Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Book News, In Brief

Ingrid Newkirk, founder of PETA (People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals), has embarked upon a bookstore tour to promote her new book One Can Make a Difference. All PETT members (People for the Ethical Treatment of Trees) are encouraged to douse her and her book with buckets of fake sap.

Speaking of threats aimed at authors, Roberto Saviano (Gomorra) and Salman Rushdie (The Satanic Verses) recently got together to share their experiences of living under death threats. Interested? Check under your mouse for bombs, then click here.

Now that Obama has been elected, what are bookstores going to do with all of the shelf space previously dedicated to anti-Bush books? According to the Guardian UK, the next wave of political books will be about recovering from the recession, the pros and cons universal health care, and maybe even a reprinting or two of books released during the last Great Depression.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Tuesday's Tip for Flailing Writers:
A Story Idea -- Ripped From Today's Headlines!

News item, care of the almighty AP:
WASHINGTON – Former Osama bin Laden driver Salim Hamdan is being transferred from the U.S. detention facility at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, back to his home country of Yemen, a senior defense official said.

Story idea:
Driving Mr. Crazy
Plot: It's the memoirs of Osama Bin Laden's former chauffeur, Salim Hamdan, as told to the young soldier assigned to escort Hamdan from Guantanamo Bay back to Yemen.
Self-Aggrandizing Spiel: You see what I did there? First off, I have a chauffeur being chauffeured. That's what the hip hop kids call, 'flipping the script.' Then I've got the one chauffeur -- Hamdam -- telling his story to the other chauffeur -- the soldier -- who is telling the story to you -- the reader. That's what the indie rock kids call, 'post-modern.'

Book News, In Brief

Would-be writers might want to continue delaying their would-be books, as publishers are putting a "temporary halt" on acquisitions.

When a star decides to 'write' an autobiography, just what sort of hell does that mean for the slumming ghostwriter? The Guardian UK asks seven ghostwriters to tell their side of the story.

Just in time for Thanksgiving, The Wall Street Journal has made a list of The Best Rare Books On Americana. Then again, we're in the midst of a recession, so maybe recommending rare and expensive tomes isn't so timely.

The Guardian UK has a list of this year's nominees for the Bad Sex Award. What's the Bad Sex Award? An only-in-England literary prize for the year's worst erotic writing. Making good better, the Guardian UK have cut and pasted the offending/award winning sex scenes!

Monday, November 24, 2008

Blog-Jacking: New York Magazine

Findings from the streets, files, and hard drives of New York.
Originally posted here on Nov 23, 2008, photo by Lea Golis
Below, plot secrets from the Twilight series of teen-vampire novels, as revealed by anonymous vandals on a poster advertising the Twilight movie adaptation—which opened last Friday—on the outbound 23rd Street–Ely Avenue E/V subway platform in Queens.Inkwell says:
It's been 30 years since Jonestown, but folks are still drinking the Hater-aid.

Book News, In Brief

I could spare you all the misery and just stop posting these sorts of headlines, but then, poverty loves company, doesn't it? Books-A-Million is reporting their total revenue dropped 5.7% in the third quarter ending November 1. Comparable store sales tumbled 9.9%.

Police were called to a Portsmouth, NH bookstore last week regarding threats made to Frank Wilczek, an MIT physics professor and author who was scheduled to speak there. So what was so controversial about Wilczek's book, The Lightness of Being? Apparently, it "features the theme that the ancient contrast between celestial light and earthly matter has been transcended"...whatever that means.

Bookstore owners, operators, employees and all manner of assorted hangers-on: Copy this article and send it to everyone you know. It's an op-ed piece about 'the joy of giving books,' and if we can infect enough people with the ideas it offers, we might make some money this holiday season. (Editor's note to all bookstore owners, operators, employees and all manner of assorted hangers-on: Before forwarding the article, cut out the second sentence, the one that says, "I've found that if you sit down and read a large portion of a book you're not even going to buy while you sip your latte, the employees don't seem to mind." Anyone even slightly familiar with the inner workings of a bookstore knows that this couldn't be further from the truth.)