Ever wonder “How to get my book reviewed”?

reading books
Book Reading/Image Source: Pixabay

So you’ve published your book. Its been edited and published, and now you’re trying to figure out how to get to your potential readers. While starting your marketing campaign usually happens well before your book is finished, getting your first reviews can’t begin until your book is done or in a final draft status.

Many stores won’t carry a small press or self-published book that doesn’t have reviews from a recognizable publication. So how do you get someone to pay attention to your book among all of the hundreds, if not thousands, of books they see every month?

City Book Review, publishers of the San Francisco Book Review, Manhattan Book Review and Kids’ BookBuzz all have programs to help you. Kids BookBuzz is only for kids, tweens and young adult books, but the other two will take almost any book you have (including children’s stories).

So how do you get your book reviewed by the San Francisco Book Review?

If your book is within 90 days of the publications date, you can submit it for general review (at no cost). The closer you are to the 90 days, the less of a chance it will have to be reviewed, but you can still begin there. The SFBR gets more than 1000 books a month, and only reviews 300 or less, so your chances of getting your book reviewed in this way is less than 33%. But you can give it a try and see if it gets reviewed.

General Submission Guidelineshttp://www.sanfranciscobookreview.com/submission-guidelines/general-submission/

If your book is more than 90 days past its publication date, or you really want to have it reviewed and don’t want to just hope it’ll get picked up through the general review, you can go through the Sponsored Review program. While there is some controversy about paying for a review, SFBR is a respected publication like Kirkus or Foreward Reviews and doesn’t provide vanity reviews for payment. You can expect the same level of professionalism from their standard reviews. And they don’t mark sponsored reviews any different than the other reviews.

Get My Book Reviewed from the San Francisco Book Reviewhttp://sanfranciscobookreview.com/submission-guidelines/sponsored-review/

Get My Book Reviewed from the San Francisco Book Review

There are a lot of different options for getting your book reviewed, mostly around how long it takes to get your review back, and if you want more than one or an interview as well.

  • Standard Reviews Take 8-10 weeks for turnaround from the time they receive your book Start at
  • Expedited Reviews Take 3-5 weeks for turnaround from the time they receive your book Start at
  • Get more than one review for the same book you’ll get a discount on the normal cost of 2 or 3 reviews. Reviews range in price from $150 to $299.
  • Getting a podcast interview for Audible Authors to promote yourself and your book, and you can add an interview to a review package at a discount.

And if you really like your review, you can have it posted on the other publication’s website for $99, or get a new review from a different reviewer. Both can help with your marketing and search engine optimization.

So how do you get your book reviewed by the Manhattan Book Review?

The Manhattan Book Review uses the same format for the San Francisco Book Review. Different audience, so if you’re an East Coast author, you might be more interested in having the credit from MBR over SFBR. Personal taste is the only difference between the two for reviews. If you are a local SF or Manhattan author, they will also flag that in your review.

General Review Submission Guidelines for the Manhattan Book Reviewhttp://manhattanbookreview.com/get-my-book-reviewed/general-submission/

Sponsored Review Submission Guidelines for the Manhattan Book Reviewhttp://manhattanbookreview.com/get-my-book-reviewed/sponsored-reviews/

So how do you get your book reviewed by Kids’ BookBuzz?

First thing, all of the reviews for Kids’ BookBuzz are done by kids. They are select age appropriate books, but the kids read them and write the reviews themselves. The younger kids have some help from their parents, but the words are all theirs. Don’t expect any easy reviews either. These kids see a lot of books, so they know good books when they read them.

General Submission Guidelines for Kids’ BookBuzzhttp://kidsbookbuzz.com/get-my-book-reviewed-by-a-kid/general-submission/

Sponsored Review Submission Guidelines for Kids’ BookBuzzhttp://kidsbookbuzz.com/get-my-book-reviewed-by-a-kid/sponsored-reviews/

Crowds flock to Saudi Arabia’s first Comic Con

(CNN)Dressed all in black with her face exposed, Fatima Mohammed Hussein has come to Saudi Arabia’s first Comic Con event dressed as Bat Girl.

“The minute I stepped in, I couldn’t believe this is happening here,” she told CNN. “It’s a big move for Saudi to have something like that.”
Hussein was one of the many Saudis who dressed up and flocked to the coastal city of Jeddah to celebrate pop culture, comic books, video games, and film between February 16 and 18.

    Fatima

    The three-day festival was part of a government initiative to bring more entertainment to Saudi Arabia, which bans public cinemas and theater.
    “When you enter into the tent, you forget that you are in Saudi Arabia,” Abdul Rahman Bakhsh, 25, an engineer and an avid YouTuber, who came to the event dressed in rustic armor over a black faux suede pullover and armed with a spear, told CNN.

    A post shared by Eng. Abdulrahman Bakhsh (@healthway_22) on

    With his friend, Ameer, he documented the Comic Con experience on YouTube video, starting with their search for costumes.
    “There is a lot of creativity in Comic Con. People really interacted with the event and their costumes were amazing,” Bakhsh said.

    Gender mixing

    Young men and women crowded into the tent, mingling near stands for comics and video games — a remarkable scene for a government-sponsored event in a country where gender segregation is imposed in many public spaces.

    People

    .. #__

    A post shared by Saudi Comic Con (@saudicomiccon) on

    A long queue formed in front of the booth of a group of talented female artists who — with make-up — created scars, injuries and anime-inspired faces. “It was Hollywood-level creativity,” Bakhsh said.
    A separate female-only tent was set up for women who wanted to take off their traditional abayas and show off their costumes.

    A

    Saudis at the event also had the opportunity to attend panel discussions with Charles Dance and Julian Glover from “Game of Thrones,” Giancarlo Esposito from “Breaking Bad,” and Mads Mikkelsen from “Doctor Strange.”
    Other panels featured Saudi producers and actors, including cast members from the upcoming Saudi superhero show, “Mas’hour” — meaning “Bewitched.”

    Comi Con history

    Comic Con events began in 1970 in San Diego and have slowly spread across the world. But before this festival, fans from Saudi Arabia had to outside the country to attend Comic Con events.

    #__

    A post shared by Saudi Comic Con (@saudicomiccon) on

    The Saudi version was organized by local company Time Entertainment. Its director Hisham AlSaeed said that Comic Con’s international presence gave Saudi Arabia the perfect opportunity to highlight homegrown talent.
    “There’s a lot of talent (here) when it comes to comics, animations, anime (and) movie production,” he said.
    AlSaeed said the initiative was inspired by the huge demand for a Comic Con in his country, illustrated paartly by the rise in people holding their own cosplay competitions at small, underground private events.
    “(Comic Con) has never been done publicly like this, it has just never been set up,” he said.

    A

    The event, which was supported by the Saudi Arabia’s General Entertainment Authority, is part of country’s “Vision 2030” program, which is promising a wave of cultural reforms to diversify the kingdom’s oil-dependent economy.
    AlSaeed said his team is planning to make this an annual event.
    “We’re considering this a soft Comic Con in Saudi Arabia, and then the next (one) will be way bigger.
    “I’m hoping by next year we have a full cast of ‘The Walking Dead’, but we also have a lot of casts of our own movies and TV shows,” he said.

    Read more: http://www.cnn.com/2017/02/19/middleeast/saudi-arabia-comic-con/index.html

    Grammy Awards 2017: The Complete Winners List!

    Winners all around us!

    With all the awards that are given out at the Grammys, it’s amazing there are people who don’t win.

    But alas, there are some — and on the other end are the winners who take home the big honors!

    Ch-ch-check out all the winners (below)!

    Album Of The Year:

    25 Adele – WINNER
    Lemonade Beyonc
    Purpose Justin Bieber
    Views Drake
    A Sailor’s Guide To Earth Sturgill Simpson

    Record Of The Year:

    “Hello” Adele – WINNER
    “Formation” Beyonc
    “7 Years” Lukas Graham
    “Work” Rihanna Featuring Drake
    “Stressed Out” Twenty One Pilots

    Song Of The Year:

    “Formation” Khalif Brown, Asheton Hogan, Beyonc Knowles & Michael L. Williams II, songwriters (Beyonc)
    “Hello” Adele Adkins & Greg Kurstin, songwriters (Adele) – WINNER
    “I Took A Pill In Ibiza” Mike Posner, songwriter (Mike Posner)
    “Love Yourself” Justin Bieber, Benjamin Levin & Ed Sheeran, songwriters (Justin Bieber)
    “7 Years” Lukas Forchhammer, Stefan Forrest, Morten Pilegaard & Morten Ristorp, songwriters (Lukas Graham)

    Best New Artist:

    Kelsea Ballerini
    The Chainsmokers
    Chance The Rapper – WINNER
    Maren Morris
    Anderson .Paak

    Best Pop Vocal Album:

    25 Adele – WINNER
    Purpose Justin Bieber
    Dangerous Woman Ariana Grande
    Confident Demi Lovato
    This Is Acting Sia

    Best Pop Solo Performance:

    “Hello” Adele – WINNER
    “Hold Up” Beyonce
    “Love Yourself” Justin Bieber
    “Piece By Piece (Idol Version)” Kelly Clarkson
    “Dangerous Woman” Ariana Grande

    Best Pop Duo/Group Performance:

    “Closer” The Chainsmokers Featuring Halsey
    “7 Years” Lukas Graham
    “Work” Rihanna Featuring Drake
    “Cheap Thrills” Sia Featuring Sean Paul
    “Stressed Out” Twenty One Pilots – WINNER

    Best Traditional Pop Vocal Album:

    Cinema Andrea Bocelli
    Fallen Angels Bob Dylan
    Stages Live Josh Groban
    Summertime: Willie Nelson Sings Gershwin Willie Nelson – WINNER
    Encore: Movie Partners Sing Broadway Barbra Streisand

    Best Dance Recording:

    “Tearing Me Up” Bob Moses
    “Don’t Let Me Down” The Chainsmokers Featuring Daya – WINNER
    “Never Be Like You” Flume Featuring Kai
    “Rinse & Repeat” Riton Featuring Kah-Lo
    “Drinkee” Sofi Tukker

    Best Dance/Electronic Album:

    Skin Flume – WINNER
    Electronica 1: The Time Machine Jean-Michel Jarre
    Epoch Tycho
    Barbara Barbara, We Face A Shining Future Underworld
    Louie Vega StarringXXVIII Louie Vega

    Best Contemporary Instrumental Album:

    Human Nature Herb Alpert
    When You Wish Upon a Star Bill Frisell
    Way Back Home: Live From Rochester, NY Steve Gadd Band
    Unpsoken Chuck Loeb
    Culcha Vulcha Snarky Puppy – WINNER

    Best Rock Performance:

    “Joe (Live From Austin City Limits)” Alabama Shakes
    “Don’t Hurt Yourself” Beyonce Featuring Jack White
    “Blackstar” David Bowie – WINNER
    “The Sound Of Silence” Disturbed
    “Heathens” Twenty One Pilots

    Best Metal Performance:

    “Shock Me” Baroness
    “Slivera” Gojira
    “Rotting in Vain” Korn
    “Dystopia” Megadeth – WINNER
    “The Price Is Wrong” Periphery

    Best Rock Song:

