Friday, September 18, 2009

Recommended Viewing:
The Wizarding World of Harry Potter

Shown above is a sneak peek of Universal Studios' new 'land,' The Wizarding World of Harry Potter. For more information on this geek-Mecca-in-the-making, click here and here and here.

Book News, In Brief

Cover art superstar, Chip Kidd, makes a sensible guess as to the future of e-books: It's going to be similar to the current state of audio-books. Via.

I know this borders on being one of those snake-eats-its-tail/caged-chickens-eating-the-ground-up-remains-of-other-caged-chickens things, but still: This bookstore blog points you towards another bookstore's blog post about still other bookstore blogs (including this bookstore blog).

This isn't intended to inspire a mob uprising or a corpse exhumation or anything like that, but the Guardian UK does have a point when they ask, "Just how much of The Great Gatsby did Truman Capote steal for Breakfast at Tiffany's, and did he really think we were going to let him get away with it?"

This Thursday, at a rare book auction in Manhattan, a 59-year-old retired real estate developer and self-described "devout Christian" is selling his collection of over 100 rare Bibles, valued at over a half million dollars. To quote the hallowed, haloed hippie, "It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God."

According to, the Kindle e-reader edition of Dan Brown's The Lost Symbol is the top-selling book (note: not e-book) on Is this a sign of things to come (a'la the music industry & digital downloads), or just another example of Jeff Bezos' unique brand of "I can't show you any actual numbers, but you can take my word for it" public relations (a'la the Kindle's sales numbers)?

YourMonkeyCalled has created a book-based word game that's one unmasked Asian commuter away from going viral -- Book titles, If They Were Written Today.
An example:
Then: The Gospel of Matthew
Now: 40 Days and a Mule: How One Man Quit His Job and Became the Boss
(Via: Estoreal)

Thursday, September 17, 2009

My favorite set of search words that led someone to our site is...

"need a high school book report can rewrite in a second"

Unlicensed Sequels to Ancient Adaptation News Links

A few weeks back we gave you the the trailer to the film of The Fantastic Mr. Fox. Now we're giving you a link to a mini-documentary about the author of the source material, Roald Dahl.

A month or so ago I dissed Radiohead's Thom Yorke for contributing a song to the New Moon film. Now I'm accusing Death Cab for Cutie of career suicide for Cutie for doing the exact same thing.

This is the only 'new' piece of news in this week's Adaptation News (and it's for the weakest sounding picture of the lot): TMG is putting together a small screen adaptation of Herman Melville's little known, rarely filmed, fish-fic, Moby Dick. William Hurt and Ethan Hawke are set to star.

I can count on one hand the number of things I've looked forward to as much as I'm looking forward to Spike Jonze & Dave Eggers' adaptation of Where The Wild Things Are. (What were they, you ask? One was losing my virginity. Two was the second round of sex where I planned to make up for my lackluster performance during the first. Three was the third go-round, where I planned to temporarily delay the li'l lady's look of disappointment by implementing a little something called 'foreplay.' Four was gay sex. I figured, 'If I suck this bad at straight sex...' Five was Star Wars Episode 1.) Anyway, here are two new WTWTA links: New movie stills and a fawning interview with Jonze.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Huffington Post to Host Book Club

The New York Observer reports, "On Oct. 5, The Huffington Post will launch a new books section with a perhaps unexpected partner: The New York Review of Books."
Actually, it would've been "unexpected" if they'd waited for the release of Sarah Palin's autobiography and then launched the club with that. This is just...underwhelming.
Care for details? Click here.

Inkwell Irregulars, Assemble!

Here's an easy post: A list of links to bookish blog posts made by our Inkwell Irregulars. Not only does it save me the time of sorting through an unwieldy assembly of AP articles featuring the words 'book,' 'publisher,' and 'bookstore,' it links you (our beloved blog reader) to them (our other beloved blog readers). Incestuous? Sort of. But this is a cult -- that sort of thing is par for the course.

First up, a book review by Pol Culture's Robert Martin. The book in question is Nate Powell's comic er...graphic novel, Swallow Me Whole -- one of my favorite books of the year, and, quite coincidentally, currently on sale at its publisher's website for a measly $12.95!

California Meaghan knows the secret to capturing her readers' hearts -- giving out free sh*t! This past Sunday, she announced a contest where the prizes are two books, Food, Girls, and Other Things I Can't Have and Secret Society.

More reviews, this time from the sordid, smutty, sensationalistic genre that is romance. Liyana Othman reads so much of the stuff, she has two seperate sites for her reviews! LiyanaLand is her personal blog, while Royal Reviews is a bigger site where she is but one of many sap-happy scribblers.

LiteraturelySpeaking has been having an ongoing argument with her husband about the definition of 'book lover.' LS proudly proclaims to be one, but her hubby thinks the moniker is made moot because she doesn't "like all books." While I hate to poke my nose into the affairs of others (yeah, right!), I've gotta come down on the missus' side here. I consider myself a 'food lover,' but that doesn't mean I don't find the texture of clam sauce a li'l too close to semen for my liking.

