German Buses With Surprise Libraries: Critical Linking, January 29, 2017

Today’s Critical Linking is sponsored by Perfect Little World by Kevin Wilson.



All passengers have to do is pick a book they like, and start reading. If they don’t finish their book during their bus ride, they can take it home and either bring it back to the bus or mail it to the store that provides the books.

Pretty cool idea!


Among the books Solange bought for attendees were Black Skin, White Masks by Frantz Fanon, The Autobiography of Malcolm X, and Americanahby Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie. Nearly all of the store’s James Baldwin collection was bought out.

Solange said one of her favorites on Sankofa’s shelves was Fire Shut Up in My Bones by Charles Blow.

Solange: celebrating black bookstores, black books, and black people.


So in the months ahead, don’t worry about how many books you’re reading. Instead, focus on how much time you’re devoting to them.

A compelling argument against speed reading. When I gave up the number of books per year in favor of depth of reading/time read in a year, my reading life got so much richer.


If a palindrome is a word that reads the same backwards as forwards, then a semordnilap is a word that spells out a different word when read backwards, like stressed and desserts, or diaper and repaid. That definition makes the word semordnilap a semordnilap itself—but whereas most semordnilaps are little more than sheer coincidence, a word or name that is intentionally invented by reversing another existing word is properly called an ananym.

Words coined by reversing others aren’t quite as rare as they might seem. It’s a technique used to invent everything from place names, like Adanac in Canada and Adaven in Nevada, to first names: the Scots name Segna is thought to have been invented by (mostly) reversing the name Agnes, while Nevaeh, coined by reversing the word heaven, recently crept into the top 100 girls’ names in America. It’s also a popular source of brand names, like Oprah Winfrey’s Harpo Productions.

This is some delicious word nerdery.

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