Archives for March 2010

“You Can’t Even Judge a Cover” from the New York Times

Another item found at the AAUP Program Committee facebook page. The New York Times asks what happens when your book doesn’t have a jacket — a la kindle, nook, eReader. Will this impact readers who make book-buying decisions based on the books they see people reading at the gym, on the subway, in the park, and on and on? I am always checking out people’s reading material — it doesn’t mean I will buy that book, but it is a way of taking the pulse of what books are out there. Of course, this is done surreptitiously. Perhaps in the era of the eBook, we will actually have to (gasp) ask people what they are reading and engage in conversation.

What do you think? The New York Times article quotes Maud Newton saying, “People like to show off what they’re doing and what they like.” Is displaying the jacket of the book you are reading really important?

Quidditch for Muggles — a PUP connection

We noticed a strange phenomenon on our Twitter page this past Friday. A flurry of people became fans of Princeton University Press only to post some variation on this:

Quidditch For Muggles (CBS News) ;O princeton university press
Quidditch For Muggles (CBS News) princeton university press 😛

Turns out CBS news ran a feature on the Princeton Quidditch team (you absolutely must watch it below):

Though we do field a mean softball team in the spring and summer (The Print Runs), there is no word on whether we will join the intramural quidditch league.

Blackwells photo answer — there are 5 books

There were lots of good guesses to my Friday, 4 PM diversion. Roll over the image to see which Princeton University Press titles are featured in this photo from Blackwells, Oxford.

Animal Spirits by George Akerlof and Robert Shiller Economic Gangsters by Raymond Fisman and Edward Miguel The Soulful Science by Diane Coyle The Box by Marc Levinson Identity Economics by George Akerlof and Rachel Kranton

Who thinks The Politics of Happiness is “compelling”?

David Brooks, that’s who.

Read the complete article to see how Brooks gets from here:

Two things happened to Sandra Bullock this month. First, she won an Academy Award for best actress. Then came the news reports claiming that her husband is an adulterous jerk. So the philosophic question of the day is: Would you take that as a deal? Would you exchange a tremendous professional triumph for a severe personal blow?

To here:

There is a rash of compelling books — including The Hidden Wealth of Nations by David Halpern and The Politics of Happiness by Derek Bok — that argue that public institutions should pay attention to well-being and not just material growth narrowly conceived.

David Brooks on Economics as Art, not Science–PUP books galore

David Brooks’s terrific piece in today’s New York Times regarding the evolving acts of economics features a slew of PUP books and authors, quoting by name three PUP books (This Time is Different, Animal Spirits, and Identity Economics).  Russ Roberts (author of our very own The Price of Everything), Barry Eichgreen (PUP classics The European Economy since 1945 and Globalizing Capital), and longtime PUP author Robert Shiller (Irrational Exuberance, anyone?)   We are very proud of our economics list and we appreciate that renowned journalists like David Brooks think highly of our work.

Crocheting Adventures with Hyperbolic Planes

Say what?  You heard me!

Crocheting Adventures with Hyperbolic Planes: it’s the winning title for the 2010 Diagram Prize for Oddest Title of the Year. Known as the “Diagram Prize” to industry insiders, the distinction is a humorous literary award given annually to the book with the oddest title – a practice that originated at the Frankfurt Book Fair in the 1970s.  These days The Bookseller doles out the honors based on the results of an online reader poll.  Titles range from the obscure to the unintentionally hilarious (Collectible Spoons of the Third Reich, anyone?)

Horace Bent posted the top finishers on the Bookseller Blog and I have to agree with him about the runner up…a winner in my book!  Chihuahuas are way cuter than crocheted creations.

How many Princeton University Press titles can you see in this photo?

This photo snapped by economics editor Seth Ditchik at Blackwells in London. Post your guesses in the comments section below.

J.D. Salinger and Catcher in the Rye on South Park (yes, that South Park)

Could this be the key to getting kids to read in school? For all the parents out there working through the 100 book challenge with their elementary school children, here’s a safe-for-work clip from South Park .


This might be the best thing ever from the Vanity Fair website.

The “Bookopticon” is an interactive, tongue-in-cheek guide to the tangled web of the New York literati via 10 up-and-coming authors.  I wonder if there’s a UP version of this somewhere…any volunteers?

Maria Tatar on the “cultural black hole” around “Bluebeard” in NYT

Do you know “Bluebeard”? Maria Tatar, Harvard professor and author several Princeton titles including Secrets beyond the Door: The Story of Bluebeard and His Wives, is interviewed in an article about Catherine Beillat’s recent film adaptation of the dark European folk tale in this weekend’s New York Times:

“I’m always astonished at how few people know this story,” she said in a phone interview, “especially considering how many films and other works it has inspired.” Ms. Tatar noted that Charlotte Brontë’s “Jane Eyre” and Daphne du Maurier’s “Rebecca” owe something of their plots to the spirit of “Bluebeard.” And she devotes a section of her book to a raft of films made in the 1940s, including George Cukor’s “Gaslight” (1944), Alfred Hitchcock’s “Notorious” (1946) and Fritz Lang’s “Secret Beyond the Door …” (1948), that do not overtly reference the tale but nevertheless turn on a wife’s fear of her largely unknown husband and his possible desire for her throat. More recently, Jane Campion featured a Bluebeard pantomime in her 1993 film “The Piano.”

Read the full article here.

Tune in to Your Call on KALW to hear Ian Buruma today

If you are in the KALW listening area, tune in at 11 AM to participate in a conversation with Ian Buruma, author of Taming the Gods.

Ian Buruma, How is religion like soccer?

As I mentioned yesterday, Ian Buruma is on tour in California .  Zocalo has posted this brief excerpt from Ian’s talk in which he discusses whether democracies can compromise with religious politics, how to do it, and why religion, like soccer, may never go away. You can also see the complete talk here or read Ian’s In the Green Room interview here.

Ian’s new book is Taming the Gods. Read an excerpt here.