Monday Links: History of Innovation, Sports Books, and More

One of 2010’s best nonfiction titles is Steven Johnson’s Where Good Ideas Come From: The Natural History of Innovation, in which he proposes that innovation is more a product of nurture than nature. That is, it takes a particular environment, not mere genius, to advance the state of science and culture. I enjoyed it thoroughly. Rather than having me “tell” you about it, why don’t you watch this book trailer?


Jim Caple of’s Page 2’s Page Turner offers up his pet peeves regarding sports books. Among his rants is a take on coaches and sports heroes who pen non-sports books like the rules for success tomes we’ve been treated to by Cardinals coach Rick Pitino, who wrote 3 of them. As Caple says, “None, unfortunately, involved proper table manners when a restaurant closes for the night.” Enjoy reading Some Thoughts on Sports Books.


Here’s a little quiz. In the Stanley Kubrick film of Stephen King’s The Shining, Wendy is seen reading what well-known book? Here’s a clue: She’s reading it in her kitchen before Jack takes the family to the Overlook resort hotel for the winter. Make your guess in the comments section below. The first reader with the correct answer wins a prize next time they come into the store.


The National Book Critics Circle has announced its list of finalists for their awards in 6 categories – fiction, criticism, nonfiction, poetry, biography, and autobiography. Among the notable books are The Emperor of All Maladies, Apollo’s Angels, and Empire of the Summer Moon in the nonfiction category. You can see the entire list here.


My plan is to finish my Best of 2010 list this week, so check back. If you know someone who would enjoy my daily books blog, consider subscribing them with the tool in the upper part of the left gutter. They’ll have a chance to accept or decline and also manage the frequency of delivery via e-mail. You can also subscribe to this blog through your RSS reader, get notifications through Twitter (it’s @NewAlbanyBooks), or follow us with alerts at our Facebook page (Destinations Booksellers).

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