Friday, July 6, 2012

Around the Word

Ready, Set, Read. Only have five minutes while you wait for the next train to come? Ten minutes as you wait for your significant other to finish getting ready? A trio of Dutch publishers have released the Delay App, which lets readers enter how much time they have and then spits out a selection of stories and novel excerpts that can be read in said timeframe. The selections are a mix between classic and modern, and the app has become extremely popular, introducing readers to a variety of writing they might not have seen otherwise.

To My Speechwriter, With Love. Over at Vital Speeches of the Day, David Murray has a moving piece about JFK's speechwriter Ted Sorenson, and the incredibly strong bond he had with the president. The same love is being shown for “Chelsea punk” turned political speechwriter Joe Resnek, who went from stealing candy to writing speeches for White House chiefs of staff, thanks to his dedication and headstrong attitude. He’s even become a regular at the 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue basketball court.

The eBible. Starting July 16, the Hotel Indigo in Newcastle, England, will replace all 148 nightstand copies of the Bible with a Kindle—one that has the good book already downloaded. Any other religious book can be downloaded on the house, but commercial novels will be charged to the guest’s bill. You’ll have to read fast, because the books you download will stay with the Kindle when you check out.

A Desk With a View. Janet Groth, who worked as a receptionist on the eighteenth floor of The New Yorker for twenty-one years, has published a memoirThe Receptionist: An Education at The New Yorker. The tell-all details all her years spent with a bird’s-eye view of the office, a few sordid affairs with some of the magazine’s contributors, and why she never made the jump from secretary to writer. Although at times she certainly felt mistreated, the perks definitely made up for it. As Groth says, “It is not clear to me who was exploiting whom.”

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