The day after the Oakland Public Library reopens after a long weekend, branch manager Nick Raymond doesn't have time to talk. "I could give you maybe five seconds," he says good-naturedly before returning to the flocking patrons.

It's a scene more typical of a blockbuster opening at a movie theater than Wednesday afternoon at a library. But Raymond manages a different kind of collection: Oakland is among a growing number of libraries across the U.S. that lend tools--as in awls, sledgehammers, and hacksaws--as well as other unexpected items like bakeware,

California seems to be the main reservation for that endangered species, the typewriter, these days. First we have Beverly Hills’ last typewriter repairman and the diehard cult of the slow writers. And now we have Jeremy Mayer, a typewriter sculptor in Oakland, Calif., eviscerating typewriters and weaving their guts into wonderful busts, nudes, deer, damselflies—and birds [...]

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We hear a lot of stories here about how this or that ebook is going to fundamentally change the ebook. And to varying degrees these books do and don't tweak the paradigm, so we take such news with a grain of salt.

But when Mark Z. Danielewski reinvents the ebook, we take notice. On Slate's Future Tense blog, Kim O'Connor reports that the author's new The Fifty Year Sword is "a key project in [Pantheon's] strategic development plan and a category changer in the realm of digitized adult fiction."

Color us intrigued.

—Brian Howard


Late Monday evening, a group of Oakland police officers busted into the city's newest library, kicked everybody out and put bars on the doors.

The Victor Martinez People's Library, named for the Chicano author who died in San Francisco last year, had only been open since 7 a.m. But over the course of that day, the formerly vacant building near the intersection of Miller Avenue and International Boulevard transformed from an empty, blighted space into a functional library.

When Michael Chabon’s highly anticipated novel, “Telegraph Avenue,” comes out Sept. 11, it will be his first novel in five years. In it, the author of the Pulitzer-winning “The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier & Clay” tackles the myriad subjects of used vinyl, childbirth and parenting, commercial real estate, jazz and soul, 1970s Blaxploitation movies, and the Black Panthers.

(Credit: CBS) ANALYSIS (CNET)The U.S. Justice Department's legal pursuit of Apple for stretches the boundaries of antitrust law and is likely to end in defeat. That's what happened in 1982, when an embarrassed Justice Department admitted its antitrust lawsuit against IBM was "without merit" and abandoned the case. And in 2001, a federal appeals court nixed the Justice Department's ambitious attempt to rewrite antitrust law by carving Microsoft into two separate companies. "It's a harder case against Apple than the publishers," says Geoffrey Manne, who teaches antitrust law at the Lewis and Clark Law School in Oregon and runs

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