Friday, March 13, 2009

Book News, In Brief

Do your daily reading habits display a dysfunctional demeanor? The Guardian UK has a quiz.

Hoping to uncover the secrets to creating a kids' lit hit, analyzes 70 years worth of children's classics.

Barney Hoskins wrote a Tom Waits biography. In the process, Tom Waits drove Barney Hoskins bonkers. David Sinclair tells the story behind the book.

Fresh off her success with the Twilight adaptation, filmmaker Catherine Hardwicke has picked another teen-angst tome for her next film. But will the goth girls go gaga for If I Stay?

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Book News, In Brief

How do newspaper people even conceive of topics like this? It just seems so...random. Anyway, gasp along with Woodward and Bernstein as The Independent Online investigates: "Are South American men suckers for a good love story?"

The editor of True Compass, Sen. Edward Kennedy's memoir, promises the book will be in bookstores this fall. "We were saddened when the Senator's recent bout with brain cancer ruined our plans for a St. Patrick's Day release," a nonexistent source reports. "But you should have seen the Senator's bloodshot, beady eyes light up when we told him that he'd be promoting it during Oktoberfest. I believe his exact words were, 'Burp...hic!'"

Six years after the publication of her novel, The Time Traveler's Wife, Audrey Niffenegger has sold a new manuscript to Scribner for close to $5 million. The new novel, Her Fearful Symmetry, is "a supernatural story about twins who inherit an apartment near a London cemetery and become embroiled in the lives of the building's other residents and the ghost of their aunt, who left them the flat." Ah, but that's not the newsworthy part is it? So let me repeat: HER NEW BOOK SOLD FOR FIVE MILLION DOLLARS! (But what will the South American men think?)

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Bill Clinton Talks Books, Indie Bookstores and Publishing

Galleycat has the tweets, twitters and other cloyingly-named soundbites.

Update! An excerpt from Publishers Marketplace's Publisher's Lunch email:
Appearing 30 minutes late (which is basically on time, but explains the delay in serving today's Lunch), former President Clinton noted that due to midtown gridlock, "I got to walk and virtually run the last five blocks" to get to the Yale Club. To the applause of the group Clinton noted in his introduction, "I'm the last of a dying breed; I'm still trying to keep our independent bookstore in Chappaqua, NY alive." When he got around to mentioning books again about 15 minutes later, Clinton said "I would argue that books are more important in the age of blog sites and tweets and whatever.... We need perspective and linear argument. That's why I think books are important."

Comic Book News, In Brief

Having blown minds & tear ducts with All-Star Superman, Grant Morrison and Frank Quitely are returning this June with a new series, Batman & Robin. Or, as Robot 6 so eloquently put it: The Dynamic Duo (Morrison and Quitely) strikes again!

So you've read Watchmen, watched Watchmen, and eaten Pez from Watchmen. Perhaps it's time to try something new. Are You A Serious Comic Book Reader? recommends two other superhero-deconstruction comics: Rick Veitch's The Maximortal and Milligan & Fegredo's Enigma. Both are brilliant, but Enigma's my personal favorite.

Bob Temuka (real name withheld because he's from somewhere foreign) writes so many wonderful comics-related editorials that it's hard to just pick one or two to highlight each month. That said, picking his long rant against Superman Prime was actually quite easy. I mean, how often do you get to read a crass critique of a fictional 'jerk', much less one that compares DC's deity to Seinfeld's George Costanza?

Comicsgirl doesn't update daily, but when she does, it's well worth reading. Yesterday she posted a link to Anime News Network's Chicks on Anime, where comics artist Barbara Guttman described the differences in the way that women characters are written in American and Asian comics this way:
“(Heroines in manga) have to relinquish their assertiveness and their identity. So their fantasy tends to be about being able to be strong and assertive and not be called an unwoman for it. Sailor Moon gets to be powerful and wear a flowing dress and get the guy and no one insists that by saving the day, she’s castrating Tuxedo Mask.”
To read the whole piece, click here.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Rapper Common Hopes to Make Reading

Rapper-actor-all around hyphen hog, Common, has just launched a new website -- The Corner Book Club. While the C.B.C.'s obvious goal is to get kids reading, it's also attempting to alter the negative stereotypes (nerds!) and connotations (homework!) kids normally associate with putting pupils to page. So how does it plan to do this? By choosing one book per month for online discussion and dissection (this month's choice: War Child by Emmanuel Jal), as well as having different artists and musicians stop by the website to talk about their favorite books. While awkwardly phrased slang like, "Take a look around, chill out with us, and get your read on!" may induce unintended giggles and groans, the site as a whole is easy to navigate and a damned good jump-off point for something special. Here's hoping it works.

Go, look: The Corner Book Club

Tuesday's Tip for Flailing Writers: Links! offers three tips for freelancing in a f**ked economy. Here's a fourth: Eat ramen.

Pub Rants suggests a simple trick for offsetting the effect of a bad review. If that doesn't work, there's always this, less reputable method.

The Bookish Dilettante has a peek at the fabled 'future of publishing'. What's more, it's being brought to you by a fella they're billing as 'the future of publishing'!

Memoirists take note: According to The Charleston Post, the act of writing has been shown to unlock long-lost memories. (As to whether that's actually a good thing, I'll let you and your therapist decide.)

Monday, March 9, 2009

Go, Look!

Amandine Alessandra has created a fantastic new font using nothing but books. has pics.

(Thanks to for the tip!)

Authentic, or Not Authentic:
That is the Question

The AP reports:
Scholars studying the life and times of William Shakespeare unveiled a portrait Monday believed to be the only authentic image of the Bard painted during his lifetime.
But is it really? I mean, it looks like there's a bit of airbrushing around his eyes at the very least.
For the AP's full story, click here.

Book News, In Brief

Happy 60th birthday, Harlequin Romance. I got you a cake topped with Viagra, Valtrex, and menopause pills.

Semi-related (in that it involves age): TheStarOnline has a bit about a 57-year-old British otaku. Don't worry -- she's not into cosplay.

Semi-related (in that it appeals to otaku): Viz Media has announced their plans to publish a collection of Hayao Miyazaki's essays, notes, sketches and interviews. Starting Point: 1979-1996 will be released on July 9.

Semi-related (cuz we were just talking about 'release'): Yet another flasher has been arrested for browsing a bookstore with his balls hanging out. Tell me, what is it about the smell of paper and ink that excites these exhibitionists?

Sunday, March 8, 2009

Go, Look!

For fifty years, a small Parisian bookshop has offered food and lodging to penniless authors - the only rule is that they read a book a day. The shop is called Shakespeare and Company, and The Guardian UK has penned 'em a profile.
Go, Look!