Archive for July, 2007

This would never get old!

This would never get old!

Things you never knew existed: possessed books. (Be sure to watch the video.) Antique looking books seem perfectly harmless until someone walks by, then the middle book slides out toward the victim as if it will fall from the shelf. Books also emit spooky sounds for a totally haunted effect.   Can I get this […]

Posted in: Books and Authors
Yes, but are they safe?

Yes, but are they safe?

TankBooks: As one habit dies hard, another takes hold. The ban on smoking in public places comes into operation in the UK on July 1, 2007. Tank is launching a series of books designed to mimic cigarette packs – the same size, packaged in flip-top cartons with silver foil wrapping and sealed in cellophane.   […]

Posted in: Book News
And Don't Forget Harold Robbins

And Don't Forget Harold Robbins

At Booklist Coffee ™, we often joke about authors whose deaths have done nothing to keep them from publishing new novels. In the New York Times (“The Ludlum Conundrum: A Dead Novelist Provides New Thrills“), Richard Sandomir reports that Robert Ludlum has become even more prolific since he died. And yes, the successful Matt Damon movie franchise […]

Posted in: Book News
Warning: Citizen Kane Spoiler Ahead

Warning: Citizen Kane Spoiler Ahead

In the New Yorker, in his essay about Meryle Secrest’s Shoot the Widow (Knopf) and Nigel Hamilton’s Biography: A Brief History (“Lives of Others“), Louis Menand offers some useful perspective on the biographer’s art. Briefly put: a fact doesn’t explain its subject better simply because it was previously unreported. For one thing, it leads biographers to invert the […]

Why do people love soccer?

Why do people love soccer?

A great passage from Jamie Trecker’s forthcoming book, Love and Blood: …It’s a weakness of our entertainment culture that there is very little empathy and compassion for loss. Americans prefer to extol great individual performances — say, the swoops of Michael Jordan or the shotgun arm of Satchel Paige — and brush away failure with laughter; think […]

Posted in: Books and Authors
B&N, Borders Slash Soft Seating

B&N, Borders Slash Soft Seating

In the Baltimore Sun (“Hard facts oust soft chairs at bookstores“), Rob Hiaasen (any relation to Carl?) reports that bookstores are coming to the conclusion that creating a library-like environment doesn’t necessarily translate to better sales: At the Barnes & Noble at the Power Plant in the Inner Harbor, the comfy chair that once sat […]

Posted in: Book News
Review of Reviewing Reviewed by Reviewer

Review of Reviewing Reviewed by Reviewer

Over at book/daddy (“Hosannah in the lowest“), Jerome Weeks reviews a book about book reviewing, Gail Pool’s Faint Praise. They both make some decent points about the blindness of “objective” reviews — and Weeks offers useful perspective on the financial realities of newspapers’ book sections. But in the end, American editors and reviewers still supposedly seek objectivity — a kind of […]

Posted in: Books and Authors
Yes, But You Can't Put a Price on the Satisfaction of Getting It For Free

Yes, But You Can't Put a Price on the Satisfaction of Getting It For Free

In the Guardian (“Downloads cast a spell on the unwary“), Charles Arthur uses Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows as the launching pad for a discussion of something that hasn’t actually been talked to death yet: The thing about the internet is that it tempts people to spend money in ways that make no sense if […]

And in This Corner….

And in This Corner….

Although we live in an era of increasingly cordial literary sparring, there are signs that this could change. From Galleycat (“The Ames/Davidson Literary Fight night“): Last night, around 250 people packed Gleason’s Gym in Dumbo to watch a boxing match. Vegas it may not have been, but the roar that went up in the crowd […]

Posted in: Book News
More on Austen's Powers

More on Austen's Powers

In the Independent, John Franklin offers “The real reason why publishers miss good books“: The real reason that publishers miss good books is no secret, and it is nothing to do with literary judgement, knowledge of first lines or acquaintance with the classics. It is the same reason that film companies miss great scripts and […]

Posted in: Book News