The American Library Association reports that 2022 saw more attempts to have books removed from schools and public libraries than in any prior year this century—indeed, it documented nearly twice as many attempted bans in 2022 than in 2021. Notably, the common thread in these aggressive efforts is the subject that binds the most-challenged titles: Most of them address themes of LGBT+ identity or gender expression. On our latest episode of the Smithsonian magazine podcast “There’s More to That,” I talk with journalist Colleen Connolly about Thomas Morton’s New English Canaan, the first book ever to be suppressed in North America. What did the Puritans find so threatening about it, and how has this book echoed through subsequent centuries? Then I’m joined by Carla Hayden, the librarian of Congress, for a wide-ranging conversation about the history of book bans in the United States, how a resurgent wave of book bans in many states differs from those of prior eras and why organized attempts to prevent specific people from reading specific books usually fail.
Few names are as iconic as Stephen King when it comes to the written word. Known for his spine-tingling tales of horror and suspense, which have been adapted into countless horror movies, King has enthralled readers for decades with his unique brand of storytelling.
But in a recent interview, the master of the macabre revealed a surprising twist in his approach to writing mystery novels, and it takes a deliberate page (pun intended) straight out of Alfred Hitchcock’s playbook of suspense as opposed to Agatha Christie’s guide.
The renowned author of Salem’s Lot is currently promoting his latest novel, Holly, which reintroduces his beloved character from Mr. Mercedes. It’s a gripping story about a mass murderer plowing a Mercedes-Benz through a crowd at a job fair. During an interview on The Book Review Podcast, the horror author shared his approach to crafting mysteries, emphasizing his preference for the suspenseful style of Alfred Hitchcock over the intricate whodunits often associated with Agatha Christie.
Nic Lewis: She was walking past where Oppenheimer was living. And he had walked outta his house just a little before her and he paused and waited for her to catch up. he asked all about how she was doing, what was happening in the punch card operation, what kind of results they were getting. Did she need anything?
She was astounded.
Katie Hafner: During World War II, thousands of scientists took part in the three year race led by J. Robert Oppenheimer to build an atomic bomb that would end the war. Hundreds of those scientists were women. They were physicists, chemists, biologists, mathematicians … and computation experts, whose calculations helped determine if the theoretical ideas behind the bomb would work.
This is Lost Women of the Manhattan Project, a special series of Lost Women of Science focusing on a few of those women.
The search giant is testing generative writing and other AI features for its Workspace apps.
By Nina Raemont, March 14, 2023 8:12 a.m. PT
Google plans to bring new AI-powered tools to its suite of Workspace apps. In a blog post on Tuesday, the search giant said it’s starting by testing generative AI writing features in Gmail and Docs that can help people get started on the writing process.
“Simply type a topic you’d like to write about, and a draft will instantly be generated for you,” reads Google’s post. “With your collaborative AI partner you can continue to refine and edit, getting more suggestions as needed.”
The tool, Google suggests, can be used to help create things like customized job descriptions or invitations for a kid’s birthday party. The company is also exploring ways to incorporate AI tools into Slides, Sheets, Meet and Chat.
DrWeb’s Note: In honor of International Women’s Day, 2023…
Though travel and adventure have historically been publicly claimed by men, women have always been part of those narratives, too.
Each week, host and Condé Nast Traveler editor Lale Arikoglu shines a light on some of those stories, interviewing female-identifying guests about their unique travel tales—from going off-grid in the Danish wilderness to country-hopping solo—sharing her own experiences traveling around the globe, and tapping listeners to contribute their own memorable stories.
This is a podcast for anyone who is curious about the world—and excited to explore places both near and far from home. For more from Women Who Travel, visit our website or subscribe to our email newsletter. Share your thoughts on Condé Nast Traveler’s Women Who Travel podcast.
Serious book lovers share their strategies for displaying their collections and keeping all those titles from taking over
By Rosa Cartagena, March 3, 2023 at 6:00 a.m. EST
Here’s a riddle for you: When a book editor and political science professor downsize from a six-bedroom house in the suburbs to a 900-square-foot Manhattan apartment, how many books will they have to get rid of?
For Matthew Budman (the editor) and his wife, Cristina Beltrán (the professor), the answer was a staggering 12,000.
“We had, you know, giant yard sales, and we had people carting off thousands of books,” says Budman, author of “Book Collecting Now: The Value of Print in a Digital Age.”
The transition was tough, but he says it allowed him to recognize that quantity isn’t everything. Now, he keeps roughly 3,000 titles at home (plus thousands more in storage).