Monday, March 31, 2008

Book News, In Brief

This year's Oddest Book Title Award goes to If You Want Closure in Your Relationship, Start With Your Legs. Previous winners include The Big Book of Lesbian Horse Stories, Bombproof Your Horse, and The Stray Shopping Carts of Eastern North America: A Guide to Field Identification.

Grab your magic beans. It's high time we killed a giant. Via Publisher's Weekly: BookSurge, Amazon’s print-on-demand subsidiary, is making an offer that most publishers would like to refuse, but don’t feel they can. According to talks with several pod houses, BookSurge has told them that unless their titles are printed by BookSurge, the buy buttons on Amazon for their titles will be disabled.

This Superman-centered court decision is a win for truth, justice, and...well, let's not go overboard. Via After seventy years, Jerome Siegel’s heirs regain what he granted so long ago – the copyright in the Superman material that was published in Action Comics Vol. 1. What remains is an apportionment of profits, guided in some measure by the rulings contained in this Order, and a trial on whether to include the profits generated by DC Comics’ corporate sibling’s exploitation of the Superman copyright.

Japanese court ruling exonerates Nobel laureate Kenzaburo Oe and his book, Okinawa Notes. Via Kenzaburo Oe won a major court battle yesterday over a book he wrote more than 30 years ago detailing how Japanese soldiers perished and sometimes forced Okinawan civilians to commit suicide rather than give themselves up in the closing days of World War II. The ruling was also a high-profile setback for a vocal lobby among Japanese conservatives who have long sought to discredit materials documenting Japanese excesses during the war, including government-supported prostitution, the rape of the Chinese city of Nanjing and other incidents.