Friday, October 9, 2009

And Now For Today's Inevitable WTWTA Post

Even the print purists poo-pooing the Where The Wild Things Are film adaptation will want to check out Tell Them Anything You Want, a documentary on Maurice Sendak directed by Spike Jonze & Lance Bangs. It premieres Wednesday, October 14, on HBO, and tastes great with paprika and popcorn.

(For more actual info, click here.)

8 Basic, Bilious Book Club Truths

1. He who talks first never read the book.

2. You want zero members to drop out? Provide free food. You want to attract new members? Provide free booze.

3. No matter how long you give your members to read the book, 99% will finish it on book club night.

4. At the first meeting, make it a rule: We are not here to point out minor editing errors. Save that sh*t for your OCD self-help group.

5. Relying on the 'Book Club Questions' at the back of a book is like using fortune cookie quotes for dinner conversation -- dull and uninspired.

6. If an established author visits, one member will inevitably tell them what they could've/should've done differently with the book. This same member will later try to pitch their manuscript.

7. Choosing the next meeting's book is a 10 minute task which takes anywhere from 20 minutes to an hour. Think about it: Madonna once bought a kid in the time it takes most clubs to agree on a title.

8. Last but not least, book clubs are like any other club -- they need some sort leadership. If your members disagree, make the next book club pick Lord of the Flies...and bring a pig's head to the meeting.

The 'club books not seals' tee is available here.

Book News, In Brief

Let's start things off with a list: Flashlight Worthy's 6 Children's Books Grownups Will Love. (And just cuz I'm contrary: 1 Children's Book No Child Would Want.)

According to The Guardian UK's "fabulously unscientific poll," 1 out of 5 people are interested in purchasing an e-reader. Factor in the fact that only 2 out of 4 people regularly buy books, and we bookstores are are looking at a definite dip in dollars.

With a third of the UK's libraries facing the chopping block, a group of limey librarians have come up with a set of Guidelines for Libraries. Among the basic necessities are accessible locations, opening hours customized to local needs, and regularly refreshed print, audio-visual and online resources.

The Huffington Post knows how to help get folks back into their neighborhood bookstores -- by posting an article complaining about the price of books! While I agree that $30 hardcovers are a luxury item only affordable to the literate elite, did they really need to announce it to the world? I mean, isn't there a Republican they could be bashing?

Hoping to help out their fellow booksellers, The Bookshop Blog has put up a piece detailing How To Take Advantage of Used Book Sales. We added used books to our inventory a little over a year ago, and (with the exception of wackos coming in with incomplete collections of cat pee-scented encyclopedias) it's been great!

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Recommended Viewing:
yet another WTWTA film clip

I know -- obsessed much?

Unnecessarily Exclamatory Adaptation News!

Odd-as-f*ck adaptation news! Into The Wild actor Emile Hirsch is working on a horror movie remake of Shakespeare's Hamlet with Twilight director, Catherine Hardwicke.

Ancient adaptation news! Click here to read a letter from Philip K. Dick regarding the surprise, enjoyment, and hope for the future of science fiction films he felt after watching Blade Runner.

Deadly dull adaptation news! Columbia Pictures is teaming up with director Michael Mann for a biopic of famed photographer, Robert Capa. The film will be based on the Spanish language novel, Waiting for Robert Capa, by Susana Fortes.

One stop casting adaptation news! The live action remake of the animated adaptation of Yasutaka Tsutsui's novel, The Girl Who Leapt Through Time, will star Riisa Naka, the same actress who voiced the lead character in the animated version. (P.S. If you haven't seen this film yet, rent it NOW. It's wonderful!)

Not quite adaptation news, but hey, what the hell! Hollywood has been making a lot of films based upon the lives of poets lately. But according to The Guardian UK, Tinseltown's interest in literary lyricists may be deeper than just fodder for nonfiction film making. It may be rooted in both art form's 'image = emotion' approach.

Adaptation news for indie rockers and Hot Topic shoppers alike! Twilight links are easy to come by. But good Twilight links are the four leaf clovers of the internet's clover field. Here's one: Streaming video of 'Slow Life', Grizzly Bear's duet with Beach House singer Victoria Legrand, just one of the many hipster delights to be found on the upcoming New Moon soundtrack.

I can't think of anything to put before the inevitable exclamation mark introducing this last bit of adaptation news! For a healthy stretch of the mid 90's, Paul Pope was my favorite comic book artist, due in no small part to his super fun space comic, THB. Since then...well, I don't looove him anymore, but I do sometimes still feel a little echo of my previous excitement whenever he releases new work. In fact, I swear I felt a bit of it while reading his brief comics adaptation of a tiny excerpt from Frank Herbert's Dune -- and I've never liked Dune!

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Recommended Viewing:
an unexclusive excerpt of WTWTA

The Bullsh*t Meter is in the Red!
(or: HarperCollins claims Sarah Palin's book was written so fast due solely to "hard work")

Time Magazine quotes the perjurious publisher as saying, "When she resigned as governor, she had a lot more time and was able to really devote herself full-time to writing the book," says Tina Andreadis, a spokesperson for HarperCollins. "That's really all that there is."

Then, as if to spare themselves an inbox full of furious "fact" fanatics, Time adds, Well, there's also this: Palin had help. Editorial sidekicks are par for the course in political memoirs, though ghostwriters say many pols are heavily involved in the writing process.

