CIA Operative: Reading

The NY Times is reporting that George C. Minden passed away earlier this month.

He was responsible for the CIA-financed initiative to give books to Communists living in Eastern Europe and the Soviet Union.

"The material ranged from dictionaries, medical texts and novels by Joyce and Nabokov to art museum catalogs and Parisian fashion magazines."

Comments were kept on individual recipients' reading taste, not for some scary government reason, but to "better serve them in the future." Minden believed that the initiative "sprinkled reality into an unnatural and ultimately irrational" system.

New book review up as well.

Recently Finished:
Anne Frank: The Diary of a Young Girl
Foods That Make You Lose Weight (for work)


Pulitzer Prizes

Congratulations to the new Pulitzer Prize Winners for 2006. Read their books!

March by Geraldine Brooks

Polio: An American Story by David M. Oshinsky

American Prometheus: The Triumph and Tragedy of J. Robert Oppenheimer by Kai Bird and Martin J. Sherwin

Late Wife by Claudia Emerson

Imperial Reckoning: The Untold Story of Britain's Gulag in Kenya by Caroline Elkins


First Books

I'm a big fan of first books. While authors are rarely at their best, their methods are more transparent; their style is easier to dissect. Many of these works are beautiful and stunning. They inspire me as a reader and they inspire me to write.

Apparently, I'm not alone in my love of first books. NPR has the story. Click today's header to read.


The Blooker Prize

Brand new award for bloggers that turned their work into books. Julie Powell takes away the big prize.

"Blooks are the new books, a hybrid literary form at the cutting edge of both literature and technology," said Bob Young, founder of self-publishing site Lulu which organized and sponsored the prize. (from BBC News.)

New book review by Shane is live as well.