    “Blackstar” David Bowie, songwriter (David Bowie) – WINNER
    “Burn the Witch” Radiohead, songwriters (Radiohead)
    “Hardwired” James Hetfield & Lars Ulrich, songwriters (Metallica
    “Heathens” Tyler Joseph, songwriter (Twenty One Pilots)
    “My Name Is Human” Rich Meyer, Ryan Meyer & Johnny Stevens, songwriters (Highly Suspect)

    Best Rock Album:

    California Blink-182
    Tell Me I’m Pretty Cage The Elephant – WINNER
    Magma Gojira
    Death Of A Bachelor Panic! At The Disco
    Weezer Weezer

    Best Alternative Music Album:

    22, A Million Bon Iver
    Blackstar David Bowie – WINNER
    The Hope Six Demolition Project PJ Harvey
    Post Pop Depression Iggy Pop
    A Moon Shaped Pool Radiohead

    Best R&B Performance:

    “Turnin’ Me Up” BJ The Chicago Kid
    “Permission” Ro James
    “I Do” Musiq Soulchild
    “Needed Me” Rihanna
    “Cranes in the Sky” Solange – WINNER

    Best Traditional R&B Performance:

    “The Three Of Me” William Bell
    “Woman’s World” BJ The Chicago Kid
    “Sleeping With The One I Love” Fantasia
    “Angel” Lalah Hathaway – WINNER
    “Can’t Wait” Jill Scott

    Best R&B Song:

    “Come and See Me” J. Brathwaite, Aubrey Graham & Noah Shebib, songwriters (PartyNextDoor Featuring Drake)
    “Exchange” Michael Hernandez & Bryson Tiller, songwriters (Bryson Tiller)
    “Kiss It Better” Jeff Bhasker, Robyn Fenty, John-Nathan Glass & Natalia Noemi, songwriters (Rihanna)
    “Lake By the Ocean” Hod David & Musze, songwriters (Maxwell) – WINNER
    “Luv” Magnus August Hiberg, Benjamin Levin & Daystar Peterson, songwriters (Tory Lanez)

    Best Urban Contemporary Album:

    Lemonade Beyonc – WINNER
    Ology Gallant
    We Are King KING
    Malibu Anderson .Paak
    Anti Rihanna

    Best R&B Album:

    In My Mind BJ The Chicago Kid
    Lalah Hathaway Live Lalah Hathaway – WINNER
    Velvet Portraits Terrace Martin
    Healing Season Mint Condition
    Smoove Jones Mya

    Best Rap Performance:

    “No Problem” Chance The Rapper Featuring Lil Wayne & 2 Chainz – WINNER
    “Panda” Desiigner
    “Pop Style” Drake Featuring The Throne
    “All The Way Up” Fat Joe & Remy Ma Featuring French Montana & Infared
    “That Part” ScHoolboy Q Featuring Kanye West

    Best Rap/Sung Performance:

    “Freedom” Beyonce Featuring Kendrick Lamar
    “Hotline Bling” Drake – WINNER
    “Broccoli” D.R.A.M. Featuring Lil Yachty
    “Ultralight Beam” Kanye West Featuring Chance The Rapper, Kelly Price, Kirk Franklin & The-Dream
    “Famous” Kanye West Featuring Rihanna

    Best Rap Song:

    “All The Way Up” Joseph Cartagena, Edward Davadi, Shandel Green, Karim Kharbouch, Andre Christopher Lyon, Reminisce Mackie & Marcello Valenzano, songwriters (Fat Joe & Remy Ma Featuring French Montana & Infared)
    “Famous” Chancelor Bennett, Ross Birchard, Ernest Brown, Andrew Dawson, Kasseem Dean, Mike Dean, Noah Goldstein, Kejuan Muchita, Patrick Reynolds, Kanye West & Cydel Young, songwriters (Kanye West Featuring Rihanna)
    “Hotline Bling” Aubrey Graham & Paul Jefferies, songwriters (Drake) – WINNER
    “No Problem” Chancelor Bennett, Dwayne Carter & Tauheed Epps, songwriters (Chance The Rapper Featuring Lil Wayne & 2 Chainz)
    “Ultralight Beam” Chancelor Bennett, Kasseem Dean, Mike Dean, Kirk Franklin, Noah Goldstein, Samuel Griesemer, Terius Nash, Jerome Potter, Kelly Price, Nico “Donnie Trumpet” Segal, Derek Watkins, Kanye West & Cydel Young, songwriters (Kanye West Featuring Chance The Rapper, Kelly Price, Kirk Franklin & The-Dream)

    Best Rap Album:

    Coloring Book Chance The Rapper – WINNER
    And the Anonymous Nobody De La Soul
    Major Key DJ Khaled
    Views Drake
    Blank Face LP ScHoolboy Q
    The Life of Pablo Kanye West

    Best Country Solo Performance:

    “Love Can Go To Hell” Brandy Clark
    “Vice” Miranda Lambert
    “My Church” Maren Morris – WINNER
    “Church Bells” Carrie Underwood
    “Blue Ain’t Your Color” Keith Urban

    Best Country Duo/Group Performance:

    “Different for Girls” Dierks Bentley Featuring Elle King
    “21 Summer” Brothers Osborne
    “Setting The World On Fire” Kenny Chesney & P!nk
    “Jolene” Pentatonix Featuring Dolly Parton – WINNER
    “Think Of You” Chris Young With Cassadee Pope

    Best Country Song:

    “Blue Ain’t Your Color” Clint Lagerberg, Hillary Lindsey & Steven Lee Olsen, songwriters (Keith Urban)
    “Die A Happy Man” Sean Douglas, Thomas Rhett & Joe Spargur, songwriters (Thomas Rhett)
    “Humble and Kind” Lori McKenna, songwriter (Tim McGraw) – WINNER
    “My Church” busbee & Maren Morris, songwriters (Maren Morris)
    “Vice” Miranda Lambert, Shane McAnally & Josh Osborne, songwriters (Miranda Lambert)

    Best Country Album:

    Big Day In A Small Town Brandy Clark
    Full Circle Loretta Lynn
    Hero Maren Morris
    A Sailor’s Guide To Earth Sturgill Simpson – WINNER
    Ripcord Keith Urban

    Best New Age Album:

    Orogen John Burke
    Dark Sky Island Enya
    Inner Passion Peter Kater & Tina Guo
    Rosetta Vangelis
    White Sun II White Sun – WINNER

    Best Improvised Jazz Solo:

    “Countdown” Joey Alexander, soloist
    “In Movement” Ravi Coltrane, soloist
    “We See” Fred Hersch, soloist
    “I Concentrate On You” Brad Mehldau, soloist
    “I’m So Lonesome I Could Cry” John Scofield, soloist – WINNER

    Best Jazz Vocal Album:

    Sound Of Red Ren Marie
    Upward Spiral Branford Marsalis Quartet With Special Guest Kurt Elling
    Take Me To The Alley Gregory Porter – WINNER
    Harlem On My Mind Catherine Russell
    The Sting Variations The Tierney Sutton Band

    Best Jazz Instrumental Album:

    Book of Intuition Kenny Barron Trio
    Dr. Um Peter Erskine
    Sunday Night At The Vanguard The Fred Hersch Trio
    Nearness Joshua Redman & Brad Mehldau
    Country For Old Men John Scofield – WINNER

    Best Large Jazz Ensemble Album:

    Real Enemies Darcy James Argue’s Secret Society
    Presents Monk’estra, Vol. 1 John Beasley
    Kaleidoscope Eyes: Music of the Beatles John Daversa
    All L.A. Band Bob Mintzer
    Presidential Suite: Eight Variations On Freedom Ted Nash Big Band – WINNER

    Best Latin Jazz Album:

    Entre Colegas Andy Gonzalez
    Madera Latino: A Latin Jazz Perspective On The Music Of Woody Shaw Brian Lynch & Various Artists
    Canto Amrica Michael Spiro/Wayne Wallace La Orquesta Sinfonietta
    30 – Trio Da Paz
    Tribute To Irakere: Live In Marciac Chucho Valdes – WINNER

    Best Gospel Performance/Song:

    “It’s Alright, It’s OK” Shirley Caesar Featuring Anthony Hamilton; Stanley Brown & Courtney Rumble, songwriters
    “You’re Bigger [Live]” Jekalyn Carr; Allundria Carr, songwriter
    “Made A Way [Live]” Travis Greene; Travis Greene, songwriter
    “God Provides” Tamela Mann; Kirk Franklin, songwriter – WINNER
    “Better” Hezekiah Walker; Jason Clayborn, Gabriel Hatcher & Hezekiah Walker, songwriters

    Best Contemporary Christian Music Performance/Song:

    “Trust In You” Lauren Daigle; Lauren Daigle, Michael Farren & Paul Mabury, songwriters
    “Priceless” For King & Country; Benjamin Backus, Seth Mosley, Joel Smallbone, Luke Smallbone & Tedd Tjornhom, songwriters
    “King of the World” Natalie Grant; Natalie Grant, Becca Mizell & Samuel Mizell, songwriters
    “Thy Will” Hillary Scott & The Scott Family; Bernie Herms, Hillary Scott & Emily Weisband, songwriters Track from: Love Remains – WINNER
    “Chain Breaker” Zach Williams; Mia Fieldes, Jonathan Smith & Zach Williams, songwriters

    Best Gospel Album:

    Listen Tim Bowman Jr.
    Fill This House Shirley Caesar
    A Worshipper’s Heart [Live] Todd Dulaney
    Losing My Religion Kirk Franklin – WINNER
    Demonstrate [Live] William Murphy

    Best Contemporary Christian Music Album:

    Poets & Saints All Sons & Daughters
    American Prodigal Crowder
    Be One Natalie Grant
    Youth Revival [Live] Hillsong Young & Free
    Love Remains Hillary Scott & The Scott Family – WINNER

    Best Roots Gospel Album:

    Better Together Gaither Vocal Band
    Nature’s Symphony In 432 The Isaacs
    Hymns Joey+Rory – WINNER
    Hymns And Songs Of Inspiration Gordon Mote
    God Don’t Ever Change: The Songs Of Blind Willie Johnson (Various Artists)

    Best Latin Pop Album:

    Un Besito Mas Jesse & Joy – WINNER
    Ilusin Gaby Moreno
    Similares Laura Pausini
    Seguir Latiendo Sanalejo
    Buena Vida Diego Torres

    Best Latin Rock, Urban or Alternative Album:

    iLevitable ile – WINNER
    L.H.O.N. (La Humanidad O Nosotros) Illya Kuryaki & The Valderamas
    Buenaventura La Santa Cecilia
    Los Rakas Los Rakas
    Amor Supremo Carla Morrison

    Best Regional Mexican Music Album (Including Tejano):

    Races Banda El Recodo De Cruz Lizarraga
    Hecho A Mano Joss Favela
    Un Azteca En El Azteca, Vol. 1 (En Vivo) Vicente Fernandez – WINNER
    Generacin Maquinaria Est. 2006 La Maquinaria Nortena
    Tributo A Joan Sebastian Y Rigoberto Alfaro Mariachi Divas De Cindy Shea

    Best Tropical Latin Album:

    Conexin Fonseca
    La Fantasia Homenaje A Juan Formell Formell Y Los Van Van
    35 Aniversario Grupo Niche
    La Sonora Santanera En Su 60 Aniversario La Sonora Santanera
    Donde Estn? Jose Lugo & Guasabara Combo – WINNER

    Best American Roots Performance:

