The Reading Life looks at Louisiana culture this week with native son Chris Champagne, author of The Yat Dictionary, and native daughter Sheryl St. Germain, author of Navigating Disaster:16 Essays of Love and a Poem of Despair.
Workers pose for a photo at the Hoboken de Bie & Co. gin distillery in Rotterdam, Netherlands, circa 1900. By the end of the 19th century, cocktail culture had helped make gin a more respectable spirit.
Credit Three Lions / Getty Images
William Hogarth's Gin Lane (1751) was part of a campaign to reduce gin consumption in England.
Unlike a good martini, the story of gin isn't smooth; it's long, complex, sordid and, as Richard Barnett has discovered, it makes for tantalizing material. Barnett's newly published The Book of Gin traces the liquor's life, from its beginnings in alchemy to its current popularity among boutique distillers.
Barnett joins NPR's Renee Montagne to discuss the medicinal origins and changing reputation of gin.
Originally published on Thu December 27, 2012 3:58 pm
Conventional wisdom says e-books are destroying the traditional publishing business model. People pay less for e-books and that drives down price.
When you talk to publishers though, you realize the story's not that simple. One advantage of e-books is that they allow publishers to test different prices. With a physical book once you stamp the price on the cover, that's it. Online though, you can easily adjust the price weekly or even daily.
The publishing industry has been in flux for years. First chain stores, then Amazon, then e-books — many forces have combined to create dramatic change in the traditional publishing model.
Mike Shatzkin is the founder and CEO of the publishing industry consulting firm Idea Logical. He says one of the biggest changes happening in publishing right now is the planned merger of two of the biggest players in the field, Penguin and Random House — with whispers of further mergers to come.
Have you ever borrowed an e-book from a library? If the answer is no, you're a member of a large majority. A survey out Thursday from the Pew Internet Project finds that only 5 percent of "recent library users" have tried to borrow an e-book this year.
About three-quarters of public libraries offer e-books, according to the American Library Association, but finding the book you want to read can be a challenge — when it's available at all.
The Reading Life celebrates the holidays with Marigny Dupuy and Meghan Kelly, founders of the Dickens Fellowship of New Orleans, talking about A Christmas Carol; designer Lisette Oser, who collects small, beautiful Christmas books; and poet Melinda Palacio, whose new book is How Fire Is a Story, Waiting.