Well, that's it for today. If'n you'd like to join our slowly expanding band of backwoods, book-loving belligerents, click here. All we ask is your life-long devotion, adoration, and a firstborn or two.

Book News, In Brief

This is, without a doubt, the ideal bookstore for in-store author appearances.

Cuz misery loves company: It wasn't just your bookstore that had sh*tty sales in July. According to PW, sales slipped .5% nationwide.

All of the numbers aren't in yet, but it looks like the first day sales of Dan Brown's The Lost Symbol actually lost money for most retailers.

Okay, so you've read Barack's beach reads, Bill Clinton's book picks, and Michelle Obama's favorite kids lit. Isn't it about time you checked out Osama bin Laden's reading list for Americans?

Over at B&, a former Senior Vice President and Executive Editor-in-Chief at Random House surveys the current condition of the publishing industry and proclaims, "I'm glad to have left this all behind."

Here's how they should have been marketing the Espresso book machine all along -- not as an automatic printing press for bestsellers, but as a source of instant gratification for would-be authors with unsellable manuscripts.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Go, Look: SF Writers & Their Writing Rooms

From the cluttered and colorful (Michael Swanwick) to the inexplicably pretentious (Joe Haldeman), Where I Write's collection of 'authors in their natural habitats' photos is a fun place for flailing writers to waste five minutes.
Go, Look!

Writers on Writing

"Coleridge was a drug addict. Poe was an alcoholic. Marlowe was killed by a man whom he was treacherously trying to stab. Pope took money to keep a woman's name out of a satire then wrote a piece so that she could still be recognized anyhow. Chatterton killed himself. Byron was accused of incest. Do you still want to be a writer - and if so, why?"
Bennett Cerf

Tuesday's Tips for Flailing Writers

Sometimes the best advice is the briefest: Examine what happens when you read.

More succinct suggestions: 5 Writing Tips from Ralph Waldo Emerson. (You see how short I'm keeping the intros? I'm amazing! And lazy!)

CopyBlogger has become one of my go-to spots for Tuesday's Tips links. This week I'm taking two. First up, How to Stop Making Yourself Crazy with Self-Editing.

The second: 5 Grammar Mistakes that Make You Sound Like a Chimpanzee (...and not the one in the room full of chimps that eventually pounds out Shakespeare, either).

Using a technique similar to the one Alan Moore described in his intro to the first Planetary collection, Randy Ingermanson describes How to Write a Novel Using The Snowflake Method.

Ben Dawe has put together the sort of sarcastic-yet-practical list I curse myself for not thinking of first: An aspirational author’s guide to effective self sabotage. And then, as if to rub it in, he's got a Part 2.

This last tip applies to pretty much everyone...but especially YOU. Agent Colleen Lindsay offers a list of What Not To Do When You Get A Rejection. (Note: While "Bawl like a baby seal with a backwards Louisville Slugger logo branded across its fuzzy forehead" is not on Lindsay's list, if you do have to cry, puh-leez try not to Tweet about it.)

Monday, September 14, 2009

The Monday Menagerie:
Controversial Classics Given A Manga Makeover

I probably should have tried to bookend this post with something about Sept. 26 - Oct. 3 being Banned Books Week, but regular readers of this site will know that I'm not quite convinced of the all-encompassing, all-accepting nature of some of the free-speech folks solemnizing this self-congratulatory celebration. Instead, I'll just say: The fact that these books exist makes me shake my head and laugh.

Don't forget: Sept. 26 - Oct. 3 is Banned Books Week! Make money and publicly proclaim your store's rebellious nature by making a big deal about how "brave" you are for selling The Catcher In the Rye and (gasp!) Huckleberry Finn. After all, the machine we're raging against is not the cash register.

Book News, In Brief

Hot on the heels of Steve Jobs' jabs, finds four reasons Why Apple's Tablet Will Eat Kindle's Lunch.

Having realized that holding up a bookstore is a hundred dollar heist (at best!), enterprising thieves have taken to stealing and re-selling over-priced college textbooks.

Labor Day has passed. Being seen with a 'Summer Read' is now as passe as wearing white and/or flip-flops. While I can't help you with your unfortunate fashion decisions, I can direct you to the LA Times' Fall Reading List. See? There's hope for you yet. Via.

Every day, in an effort to make more sales, booksellers lie about (1.) reading books we've only read reviews of, (2.) enjoying books we had to force ourselves to finish, and (3.) wishing we had more room in our store for local authors' work. So why the hell do we continue to try and uphold an honest approach to sales-inhibiting release embargos? The Book Publicity Blog attempts an explanation.

Today's Padding-Out the Post Link: The New York Times' Bestseller Lists