Friday, July 10, 2009

Book News, In Brief

If the rest of the world can abandon brick and mortar bookstores for the convenience of online shopping, why can't the gropers, rapists and molesters find some pervy website where they can relieve their vile urges? The Santa Cruz Sentinel has the story of a man they've dubbed 'The Downtown Groper' who was "arrested after he allegedly touched a teenage girl in a sexual manner at a Pacific Avenue bookstore," while the NBC Bay Area News has pictures of a 32 year old man accused of sexually assaulting a 5 year old girl in an area Barnes & Noble. Seriously, WTF?!

Hemingway was a Russian spy. A sh*tty Russian spy, but a Russian spy nonetheless. The Guardian UK reports, "His KGB file (says) he was recruited in 1941 before making a trip to China, given the cover name 'Argo', and 'repeatedly expressed his desire and willingness to help us' when he met Soviet agents in Havana and London in the 40s. However, he failed to 'give us any political information' and was never 'verified in practical work', so contacts with Argo had ceased by the end of the decade."

A CO federal prison has banned two of Barack Obama's books, claiming they're "potentially detrimental to national security." The AP reports, "Prison officials cite specific pages — but not specific passages — in the books that they deem objectionable. They include one page in Obama's 1995 book, Dreams from My Father, and 22 separate pages in his policy-oriented 2006 book, The Audacity of Hope. It was not immediately obvious what passages might have been deemed problematic, though nearly half of the pages cited are in a chapter devoted to foreign affairs." As for Obama's third book, Change We Can Believe In, prison officials are more than willing to let inmates read that one. Why? Cuz it was hella boring, a PR puff piece, and would only lull its readers into a catatonic stupor.

Marvel Comics is going retro -- in the worst way possible. Not satisfied with the criticism that they're receiving for their return to variant covers, Marvel has announced plans to re-introduce another 90's no-no: Holo-foil covers. Robot 6 reports, "'This is Marvel doing the nineties right,' explained David Gabriel, Marvel Comics Senior Vice President of Sales & Circulation. 'We’re taking two of the most popular cover treatments of all time–foil and holograms–to create an all new kind of cover.'" While Marvel seems to think they're mixing chocolate and peanut butter and creating Reece's Peanut Butter Cups, what they're really doing is mixing corporate greed and a justified reliance on a small sector of the comic book buying public's almost OCD shopping habits to come up with an all new slightly different way to re-create the 1990's 'speculator boom' and its inevitable destruction of hundreds of comic book shops. Ah, comics!