Archive for January, 2008

Think Twice before Taking on the Australian Press
By January 30, 2008 0 Comments Read More →

Think Twice before Taking on the Australian Press

The Australian reports more recent developments in the Ishmael Beah (Long Way Gone, 2006) controversy. “US critics ‘wanted to believe’ child soldier’s tale,” by David Nason: THE US literary establishment gave former Sierra Leone child soldier Ishmael Beah a “free pass” on the accuracy of his international bestselling memoir A Long Way Gone because it […]

Austentacious

Austentacious

So you’ve probably been wondering how my 70+ book group turned out? No? Well, let me tell you anyway. Please? Okay, so here’s what happened. First, I shouldn’t have been all up in arms over 70+ RSVPs. Because only 35 people showed up. Which is still about 20 too many for a good book discussion […]

Posted in: Book Groups
Internet Use Competes With, Enables Act of Reading
By January 29, 2008 0 Comments Read More →

Internet Use Competes With, Enables Act of Reading

So Internet use is allegedly dominating people’s time and causing them read fewer books. But an awful lot of people are using the Internet to buy books. (Although U.S. online shoppers don’t crack the top 10.) From BBC News (“Books ‘most popular online buy’“). More books are sold on the internet than any other product and the number is […]

Posted in: Book News
Orhan Pamuk Safe for the Moment
By January 29, 2008 0 Comments Read More →

Orhan Pamuk Safe for the Moment

From the Guardian (“‘Plot to kill’ Nobel laureate,” by Richard Lea): Thirteen people have been arrested in Turkey as part of an investigation into an ultra-nationalist gang reported to be planning the assassination of Nobel laureate Orhan Pamuk. According to reports in the Turkish press, the author of international bestsellers including My Name is Red […]

How do you say that?
By January 29, 2008 6 Comments Read More →

How do you say that?

I am currently reading the teen science fiction book Epic by Conor Kostick and it is filled with Scandinavian names. The characters have names like Injeborg, Svein, and Hleid. I am uncertain how to say these names which would not stop me from using the book for a book discussion but does present a hurdle. […]

Posted in: Book Groups
One Heck of a Pull Quote
By January 28, 2008 3 Comments Read More →

One Heck of a Pull Quote

Simon Dumenco wittily dismisses Steve Jobs’ dis of the reading public (“The Written Word? It’s So Totally Over, According to Mr. IPod,” Advertising Age)–but that still doesn’t change the fact that, riding the bus last Friday, I was sandwiched between two guys watching TV on their iPods. As for Jobs’ stat, it seems he extrapolated […]

Posted in: Books and Authors
Paging Barton Fink
By January 28, 2008 0 Comments Read More →

Paging Barton Fink

According to Marc Weingarten in the Los Angeles Times, struggling novelists now face another source of competition: striking screenwriters (“Hollywood writers turn to Plan B: the novel“). Given the film scribes are used to earning, though, book advances certainly won’t make them forget their day jobs: Lydia Wills at Paradigm agreed that “back-burner projects” are now getting more attention, noting […]

Kennedy Wins the Costa
By January 28, 2008 0 Comments Read More →

Kennedy Wins the Costa

A. L. Kennedy (Paradise, 2005; Indelible Acts, 2003) has won the Costa Book of the Year award (you remember the Costa, it used to be the Whitbread) for her fifth novel, Day (Jonathan Cape, 2007). Taking a quick look at the author’s site, I found myself charmed by her reviews of her reviews. Not for […]

The Man Who Would Be Harriet Klausner
By January 28, 2008 0 Comments Read More →

The Man Who Would Be Harriet Klausner

In Slate, Garth Risk Hallberg asks, “Who Is Grady Harp?” I suppose I shouldn’t have been surprised, but I had imagined Amazon’s customer reviews as a refuge from the machinations of the publishing industry: “an intelligent and articulate conversation … conducted by a group of disinterested, disembodied spirits,” as James Marcus, a former editor at […]

Posted in: Books and Authors
Don’t try this at book groups

Don’t try this at book groups

Keir’s not going to believe me when I say I’m lousy at cocktail parties. But I mean it. I suk at them. I don’t ever walk into a gathering of any kind without some kind of game or trick to share in order to avoid embarrassing lapses in conversation. At the Midwinter Conference in Philadelphia […]

Posted in: Book Groups