Monday, November 18, 2013

The Free Bin: Gross Library Books, Boxing and Noir, Man Vs. Corpse

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)

  • 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.)

Did you find something worthwhile? Did you read something else online recently worth sharing with the Book Dirt crowd? Do tell.


  1. Thanks for the Barry Graham link. That fits nicely with some of the stuff I posted last week,
    "Because Murder Is More Fun Away From Home"
    Detectives Beyond Borders

    1. I noticed! I've been on boxing kick lately, and it's not something I really understand myself. This essay helped with that a little.

  2. Herpes and cocaine on books? I think I'll have to use my hand sanitiser every time I handle books outside, particularly used bookstores and libraries. You don't know where they've been.

    1. You won't believe me when I tell you I've SEEN way worse. I'm dead serious.

  3. Thanks Kelly - I think it's great how you scour the nest sio we don't have to! I've been watching the trails for that Italian show when my Dad watched satellite at their place and it does seem like a bit of a stretch as a format ... much rather watch Harlan Ellison write stories in a storefront again, wouldn't you? And as for the trace elements on that book - why were they even running the tests ... Bllody amusing, thanks Kelly!