and occasionally morbid history, it’s not surprising that Halloween first took root here.
Despite their reputation for dusty book jackets and silence, libraries aren’t simply repositories of the already read—they offer gathering places and community resources and even serve as battlegrounds for civil liberties fights. Nevertheless, it can be difficult to imagine the library’s role in a world in which everyone can carry Google with them at all times.
The future of libraries now has a very long history. Like all futures, it’s a moving target, changing as new experiences, expectations, and technologies change our sense of what’s possible. When the main branch of the New York Public Library opened on Fifth Avenue in 1911, it was a state-of-the-art futurist landmark, with pneumatic tubes zipping call slips to librarians who retrieved bound titles from enormous steel stacks and placed them on Ferris-wheel conveyor belts. Today, the building has been a historical landmark for 50 years, the tubes retired, the stacks empty. Yesterday’s futures become today’s nostalgic baseline.
Today, 68% of U.S. adults have a smartphone, up from 35% in 2011, and tablet computer ownership has edged up to 45% among adults, according to newly released survey data from the Pew Research Center.1 Smartphone ownership is nearing the saturation point with some groups: 86% of those ages 18-29 have a smartphone, as do 83% of those ages 30-49 and 87% of those living in households earning $75,000 and up annually.
There isn’t much that hasn’t been said about Ernest Miller Hemingway. He was, after all, a literary titan of the 20th century, winner of the 1954 Nobel Prize for Literature; a man who, through his short stories and novels, captured the imagination of the world by pinning his vulnerable, damaged characters in extraordinary situations and exotic locales. As The New York Times boasted in 1950, Hemingway was “the greatest writer since Shakespeare.”