Friday, November 20, 2009

Palin Quits...Again.

From nationalbroadcasters' YouTube entry:
"An angry crowd shouts at Sarah Palin...on November 19, 2009 after Palin quits and refuses to sign books for around 300 families that spent about 3+ hours getting wristband and another 3+ hours waiting in line to get the Palin book signed."

Go, Look: Cover Art Copycats

Or: 'Reusable Cover Art in Historical Novels -- A Gallery'

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.

This is one of those pitch-perfect posts that's just one well-connected Tweet away from becoming an internet sensation: Estoreal's Without Boulders -- Woody Allen's long-lost Flintstones script.

Daij is a poet whose blog, Soultight, either inspired the poem posted here, or visa-versa. Whichever, I know I'm going to be reciting this vitriolic verse like a mantra throughout Thanksgiving dinner.

Book News, In Brief

The Bad Sex Award shortlist pits Philip Roth's The Humbling against Nick Cave's The Death of Bunny Monroe. While Roth silently stews, Cave's publishers have put out the following press release: "Frankly we would have been offended if he wasn't shortlisted." Rad.

Q: Who doesn't like boobs & boners? A: Portland City Commissioner Randy Leonard. reports, "The owners of Cindy's Bookstore, torn down in 2008 after repeated inspections, have sued City Commissioner Randy Leonard, the city, PGE and others for nearly $1 million, arguing Leonard selectively enforced ordinances against businesses he doesn't like."

Raul Vazquez,'s chief executive officer, told that the big W's deep discounting on new release hardcovers in no way constitutes "illegal predatory" practices. Oh, okay. If you say so, Raul. Wait -- do you pinky-swear? You do? Alrighty then. Um, while we're carrying on an imaginary conversation, do you think I can grab a job application? CUZ YR GONNA PUT MY BKSTR OUT OF BIZNIZ!!!

A fear of H1N1 (and a very good chance of getting punched in the face by some of the publishing people I've pissed off here) caused me to miss last weekend's Boston Book Fair. If any of our readers were able to attend, and they happened to snap a photo of the rare, 1853 book, Dance of Death, please post a link in the comments section. For those of you unfamiliar with this timeless children's classic, Dance of Death illustrates different ways to die, is bound in genuine human skin, and includes an inlay of a skull carved from human bone and teeth.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Scutopedia Entry #00001

The Inkwell's very own Wendell 'Scutopus' Edwards coined a new word today. I'll let him tell it:
"Those customers who come in talking about how much they love bookstores to their friends, wander about looking at everything, and then leave without buying anything are just one species of...meanderthal! One person even came in today saying they wanted to own this very store, yet left with nothing but that which they entered. Walk the walk, folks!"

No, that's kind of sad.

Catherine Hardwicke warns TIME of Twilight's long-lasting effects:

"For so many little girls, Edward will always be their first love. They are going to be 80-year-old women in the future that will remember Rob, love Edward Cullen, and remember Twilight. That's kind of awesome."
Via: Movie City News

Cool Covers from Recent Comics Releases

X-Men Origins: Iceman #1
Cover by Phil Noto
DC Holiday Special 2009
Cover by Dustin Nguyen

Nomad: Girl Without A World #3
Cover by Rafael Albuquerque
Batgirl #4
Cover by Phil Noto

Buffy The Vampire Slayer Season 8 #3
Cover by Adam Hughes
Looney Tunes #180
Cover by Scott Gross

Adaptation News
(where 'faithful' is the only f-word you're not allowed to say)

Reverse adaptation! BBC Books has commissioned Michael Moorcock to write a Doctor Who novel. Predictably, the nerds are nervous.

Even a bitter, old a-hole like me finds a bit of holiday spirit in animatronic department store dioramas. Click here for a peek at Bergdorf's Fantastic Mr. Fox display.

Lovely Bones director Peter Jackson says that he had to shoot extra footage for the film after test audiences complained that the death scene wasn't violent enough.

McG's inevitably atrocious adaptation of 20,000 Leagues Under The Sea would've been a unending source of cynical blog posts. Alas, Disney has sunk the project.

In an obvious bid for Oscars and accolades, Dreamgirls dream-girl Jennifer Hudson has signed on to star in Winnie, a biopic based on Anne Marie du Preez Bezdrob's Winnie Mandela: A Life. Wasn't my undying lust enough for you, Jen?

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Yee-Haw! It's the Negative Review Round-Up!

