Welcome to The Free Bin, collecting recent links from around the web about books and other topics that strike my fancy (sometimes simply because the writing is excellent). Rummage around; you’ll probably find something good.
|The greasy burger fingerprints are the least of your worries. (via Flickr, Creative Commons License)|
- Researchers testing library books found traces of herpes on copies of 50 Shades of Grey. That’s not all: the books also tested positive for cocaine. (Some of my used bookstore co-workers wear rubber gloves when processing. This is why.)
- An Italian TV station is debuting a reality competition show for writers, with the winner receiving a major book deal. The contestants on Masterpiece will be put through a series of writing challenges, but there’s no word yet on whether or not people really want to watch the writing process.
- Boxer-turned-writer Barry Graham has a fantastic essay about boxing and noir, and what makes them both so compelling. (“If you think boxing is only about two men trying to hurt each other, you probably think Moby Dick is about a bunch of guys going fishing.")
- Speaking of noir, this piece on Linda Darnell, part of Criminal Element’s Hard Luck Ladies of Noir series, is one that will stick with you. The gorgeous actress’ life was, the site says, “a recipe for a full-tilt Hollywood tragedy.”
- Zadie Smith has an evocative essay in The New York Review of Books about the Italian painting from 1500 called Man Carrying a Corpse on His Shoulders. It’s a longer read, so if have the “send to Kindle” function enabled on your computer, hit “print” and send it to your device to read later. (I love this function, especially for reading magazine pieces. If you have a Kindle and don’t have it enabled, you simply must.)