Archive for May, 2008

Books in Space!

Books in Space!

Well, not paper-and-glue books–those would be too heavy and would take up too much room. But, in two fascinating extraterrestrial tales, the always forward-thinking Baen Books is giving its e-books away free to astronauts–at least, to those astronauts currently residing on the International Space Station–and, thanks to the success of NASA’s Phoenix Mars Lander, the Red […]

Posted in: Book News, Libraries
The Trickster Narrator: Genre without a Name

The Trickster Narrator: Genre without a Name

Fifty pages from the end, and he’s still got me guessing. The narrator is up to something, but I don’t know what. What I do know is that this is my favorite new kind of novel – a rascal narrator playing with my mind as he tells me his story. They’re perfect for book groups. […]

Posted in: Book Groups
Subbing

Subbing

While I don’t get the opportunity often, every once in a while I get to be a book group sub.  This week I got to discuss Lisa See’s Peony in Love with the Nikkei Book Group.  This group of Japanese American ladies has been meeting for years now, focusing on Asian-themed literature. While I did […]

Posted in: Book Groups
Judging Books by Their (Working) Titles

Judging Books by Their (Working) Titles

For those of you interested in judging books by their titles, David McKie (“The Great Trimalchio,” the Guardian commentisfree) investigates what playwright Neil LaBute calls “a rarely considered miniature art form”: book titles. Many trivia fans already know that Margaret Mitchell considered calling Gone with the Wind the more pedestrian Pansy–but how many know that F. […]

Posted in: Books and Authors
Front Covers: A Trend with Legs

Front Covers: A Trend with Legs

For those of you interested in judging books by their front covers, PRINT Magazine chronicles a trend with legs (“One Leg Leads to Another,” by Steven Heller). (Thanks, Dan!)

Posted in: Books and Authors
Judging Books by Their (Back) Covers

Judging Books by Their (Back) Covers

On the Guardian’s theblogbooks, book reviewer Chris Power admits that even he sometimes chooses books by their covers. Not the front covers, but the back covers, which often consist of synopses or blurbs or both: The problem with your common or garden synopsis is that it boils off all the stuff that attracts me about fiction […]

Posted in: Books and Authors
Do You Rate?

Do You Rate?

Book Group Buzz readers, does your discussion group rate the books it talks about?  I bring this up because a fellow discussion leader recently told me about asking her group members to rate Cormac McCarthy’s The Road on a scale of 1-5 before they launched into the discussion, and she was surprised by how many of them […]

Posted in: Book Groups
From Boys to Men

From Boys to Men

And, just in time for Father’s Day . . . Harper Entertainment is betting that it’s not just young boys who are interested in retro, clip-arty activity books–their fathers may be, too:   This one, however, makes me kind of sad, and not only because my poor book-loving father never taught me how to flush a radiator:

Posted in: Books and Authors
Another Bad Boys Book

Another Bad Boys Book

Or should that be Another Bad-Boys’ Book? I’m just going by the cover here. But this trend is getting dangerous:

Posted in: Books and Authors
Mother of Mercy! Is this the end of critics?

Mother of Mercy! Is this the end of critics?

Prompted by Ronan McDonald’s The Death of the Critic, Salon offers a thoughtful conversation between Louis Bayard and Laura Miller in which they ask whodunit (“Who killed the literary critic?“). There are plenty of culprits: overabundance of entertainment options, intellectual snobbery, cultural studies, poststructuralism, democracy, newspapers, blogs, etc. (I wish they would have written it up as […]

Posted in: Books and Authors