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As part of its 10th anniversary celebration, The National Art Center, Tokyo featured Emmanuelle Moureaux’s installation “Forest of Numbers.”

As stated on emmanuelle moureaux architecture + design’s website, the installation, which visualized the decade of the future from 2017 to 2026, “created a sense of stillness across the large exhibition space. More than 60,000 pieces of suspended numeral figures from 0 to 9 were regularly aligned in three dimensional grids. A section was removed, [creating] a path that cut through the installation, [inviting] visitors to wonder inside the colorful forest filled with numbers. The installation was composed of 10 layers which is the representation of 10 years time. Each layer employed 4 digits to express the relevant year such as 2, 0, 1, and 7 for 2017, which were randomly positioned on the grids. As part of Emmanuelle’s ‘100 colors’ installation series, the layers of time were colored in 100 shades of colors, created a colorful time travel through the forest.”

 

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Having subscribed to a fair number of literary email services over the years, there is one that stands out in its ability to consistently educate, entertain, and inspire, and that service is Delanceyplace.

The name derives from the street where founder Richard Vague lives in Philadelphia.

The service is self described as a brief daily email “with an excerpt or quote we view as interesting or noteworthy, offered with commentary to provide context. There is no theme, except that most excerpts will come from a non-fiction work, mainly works of history, and we hope will have a more universal relevance than simply the subject of the book from which they came.”

In a letter to subscribers, Mr. Vague provides insight into how the eclectic content is selected. For example “real history” is highlighted that “has scars and disillusionment alongside victory.” He likes passages that quantify things, and those that encompass values such as compassion and helping others, and most important, resiliency (read the entire letter here).

And it gets better, Delanceyplace is strictly not-for-profit and the money made through books sold via the site is given to children’s literacy organizations.

Delanceyplace is delivered Monday through Friday and the site provides a searchable archive with briefings dating back to 2005.

One of my favorite briefs is entitled “An Octopus’s Favorite Arm,” and the selection is from The Soul of an Octopus, by Sy Montgomery. It focuses on research that indicates that each arm of an octopus has its own personality. “Octopuses are intelligent and aware, but how much of that is centrally located in their ‘brain.’ Is it possible that they have a ‘distributed mind’ with each arm having a mind of its own?”

NPR’s wonderful guide that visually displays 2016’s best books is now available. The guide helps you with the the question, What would I like to read? Using the filters provided (even combining them) you can easily explore more than 300 titles that NPR staff and critics “loved this year.” To give you an example, here are some of the titles that were brought up by combining the filters “Nonfiction” and “It’s All Geek to Me.”

nprThe filters are fun in themselves to read and include: Staff Picks, Biography & Memoir, Book Club Ideas, Comics & Graphic Novels, Cookbooks & Food, Eye-Opening Reads, Family Matters, For Art Lovers, For History Lovers, For Music Lovers, Funny Stuff, Identity and Culture, It’s All Geek To Me, Kid’s Books, Ladies First, Let’s Talk About Sex, Love Stories, Nonfiction, Rather Long, Rather Short, Science!, Seriously Great Writing, Tales from Around the World, and The Dark Side.

into the primitive

Photo by Lou Levit via Unsplash

Association of American Publishers (AAP) StatShot Annual survey provides insight into sales and volume data collected for categories that include trade (fiction/non-fiction/religious), K-12 instructional materials, higher education course materials, university presses and professional books. Interesting highlights from the press release include:

The area of largest growth for the trade category was Adult Books. Adult non-fiction books sold the most units and provided the most revenue in the trade category for the second consecutive year. Within the Adult Books category, the fastest growing formats in terms of units sold were downloaded audio (up 45.9%), hardback (up 15.1%) and paperback (up 9.1%).

For trade formats:

Downloaded audio: Revenue for downloaded audio has nearly doubled since 2012. From 2014 to 2015, the growth was substantial: 37.6% in revenue and 41.1% in units.

eBooks: After peaking in 2013 eBook revenue declined in 2014 and again in 2015. Unit sales also declined with eBooks now making up 17.3% of the trade book market.

Paperback books: Paperbacks remain the most popular format in terms of units sold, comprising 40.6% of the market.