    “Ain’t No Man” The Avett Brothers
    “Mother’s Children Have A Hard Time” Blind Boys Of Alabama
    “Factory Girl” Rhiannon Giddens
    “House Of Mercy” Sarah Jarosz – WINNER
    “Wreck You” Lori McKenna

    Best American Roots Song:

    “Alabama At Night” Robbie Fulks, songwriter (Robbie Fulks)
    “City Lights” Jack White, songwriter (Jack White)
    “Gulfstream” Eric Adcock & Roddie Romero, songwriters (Roddie Romero And The Hub City All-Stars)
    “Kid Sister” Vince Gill, songwriter (The Time Jumpers) – WINNER
    “Wreck You” Lori McKenna & Felix McTeigue, songwriters (Lori McKenna)

    Best Americana Album:

    True Sadness The Avett Brothers
    This Is Where I Live William Bell – WINNER
    The Cedar Creek Sessions Kris Kristofferson
    The Bird & The Rifle Lori McKenna
    Kid Sister The Time Jumpers

    Best Bluegrass Album:

    Original Traditional Blue Highway
    Burden Bearer Doyle Lawson & Quicksilver
    The Hazel Sessions Laurie Lewis & The Right Hands
    North And South Claire Lynch
    Coming Home O’Connor Band With Mark O’Connor – WINNER

    Best Traditional Blues Album:

    Can’t Shake The Feeling Lurrie Bell
    Live At The Greek Theatre Joe Bonamassa
    Blues & Ballads (A Folksinger’s Songbook: Volumes I & II) Luther Dickinson
    The Soul of Jimmie Rodgers Vasti Jackson
    Porcupine Meat Bobby Rush – WINNER

    Best Contemporary Blues Album:

    The Last Days Of Oakland Fantastic Negrito – WINNER
    Love Wins Again Janiva Magness
    Bloodline Kenny Neal
    Give It Back To You The Record Company
    Everybody Wants A Piece Joe Louis Walker

    Best Folk Album:

    Silver Skies Blue Judy Collins & Ari Hest
    Upland Stories Robbie Fulks
    Factory Girl Rhiannon Giddens
    Weighted Mind Sierra Hull
    Undercurrent Sarah Jarosz – WINNER

    Best Regional Roots Music Album:

    Broken Promised Land Barry Jean Ancelet & Sam Broussard
    It’s A Cree Thing Northern Cree
    E Walea Kalani Pe’a – WINNER
    Gulfstream Roddie Romero And The Hub City All-Stars
    I Wanna Sing Right: Rediscovering Lomax In The Evangeline Country (Various Artists)

    Best Reggae Album:

    Sly & Robbie Presents… Reggae For Her Devin Di Dakta & J.L
    Rose Petals J Boog
    Ziggy Marley Ziggy Marley – WINNER
    Everlasting Raging Fyah
    Falling Into Place Rebelution
    Soja: Live In Virginia Soja

    Best World Music Album:

    Destiny Celtic Woman
    Walking In The Footsteps Of Our Fathers Ladysmith Black Mambazo
    Sing Me Home Yo-Yo Ma & The Silk Road Ensemble – WINNER
    Land Of Gold Anoushka Shankar
    Dois Amigos, Um Sculo De Msica: Multishow Live Caetano Veloso & Gilberto Gil

    Best Children’s Album:

    Explorer Of The World Frances England
    Infinity Plus One Secret Agent 23 Skidoo -WINNER
    Novelties Recess Monkey
    Press Play Brady Rymer And The Little Band That Could
    Saddle Up The Okee Dokee Brothers

    Best Spoken Word Album (Includes Poetry, Audio Books & Storytelling):

    The Girl With The Lower Back Tattoo Amy Schumer
    In Such Good Company: Eleven Years Of Laughter, Mayhem, And Fun In The Sandbox Carol Burnett – WINNER
    M Train Patti Smith
    Under The Big Black Sun: A Personal History Of L.A.Punk (John Doe With Tom DeSavia) (Various Artists)
    Unfaithful Music & Disappearing Ink Elvis Costello

    Best Comedy Album:

    …America…Great… David Cross
    American Myth Margaret Cho
    Boysih Girl Interrupted Tig Notaro
    Live At The Apollo Amy Schumer
    Talking For Clapping Patton Oswalt – WINNER

    Best Musical Theater Album:

    Bright Star Carmen Cusack, principal soloist; Jay Alix, Peter Asher & Una Jackman, producers; Steve Martin, composer; Edie Brickell, composer & lyricist (Original Broadway Cast)
    The Color Purple Cynthia Erivo & Jennifer Hudson, principal soloists; Stephen Bray, Van Dean, Frank Filipetti, Roy Furman, Scott Sanders & Jhett Tolentino, producers (Stephen Bray, Brenda Russell & Allee Willis, composers/lyricists) (New Broadway Cast) – WINNER
    Fiddler On The Roof Danny Burstein, principal soloist; Louise Gund, David Lai & Ted Sperling, producers (Jerry Bock, composer; Sheldon Harnick, lyricist) (2016 Broadway Cast)
    Kinky Boots Killian Donnelly & Matt Henry, principal soloists; Sammy James, Jr., Cyndi Lauper, Stephen Oremus & William Wittman, producers (Cyndi Lauper, composer & lyricist) (Original West End Cast)
    Waitress Jessie Mueller, principal soloist; Neal Avron, Sara Bareilles & Nadia DiGiallonardo, producers; Sara Bareilles, composer & lyricist (Original Broadway Cast)

    Best Compilation Soundtrack For Visual Media:

    Amy (Various Artists)
    Miles Ahead Miles Davis & Various Artists) – WINNER
    Straight Outta Compton (Various Artists)
    Suicide Squad (Collector’s Edition) (Various Artists)
    Vinyl: The Essentials Season 1 (Various Artists)

    Best Score Soundtrack For Visual Media:

    Bridge of Spies Thomas Newman, composer
    Quentin Tarantino’s The Hateful Eight Ennio Morricone, composer
    The Revenant Alva Noto & Ryuichi Sakamoto, composers
    Star Wars: The Force Awakens John Williams, composer – WINNER
    Stranger Things Volume 1 Kyle Dixon & Michael Stein, composers
    Stranger Things Volume 2 Kyle Dixon & Michael Stein, composers

    Best Song Written For Visual Media:

    “Can’t Stop The Feeling!” Max Martin, Shellback & Justin Timberlake, songwriters (Justin Timberlake, Anna Kendrick, Gwen Stefani, James Corden, Zooey Deschanel, Walt Dohrn, Ron Funches, Caroline Hjelt, Aino Jawo, Christopher Mintz-Plasse & Kunal Nayyar), Track from: Trolls – WINNER
    “Heathens” Tyler Joseph, songwriter (Twenty One Pilots), Track from: Suicide Squad
    “Just Like Fire” Oscar Holter, Max Martin, P!nk & Shellback, songwriters (P!nk), Track from: Alice Through The Looking Glass
    “Purple Lamborghini” Shamann Cooke, Sonny Moore & William Roberts, songwriters (Skrillex & Rick Ross), Track from: Suicide Squad
    “Try Everything” Mikkel S. Eriksen, Sia Furler & Tor Erik Hermansen, songwriters (Shakira), Track from: Zootopia
    “The Veil” Peter Gabriel, songwriter (Peter Gabriel), Track from: Snowden

    Best Instrumental Composition:

    “Bridge of Spies (End Title)” Thomas Newman, composer (Thomas Newman)
    “The Expensive Train Set (An Epic Sarahnade For Big Band)” Tim Davies, composer (Tim Davies Big Band)
    “Flow” Alan Ferber, composer (Alan Ferber Nonet)
    “L’Ultima Diligenza Di Red Rock – Verisione Integrale” Ennio Morricone, composer (Ennio Morricone)
    “Spoken At Midnight” Ted Nash, composer (Ted Nash Big Band) – WINNER

    Best Arrangement, Instrumental or A Cappella:

    “Ask Me Now” John Beasley, arranger (John Beasley)
    “Good ‘Swing’ Wenceslas” Sammy Nestico, arranger (The Count Basie Orchestra)
    “Linus & Lucy” Christian Jacob, arranger (The Phil Norman Tentet)
    “Lucy In The Sky With Diamonds” John Daversa, arranger (John Daversa)
    “We Three Kings” Ted Nash, arranger (Jazz At Lincoln Center Orchestra With Wynton Marsalis)
    “You And I” Jacob Collier, arranger (Jacob Collier) – WINNER

    Best Arrangement, Instruments and Vocals:

    “Do You Hear What I Hear?” Gordon Goodwin, arranger (Gordon Goodwin’s Big Phat Band Featuring Take 6)
    “Do You Want To Know A Secret” John Daversa, arranger (John Daversa Featuring Renee Olstead)
    “Flintstones” Jacob Collier, arranger (Jacob Collier) – WINNER
    “I’m A Fool To Want You” Alan Broadbent, arranger (Kristin Chenoweth)
    “Somewhere (Dirty Blvd) (Extended Version)” Billy Childs & Larry Klein, arrangers (Lang Lang Featuring Lisa Fischer & Jeffrey Wright)

    Best Recording Package:

    Anti (Deluxe Edition) Ciarra Pardo & Robyn Fenty, art directors (Rihanna)
    Blackstar Jonathan Barnbrook, art director (David Bowie) – WINNER
    Human Performance Andrew Savage, art director (Parquet Courts)
    Sunset Motel Sarah Dodds & Shauna Dodds, art directors (Reckless Kelly)
    22, A Million Eric Timothy Carlson, art director (Bon Iver)

    Best Boxed Or Special Limited Edition Package:

    Edith Piaf 1915-2015 Gerard Lo Monaco, art director (Edith Piaf) – WINNER
    401 Days Jonathan Dagan & Mathias Hst Normark, art directors (J.Views)
    I Like It When You Sleep, For You Are So Beautiful Yet So Unaware Of It Samuel Burgess-Johnson & Matthew Healy, art directors (The 1975)
    Paper Wheels (Deluxe Limited Edition) Matt Taylor, art director (Trey Anastasio)
    Tug of War (Deluxe Edition) Simon Earith & James Musgrave, art directors (Paul McCartney)

    Best Album Notes:

    The Complete Monument & Columbia Albums Collection Mikal Gilmore, album notes writer (Kris Kristofferson)
    The Knoxville Sessions, 1929-1930: Knox County Stomp Ted Olson & Tony Russell, album notes writers (Various Artists)
    Ork Records: New York, New York Rob Sevier & Ken Shipley, album notes writers (Various Artists)
    Sissle And Blake Sing Shuffle Along Ken Bloom & Richard Carlin, album notes writers (Eubie Blake & Noble Sissle) – WINNER
    Waxing The Gospel: Mass Evangelism & The Phonograph, 1890-1990 Richard Martin, album notes writer (Various Artists)

    Best Historical Album:

    The Cutting Edge 1965-1966: The Bootleg Series, Vol. 12 (Collector’s Edition) Steve Berkowitz & Jeff Rosen, compilation producers; Mark Wilder, mastering engineer (Bob Dylan) – WINNER
    Music Of Morocco From The Library Of Congress: Recorded By Paul Bowles, 1959 April G. Ledbetter, Steven Lance Ledbetter, Bill Nowlin & Philip D. Schuyler, compilation producers; Rick Fisher & Michael Graves, mastering engineers (Various Artists)
    Ork Records: New York, New York Rob Sevier & Ken Shipley, compilation producers; Jeff Lipton & Maria Rice, mastering engineers (Various Artists)
    Vladimir Horowitz: The Unreleased Live Recordings 1966-1983 Bernard Horowitz, Andreas K. Meyer & Robert Russ, compilation producers; Andreas K. Meyer & Jeanne Montalvo, mastering engineers (Vladimir Horowitz)
    Waxing The Gospel: Mass Evangelism & The Phonograph, 1890 – 1900Michael Devecka, Meagan Hennessey & Richard Martin, compilation producers; Michael Devecka, David Giovannoni, Michael Khanchalian & Richard Martin, mastering engineers (Various Artists)