Yeah, I'm guessing there was a little bit of that, too.

To read the whole piece, click here.

Book News, In Brief

Boston Globe film critic Ty Burr has a gripe about almost every kids' lit film adaptation to come out of Hollywood in the past hundred years, so why does he hold out hope for this year's releases?

In an effort to make you feel better about your cluttered book collections, author and film critic Roger Ebert has come clean about his mess of a home library. Hell, he's even gone so far as to post YouTube clips of other people's pulp piles.

Arianna Huffington has announced her first pick for 'Arianna's Reading' (a.k.a. the HuffPost Book Club, a.k.a. the You'll-never-see-Sarah-Palin's-memoir-mentioned-here Book Club). It's In Praise of Slowness: Challenging the Cult of Speed by Carl Honore.

Rocket Bomber puts up so many great, bookstore-centric blog posts that it's hard to choose just one or two a week to link to. Today's pick is perfect for those folks about to open a bookstore, as well as those of you considering moving their shop to a new location: 88 Lines about 44 Retail Considerations.

'Whitopia' is a mystical, magical place for White folks, a planned community populated with conservative Caucasians who share identical ideologies regarding race, religion and Right Wing politics. Searching for Whitopia author (and Black dude) Rich Benjamin explored these ethnically-cleansed enclaves, and NPR has an interview with him.

Sweden is atwitter with rumors about this year's Nobel Literature Prize. Using the criteria of 'Well, it's been a long time since they gave a Nobel Prize to anyone who is ___' (and that's precisely the criteria the odds-makers are using), smart money says it will be awarded to a poet. After all, a poet hasn't won in thirteen years. But what kind of poet? Some say a Spanish language poet, as none have won in nearly two decades. But then there's the Rhymus Vaginus Americanus -- the female, American poet. She apparently stands the best chance of winning, as none have ever won!

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

My Mini WTWTA Display

Ingredients: Felt, duct tape and glue.
In related news, the glue gun is my new best friend. For Christmas, I want two, with hip holsters for each.

Click here and here for assorted Where The Wild Things Are links.

Writers On Writing

"A writer is a person for whom writing is more difficult than it is for other people."
Thomas Mann

Tuesday's Tips for Flailing Writers

Rachael Bermingham, co-author of Australia’s #1 book of 2008, shares her #1 book marketing strategy.

Write better books (and/or sneakier spam) with Copyblogger's Ten Timeless Persuasive Writing Techniques.

It's one of the few writing dilemmas that follows you from page one all the way to the grand finale: Choosing Which Ideas to Use.

Now more than ever, securing a long-term publishing deal requires having a marketing platform (or, at the very least, the words to make it sound like you do). That's how Gary Vaynerchuck got a 10 book deal without asking for it.

For those of you who find these link lists a little lacking, here's 50 Awesome Open Courses for Web Writers. (Note: "Awesome" is their word, not mine. I'm a beauty school drop-out. You think I could make it through a freaking writing course?)

Monday, October 5, 2009

The Monday Menagerie:
Save $600, Make Your Own Where The Wild Things Are Costume

Shown below are six inspiring examples of D.I.Y. ingenuity, the handiwork of a half-dozen Where The Wild Things Are fans who were crafty and canny enough not to pay six hundred simoleons for a 'couture' costume. The fact is, you can't mass produce charming goofiness like this.

Via Etsy



Crave more literary costumes? Click here.
Wanna see my cardboard Where The Wild Things Are costume? Click here.

Book News, In Brief

Only days before dying, Patrick Swayze completed recording the abridged audiobook version of his memoir, The Time of My Life. Entertainment Weekly has obtained three clips that you can play at your next Ouija Board party or while pleasuring yourself in the bathtub.

Sonic Youth's Thurston Moore has announced the launch of Ecstatic Peace Library, a boutique publisher of art books to debut in 2010. A catalog of their titles is available here...on January 1st. For now, you just get an awkward looking E.P./peace sign logo.

Glenn Beck may be a 'crazy bimbo,' but dude drew quite a crowd at Saturday's Worchester, MA signing. Can you picture 500 retired, conservative, White folks lined up only a stone's throw away from one of those little kiosks that airbrush bootleg Li'l Wayne t-shirts? That's dementia. Er...devotion.

This is why I mercilessly make fun of the industry I adore: Saturday's New York Times ran a piece wherein publishers pondered whether or not e-books will be pirated. Are they f**king serious?! Of course they're gonna get pirated! Ask anyone what they'd rather pay -- $9.99 or free -- and guess what they're gonna say? Better yet, ask an ex-record store employee.

A couple of months ago, Steve Jobs said that Apple was not getting into the e-book market. A week later, the rumor was that the upcoming Tablet was, in fact, an e-reader. Fast forward to this past Thursday, when an iPhone app maker came forward saying, "Whilst I’d love it if Apple were looking at doing [e-books], I find it unlikely." Hell, the Roman Polanski rape case less conflicting rumors surrounding it.

The Australian has a persuasive, positive review of Poisoned Pens, a collection of famous authors' acidic assessments of other famous authors' work. Here's an excerpt, from Norman Mailer's review of Tom Wolfe's A Man in Full: "It is a 742-page work that reads as if it is 1500 pages long. At certain points, reading the work can even be said to resemble the act of making love to a 300lb woman. Once she gets on top, it's all over. Fall in love, or be asphyxiated."