Monday, April 25, 2011

Around the Word

Your BloGG-master fell a little behind in their surfing duties during the holiday week (there is such a thing as too much chocolate matzoh). So to get caught up, today we're highlighting several days worth of wordly tibits that  caught our eye, starting with the most recent.

Eau de Tolstoy?: If the whiff of a good book turns you as much as reading one, then Karl Lagerfeld has just the thing for you. We learned today that the Chanel designer is working on a new fragrance called Paper Passion, which will be sold inside a hollowed-out hardcover, and is designed to smell like printed paper. But, as the Independent notes, if you can't wait for Lagerfeld's latest creation, several literary-inspired perfumes already exist, including Demeter's Paperback, Zadig & Voltaire's Tome 1, or Penhaligons's Hammam Bouquet. Either way, the idea of cuddling up with a good book may never be the same.

Negotiating the metaphorical minefield: For speakers and writers, the metaphor can be a tricky weapon: it can blow away your audience -- or just as easily blow up in your face. The Eloquent Woman offers a great take on the stakes today, building on the experiences and insights of master negotiator Jeswald W. Salacuse, and some useful tips on how to avoid expository explosions.

The glories of Storify: For all you online researchers drowning in data, Storify may be the life-preserver you've been waiting for. The new Web tool, which debuted today, is designed to help journalists and other digital seekers filter the yawning mass of online information, separate the relevant from the chatter, and distill the essential story. Try it and let us know what you think.

Ghostess with the mostess: No matter  your political affiliation, it would be hard not to respect the recent accomplishments of Lynn Vincent, Sarah Palin's ghostwriter. With her latest work -- Unsinkable, the story of 16-year-old Abby Sutherland's failed attempt to sail across the world -- Vincent might earn the rare distinction of having three books on the best-seller list in one week. The Daily Beast recently profiled this prolific pro, giving us an inside look at Vincent's rise from homelessness and drug abuse, and how she has mined the themes of redemption and faith throughout her work.

Tricks of the Tweet: When our firm did its first tweet-chat during last year's State of the Union, we were mostly flying blind. You can avoid our rookie mistakes, and learn to tweet a speech like a pro, by checking out this post from the 10,000 Words blog over at Mediabistro. Perhaps most importantly, don't forget to tweet sparingly and"limit yourself to a maximum of three tweets a minute." Other tips include bringing in visuals and linking to a livestream. What have you found to be most effective?

Free cable, room service and Grapes of Wrath: In honor of this week's Pen World Voices Festival, the Standard Hotel is stocking its hotel rooms with American classic books chosen by Salman Rushdie (and provided by Housing Works). In classically cheeky fashion, the New York Post wonders "what would Rushdie suggest taking to read in the Boom Boom Room?"

Would you sign my tablet? With the growing popularity of e-readers, some literary enthusiasts are wondering how they can get their favorite digital works inked at a book signing. A new app, Autography, proposes a nifty solution. Someone snaps a picture of you and the author with the iPad or a digital camera, the author signs the image on the tablet with a stylus and then emails you a link so you can download the signed image right into your eBook. If you want to see Autography in action, it is set to debut at the BookExpo in New York in late May.

Living Libraries: In case you missed it, Amazon announced last week that its new Kindle Lending Library will allow owners of any tablet or e-reader with a Kindle App to borrow Kindle books from over 11,000 local U.S. libraries. The coolest part may just be what was once the biggest library "no-no:" all annotations and bookmarks will be saved should you re-check the book out or even decide to purchase it, but they will not be visible to the next person who takes out the book.

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