    Best Engineered Album, Non-Classical:

    Are You Serious Tchad Blake & David Boucher, engineers; Bob Ludwig, mastering engineer (Andrew Bird)
    Blackstar David Bowie, Tom Elmhirst, Kevin Killen & Tony – WINNER
    Dig In Deep Ryan Freeland, engineer; Kim Rosen, mastering engineer (Bonnie Raitt)
    Hit N Run Phase Two Booker T., Dylan Dresdow, Chris James, Prince & Justin Stanley, engineers; Dylan Dresdow, mastering engineer (Prince)
    Undercurrent Shani Gandhi & Gary Paczosa, engineers; Paul Blakemore, mastering engineer (Sarah Jarosz)

    Producer Of The Year, Non-Classical:

    Benny Blanco
    Greg Kurstin – WINNER
    Max Martin
    Nineteen85
    Ricky Reed

    Best Remixed Recording:

    “Cali Coast (Psionics Remix)” Josh Williams, remixer (Soul Pacific)
    “Heavy Star Movin’ (staRo Remix)” staRo, remixer (The Silver Lake Chorus)
    “Nineteen Hundred Eighty-Five (Timo Maas & James Teej Remix)” Timo Maas & James Teej, remixers (Paul McCartney & Wings)
    “Only” (Kaskade X Lipless Remix) Ryan Raddon, remixer (Ry X)
    “Tearing Me Up (RAC Remix)” Andre Allen Anjos, remixer (Bob Moses) – WINNER
    “Wide Open (Joe Goddard Remix)” Joe Goddard, remixer (The Chemical Brothers)

    Best Surround Sound Album:

    Dutilleux: Sur La Me Accord; Les Citations; Mystre De L’Instant & Timbres, Espace, Mouvement Alexander Lipay & Dmitriy Lipay, surround mix engineers; Dmitriy Lipay, surround mastering engineer; Dmitriy Lipay, surround producer (Ludovic Morlot & Seattle Symphony) – WINNER
    Johnson: Considering Matthew Shephard Brad Michel, surround mix engineer; Brad Michel, surround mastering engineer; Robina G. Young, surround producer (Craig Hella Johnson & Conspirare)
    Maja S.K. Ratkje: And Sing … Morten Lindberg, surround mix engineer; Morten Lindberg, surround mastering engineer; Morten Lindberg, surround producer (Maja S.K. Ratkje, Cikada & Oslo Sinfonietta)
    Primus & The Chocolate Factory Les Claypool, surround mix engineer; Stephen Marcussen, surround mastering engineer; Les Claypool, surround producer (Primus)
    Reflections Morten Lindberg, surround mix engineer; Morten Lindberg, surround mastering engineer; Morten Lindberg, surround producer (yvind Gimse, Geir Inge Lotsberg & Trondheimsolistene)

    Best Engineered Album, Classical:

    Corigliano: The Ghosts Of Versailles Mark Donahue & Fred Vogler, engineers (James Conlon, Guanqun Yu, Joshua Guerrero, Patricia Racette, Christopher Maltman, Lucy Schaufer, Lucas Meachem, LA Opera Chorus & Orchestra) – WINNER
    Dutilleux: Sur La Me Accord; Les Citations; Mystre De L’Instant & Timbres, Espace, Mouvement Alexander Lipay & Dmitriy Lipay, engineers (Ludovic Morlot & Seattle Symphony)
    Reflections Morten Lindberg, engineer (yvind Gimse, Geir Inge Lotsberg & Trondheimsolistene)
    Shadow of Sirius Silas Brown & David Frost, engineers; Silas Brown,
    Shostakovich: Under Stalin’s Shadow – Symphonies Nos. 5, 8 & 9 Shawn Murphy & Nick Squire, engineers; Tim Martyn, mastering engineer (Andris Nelsons & Boston Symphony Orchestra)

    Producer of the Year, Classical:

    Blanton Alspaugh
    David Frost – WINNER
    Marina A. Ledin, Victor Ledin
    Judith Sherman
    Robina G. Young

    Best Orchestral Field:

    Bates: Works For Orchestra Michael Tilson Thomas, conductor (San Francisco Symphony)
    Ibert: Orchestral Works Neeme Jarvi, conductor (Orchestre De La Suisse Romande)
    Prokofiev: Symphony No. 5 In B-Flat Major, Op. 100 Mariss Jansons, conductor (Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra)
    Rouse: Odna Zhizn; Symphonies 3 & 4; Prospero’s Rooms Alan Gilbert, conductor (New York Philharmonic)
    Shostakovich: Under Stalin’s Shadow – Symphonies Nos. 5, 8 & 9 Andris Nelsons, conductor (Boston Symphony Orchestra) – WINNER

    Best Opera Recording:

    Corigliano: The Ghosts Of Versailles James Conlon, conductor; Joshua Guerrero, Christopher Maltman, Lucas Meachem, Patricia Racette, Lucy Schaufer & Guanqun Yu; Blanton Alspaugh, producer (LA Opera Orchestra; LA Opera Chorus) – WINNER
    Handel: Giulio Cesare Giovanni Antonini, conductor; Cecilia Bartoli, Philippe Jaroussky, Andreas Scholl & Anne-Sofie von Otter; Samuel Theis, producer (Il Giardino Armonico)
    Higdon: Cold Mountain Miguel Harth-Bedoya, conductor; Emily Fons, Nathan Gunn, Isabel Leonard & Jay Hunter Morris; Elizabeth Ostrow, producer (The Santa Fe Opera Orchestra; Santa Fe Opera Apprentice Program For Singers) Mozart: Le Nozze De Figaro Yannick Nezet-Seguin, conductor; Thomas Hampson, Christiane Karg, Luca Pisaroni & Sonya Yoncheva; Daniel Zalay, producer (Chamber Orchestra Of Europe; Vocalensemble Rastatt)
    Szymanowski: Krl Roger Antonio Pappano, conductor; Georgia Jarman, Mariusz Kwiecien & Saimir Pirgu; Jonathan Allen, producer (Orchestra Of The Royal Opera House; Royal Opera Chorus)

    Best Choral Performance:

    Himmerland Elisabeth Holte, conductor (Marianne Reidarsdatter Eriksen, Ragnfrid Lie & Matilda Sterby; Inger-Lise Ulsrud; Uranienborg Vokalensemble)
    Janek: Glagolitic Mass Edward Gardner, conductor; Hakon Matti Skrede, chorus master (Susan Bickley, Gabor Bretz, Sara Jakubiak & Stuart Skelton; Thomas Trotter; Bergen Philharmonic Orchestra; Bergen Cathedral Choir, Bergen Philharmonic Choir, Choir Of Collegium Musicum & Edvard Grieg Kor)
    Lloyd: Bonhoeffer Donald Nally, conductor (Malavika Godbole, John Grecia, Rebecca Harris & Thomas Mesa; The Crossing)
    Penderecki Conducts Penderecki, Volume 1 Krzystof Penderecki, conductor; Henryk Wojnarowski, choir director (Nikolay Didenko, Agnieszka Rehlis & Johanna Rusanen; Warsaw Philharmonic Orchestra; Warsaw Philharmonic Choir) – WINNER
    Steinberg: Passion Week Steven Fox, conductor (The Clarion Choir)

    Best Chamber Music/Small Ensemble Performance:

    Fitelberg: Chamber Works ARC Ensemble
    Reflections yvind Gimse, Geir Inge Lotsberg & Trondheimsolistene
    Serious Business Spektral Quartet
    Steve Reich Third Coast Percussion – WINNER
    Trios From Our Homelands Lincoln Trio

    Best Classical Instrumental Solo:

    Adams, J.: Scheherazade.2 Leila Josefowicz; David Robertson, conductor (Chester Englander; St. Louis Symphony)
    Daugherty: Tales Of Hemingway Zuill Bailey; Giancarlo Guerrero, conductor (Nashville Symphony)
    Dvork: Violin Concerto & Romance; Suk: Fantasy Christian Tetzlaff; John Storgards, conductor (Helsinki Philharmonic Orchestra) – WINNER

    Mozart: Keyboard Music, Vols. 8 & 9 Kristian Bezuidenhout
    1930’s Violin Concertos, Vol. 2 Gil Shaham; Stephane Deneve, conductor (The Knights & Stuttgart Radio Symphony Orchestra)

    Best Classical Solo Vocal Album:

    Monteverdi Magdalena Kozena; Andrea Marcon, conductor (David Feldman, Michael Feyfar, Jakob Pilgram & Luca Tittoto; La Cetra Barockorchester Basel)
    Mozart: The Weber Sisters Sabine Devieilhe; Raphael Pichon, conductor (Pygmalion)
    Schumann & Berg Dorothea Roschmann; Mitsuko Uchida, accompanist
    Shakespeare Songs Ian Bostridge; Antonio Pappano, accompanist (Michael Collins, Elizabeth Kenny, Lawrence Power & Adam Walker) – WINNER
    Verismo Anna Netrebko; Antonio Pappano, conductor (Yusif Eyvazov; Coro Dell’Accademia Nazionale Di Santa Cecilia; Orchestra Dell’Accademia Nazionale Di Santa Cecilia)

    Best Classical Compendium:
    Daugherty: Tales Of Hemingway; American Gothic; Once Upon A Castle Giancarlo Guerrero, conductor; Tim Handley, producer – WINNER
    Gesualdo Tonu Kaljuste, conductor; Manfred Eicher, producer
    Vaughan Williams: Discoveries Martyn Brabbins, conductor; Andrew Walton, producer
    Wolfgang: Passing Through Judith Farmer & Gernot Wolfgang, producers
    Zappa: 200 Motels The Suites Esa-Pekka Salonen, conductor; Frank Filipetti & Gail Zappa, producers

    Best Contemporary Classical Composition:

    Bates: Anthology Of Fantastic Zoology Mason Bates, composer (Riccardo Muti & Chicago Symphony Orchestra)
    Daugherty: Tales Of Hemingway Michael Daugherty, composer (Zuill Bailey, Giancarlo Guerrero & Nashville Symphony) – WINNER
    Higdon: Cold Mountain Jennifer Higdon, composer; Gene Scheer, librettist
    Theofanidis: Bassoon Concerto Christopher Theofanidis, composer (Martin Kuuskmann, Barry Jekowsky & Northwest Sinfonia)
    Winger: Conversations With Nijinsky C. F. Kip Winger, composer (Martin West & San Francisco Ballet Orchestra)

    Best Music Video:

    “Formation” Beyonc – WINNER
    “River” Leon Bridges
    “Up & Up” Coldplay
    “Gosh” Jamie XX
    “Upside Down & Inside Out” OK Go

    Best Music Film:

    I’ll Sleep When I’m Dead Steve Aoki
    The Beatles: Eight Days A Week The Touring Years (The Beatles) – WINNER
    Lemonade Beyonc
    The Music Of Strangers Yo-Yo Ma & The Silk Road Ensemble
    American Saturday Night: Live From The Grand Ole Opry (Various Artists)

    [Image via Getty Images.]

