Thursday, December 20, 2007

Book News, In Brief

The New York Times has a two page article on, a website promoting free, anonymous book trading in public places. 4.4 million books have been registered in the "catch and release" program thus far, with 600,000 readers registered.

Via Guardian UK: "Americans go for self-help, the French for philosophy and the British for trivia. Stuart Jeffries investigates the phenomenon of the Christmas bestseller and wonders what this year's big successes will be."

Have no fear, white trash, teenage baby-mommas: Britney Spears' mother may have canceled her proposed parenting book (something to do with her 'other daughter' -- aged 16 -- recently revealing her pregnancy), but Eminem's mom has announced an autobiographical accounting of her and her son's estranged-is-putting-it-mildly relationship.

Steam engine thought has everyone running stories about the dearth of reading among boys and men. The Atlanta Journal-Constitution asks, Why don’t men do book clubs?, and then leaves it up to those folks frequenting the comments section to answer the question. The Minneapolis Star Tribune covers their school system's efforts to get boys interested in books besides Harry Potter and Star Wars spin-offs, posing their own Yoda-like query: Boys and books: How do you get them together? The Asheville Citizen Times does more than just ask broad questions. They describe a local librarian's semi-controversial attempt to refocus boys on books by separating the sexes into different reading groups designed to better deal with issues specific to each gender. My solution: slip some short fiction into Maxim Magazine.