On the Books: UK poll names 'Mockingbird' most influential book by a woman

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A U.K. survey selected Harper Lee’s To Kill A Mockingbird as the book written by a woman that “most impacted, shaped or changed readers’ lives.” Shami Chakrabarti, chair of the 2015 judging panel of the Bailey’s Women’s Prize for Fiction, which organized the survey, named the book as her top choice as well. “With human rights under attack the world over, the enduring appeal of Harper Lee’s great tale gives hope that justice and equality might yet triumph over prejudice,” Chakrabarti said.

The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood and Jane Eyre by Charlotte Brontë came in second and third, respectively, followed by Harry Potter by J.K. Rowling (all seven books were counted as one entry) and Wuthering Heights by Emily Brontë. [The Guardian]

Apple bought Booklamp, a company described as “Pandora for books.” Like Pandora does for music, Booklamp used to formulate a “genetic makeup” for a book and recommends books based on the genes of other books you’ve liked. For example, if you like the Harry Potter books, Booklamp would detect the percentage of the books that have to do with magic, the percentage that have to do with coming-of-age, etc., and suggest books with a similar makeup. It will also analyze books based on pacing and prose style. The “book genome project” part of the company was shut down in April, but maybe Apple will resurrect it. [PC Mag]

The Booker Prize longlist landed last week, but a few of the nominated titles aren’t available for sale yet. According to the Booker rules, “Each publisher of a title appearing on the longlist will be required to have no fewer than 1,000 copies of that title available in stock within 10 days of the announcement of the longlist.” This means booksellers don’t get to actually sell and make money from all the nominated books. [Melville House]

Abigail Deutsch investigates the the elusive author behind a couplet she’s found on signs in different parks: “Let no one say, and say it to your shame/That all was beauty here, until you came.” [The New Yorker]

NASA is developing an ebook publishing imprint, offering “titles that would be of interest to space enthusiasts, about aeronautics, technology, outer space research, and more.” [Melville House]

James Joyce’s Ulysses may become a virtual reality game. To quote the book, “I fear those big words, Stephen said, which make us so unhappy.” [USA Today]


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