    Read more: http://perezhilton.com/2017-02-13-grammy-awards-2017-complete-winners-list-adele-chance-the-rapper

    The 100 best nonfiction books: No 53 The Varieties of Religious Experience by William James (1902)

    This revolutionary work written by Henry Jamess less famous brother brought a democratising impulse to the realm of religious belief

    The United States is a society, first described in Thomas Jeffersons revolutionary words in 1776, that constantly rewrites its narrative in law, philosophy, economics and belief, as well as through poetry, drama and fiction. In moments of change, its finest writers have often found new forms of expression and ideas that both illuminate the American story and help to redefine it.

    William James, brother of the more famous Henry, was a classic American intellectual, a brilliant New Englander and renowned pragmatist a celebrity in his time who coined the phrase stream of consciousness. He responded to the cultural and social ferment of the late 19th century with the Gifford lectures, given in Edinburgh during 1900-02. When he turned these talks into a book, James, a Harvard psychologist and the author of The Principles of Psychology, placed himself at the crossroads of psychology and religion to articulate an approach to religious experience that would help liberate the American mind at the beginning of the 20th century from its puritan restrictions by advancing a pluralistic view of belief inspired by American traditions of tolerance. Like his brother, he was obsessed by the problem of expressing individual consciousness through language; this is just one of the principal themes of The Varieties of Religious Experience.

    Psychology aside, this is an odd book in many ways, especially for its unorthodox approach to the precepts of organised religion. One commentator has described it as a classic that is too psychological to have shaped most religious inquiry and too religious to have influenced much psychological research. And yet, in the words of Psychology Today, it remains the most notable of all books in the field of the psychology of religion and probably destined to be the most influential book written on religion in the 20th century.

    The James family, who were originally Scots-Irish, like many of the first Americans, exerted a powerful influence on William James in the genesis of this text. His father, Henry Snr, was not just an unorthodox Calvinist, he was also (with Emerson and Jung) a disciple of the cult mystic Emanuel Swedenborg, who was determined to find a theory which would explain how matter relates to spirit. Swedenborgs desire to understand the order and purpose of creation had led him to investigate the structure of matter and the process of creation itself: his ambition was intoxicating and his teachings inspired a democratisation of religious impulses that appealed to the unorthodox Jameses, father and son.

    The idea that all citizens were equally and independently close to God sponsored among the James family the conviction that religious experience should not become confined within the narrow prison of a denomination. The same irreverence towards categories encouraged William James to adopt a high-low style that gives his writing a fresh and populist character thats rather different from the mature style of his brother the novelist. William used his populism to suggest that any religious experience was true if the consequences of holding it were pleasing to the individual concerned. This restatement of the American pursuit of happiness gave his audiences a new appreciation of human dignity grounded in everyday reality.

    In his approach to religious experience, William James writes that he had to face a hard problem: first, to defend experience against philosophy as the real backbone of the worlds religious life; and second, to make the reader believe that [the life of religion] is mankinds most important function.

    James begins his argument with the assertion that religion answers basic human needs. From here, he separates belief from its tribal origins. Religion, he says, has become a consumer item for individuals. His only concern about religion is what it tells us about what goes on in the single private man. Then he comes up with a famous definition:

    Religion shall mean for us the feelings, acts, and experiences of individual men in their solitude, so far as they apprehend themselves to stand in relation to whatever they may consider the divine.

    Using potted biographies of well-known writers and thinkers, including Tolstoy and John Bunyan, William James concludes a long and fascinating exploration of the healthy mind, the sick soul, and the divided self, with closing chapters on mysticism, saintliness, atonement and conversion. Here, too, he presented an account of God as a finite being, inextricably caught up in world affairs, and linked to human activity and ambitions. He closes with a witty question: Who knows whether the faithfulness of individuals here below to their own poor over-beliefs may not actually help God in turn to be more effectively faithful to his own greater tasks?

    A signature sentence

    And the moment we renounce the absurd notion that a thing is exploded away as soon as it is classed with others, or its origin is shown; the moment we agree to stand by experimental results and inner quality, in judging of values who does not see that we are likely to ascertain the distinctive significance of religious melancholy and happiness, or of religious trances, far better by comparing them as conscientiously as we can with other varieties of melancholy, happiness, and trance, than by refusing to consider their place in any more general series, and treating them as if they were outside of natures order altogether?

    Three to compare

    William James: The Principles of Psychology (1890)
    William James: Pragmatism: A New Name for Some Old Ways of Thinking (1907)
    Louis Menand: The Metaphysical Club: A Story of Ideas in America (2001)

    Read more: https://www.theguardian.com/books/2017/feb/06/100-best-nonfiction-books-53-the-varieties-religious-experience-william-james

    From book to boom: how the Mormons plan a city for 500,000 in Florida

    The Mormon church owns vast tracts of US land, and now envisages a huge new city on its Deseret Ranch but at what cost?

    Everything about the Deseret cattle and citrus ranch, in central Florida, is massive. The property itself occupies 290,000 acres of land more than nine times the size of San Francisco and almost 20 times the size of Manhattan. It is one of the largest ranches in the country, held by the one of the biggest landowners in the state: the Mormon church.

    On an overcast weekday afternoon, Mormon missionaries give tours of the vast estate. Fields, orange trees and grazing animals stretch as far as the eye can see. While central Florida may be best known for Disney World, the ranch roughly an hours drive away is nearly 10 times bigger. It is home to a jaw-dropping 40,000 cows and has grown oranges for millions of glasses of juice.

    Now there are ambitious, far-reaching plans to transform much of this land into an entirely new city, home to as many as 500,000 people by 2080. Deseret has said that while nothing will be built here for decades, its plans are necessary because urban growth in the area is inevitable and the alternative is piecemeal development. A slide from a 2014 presentation explains: We think in terms of generations.

    The

    The Deseret Ranch in central Florida. The Mormon church has said it plans are necessary because urban growth in the area is inevitable. Photograph: John Raoux/AP

    Deserets plans, which were given the green light by local county commissioners in 2015, are thought to be the largest-ever proposed in the state and have attracted high-profile attention. Critics have accused the plans of putting already stressed natural habitats and critical resources, such as water, in further jeopardy.

    This is not a typical housing development. It is an entire region of the state of Florida and it is the last remaining wilderness, said Karina Veaudry, a landscape architect in Orlando and member of the Florida Native Plant Society. It is, she stressed, a plan on an unprecedented scale: This project impacts the entire state, ecologically.

    For years, environmental groups protested that it was too risky to build so much on such ecologically important land particularly in one of the few areas of Florida that hasnt already been consumed by sprawling developments. We fought it and fought it and fought it, said Veaudry, who described it as nothing less than a David and Goliath struggle.

    Except this time, Goliath was part of the property empire of the Mormon church.

    Faith and property

    The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has long influenced urban developments in America through specific ideas about town planning. In the 1830s, the churchs founder, Joseph Smith, laid out a vision for compact, self-sufficient agrarian cities. These were utopian in conception and have been hailed as a precursor to smart growth planning.

    The plans for the Deseret ranch in central Floridahave shone a spotlight on another side of the churchs influence: its investments in land and real estate. Today, the church owns land and property across the US through a network of subsidiaries. Its holdings include farmland, residential and commercial developments, though it remains notoriously tight-lipped about its business ventures.

    The church has been buying up land in central Florida since the 1950s, starting with 50,000 acres for Deseret Ranch since expanded almost sixfold. Its most recent major acquisition, by the church-owned company AgReserves, was another 380,000 acres in the states north-western panhandle the strip of land that runs along the Gulf of Mexico. Deseret Ranchs website quotes the late church president, Gordon B Hinckley, as saying that farms are both a safe investment where the assets of the church may be preserved and enhanced and an agricultural resource to feed people should there come a time of need.

    Across America, subsidiaries of the church reportedly hold 1m acres of agricultural land. This is thought to include land in Nebraska, Oklahoma, Utah and Texas. Church companies are also thought to hold land outside the US, including in Canada and Brazil. In 2014, when church-owned farms in Australia were put up for sale, reports estimated their worth at about $120m (72.8m).

    The

    The Salt Lake Temple in Salt Lake City where the church has its headquarters. Photograph: George Frey/Getty Images

    Recent real estate investments by church companies include the 2016 purchase of a 380-unit apartment complex in Texas, estimated to be worth tens of millions of dollars, and, in Philadelphia, a shopping area, a 32-storey apartment block and a landscaped plaza being built across the street from a newly constructed Mormon temple.

    In Salt Lake City, where the church has its headquarters, a church company is currently working on a new master-planned community on the citys west side for almost 4,000 homes. Last year, another investment was unveiled: the new high-end 111 Main skyscraper. Goldman Sachs is reportedly signed up as a tenant.

    This city was built by Mormons. In the 19th century, early Mormon settlers gave Salt Lake City bridges, miles of roads, rail and other infrastructure. Hundreds of businesses were also set up: banks, a network of general stores, mining companies. The citys Temple Square is filled with statues glorifying the pioneers.

    Nearby is a more contemporary monument to the investing and enterprising church: the City Creek Center, a new shopping mall with 100 stores and a retractable glass roof. It cost an estimated $1.5bn. At its grand opening, a church leader cut a pink ribbon and cheered: One, two, three lets go shopping!

    The church said its investment in the mall would help revitalise central Salt Lake City as part of a wider multibillion-dollar initiative called Downtown Rising. Bishop H David Burton said it would create the necessary jobs and added that any parcel of property the church owns that is not used directly for ecclesiastical worship is fully taxed at its market value.

    The City Creek Center project has been controversial, however even among Mormons. Some current and former church members have questioned why money invested in such projects isnt spent on charitable initiatives instead.

    In 2013, Jason Mathis, executive director of Salt Lake Citys Downtown Alliance business development group, said the church was an interesting landlord. Theyre not worried about the next quarter, he explained. They have a much longer perspective they want to know what the city will look like in the next 50 or 100 years.

    The

    The City Creek shopping centre in Salt Lake City, which reportedly cost $1.5bn. Photograph: Rick Bowmer/AP

    Black box finances

    Projects such as the Salt Lake City shopping centre have certainly focused attention on the churchs investments, but it remains secretive about its revenues and finances.

    An entity called Deseret Management Corporation is understood to control many of the churchs enterprises, through subsidiaries focused on different commercial interests including insurance and publishing.

    Several church ventures bear the name Deseret itself a term from the Book of Mormon meaning honeybee and intended to represent goals of productivity and self-sufficiency.

    In central Florida, the churchs Deseret Ranch is understood to sell cows to Cargill, a Minnesota-based trading company, and oranges to Tropicana, as well as renting land to hunters and other companies.

    Deseret, however, declined to confirm this. It said: As a private investment affiliate of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, Deseret Ranch does not release financial information or details about our production and customers.

    The churchs press office in Salt Lake City also did not respond to emails from the Guardian.

    Previously, church officials have emphasised that finance for its companies investments do not come from tithing donations (church members are supposed to contribute 10% of their income each year) but from profits from other such ventures.

    But these and other claims, even when offered, are also difficult to verify. Ultimately their finances are a black box according to Ryan Cragun, associate professor of sociology at the University of Tampa.

