Thursday, September 11, 2008

Book News, In Brief

Finally, The Complete Idiot's Guide to Complete Idiots. Hallelujah!

If at first you're sued by J.K. Rowling, write another book based on her heavily guarded property.

Mo' money? No problem! Biggie's ex-wife's biography creeps closer to NYTimes' bestseller status.

Here's a headline you don't read very often: Mall's movie theater out, bookstore might be in (Of course, it is a Barnes & Noble...)

A win for the Kindle. Biographies of the would-be First Ladies are coming out in e-book form next Monday. The winning wife's bio will be available in paperback only after the election results are in.


Eli Gottlieb (The Boy Who Went Away) picks the fieriest scenes from the eternal conflict between the sexes

Gaming Nexus Blogs recommends 5 literary classics to get you in the mood...for new video games

Jessica Duchen (Rites of Spring) chooses the greatest Gypsy characters in fiction

Esther Woolfson (Piano Angel) lists her favorite instances of birds in literature

Den of Geeks selects the 10 best-dressed comic book villains

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Book News, In Brief

Frank Miller's manufactured manliness causes comic book recall. (Murder, torture and ginormous boobs? Hey, that's comics. The word 'goddamned'? Now that's just wrong.)

Via Publisher's Weekly: E-Newspaper Reader Looks Like the Real Thing, reports New York Times. (This is big news for the thirteen people who still haven't discovered the totally free, around the clock news feeds available on that other recently released bit of technology: das internet.)

Book to film news:
1. Via E!: Mamma Mia!'s Amanda Seyfried will star in Dear John, Lasse Hallstrom's feature film based on the Nicholas Sparks bestseller.
2. Via CHUD: Desperate to rake in some of that comics book adaptation cash, Fox Studios is planning a reboot of their fizzled Daredevil film franchise, and is mulling over a sure to be Diablo-Cody-ed, 'teen X-men' flick.
3. Via The Beat: Oh, and those rumors about Cher playing Catwoman as an aging opium den madame in the next Batman pic? No one's debunked 'em yet...

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Re: Our Public Flogging

Last week we did a small piece on the folks taking pictures of our staff picks table so that they could then go and order the books online. A few days later, we got this (anonymous) response in our comments section:

Hey, you should probably stop getting upset at your customers (Thanks for yelling at me today, Woman With Long Brown Hair, and I didn't even take a picture) and do something about it. If most people are "buying it on Amazon," maybe you should consider SELLING it on Amazon. Duh? If you want to stay in business, take a shot at progressing with technology instead of being against it.

I responded with brevity and sensitivity in the comments section, but then realized -- hey, I could cut and paste this on our blog and take care of a day's posts. Win-win!

My response:

F**k that. If we started pretending to like every idiot that walks into our store, then we'd be no better than those amnesia cases greeting folks at the entrance to Wal-Mart. One of the benefits of working at an independent bookstore is independent thought -- please don't try and take that away from us. And as for your zinger of an idea about selling on Amazon...stupid. No bookstore in America gets the discounts that Amazon gets. Therefore, no bookstore in America is going to be able to successfully undersell Amazon...especially not on Amazon. (To quote the bard: "Duh.") But hey, no one's stopping you from shopping there. In fact, from this day forth, we're encouraging you to. Just don't express mock shock and faux regret when all of the rest of the indie bookstores in the country close their doors for good. It was the self-centered, penny-pinching, anti-localism spending habits of 'progressive' folks like you that caused it. Oh, and as for your "take a shot at progressing with technology" barb: You posted it on our blog.
Thanks for commenting!

Monday, September 8, 2008

Don't Believe The Hype
(but by all means, buy it!)

Via the AP: The publisher that took on O.J. Simpson's If I Did It after it was dropped in the face of public outrage has signed up another rejected project: Sherry Jones' The Jewel of Medina, a novel about a wife of the prophet Muhammad that Random House canceled out of concern that it would anger Muslims. "We read the book, we loved it," says Eric Kampmann, owner of Beaufort Books, which managed a hit last year with Simpson's hypothetical confession to murder. Jones' novel should come out by mid-October, Kampmann said.

J.K. Rowling Wins Copyright Claim

Via the AP: A judge says "Harry Potter" author J.K. Rowling has won her claim that a fan violated her copyright with his plans to publish a Potter encyclopedia. Judge Robert Patterson said in a ruling Monday that Rowling had proven that Steven Vander Ark's "Harry Potter Lexicon" would cause her irreparable harm as a writer. Vander Ark runs the popular Harry Potter Lexicon Web site.

When asked what she planned to do now, Rowling said, "I'm going to Disney World!"

Correction: Rowling actually said, "I'm going to buy Disney World. And Disneyland. And Somalia. And then I'm off to Kensington for high tea."