Not only are negative reviews easier and more fun to write than positive reviews, they're easier and more fun to read, too. So pick up your torch and join me and the mob as we heap hate upon a few recent releases in this week's installment of The Negative Review Round-Up.
(Note: As most of us are lying, whorish, booksellers ready to sell our souls to make a softcover sale, I've also included small print links to some positive reviews. Feel free to crib liberally from these when dealing with the money-wielding masses.)

Cable #20 by Duane Swierczynski
Review by Tucker Stone:
"The best part of the comic is that the story's title is Checkmate, which means that Swierczynski thinks chess analogies can be approximated by having two steroid fantasy men beat the shit out of each other with space weapons, endlessly."
To read the whole review, click here.
(Then again, Duane Swierczynski loved it!)

And Another Thing... by Eoin Colfer
Review by Paul Constant:
"Let's make one thing perfectly clear: And Another Thing..., Eoin Colfer's authorized sequel to the late Douglas Adams's Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy series, is a horrible, pointless book. The first, and perhaps most egregious, crime Colfer commits is simply not being funny. His book is unimaginative and sloppily devoted to Adams's previous work. [...] Colfer doesn't even try to mimic Adams's sublime Wodehouse-writes-Monty Python-in-space mashup style. Instead, he vomits up some halfhearted fan fiction and expects to coast on his predecessor's reputation."
To read the whole review, click here.
(Then again, Geek-speak loved it!)

What The Dog Saw and Other Adventures by Malcolm Gladwell
Review by Steven Pinker:
"An eclectic essayist is necessarily a dilettante, which is not in itself a bad thing. But Gladwell frequently holds forth about statistics and psychology, and his lack of technical grounding in these subjects can be jarring. He provides misleading definitions of 'homology,' 'sagittal plane' and 'power law' and quotes an expert speaking about an 'igon value' (that’s eigenvalue, a basic concept in linear algebra). In the spirit of Gladwell, who likes to give portentous names to his aperçus, I will call this the Igon Value Problem: when a writer’s education on a topic consists in interviewing an expert, he is apt to offer generalizations that are banal, obtuse or flat wrong."
To read the whole review, click here.
(Then again, The Telegraph UK "is entertained by" it!)

Book News, In Brief

Having grown bored with simply warping the romantic fantasy worlds of their reality-deprived readership, Harlequin has teamed up with print-on-demand publisher Author Solutions to eff with their readers' writing fantasies as well.

Britain's bestselling anonymous author/high-class whore has gained the respect of millions hundreds after revealing herself to be a -- wait for it -- neurotoxicology scientist. The lesson for sexually abused young ladies considering a career in blowjobs and blogging? Get that PhD, girl!

The residents of Poligny, France banded together to buy the lease to their local, failing, indie bookstore, all in an effort to keep it up and running. Note to our Right-wing readers still stuck in the halcyon days of domestic terrorism: 'Freedom fries' is out. We're now calling them 'F*ck yeah fries' or 'Charity chips.' and The Philadelphia Enquirer held hands, closed their eyes, and took a giant leap in logic, introducing the insane hypothesis that non-fiction is "easier to read" than fiction because (1.) "memoirs are easier for book groups to discuss" and (2.) would-be writers prefer penning memoirs to novels. Using these same two groups' preferences, I've come up with a couple more crap hypothesis: (1.) The easiest foods to eat are wine and Pepperidge Farms products and (2.) in the age of print-on-demand publishing and the Espresso book machine, typing = writing.

Updated 11/22: While disagreeing views are always welcome, please try and keep things civil. Inappropriate comments will be deleted (and this is coming from a site/staff that, in past week alone, has referred to itself as “failures,” “mediocre lovers,” “bitches,” “impotent,” “bitter old a-holes,” and “backwoods, book-loving belligerents”).

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Famous Authors' NaNoWriMo Tips
(as found on twitter) Part II!

The response to our original Famous Authors' NaNoWriMo Tips over on the NaNoWriMo forum was so positive (well, except for the angry and damning responses, but who listens to those b*tches?) that we decided to put together a follow-up post. To keep things fresh, all of today's fictitious Tweets come courtesy of the NaNoWriMo forum members and the commentors on our LiveJournal page. Needless to say, all hate mail should be directed their way.

1 by Strawhenge:

@Chucky_P #NaNoWriMo tip: I am Jack's repeated sentence to convey tedium and madness.