    Cragun previously worked with Reuters to estimate in 2012 that the church owns temples and other buildings worth $35bn and receives as much as $7bn in members tithing each year. But he says the church stopped releasing annual financial information to its own members many years ago.

    Estimating their total land holdings? Good luck, says Cragun. Nobody knows how much money the church actually has and why theyre buying all of this land and developing land.

    The

    The Mormon church-owned skyscraper at 111 Main in Salt Lake City. Photograph: City Creek Reserve

    A new city for Florida

    Over the last half-century, Florida has become something of a laboratory for ambitious and sometimes surreal master-planned communities. In southern Florida, for example, the founder of Dominos Pizza funded the construction of a Catholic town called Ave Maria. Closer to Orlando is the town of Celebration, developed by the Walt Disney Company, where shops on meticulously maintained streets sell French pastries and luxury dog treats.

    Across Florida, more new subdivisions and developments are planned. Many of these projects have drawn criticism for their potential impact on Floridas already stressed water resources.

    Sprawl is where the money is, and people want homes with big lawns and nearby golf courses, a columnist for the Florida Times-Union newspaper recently lamented. He suggested the state should step in to ban water-hungry grass varieties and introduce stronger planning procedures to limit large-scale developments.

    The ranchs plans are the largest of these yet. Indeed, they are thought to be the largest-ever proposed in the state, and this land lies in an area thats been called Floridas last frontier.

    In 2015, local Osceola county officials approved the North Ranch sector plan, which covers a 133,000-acre slice of Deseret property. As part of this plan, tens of thousands of these acres have been earmarked for conservation lands, not to be built on; and, in addition, Deseret has insisted that it will also continue ranching operations here for generations in the future.

    But most of this land, under the approved plan, could be transformed into a new urban landscape. By 2080, it could be home to as many as 500,000 people. The plan explicitly refers to a new fully functioning city.

    It envisages a massive development complete with a high-intensity, mixed-use urban centre and a variety of centres and neighbourhoods. There would be 16 communities and a regional hub with a footprint of around one square mile equal to [that] of downtown Orlando.

    The

    The Lake Nona complex of master-planned communities where the grass is greener. Photograph: Claire Provost

    New office blocks, civic buildings, high-rise hotels and apartment buildings are among the structures anticipated, along with new schools, a hospital, parks and a university and research campus. New motorways and rail lines would connect it all to Orlando and cities along Floridas eastern coast.

    The document argues that the plan is necessary to prepare for expected population growth. More than 80% of the vacant developable land in the very area where demographic and economic forces are propelling an increasing share of the regions population and job growth is located on Deserets North Ranch, it says.

    In an email to the Guardian, Dale Bills, a spokesperson for Deseret Ranch, said it offers a framework for future land use decisions but will not be implemented for decades.

    Were not developers, but the sector plan allows us to be involved in shaping what the ranch will look like over the next 50-60 years, Bills said. When growth does come to the region the plan will help create vibrant communities that are environmentally responsible and people-friendly, he said.

    The plan also provides for continued farming operations, Bills added, meaning that generations from now, Deseret will still be doing what we love growing food and caring for the land.

    Meanwhile, the ranch has set aside another, smaller block of its land for a separate and more immediate project called Sunbridge, to be developed by the Tavistock Group known in the area for its Lake Nona complex of master-planned communities just south-east of Orlandos international airport.

    A

    A render of the Lake Nona development. Photograph: KPMG

    On a weekday afternoon, the still largely empty Lake Nona development is silent. Signs planted by the road proclaim it is where the grass is greener. At the visitors centre, a pair of well-dressed women chat over coffee. A sales agent hands out glossy brochures with aspirational verbs embossed on its cover: DISCOVER. EVOLVE. INNOVATE.

    Still under construction, Lake Nona describes itself as a city of the future with super-fast internet connections, one of the top private [golf] clubs in the world and homes ranging from luxury apartments to sprawling estates. Less than an hours drive from the ranch, it offers a potential hint of whats to come.

    The damage is done

    Until this happened [the ranch] was a quiet neighbour, said Jenny Welch, 54, a registered nurse and environmental activist who lived in the area for decades before leaving earlier this year. When I first moved here in 1980, I thought it was great because it would never be developed. This is such environmentally important land. Its a wildlife corridor. There are wetlands.

    Major concerns about the Deseret North Ranch plan have included how much water it will consume, the impact of proposed new roads and the amount of land set aside for conservation.

    Veaudry, the Orlando landscape architect, said environmental groups tried to engage with the Deseret plans from the beginning by raising concerns but also suggesting enhanced measures to protect local ecosystems.

    But, she said, what was ultimately approved was pretty much the nail in the coffin for decades-long efforts to establish a north-south ecological corridor to allow wildlife and ecosystems to flow across the state. It would put literally a city right in the middle of it, she said.

    The new city envisaged for this land wont be constructed overnight. While the overall plan for the area has been approved, more approvals will be needed on specific details. This has not reassured critics.

    Florida environmentalist Charles Pattison has argued that the long time frame only makes it harder to monitor the project. People involved in this today will not be around to see [it] through to completion, as many new administrative and elected officials will come and go over that time, he said.

    The main guidelines, the amount of conservation, how wide the buffers have to be, all of that is already approved and set, said Veaudry. As far as I understand it, the damage is done. Locals know what happened. The Mormon church is the largest landowner here. And they have enormous resources.

    The second half of Claire Provosts exploration of Mormon city planning will appear tomorrow. Follow Guardian Cities on Twitter and Facebook to join the discussion, and explore our archive here

    Read more: https://www.theguardian.com/cities/2017/jan/30/from-book-to-boom-how-the-mormons-plan-a-city-for-500000-in-florida

    Brian Eno: Weve been in decline for 40 years Trump is a chance to rethink’

    The revered producer has been at the centre of pop since the days of Roxy Music. But dont ask him about the past hes more interested in how to reorder society

    Brian Enos new album is called Reflection, and what better time to reflect on an astonishing career? Or careers. Theres the first incarnation of Eno as the leopardskin-shirted synth-twiddler who overshadowed the more obviously mannered Bryan Ferry in Roxy Music. With his shoulder-length hair and androgynous beauty, there was something otherworldly about Eno. He was as preposterous as he was cool. So cool that, back then, he didnt bother with a first name.

    After two wonderfully adventurous albums he left and Roxy became more conventional. There followed a sustained solo career, starting with the more poppy Here Come the Warm Jets, progressing to the defiant obscurity of his ambient albums and on to commercial Eno, the revered producer behind many of the great Bowie, Talking Heads, U2 and Coldplay records.

    There is Eno the visionary, who helped conceive a 10,000-year clock and invented an influential pack of cards called Oblique Strategies that offer creative solutions for people inapickle. There is Eno the visual artist;Eno the activist, tirelessly campaigning for a fairer world; and Eno the philosopher, endlessly thinking of ways in which to bring thisnew world about.

    We meet at his studio, near Notting Hill in west London. It is a mix of the minimalist and maximalist. Minimalist in its big white empty spaces, maximalist in the numerous books carefully filed away (library-like sections for African, Asian and European art), old-fashioned hi-fi equipment, a parked bike, and his own Rothko-ish artworks.

    Eno, now 68, could not look more different from the louche glamour-puss of the early 70s. As his music became more pared down, so did he. The head was shaved, the makeup washed off and the feather boa dispensed with. Nowadays, he looks like a stylish academic.

    His assistant asks me to join Eno athis table. Ill just be 40 seconds, finishing off my lunch, Eno says. He takes a mouthful of fruit salad. Just 30seconds now. There has always been something fastidious about him. His interviews tend to be 45 minutes long precisely. One journalist said that Eno had interrupted their chat to play him an Elvis Presley record that lasted two minutes and seven seconds, and then added two minutes and seven seconds to the interview sothe journalist wouldnt be shortchanged. At the same time, Eno loves to embrace the random. As a producer, he encourages artists to pick up Oblique Strategies cards to alter the path they are taking. Itell him I have brought a pack with me in case we find ourselves struggling. He smiles, flashing a gold tooth. That will be just the job, I should think, he says.

    Roxy

    Roxy Music in 1972, with Eno at front. Photograph: Brian Cooke/Redferns

    Eno talks slowly, calmly, eloquently. He would be brilliant on Just a Minute no repetition, hesitation or deviation. His voice is as soothing as his ambient music. He was christened Brian Peter George St John le Baptiste de la Salle Eno. You might assume he was an aristocrat, but his father and grandfather were postmen. And my great grandad actually, he says enthusiastically when I mention it. And my two uncles.

    Did he ever think that was his destiny? Well, I did go into communications, didnt I? He laughs. Youre a sonic postman? Yeah! I help people communicate with each other in one way or another. When I was in my mid-30s, and my mother and father were living in a house I had bought for them with the proceeds of my music, my mum said: Dad and I were talking. Do you think youll ever settle down and get a job? Hahahhaha! She said: You could get a job in the Post Office. In the office! You know, not trudging delivering mail.

    Eno decided he didnt want a regular job when he saw the effect it had on his father. He did shift work. It was a three-week cycle, mornings, afternoons and nights. I realised years later he was in a permanent state of jet lag because his eight-hour work day was shifting every week. I remember him coming home from work and sitting at the table; my mother had just put the food down and he fell forward, asleep. I thought even if I have to turn to crime, I wont get a job; the horror of being that exhausted and doing your work just to keep things going; the lack of freedom inyour life.

    His Belgian mother had spent the war in Germany building planes in a labour camp. Eventually she returned to Belgium at the end of the war. It took her three months to get back. She arrived in Dendermonde near Brussels weighing five stone.

    He has been talking quietly and beautifully about his parents. So it comes as a shock when I ask where his string of first names comes from, and he explodes. God, are we going to do any interesting questions? This is all bollocks. I mean Im not fucking interested at all in me. I want to talk about ideas. Can we do any of that?

    He picks up one of the Oblique Strategy cards, and bursts out laughing. He shows it to the two women in the studio. Hahaha! How about that? Hahahaha! Take a break!

    Take a break, they echo. Hahaha!

    Arent they brilliant? Eno says. Fancy that.

    The more they laugh, the smaller Ifeel.

    Enos

    Shaping the future: Enos Oblique Strategies cards. Photograph: Brian Eno

    Eno says he hates talking about himself. Im not interested in that personality aspect of being an artist. Its all based on the idea that artists are automatically interesting people. I can tell you they arent. Their art might be very interesting, but as people they are no more or less interesting than anybody else. And Im really not at all interested in talking about Brian Eno. His ideas, however, I think have something to recommend them.

    So what is Brian Eno working on at the moment, I ask. Im interested in the idea of generative music as a sort of model for how society or politics could work. Im working out the ideas Im interested in, about how you make aworking society rather than a dysfunctional one like the one we live in at the moment by trying to make music in a new way. Im trying to see what kinds of models and and structures make the music I want to hear, and then Im finding its not a bad idea to try to think about making societies in that way.

    Could he be more specific? Yes. If you think of the classical picture of how things were organised in an orchestra where you have the composer, conductor, leader of the orchestra, section principals, section sub principals, rank and file the flow of information is always downwards. The guy at the bottom doesnt get to talk to that guy at the top. Almost none of us now would think that hierarchic model of social organisation, the pyramid, is agood way to arrange things.

