It's no secret that we're fans of both Stephen King and Lauren Grodstein, so we were especially excited to hear that the two are doing a live webcast for the Algonquin Books Blog on March 3. King is a great champion of lesser-known artists, both musical and literary, and he's definitely picked a winner here. Can't wait to see how this conversation unfolds.
As if you needed another reason to want an iPad: Book critics—and buddies—Laura Miller and Maud Newton have created The Chimerist, a new site that explores "the intersection of art, stories, and technology" by highlighting iPad functions and apps with a literary or artistic angle. Just a few posts in and I'm hooked: the Strange Rain app sounds totally crazy, in a good way, and I've been inspired to look for an Escher wallpaper for my iPhone.
We were delighted to find out a couple of weeks back that author Kate Christensen has started a blog. As you might expect, it's not the typical
"come to my author signings" kind of blog. It's more of a memoir-cum-diary, and it's anything but chronological. The two things you're guaranteed are excellent writing and a recipe at the end. I will absolutely be making the "Bachelor's Supper" from one of last week's posts.
Ever wondered where the printer's marks (aka colophons) on the spines of books came from? Publishers from Penguin to Pocket to Knopf addressed that question this week on Publishing Trendsetter, and their answers might surprise you. My favorite is the story behind Overlook Press' winged elephant.
What links have you discovered this week? Tell us in the comments!
Happy Friday, book-lovers! Here are some Internet tidbits we've been reading this week . . . enjoy!
Random House asked readers to tweet about the most undateable characters in literature using the hashtag #undateableinlit. They started it off with a classic character from Charles Dickens‘ Great Expectations:
“Let’s give ‘undateable' a bookish twist. We’ll start: wearing a wedding dress every day since being left at the altar. #UndateableInLit.”
I read some great articles this week on the printed book. This piece from the Chicago Tribune suggests publishers fight back, guns blazing, against the onslaught of e-reader advertising with their own ad campaigns.
Brooklyn-based indie publisher Melville House has started a project called HybridBooks, which gives print books some of the perks and secondary information previously only available on e-readers. The use of a Quick Response barcode will allow readers to access extra features, or "illuminations." They are launching the project with five novellas, each titled "The Duel" but written by five different literary masters.
And even though it's an older article, we wanted to suggest a reading retreat! This post from Laura Miller at Salon.com encourages "getting away from everything but your books." Doesn't that sound lovely?
What will you be reading this weekend?
Quick summary of links: Crafts made from cat hair! Scenery overkill in fiction! Underrated books written by women! And is Jeff Kinney superman? Please share your own favorite links in the comments.
No sooner does Obreht's narrative work up a little momentum or present a masterful scene than it hits a patch of long, dozy paragraphs filled with way too much detail about the scenery.
Here are three articles to get you thinking here at the end of the week. Have you come across any must-read blog posts lately? Share the link in the comments.
The always wonderful Laura Miller (author of The Magician's Book) addresses Vida's recent findings that there are fewer books written by women reviewed in literary publications. Part of the problem (and this was explored by Ruth Franklin in The New Republic) is that there are fewer books written by women in general. Franklin wrote: "magazines are reviewing female authors in something close to the proportion of books by women published each year. The question now becomes why more books by women are not getting published." Miller attempts to answer that question here. I have done some approximation of the study Miller suggests—asking men and women to list favorite authors or books—and I have to say that I agree with her results.
Newsweek has a roundup of quotes from people in the book industry on the topic that just won't go away—how e-books are transforming the biz. Surprise! Most of them don't think the physical book is "going anywhere."
We love lists at BookPage, and this one caught my eye if only because of the funny title: "The Top 50 Essential Non-Fiction Books for Weirdos," compiled on Geez Pete. It's a great, variety-packed list, and you can find additional info on many of the titles on BookPage.com.