Archive for December, 2007

Why We Need to Talk About Books 2: Dead Zapatistas
By December 14, 2007 0 Comments Read More →

Why We Need to Talk About Books 2: Dead Zapatistas

A brilliantly funny new political novel is the Mexican mystery, The Uncomfortable Dead – but I would have misunderstood it, considered it flawed by an odd surrealism, and possibly even accused it of (gulp!) magical realism, without the explanation provided by a book club member. The novel is written by two authors in alternating chapters. […]

Posted in: Book Groups, Book News
Biographies: a hit or a miss
By December 13, 2007 2 Comments Read More →

Biographies: a hit or a miss

Finding discussable memoirs and biographies for your book group can be a challenge. They pose all kinds of problems.  The quality of the writing, how a group feels about an individual, and how well a biographer deals with the historical details and source material all come into play.  And again, the aim is to find […]

Posted in: Book Groups
Book Group Buzz
By December 13, 2007 1 Comments Read More →

Book Group Buzz

  Just one post today–to let you know about the launch of Booklist Online’s second blog, Book Group Buzz. We had some interesting conversations at the old Booklist Book Club, but what people kept telling us was that what they really wanted were resources to help them with their in-person (I disdain the digirati’s use […]

Posted in: Book Groups, Libraries
What We Talk about When We Talk About Book Groups

What We Talk about When We Talk About Book Groups

On Tuesday I had the distinct pleasure to spend a day in the company of some of NEFLIN‘s (North East Florida Library Information Network) most convivial and dedicated librarians. We had gathered for a workshop called Common Grounds: Book Groups for New and Experienced Readers & Leaders. Whenever I lead a workshop on this topic, I […]

Posted in: Book Groups
Book Group Links
By December 12, 2007 1 Comments Read More →

Book Group Links

Here are a few Web sites that offer support for people interested in starting a book club, or keeping one going.  Book Clubs Resource.com has information on running a book club, as well as links to reading guides and other resources. Reading Group Choices recommends discussible books, and also has author interviews and book club tips. Every […]

Posted in: Book Groups
Ethics by the Numbers
By December 12, 2007 1 Comments Read More →

Ethics by the Numbers

44% of book reviewers enjoy a glass of wine while reading; of those, 78% prefer red wine to white; of the red-wine drinkers, only 8% declare malbec to be their first choice 92% of book reviewers have fallen asleep in the act (of reading) 3% of book reviewers have never had the thought that they […]

Posted in: Book News
Why We Need to Talk about Books 1: The Last Story
By December 12, 2007 1 Comments Read More →

Why We Need to Talk about Books 1: The Last Story

If we were divine beings and knew how to read books perfectly, we wouldn’t need to talk about them. Unfortunately we’re far from divine readers. We have short attention spans. We have limited knowledge. We’re easily distracted. We miss details. And sometimes we miss the whole point. Occasionally half a dozen smart, committed readers banding […]

Posted in: Book Groups, Book News
Philip Pullman Answers Somewhat Softly
By December 10, 2007 0 Comments Read More →

Philip Pullman Answers Somewhat Softly

Given a recent Major Motion Picture Event, Philip Pullman’s popular His Dark Materials trilogy (The Golden Compass, 1996; The Subtle Knife, 1997; The Amber Spyglass, 2000) has enjoyed a resurgence of attention. Well, perhaps “enjoyed” doesn’t tell the full story. But rather than link to the many examples of fear for thought, I’ll just link to this interesting […]

Biographer of Roosevelt and Nixon Sentenced to Prison
By December 10, 2007 0 Comments Read More →

Biographer of Roosevelt and Nixon Sentenced to Prison

Conrad Black (aka Lord Black of Crossharbour, aka “The Robber Baron”), author of Franklin Delano Roosevelt: Champion of Freedom (2003) and Richard M. Nixon: A Life in Full (2007), has been sentenced to 78 months in prison (“Judge cuts Conrad Black a break,” by Abdon M. Pallasch, Chicago Sun-Times). He doesn’t look happy. If he […]

Now If Only We Could Get Robots to Write Them, Too
By December 10, 2007 0 Comments Read More →

Now If Only We Could Get Robots to Write Them, Too

I’ve seen many mentions of the Espresso Book Machine, usually referenced in discussions of how print-on-demand will revolutionize the publishing industry (although sometimes simply in reference to publishers’ attempts to redefine the words “in print”)–but I’d never seen one in action until just moments ago. (Helpful definition: rasterize.) Warning: this will only be of interest to […]

Posted in: Books and Authors