Hardback books: Hardback books saw growth in both revenue and units over 2014.

 

The StatShot Annual Executive Report with all corresponding data will be available later this summer. To place an advance order: tjordan@publishers.org.

Printerinks invites readers to explore their fun infographic: A History of Books that Forecast the Future. “Many writers of the past have predicted the facts of our present society with a level of detail that seems impossibly accurate. Some of them were even derided in their times for what were called outlandish and unbelievable fictions. Yet their imaginations were in reality painting portraits that would eventually be mirrored by history books a century later. Which seems to beg the question, Where does inspiration come from?  So to decide for yourself whether these writers were seers or just plain lucky…”

BookPredictions2

father's day

Photo by Liane Metzler via Unsplash.com

Sunday is Father’s Day and recently there have been several posts and articles published that recommend gift ideas for the special dad in your life. Digging through the lists, there are many that include books, and within those are some interesting business titles. Not all of these titles are your typical “business book,” and that is just fine. Here are selected titles found in the lists:

The Monocle Guide to Good Business, by Monocle – Business Insider, “21 Great Coffee Table Books to Pick Up for Dad This Father’s Day”

Shoe Dog: A Memoir by the Creator of Nike, by Phil Knight – Book Clubbish, “10 Awesome Books For Father’s Day”

Flash Boys: A Wall Street Revolt, by Michael Lewis – Book Clubbish, “10 Awesome Books For Father’s Day”

The Signal and the Noise: Why Most Predictions Fail but Some Don’t – Nate Silver, Popsugar, “Father’s Day Gift Ideas: The Best Books for Every Type of Dad”

Dead Distillers: A History of the Upstarts and Outlaws Who Made American Spirits, by David Haskell and Colin Spoelman – Popsugar, “Father’s Day Gift Ideas: The Best Books for Every Type of Dad”

We Have the Technology: How Biohackers, Foodies, Physicians, and Scientists Are Transforming Human Perception, One Sense at a Time, by Kara Platoni, The Cut, NYMag.com , “11 Books That Make the Best Father’s Day Gifts”

Who Built That: Awe-Inspiring Stories of American Tinkerpreneurs, by Michele Malkin – Real Simple, “18 Father’s Day Books That Cover All of Dad’s Interests”

Elon Musk: Tesla, SpaceX, and the Quest for a Fantastic Future, by Ashlee Vance – Real Simple, “18 Father’s Day Books That Cover All of Dad’s Interests”

Guess How Much I Love You, by Sam McBratney – Barnes and Noble.com, “Hooray for Dads! 15 Picture Books Perfect for Father Day” (Not a business book but I had to include this! It’s a classic.)

 

Large-Blue-RGB-National-Poetry-Month-LogoThis month marks the 20th anniversary of National Poetry Month, which was inaugurated by the Academy of American Poets in 1996. National Poetry Month is a literary celebration with schools, publishers, libraries, booksellers, and poets celebrating poetry’s vital place in our culture.

According to a Harvard Business Review article, poetry should also be celebrated in the business community. In the article, Benefits of Poetry for Professionals, author John Coleman notes that even business professionals who are prolific readers overlook poetry, “which is a genre that could be valuable to our personal and professional development.” Here are reasons for professionals to read poetry listed in the article:

Poetry teaches us to wrestle with and simplify complexity
Poetry can help users develop a more acute sense of empathy
Reading and writing poetry develops creativity
Poetry can teach us to infuse life with beauty and meaning

 

For more in depth reading look to the classic, The Heart Aroused: Poetry and the Preservation of the Soul in Corporate America, by David WhyteThe introduction states: “The Heart Aroused attempts to keep what is tried and try, good and efficient, at the center of our present work life while opening us to a mature appreciation  of the hidden and often dangerous inner seas where our passions and our creativity lie waiting.”

The Poetry of Business Life: An Anthology by Ralph Windle, is another classic. One Amazon review, by Across the Board states, “I wish I could steal into corporate headquarters all across the country and replace every one of those dreadful pop management books with collections like this one. It would greatly humanize American business.” Chapters include poems with brief commentary and cover these topics: Origins, Money, Markets, Work, Corporate Life, Comings and Goings, Politics and Power, and Technology and Change.