1 by Ken Dee:

@M_ Crichton#NaNoWriMo tip: Copy entire chapters from science books as dialog. worked for all my books.

1 by Simmons:

@JaneA. #NaNoWriMo tip: It will do very well, if you please, to continually and properly refer to everyone as his or her well deserved title, always.

1 by Malfoys_Olive:

@Homer #NaNoWriMo tip: Begin in the middle of ur story, have MC recite entire story from beginning. Also refer to every1 in enumeratio (i.e. Apollo, the son of Zues)

1 by SlackJawedSmurf:

@JesusHChrist #NaNoWriMo tip: Have half ur book B backstory/prologue. Then have the main novel told from p.o.v. of several different people. Kill off a few characters, resurrect some, add an epilogue, hint at a sequel.

1 by unconventionalwriter:

@T_Pratchett #NaNoWriMoTip Put as many obscure philosophies & life lessons as U can. Also include scenes w/ Death, the representation.

2 by hasse: #NaNoWriMo tip: Emotions, descriptions, random outbursts of thought are all wonderful. Go for 100+ in 1 sentence!

@THE_BaRd #NaNoWriMo tip:Thou shalt not be brief. Brevity is the soul of wit, but wit shall come w/ edits. 4 now, debateth every action: 2 be, or not 2 be? Marry, decide later.

2 by a_tannenbaum:

@R_Chandler: Become an alcoholic & get fired from yr job in the midst of the Depression. If that doesn't force U 2 take up writing seriously, NOTHING will.

@HenryJames: My preferred method is a sort of thinking aloud, as it were, or more precisely, upon the page, thereby producing longish paragraphs which proceed, in a desultory way, from place to place, sometimes arriving somewhere, as if by accident and with an embarrassed air, as if not knowing how they got there; and sometimes, of course, not arriving anywhere in particular, though always ready to resume the journey, to who knows whither to find who knows what, and so, by an earnest seeking after truth, to come at last to the final shore of another completed novel, with maunderings and hesitations and vagueness enough to perplex scholars and bemuse the public.

Tuesday's Tips for Flailing NaNoWriMo Writers

This week's installment of Tuesday's Tips is dedicated to those delusional dilettantes who have taken up the National Novel Writing Month challenge: The completion of a 50,000 word novel in just 30 days. Having passed the halfway mark two days ago, I thought I'd offer these marathon imagineers the bookstore blogger's equivalent of a paper cup filled with lukewarm water -- randomly selected writing links!

You're 25,000 words in and suddenly it hits you: What if the book I'm writing isn't the "right" book? (Via.)

Or maybe you're having the opposite problem. Maybe you're 25,000 words in and already wondering, 'Hmn...What To Write Next?'

Then again, what if your problem isn't with what you are writing, but why you're not writing? Christina Baker offers a possible cure with Break the Block in Five Minutes. (Via.)

Did you know that in the time it took you to read these links, you could've already written another 200 words? S'true. Still, what's the rush? When writing anything of value, It Takes The Time It Takes.

With only 13 days and half a novel to go, editing may not be on the top of your to-do list. So why not try and kill two birds with one stone -- editing while you write. Copyblogger covers this concept in a piece titled, How To Write With A Knife.

Last but not least, Write to Done has 5 Simple First Draft Secrets. (An unsolicited 6th: Remember, first drafts are like learning to cook when you know you're the only one who's gonna eat it. Worse comes to worst, you stick your finger down your throat and vomit/place your finger firmly on the Delete key and curse the muse.)

Famous Authors' NaNoWriMo Tips (as found on twitter)
Top 10 Night Before NaNoWriMo Tweets
Tuesday's Tips for NaNoWriMo Writers 11/3/9

Monday, November 16, 2009

Lack of Funds Leaves €3m Library Full, Closed

The reports: It has been feted internationally and at home as an outstanding example of Irish architecture. But a state-of-the-art €3m library -- which was recently one of nine Irish nominees at prestigious international architecture awards -- is sitting idle because there is no money to hire staff to work there.
To read the rest, click here.

Call me a cynic...

...but when I read that an anonymous patron recently returned two high-school library books that were due back in 1958 (along with a $1000 money order!), my first thought was: Either this guy's trying to temporarily alleviate himself of the guilt over the dozens of dismembered bodies buried in his backyard, or having overdue library books was actually the worst thing he'd ever done in his life. Either way, I'd hate to have him as a dinner guest.