Monday, January 5, 2009

Book News, In Brief

The 'death of books' may have been proclaimed prematurely, but it's never too early to proclaim the collapse of the Kindle. Via Lifehacker: If recession budgeting meant choosing an iPhone/iPod touch over a Kindle when the dust cleared this holiday season, you're in luck: Stanza is a free and fantastic ebook reader for your iPhone.

In the old days (i.e: last week), if an author's life wasn't memorable enough to inspire a memoir, they simply embellished (i.e.: made sh*t up). Unfortunately, in the past few years (i.e.: post-James Frey), taking such liberties has become passe (i.e.: litigious and costly). That's why authors like Norah Vincent are a publisher's dream. From The Guardian UK: To expose the insanity of mental health institutions, Norah Vincent had herself committed. Twice.

Calling all cat burglars, crystal collectors and New Age nitwits! The Pilgrim's Way Bookstore in Carmel, CA is currently exhibiting the largest of the 13 legendary crystal skulls. The Monterey County Herald reports: The (book)store...will host today's 7p.m. lecture by the skull's owner, JoAnn Parks of Houston. The 18-pound, 2-ounce skull named Max is at least 10,000 years old by some estimates and purportedly was used by Mayan priests for healing and prayer...The skull spent its first 10 years in an old cosmetics case until, JoAnn said, it began speaking to her in her dreams... "And that's when he said to me, loudly and clearly in my head, 'By the way, my name is not Skull. It's Max.'"