    In other words, he says, society should be built on the more egalitarian model of a folk or rock band, who just get together and do their thing, rather than a classical orchestra. Cant you see, he says with the passion of a visionary, if you transpose that argument into social terms, its the argument between the top down and bottom up? It is possible to have a society that doesnt have pre-existing rules and structures. And you can use the social structures of bands, theatre groups, dance groups, all the things we now call culture. You can say: Well, it works here. Why shouldnt it work elsewhere?

    He has called himself an optimist. In the past. I ask him if he still is, post-2016. Yes, he says, there is a positive way to look at it. Most people I know felt that 2016 was the beginning of a long decline with Brexit, then Trump and all these nationalist movements in Europe. It looked like things were going to get worse and worse. I said: Well, what about thinking about it in a different way? Actually, its the end of a long decline. Weve been in decline for about 40 years since Thatcher and Reagan and the Ayn Rand infection spread through the political class, and perhaps weve bottomed out. My feeling about Brexit was not anger at anybody else, it was anger at myself for not realising what was going on. I thought that all those Ukip people and those National Fronty people were in a little bubble. Then I thought: Fuck, it was us, we were in the bubble, we didnt notice it. There was a revolution brewing and we didnt spot it because we didnt make it. We expected we were going to be therevolution.

    He draws me a little diagram to explain how society has changed productivity and real wages rising in tandem till 1975, then productivity continuing to rise while real wages fell. It is easily summarised in that Joseph Stiglitz graph. The trouble now, he says, is the extremes of wealth and poverty. You have 62 people worth the amount the bottom three and a half billion people are worth. Sixty-two people! You could put them all in one bloody bus then crash it! He grins. Dont say that bit. (Since we meet, Oxfam publish a report suggesting that only eight men own as much wealth as the poorest 3.6 billion people in the world half the worlds population.)

    Eno himself is a multimillionaire, largely because of his work as a producer.He wouldnt be one of the 62, would he, I ask. I certainly wouldnt be, he says with a thin smile. No, Im a long way off that.

    He is still thinking about the political fallout of the past year. Actually, in retrospect, Ive started to think Im pleased about Trump and Im pleased about Brexit because it gives us a kick up the arse and we needed it because we werent going to change anything. Just imagine if Hillary Clinton had won and wed been business as usual, the whole structure shed inherited, the whole Clinton family myth. I dont know thats a future I would particularly want. It just seems that was grinding slowly to a halt, whereas now, with Trump, theres a chance of a proper crash, and a chance to really rethink.

    Reflection is his 26th solo album, and his first ambient release in five years. Does he think there is a particular need for its soothing qualities at the moment? Well, I think this is quite a good time for it, he says.

    I am not sure I get ambient its pleasant but dull; nice to have on in thebackground while you are working. Thats exactly what I want it for myself, he says, delighted. I do a lot of writing, and one of the ways I have of writing is by starting to make a piece of music of that kind and then, while Im carrying on writing, Im thinking: Theres a bit too much of that and not enough of this. So I go in and fiddle around with ita bit. I keep adjusting the music until its helping the writing, and then I adjust it less and less.

    I had read that he initially made ambient music to help him when travelling, because he was frightened of flying; that it was supposed to be a kind of audio Mogadon. No, not Mogadon. One of the things you can get from music is surrender. From a lot of art, what youre saying is: Let it happen to me. Im going to let myself be out of control. Im going to let something else take over me. And thats what he wants to happen with this music.

    That desire to surrender is interesting because, in many ways, he seems so controlled. I mention the interview with the Elvis song. Well, thats fair, isnt it? Its controlled but not controlling. You asked me whether Im controlling. Thats different to whether Im controlled. I think controlling would be if I said to the interviewer: Im taking some time out of the interview to play you something, but fuck you, Im in control here, so piss off. I didnt say that. I said Im taking some time out of the interview to play you something, but since you didnt request that, Im not expecting you to lose that time. Of course, I work in a role that could be seen as a controlling role as a producer. But, in fact, Im not that kind of producer. What I want to do is make situations where were all slightly at sea because people make their best work when they are alert, and alertness comes at the moment when you feel youre on the edge of being out of control. Youre not alert when youre settled and you know exactly what youre doing.

    Ah, the collaborations. Much as Iadmire Eno the thinker and activist, like most of his fans it is Eno the collaborator/producer I love. And this is what I have really been looking forward to talking about. Like many middle-aged pop enthusiasts, I owe a huge debt to Eno. He has shaped so much of my favourite music from the first two Roxy Music albums, to Bowies Berlin trilogy and Talking Heads Remain in Light. Just as fascinating is his ability to mentor the more obviously commercial Coldplay and U2.

    Eno

    Eno with David Bowie and Bono at the Meltdown festival in 2002. Photograph: Kevin Mazur Archive/WireImage

    Who has he enjoyed working with most? Pause. Probably Brian Eno! Hehehe! I keep returning to him. No, really, I say, which collaborations does he look back on with most satisfaction? Idont look back much, to be honest. Whenever I look back at music, I think how I could have done it better.

    Is there nothing that makes him think, God, I love that? Well, I suppose every collaboration continued because I liked doing it. Some of them are funnier than others

    Which ones? Erm Uch. I dont want to talk about this. I so dont want to talk about this. And again, an explosion. Look, weve got a few minutes left. Lets talk about something good.

    Thats controlling, I say.

    Its not controlling. Its just fucking boring. I have to keep myself awake. Im tired.

    I dont understand, I say I dont even know what is so fucking boring that you are refusing to talk about.

    I just dont want to talk about history. All that shit! You can find all this in other interviews Ive done. Ivebeen 40 years talking about other people Ive worked with. No, sorry. Imjust not interested.

    Doesnt he think the idea that the interview should be entirely about the present and what he may do in the future is a bit unreasonable?

    But you can do research, he says. And calm, measured Eno has turned into irascible Eno. Thats your job! Research! You can look through thousands of interviews Ive done where Ive talked about all of this. Thats your job! You get paid for it. I dont get paid for this, by the way!

    I get paid to ask people questions, Isay.

    OK, well, youve asked me and Ive said I dont want to answer them. Thats a fair deal, isnt it? I know what you were after, he says, and I dont want to go there. I dont want to go intoa historical gloss on my career because that is not where my thoughts are right now. Im thinking about something as were talking that were not talking about and I dont want to lose it.

    What is he thinking about? That piece of music Im working on in there which I have been playing today and making changes to in between interviews.

    Was he thinking that I was asking about Bowie?

    I know you were.

    Well, I kind of was and wasnt.

    Well, you kind of were, he mocks.

    No, I say, I was thinking of any number of the great collaborations, including Bowie.

    Im not interested in talking about any of them. And I think it would be considerate of you to say: He doesnt want to talk about that, so there are plenty of other things he could talk about; hes quite an interesting guy. Then he tells me exactly how Im trying to trap him. I could ask him a million other questions, but I know because this would make a headline, so Im going to fucking ask him about that.

    I think thats unfair, I say.

    All right, sorry, that is unfair, Eno says.

    Weve spent most of the time talking about politics.

    Only because I asked you to, he replies sullenly.

    OK, were going to have to have to wrap this up now, the publicist says.

    I dont want to wrap it up on a badvibe, Eno says, talking fast and breathing heavily.

    But weve ground to a halt. Im not sure that even his Oblique Strategies could help us now.

    Im sorry, he says. Im very tired today because I didnt sleep last night. And I knew I was going to be ratty, so Im sorry about that. But I really dont want to spend the rest of my life Im now 68, so I might have another 15 to 20 years left talking about my history. So, given the little time Ive got left on this planet, I would really love to focus on some of the new things Im doing.

    What new stuff have we not talked about that he would like to talk about, Iask. Silence. I point to the serene orange lightbox image in front of us, and ask if thats a recent piece of work. Yes, thats one of my new pieces. Yes, this is stuff Ive been doing for hospitals, he says. I was invited to make some of these for rooms where people are spending a long time in stressful situations. With that he calls the interview to an end.

    Reflection is out now on Warp.

    Read more: https://www.theguardian.com/music/2017/jan/23/brian-eno-not-interested-in-talking-about-me-reflection

    10 Hilarious Reasons Why People Came To Florida In A Fake Airbnb Guest Book

    Regular readers of Bored Panda will no doubt be familiar with obvious plant. Previously he’s given us hilarious self-help books, fake animal facts, and funny shopping tips. He’s also been known to troll IKEA. Now the joker is back, and this time he’s pranking holiday makers. He left a fake guest book in a Florida Airbnb asking people what brought them to the state. “Email us a picture from your vacation and we’ll add you to the book,” reads the front cover. As you can see however, this isn’t your ordinary kind of guest book! Don’t forget to vote for the funniest entry.

    #1

     

    Read more: http://www.boredpanda.com/funny-fake-guest-book-what-brought-you-to-florida/

    Jeff Kinney: I bought a typewriter to try to beat back the distractions of the internet. That lasted about 20 minutes

    The author of Diary of a Wimpy Kid on long walks, hot tubs and a productive trip to Iceland

    Ive got attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, which I find to be both a crippling barrier to productivity and the most essential ingredient of my creativity. Truth be told, I havent actually been diagnosed with ADHD, but whenever I take one of those self-assessments online, I check at least 18 of the 20 boxes. As a case in point: it took me half an hour to write the preceding two sentences, during which time I also read five articles about the US presidential election and transferred the contents of my old wallet into a new one. Plus, I did a lot of mugging for the mirror on the wall in front of my hotel room desk. When it comes to writing, this is how it goes for me.

    As much of an impediment as my ADHD is, it allows me to jump the tracks in my thinking, which is essential in writing humour. Rather than try to correct my condition, I strive to harness it.

    Anyone whos read one of my Diary of a Wimpy Kid books knows, Im not writing literature. My books are really longform comics, and comics are based on jokes. For me, writing always starts with the jokes. Now, 11 books in, I know whats required: 350 gags, minimum. Anything less than that and the book feels thin. Whats maddening to me is that I dont know where the jokes come from, or how to manufacture them. Ive tried everything under the sun to try to force the ideas to come.

    I bought a bicycle and I sometimes spend hours riding in giant circles in my cul de sac, staring down at the pavement. I bought a swing, and can be seen most afternoons cutting giant arcs in my front yard, trying to lull my brain into a creative rhythm. I bought a hot tub in hopes that it would be a joke incubator, but I recently had to give it away after waking up in it after midnight too many times.

    Nothing works, or at least not consistently. And the harder I work at it, the worse it is. My brain is like a teenager: it knows what I want but refuses to give it to me.

    So Ive taken to going on long walks, because I get the additional benefit of exercise. Sometimes a joke or two will come, but more often, I end my walk empty-headed. What Ive found is that I cant take a round trip, because once I reach the halfway point, my mind decides its done working and shuts down. So now I walk in one direction, away from home, never taking the same path twice. I start off in the morning and walk until I cant bear to walk any further, which is usually about three or four hours. Then I call my assistant and beg her to come find me, praying my phone battery doesnt die and leave me stranded on some empty country road.

    Routine can stifle creativity, so I try to jolt myself into new modes of thinking. This spring I flew 500 miles to return to my childhood neighbourhood and walked the streets I walked as a kid, in the hope it would stir up humorous memories (it didnt). A few weeks later I packed my bags for Florida, hoping the warm weather would be stimulating. But on my way to the airport I changed my mind and bought a ticket to Iceland instead. I arrived at six in the morning with a suitcase full of shorts and T-shirts with nowhere to stay, and somehow spent the next five days doing my best writing of the year.

