Monday, August 20, 2007

This Week in Reading August 19 - 25

It's hard to imagine an author born this week who has not, in some way, created works that many of us would consider as delightful. From Rachael Ray's recipes to Jorge Luis Borges' fictions there is much to snack on, so to speak.

If your taste is light verse no one satisfies people like me more than Ogden Nash whose small humanistic tidbits would make perfect blog comments today. Ditto for Dorothy Parker whose tart wit made intelligent woman feel much better about themselves. If your taste runs more to the bitter and ironic, H.P.Lovecraft and that great library supporter Ray Bradbury also hit the spot.

It's also a week to celebrate some strong events, not the least of which is the birth of printing in the West through the Gutenberg Bible, the first book printed for a larger audience. Far from mass printing, which took nearly another three hundred years to develop, - Samuel Richardson's epistolary novels were among the first of those - the first books printed often had beautiful engravings which were colored in by artists as prior illuminated manuscripts had been. Along with the development of printing also artistically designed typefaces were developed for the growing market of bourgeois book purchasers.

This Week's Question: What is the name given by book collectors to the very valuable books printed in the infancy of printing during its first fifty or so years, i.e. before 1500?

Answer to Last Week's Question: There were many small computers created from 1950 on, some appearing as kits for engineers to make at home from the pages of such magazines as Radio Electronics, but others such as the Altair in the early seventies and HP's early 9830 helped create the variety of PCs we have today. The Altair used 4K and 12K Basic programs that were written by the team of Paul Allen and Bill Gates. They started a software writing company they called "Micro-Soft" and the rest is not only history, it is the software history is written on.

No comments:

Search the Book Talk archives!