Critical Linking for July 24th, 2015


The above map is the result of a painstaking and admittedly quixotic effort to catalog the country as it has been described in the American road-tripping literature. It includes every place-name reference in 12 books about cross-country travel, from Mark Twain’s Roughing It (1872) to Cheryl Strayed’s Wild (2012), and maps the authors’ routes on top of one another. You can track an individual writer’s descriptions of the landscape as they traveled across it, or you can zoom in to see how different authors have written about the same place at different times.

See now this is the best kind of result of when the internet meets books. A wondrous, time-sucking map of road-tripping American literature.


For years, educators have thought the strongest predictor of attaining high levels of education was having parents who were highly educated. But according to the findings, a good-sized book library is just as good as university-educated parents in terms of increasing education level.

But just having books is still not as good as having books AND parents who are highly educated. 


Simon & Schuster will not be releasing the book in paperback, and the hardcover and e-book editions of the biography will not be updated to include information about the dozens of allegations that have been leveled against Cosby in the past year. Author Mark Whitaker had previously promised to include information about the charges in future editions of the book, but now that there won’t be any future editions, he’s off the hook, we guess. The current editions, meanwhile, just dramatically increased in value as grim collector’s items.

Hmmmm. I guess a whole new book is probably the better tactic anyway.


Similar to the original Product Hunt, the books vertical will consist of a leaderboard with daily submissions from community members and the startup’s own moderators, which community members can vote up and discuss in comment sections. Books will include new releases as well as hidden gems and re-releases. Anyone who is already a member of Product Hunt will be able to get access to the new vertical.

I read Product Hunt everyday. The site has Reddit’s crowd-sourced and ranked structure, but is heavily moderated. A niche book-curation portion makes sense to me, and I think it is something that other nice communities might consider.

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