    As hard as it is for me to eke out 350 jokes, eventually, I reach my goal. Thats when the real writing starts, and heres where my ADHD becomes a formidable enemy. I do my writing on a computer, but my web browser, just a click away, is a siren song that lures me into the internets murky depths. I read somewhere between 100-150 articles a day, on subjects ranging from politics to basketball.

    To try to beat back the distractions of the internet, I bought a typewriter and tried my hand at writing a book the old fashioned way. That experiment lasted approximately 20 minutes (if you know someone whos looking for a gently used Brother GX-6750, Ive got one thats looking for a good home).

    Most of my latest book was written longhand, in messy handwriting and violent strike-throughs. Ive got whole pages where there are only two or three usable words. But I got the job done, and I made another deadline.

    Next year, Im sure the method will be different, but the result will be the same. Frustration, self-loathing, distraction, and a few snatches of actual productivity. And at the end of it all, there will be a new book on my shelf, and the cycle will start again.

    Jeff Kinneys Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Double Down is published by Puffin. To order a copy for 10.65 (RRP 12.99) go to bookshop.theguardian.com or call 0330 333 6846. Free UK p&p over 10, online orders only. Phone orders min p&p of 1.99.

    Read more: https://www.theguardian.com/books/2016/nov/12/my-writing-day-jeff-kinney

    Natalie Babbitt dies; was author of ‘Tuck Everlasting’

    (CNN)Natalie Babbitt, the children’s author and illustrator who explored immortality in her acclaimed book “Tuck Everlasting,” has died in her Connecticut home. She was 84.

     
     

     

    Natalie

    Babbitt’s husband, Samuel Babbitt, confirmed she died on Monday in Hamden, Connecticut. She had been diagnosed with lung cancer and was under hospice care at home when she died.
     
    Babbitt wrote or illustrated more than 20 books, but she is perhaps best known for tackling the complex subject of death in her novel “Tuck Everlasting.”
    The book follows 15-year-old Winnie Foster and the Tuck family, who has to come to terms with living forever after drinking from a spring that grants eternal life. The novel was made into a film in 1981 and inspired a Disney motion picture in 2002. It was also adapted into a stage musical.
     
    Fans and the literary world remembered Babbitt’s work on Twitter.
    Born and raised in Ohio, Babbitt grew up wanting to be an illustrator and went on to study art at Smith College.
    In 1966, she collaborated with her husband on a children’s book called “The Forty-ninth Magician,” her first published work. While her husband, a university administrator, became too busy to continue writing, the book was only the beginning in Babbitt’s nearly 50-year career. Her last published work was “The Moon Over High Street” in 2012.
    Babbitt received the Newbery Honor Medal, the American Library Association’s Notable Book designations, and The New York Times’ Best Book designations, among other awards for her work.

    Read more: http://www.cnn.com/2016/11/01/us/natalie-babbitt-dies-tuck-everlasting/index.html

    Get Your Reprint of Depero Futurista, One of the Worlds Most Iconic Design Books

    In 1927, Fortunato Depero published a collection of his work that would become one of the most revered booksin the canon of design. The Italian artist and designer, who is also famed for his Campari bottle design, called his monographDepero Futurista—but most people know it as theBolted Book, on account of the two large aluminum bolts with which Depero bound its contents: 240 self-promotional pages oftypography, architecture, and product designs.

    Some90 years later, the rare monograph is legendary in design circles. If you say Depero, the only thing I picture is that Bolted Book, which Ive never seen in real life, says Michael Bierut, a partner at Pentagram. Its this totemic thing that every graphic designer, even if they didnt study it directly or if theyve never seen it, is aware existed at one time. What copies do exist, when you can find them for sale,run thousands of dollars—but thanks to a new Kickstarter project from theCenter for Italian Modern Art in New York, the Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art of Trento and Rovereto, and the publishing house Designers &Books, Deperos famed book is getting a reprint, bolts and all.

    Those bolts are important. Depero wanted his monograph to be interactive; the metal pins let readers dismantle the book and explore its contents piecemeal. In this way, the volume was more than a catalogue of Deperos work. He was creating a book as machine, says design critic Steven Heller, who served as a consultant on the project.

    The books physicality reflected Deperos world view as an artist, as well. He belonged to the Futurists, an avant-garde artistic and social movement born out of early 20th century Italy that latched onto technology, machines, speed, war, and eventually fascism. The group was known for its wild manifestos, which addressed nearly every aspect of life. They wrote manifestos about everything,” says Raffaele Bedarida, an art historian at the Center for Italian Modern Art. Sex, love, money, war, advertising, and even food. They once wrote, We want to abolish spaghetti, Bedarida recalls. The goal was to shock.

    The Futurists were also known for their creative breadth. Depero, for his part, was a classic multi-hyphenatea painter, sculptor, graphic designer, writer, composer, product designer, architect, and, above all else, a relentless advocate of his own work. In the Bolted Book he wrote: Self-promotion is not a vain, futile, or exaggerated expression of megalomania. It is instead the irrepressible need to let the public know, and fast, of ones creations and ideas.

    Had hebeen born a century later, Depero almost certainly would have been on Instagram. He was constantly documenting his work, Bedarida says. His Campari bottle, for example, existed not just as a physical object, but in photographs, paintings, and advertisements. Its only fitting that the Bolted Book, a rare catalogue of his work, should find new life in a perfect facsimile, nearly a century after its original publication.

    Read more: https://www.wired.com/2016/10/get-reprint-depero-futurista-one-worlds-iconic-design-books/

    LSE foreign academics told they will not be asked to advise on Brexit

    Experts question legality under anti-discrimination laws as senior politicians criticise move as baffling

    Leading foreign academics from the LSE acting as expert advisers to the UK government were told they would not be asked to contribute to government work and analysis on Brexit because they are not British nationals.

    The news was met with outrage by many academics, while legal experts questioned whether it could be legal under anti-discrimination laws and senior politicians criticised it as bewildering.

    It is utterly baffling that the government is turning down expert, independent advice on Brexit simply because someone is from another country, said Nick Clegg, the Liberal Democrats EU spokesman.

    This is yet more evidence of the Conservatives alarming embrace of petty chauvinism over rational policymaking.

    The Foreign Office denied non-British nationals had been barred from the work, saying it had been misunderstood. The FCO regularly works with academic institutions to assist in its policy research and nothing has changed as a result of the referendum, a spokesman said.

    It has always been the case that anyone working in the FCO may require security clearance depending on the nature and duration of their work. Britain is an outward-looking nation and we will continue to take advice from the best and brightest minds, regardless of nationality.

    Sara Hagemann, an assistant professor at the London School of Economics who specialises in EU policymaking processes, EU treaty matters, the role of national parliaments and the consequences of EU enlargements, said she had been told her services would not be required. Hagemann tweeted on Thursday:

    Sara Hagemann (@sarahagemann)

    UK govt previously sought work& advice from best experts. Just told I & many colleagues no longer qualify as not UKcitizens #Brexit @LSEnews

    October 6, 2016

    Asked to clarify whether she was responding to speeches at the Conservative party conference pledging tough new immigration controls, Hagemann, who is Danish, said she had been informed specifically that she would not be contributing to any further government Brexit work.

    It is understood up to nine LSE academics specialising in EU affairs have been briefing the Foreign Office on Brexit issues, but the school was informed by a senior FCO official that submissions from non-UK citizens would no longer be accepted. The staff group concerned were then made aware of the instruction.

    One of the group is understood to be a dual national, with citizenship of both the UK and another EU member state.

    The Foreign Office was said to be concerned about the risk of sensitive material being exposed as article 50 negotiations over Britains exit from the EU and subsequent talks on its future trade and other relations with the bloc start to get under way.

    But Steve Peers, a professor of EU law at the University of Essex who has advised the government, said it should be perfectly possible to get useful input from some of the best-qualified people in the country without anything sensitive being revealed.

    I dont really get the security or sensitivity argument, he said. Whatever the reasons, this will come across as hostile, narrow and xenophobic. He tweeted:

    Steve Peers (@StevePeers)

    One of the best EU political scientists in the country
    What kind of know-nothing nativist govt rejects the expertise of all non-citizens? https://t.co/Dm6N0x51Lp

    October 6, 2016

    Legal experts questioned whether the FCO could be in breach of UK public procurement law by requiring the work be carried out by British nationals. Albert Sanchez Graells, a senior law lecturer at Bristol university, said it definitely would be if the work was in the context of a services contract.

    AlbertSnchezGraells (@asanchezgraells)

    @DavidAllenGreen if this was in context of a services contract, most definitely. I am happy to provide free legal opinion on this @LSEnews

    October 7, 2016

    Simon Cox, a migration lawyer at the Open Society Justice Initiative, said it might be possible for the government to legally restrict high-level advisers to British citizens, but added that the way the situation had been handled was beyond disrespectful, and in a worryingly xenophobic context.

    The LSE said in statement that the government regularly called on its academics for advice, adding: We believe our academics, including non-UK nationals, have hugely valuable expertise which will be vital in this time of uncertainty around the UKs relationship with Europe and the rest of the world. Any changes to security measures are a matter for the UK government.

    LSE interim director Prof Julia Black said in an internal school update memo on the matter that the world-renowned university stood by its academic principles of independence. You may have seen reports in the media that the Foreign Office have advised us that they will be issuing tenders to contract for advisory work, but that only UK nationals will be eligible to apply, she said in the memo, which was posted on Twitter.

    Whilst the Foreign Office has long had a rule restricting the nationality of employees or secondees, the extension of the bar to advisory work seems to be new. However, it is for the Foreign Office to determine what its national security arrangements are, and their legality, not for us.

    We are standing firm to our principles of academic independence and valuing our truly international community of scholars. We will continue to stand by our colleagues and we strongly value the work that you all do.

    UK in a Changing Europe, a thinktank on UK-EU relations of which Hagemann is a senior fellow, said it believed there was a more pressing need than ever before for academic expertise to inform the multitude of difficult decisions to be taken in connection with Brexit and that it would continue to publish research whatever the nationality of the author.

    Separately, the Guardian has learned that another EU national a migration specialist who asked not to be identified was approached by a private recruitment firm for a Foreign Office post for which she was well qualified, but informed after several conversations that only British citizens would be eligible.

    European academics, who make up about 15% of research and teaching staff at British universities, responded with dismay. Jan Eichhorn, a fellow in social policy at Edinburgh university, tweeted: For the first time this makes me question whether it makes sense to continue working at a UK university as an EU policy-focussed academic.

    The government has come under sustained fire over immigration since the Conservative conference when the home secretary, Amber Rudd, said it was considering requiring companies to declare the proportion of international staff in their workforce.

    Ministers were said to want to see lists of companies published and those employers with the highest proportions of foreign staff named and shamed for not employing British people when they could.

    Rudd, who was forced to defend herself on radio against allegations of xenophobia, also announced a crackdown on overseas students and work visas, and pledged to prevent migrants taking jobs British people could do.

    Theresa May was also accused after her conference speech of stoking anti-immigrant sentiment in the country by playing to fears about the impact of foreign workers on jobs and wages.

    The prime minister said the EU referendum result legitimised a tougher line on immigration and some people did not like to admit that British workers could find themselves out of work or on lower wages because of low-skilled immigration.

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    Read more: http://www.theguardian.com/politics/2016/oct/07/lse-brexit-non-uk-experts-foreign-academics