Monday, February 11, 2008

Book News, In Brief

Via The Baltimore Sun: "Barack Obama beat former President Bill Clinton for the Grammy Award this year for best spoken word. Obama won for the audio book version of his bestseller, The Audacity of Hope: Thoughts on Reclaiming the American Dream. It marked his second Grammy, following a win in 2006 for Dreams From My Father, an audiobook for a memoir first published in 1995."

Via The Telegraph UK: The good news: After 922 years of mystery, The Doomsday Book is on-line for all to read. The Bad News: The book is not an ancient tome of apocalyptic warnings, but an 1085 land survey commissioned by William the Conquerer, written primarily for tax purposes (the Old English 'dom' means reckoning or accounting). Borrring.

This was first announced back in 2006, but it's just started popping up in headlines across the globe again.
Via The Star Online (Malaysia): "Spider-Man director Sam Raimi is adapting Terry Goodkind’s Sword of Truth books into a syndicated TV series. The series will be called Wizard’s First Rule, taking its title from the first book in the series. It has already been picked up by Tribune Broadcasting."
And then, perhaps to sabotage any excitement you might be feeling, the article goes on to say:
"Raimi was an executive producer on syndicated shows Hercules: The Legendary Journeys and Xena: Warrior Princess."

Via The Comics "Valerie D'Orazio worked as an assistant editor at Acclaim and then DC Comics, leaving the latter position in a cloud of dissatisfaction that saw expression in a much talked-about series of on-line postings called Goodbye to Comics. That group of essays dissected in brutal, unsparing fashion comics culture as D'Orazio had experienced it thus far. She painted a portrait of an unhealthy if not outright damaging world of widespread obsessive behavior, behavioral dysfunction and unrealized expectations. This helped gain her a new and attentive audience that has since made her blog Occasional Superheroine one of the can't-miss stops for mainstream comics commentary on the Internet. She's recently announced plans to expand the site."
The Comics Reporter has a brand new interview with D'Orazio, posted here.

A brick and mortar bookstore's main competition used be other brick and mortar bookstores. Then, about ten years ago, their arch rival became internet behemoth Now, thanks to that same internet, their new foe for the reader's dough looks to be the publishers.
Via The NYTimes: "In an attempt to increase book sales, HarperCollins Publishers will begin offering free electronic editions of some of its books on its Web site. The idea is to give readers the opportunity to sample the books online in the same way that prospective buyers can flip through books in a bookstore. 'It’s like taking the shrink wrap off a book,' said Jane Friedman, chief executive of HarperCollins Publishers Worldwide. 'The best way to sell books is to have the consumer be able to read some of that content.' For more than a year, visitors to HarperCollins’ Web site have been able to use the company’s Browse Inside function to look at some pages of most of the publisher’s current titles. Ms. Friedman said she believed that by displaying even more of the book’s content free, more readers would be enticed to buy."
In related news, via "Tor Books is launching a new site and running a campaign in which they are giving away e-books (free as in beer) until the site goes live. To get in on the deal, fill out the form at their site, and each week you will receive a newsletter containing links to download a new book. The first two books are Mistborn by Brandon Sanderson followed by Old Man's War by John Scalzi."