A collection of links gathered while doing something besides writing or reading books. Take a look, then get back to reading or writing. We all should, right?
|Can word choice really determine a book's ability to become a bestselling classic? (Ruth_W/Creative Commons License)|
- Some computer scientists have developed an algorithm they say predicts a book’s commercial success with 84% accuracy. After downloading tons of books from classics to crap (you’ll have to read the article to see where they put Dan Brown), they’ve come up with a number of factors, including word choice, that can affect sales. Alas, they admit that luck still plays a huge role.
- We live in a culture that seemingly celebrates creative thinking. The truth is, people like the idea of creativity, but will fight against it. From Slate: “Online job boards burst with ads recruiting ‘idea people’ and ‘out of the box’ thinkers. We are taught that our own creativity will be celebrated as well, and that if we have good ideas, we will succeed. It’s all a lie.”
- Beat reporters have picked their favorite pieces of crime writing for 2013. This is the real stuff: true crime reporting with more substance than sensationalism. Each piece is worth a read. (Did you know that if you have a Kindle, you can download long magazine articles to your e-reader? It’s a life-changer.)
- Truth is often stranger than fiction, which may be why the idea of Foreign Accent Syndrome seems so much like something that belongs in a story or novel. Read more about how brain trauma can make some people start speaking with a different accent.
- E-readers have made it easier for people to read surreptitiously, which may be how this 1925 title has become a surprise bestseller in digital form.
- For a laugh, check out this New Yorker book club guide to reading a remaindered book. It’s a list of suggested discussion questions for literary flops. For starters:
“When the author’s agent initially asked the author who he thought the readers of his proposed book would be and he defensively replied, ‘Everyone,’ do you think the author should have immediately realized that there is a thin line between everyone and no one?”
Subscribe to Book Dirt via RSS or email by using the tools on the sidebar. Facebook likes are much appreciated, too.