Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Book News, In Brief

The Guardian UK has a pop-ed piece on the next generation of history writers, those baby-faced biographers who claim, "The greatest of all crimes is dullness," and, "the secret to making history compelling is to pick quirky subjects." If you just felt a pang of distress, it's official: You're old. has streaming video of the Espresso Book Machine in action. The footage, used to promote the mechanical monolith housed at Manchester Center, VT's The Northshire Bookstore, is cool and all, but someone's gotta streamline that thing toute de suite. It's about as sexy as a 1970's xerox machine.

Good news for bloggers like me you: The blog-to-book bubble has yet to burst! Gawker reports that "two blogs, Texts From Last Night and Look at this Fucking Hipster, scored contracts at Penguin's Gotham Books imprint" this week, calling them "the latest in an endless series of such deals," before providing a simple, five step method for ensuring your own one-book contract.

Less than a week after dropping its North Carolina affiliates to avoid paying state taxes, Amazon has kicked its Rhode Island affiliates to the curb for the exact same reason. So who are the forlorn affiliates blaming for this blatant, greed-inspired break-up? State legislators, the Democrats, RI's not-so-secret slave name -- hell, pretty much everyone but Amazon.