The Peccadillo Theater Company Presents A Tree Grows in Brooklyn

I finished reading A Tree Grows in Brooklyn this afternoon. I had never read it before, but on its reputation as a wildly popular autiobiographical novel, i put it on my syllabus. I wanted something that would cover urban literature, class & gender, and also be a good test case for New Historicism. The last time I taught AmLit 2, I chose The Grapes of Wrath, and while feel good…

Lawyers = orcses, precious.

My blog title is from a comment on this story: The estate of JRR Tolkien is embroiled in a fierce legal battle over an American novel that uses the author of The Lord of the Rings as a central character. via JRR Tolkien novel Mirkwood in legal battle with author’s estate | Books | The Observer.

What’s your favorite backchannel tool?

What’s your favorite backchannel tool? A backchannel is a live electronic conversation that happens in the margins, while an event is taking place center stage. I really like the low entry barrier of TodaysMeet.com, but the auto-refresh does not work. Users must refresh manually. Further, TodaysMeet.com also shows an error message each time I post. That makes users nervous, and just looks shoddy. Plus, I think “Today’s Meat,” which for…

Kindle app for iPhone and iPad may get webby to avoid Apple’s new rules | Crave | CNET UK

If Apple forces the iOS Kindle app has to change to a Safari-based system (requiring web access) that would seriously damage the value of the ebooks I have purchased. Of course, that is part of Apple’s strategy, since Apple is not getting its cut of the income Amazon makes by selling books within the Kindke app. “Instead of using the Kindle app, iOS users can just point Safari to Amazon’s…

PCWorld Farewell, Blogs! Your Days Are Numbered

Somebody controls Facebook, and makes decisions about what Facebook will be like, and how Facebook will make money. Same goes for Twitter. Blogs are different, because no single company decides what blogs will be. Now that people who want to express themselves online have many different choices, and blogs are just the more writerly of the choices, that changes what we expect of blogs. But Facebook and Twitter offer far…

Think Before You Tweet or Blog or Update a Status

Even if you think it’s “not fair” that someone in power can (and will) judge you based on your behavior in a social space, it’s a fact. Be liberal and tolerant when it comes to interpreting and responding to the behavior of others online, but be conservative and restrained about what you do. I write nothing that I wouldn’t say aloud to anyone.  I am also very aware that my…