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Archives: July 2013

Google Can Translate Your Handwriting

The next time you are reading a book or a sign with foreign words, you can let Google Translate help you.

Someday, Google hopes to have a device that can translate your speech as well. AppNewser has all the details:

Have you ever struggled to read a sign written in a foreign script? Now you can draw the characters and let Google Translate help you read the sign. Google Translate recently rolled out handwriting support, allowing readers to input handwriting in 45 languages, including Chinese, Japanese and Korean. You can even download a Google Chrome app to help with the process.

Reza Aslan Hits No. 1 After Fox News Interview

Following a surreal interview on with Fox News religion correspondent Lauren Green, religious scholar and author Reza Aslan hit the No. 1 spot on Amazon with Zealot: The Life and Times of Jesus of Nazareth.

We’ve embedded the complete interview below–what do you think? Aslan will also host a Ask Me Anything interview on Reddit later today.

Zealot currently has 141 five-star reviews and 100 one-star reviews, highlighting the extreme reactions provoked by the interview.

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Rick Riordan & Lee Child Have the Most Pre-Ordered Books

Amazon editors have released the company’s annual fall preview, highlighting the most pre-ordered books of the season.

We’ve included the complete lists below. The House of Hades by Rick Riordan led the print pre-order list and Never Go Back by Lee Child topped the Kindle pre-order list. Here’s more from the release:

The Amazon Book Editors have made their selections for fall’s top 20 big books, as well as a selection of new under-the-radar books. The Amazon Big Fall Books Preview also features the season’s most anticipated releases in biographies, comics and graphic novels, cookbooks, fiction, mysteries, nonfiction, romance and science fiction—plus upcoming releases for kids and young adults.

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Ms. Pac Man in the Library

Do video games have a place at the library?

Chattanooga Public Library teen librarian Justin Hoenke installed a Ms. Pac-Man arcade machine in his library, building a sense of community play inside the library. Over at Medium, he wrote an inspiring essay about why he made this unexpected choice. Check it out:

Our 2nd Floor is currently in the middle of a major renovation and shift in thinking about how we provide service to our community. For us, it’s not so much about the stuff we have but the connections and memories we make. The 2nd Floor is a community hub for ages 0-18, a place where kids, tweens, and teens in the community can come to learn, relax, have fun, connect, and more. Ms. Pac Man fits in pretty nicely with this theme. Since we got Ms. Pac Man, groups of teens have started to hang around the machine, doing their best to top one another in high score contests. There are eruptions of the happiness every time a player pulls off an impressive move or evades one of those pesky ghosts.

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My Favorite Breakup Book

What book did you read while coping with a breakup? During one particularly lonely breakup years ago, I read Herman Melville‘s Moby Dick in an unhinged reading marathon.

No one will ever include this book on a list of breakup books, but it is the perfect thing to read with a broken heart. The book will fill your lonesome hours with a compelling story, make you forget about love and relationships, and, most importantly, drag you into an obsessive, turbulent and self-destructive universe that mirrors your own state of mind.

Follow this link to download a free copy of Moby Dick to save for your next breakup.

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How Booksellers Might Be Able To Combat Showrooming

Booksellers and other retailers suffered from a 400 percent increase in “showrooming” this year according to a new report, as more customers use smartphones and other mobile devices to comparison shop.

AppNewser has all the details:

according to a new report from marketing company Pargo, comparison shopping on a smartphone while in-store is up 400% over last year. This new behavior is helping Amazon. According to Pargo’s research, “Dynamic Pricing in a Smartphone World: A Shopper Showrooming Study,” a price difference as little as $5 can make shoppers order from Amazon instead of purchasing that item in the store. It’s no wonder that Barnes & Noble has had so much trouble. Readers can easily browse new books on their big tables and then pay less to order their reading lists on Amazon, who isn’t paying for the showroom floor.

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Jonas Jonasson To Publish New Book

Swedish author Jonas Jonasson has inked a book deal with HarperCollins’ Ecco imprint for his second novel, The Illiterate Who Could Count. Jonasson previously wrote the bestseller, The 100 Year Old Man Who Climbed Out The Window And Disappeared.

Publication is set for fall 2014. Carina Barndt at Barndt New Agency negotiated the deal with Ecco publisher Daniel Halpern. Here’s more about the book:

Jonasson now returns with an ironic look at fundamentalism in all its guises. The new novel is a trip that takes us from the shelters of Soweto to a potato van in Sweden with a cast of incredibly strange people. The 100 Year Old Man was an international success that sold more than 1 million copies in the UK, Sweden and France, more than 2 million in Germany, and almost six million copies, in total, worldwide. THE ILLITERATE WHO COULD COUNT will be published by Ecco, in the Fall of 2014, as well as by HarperCollins Canada and 4th Estate in the UK.

How Marisha Pessl Found Her Literary Agent

Elle Magazine ran a long profile of Special Topics in Calamity Physics author Marisha Pessl this month.

Pessl has a new book called Night Film coming out on August 20th, and the profile explored how she landed an agent for her debut novel. She would end up with a $615,000 advance for Special Topics in Calamity Physics, according to the article. Check it out:

In 2004, Pessl cold-e-mailed 15 literary agents about her novel, including Susan Golomb, who represents Jonathan Franzen. Golomb was charmed by Pessl’s note—in particular, by her blurbworthy description of her own work: “a funny, encyclopedic and wildly ambitious literary tale about love and loss, youth and yearning, treachery and terror” … In 2008, Pessl left Golomb for superagent Binky Urban, whose agency, ICM, has a strong Hollywood division. (Bret Easton Ellis and Cormac McCarthy are among Urban’s clients.) Then she changed publishers, moving to Random House. “I happened to meet Binky Urban socially, and it just seemed like a very nice fit, the two of us,” Pessl said of the agent who reportedly secured her a $1 million deal for Night Film and a $1.5 million deal for a yet-to-be-written third novel.

Choose a Haiku To Send To Mars

You can help choose a haiku to fly to Mars in an unmanned spacecraft, part of NASA’s historic MAVEN mission. Follow this link to read and vote on your favorite haiku to send into space.

We voted for this Douglas Adams-inspired poem. While you can no longer submit a haiku, you can add your name to a DVD that is headed to Mars. Here’s more about the MAVEN mission to Mars:

The Mars Atmosphere and Volatile EvolutioN (MAVEN) mission, scheduled for launch in late 2013, will be the first mission devoted to understanding the Martian upper atmosphere. The goal of MAVEN is to determine the role that loss of atmospheric gas to space played in changing the Martian climate through time. Where did the atmosphere—and the water—go?

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Twinned Universes & Canary: Coming Attractions

Here are some handpicked titles from our Coming Attractions page. Want to include your book? Just read our Share Your New Book with GalleyCat Readers post for all the details.

Twinned Universes by Sandra Ulbrich Almazan: “Paul Harrison always wanted to play Hamlet, but he never expected he’d live the role first. In the aftermath of a family tragedy on 21st century Earth, Paul discovers he’s the clone of Sean Lyon, his great-great-grandfather and a famous TwenCen musician.” (March 2013)

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