International Read an E-Book Day:
The new holday -- "holiday"? -- is the brainchild of OverDrive, a major e-book distributor. OverDrive is the country's largest provider of e-books to libraries; it handles e-books from 5,000 publishers, including major Penguin Random House, Macmillan, HarperCollins, Perseus, Wiley, and Harlequin.
If you've ever checked an e-book out from the L.A. Public Library, it was provided by OverDrive.
To celebrate International Read an E-book Day, Overdrive will be giving away tablets and e-reading devices at the readanebookday.com website and through social media. Readers are asked to "tell their story of what eBooks mean to them" and use the hashtag #eBookDay to be eligible. via: L.A. Times
Uncomfortable in His Own Skin ‘Your Face in Mine,’ by Jess Row, a Novel About Changing Race: [New York Times]
"When literary fiction dares examine the issue of race at all, it is usually done in an exceedingly tone-deaf way (think William Styron’s Confessions Of Nat Turner or Kathryn Stockett’s The Help) or from a somewhat safe remove (think Chabon’s Telegraph Avenue). It always seems as if the story is accompanied by a blaring announcement that it’s time for this (white) protagonist to learn something. Sometimes the pedantic drum-banging can get so excessive it drowns out everything else, including the inclination to tell a good story. If nothing else, the debut novel from Jess Row, Your Face In Mine, is a refreshing plunge into the deep end of the race conversation." [A.V. Club] [more inside]
The Decline of Harper Lee: [Vulture]
The iconic 88-year-old author is involved in [another] messy tussle over a new biography. Does this mean she'll never tell her own story? [more inside]
Creative writing professor Hanif Kureishi says such courses are 'a waste of time' [The Guardian]
Buddha of Suburbia author, who teaches subject at Kingston University, added that many of his students could 'write sentences' but not tell stories.
First editions, second thoughts. [The Guardian]
: From Amsterdam
to Wolf Hall
, Booker winners and bestsellers – authors annotate their own first editions.
Claire Messud: “A woman’s rant” [National Post]
"Over the last week, discussion surrounding Claire Messud’s new novel, The Woman Upstairs, has shifted from the book to an interview
its author recently gave to Publishers Weekly, in which Messud took issue with the following question: “I wouldn’t want to be friends with Nora, would you? Her outlook is almost unbearably grim.” [more inside]
My Psychic Garburator by Margaret Atwood [The New York Review of Books]
"Most dreams of writers aren’t about dead people or writing, and—like everyone else’s dreams—they aren’t very memorable. They just seem to be the products of a psychic garburator chewing through the potato peels and coffee grounds of the day and burping them up to you as mush." [more inside]
Guantánamo prison library for detainees. [tumblr]
New York Times reporter Charlie Savage
set up a Tumblr dedicated to cataloging some of the books available in the Guantánamo prison library for detainees.
Proudly Fraudulent: [The Awl]
An Interview With MoMA's First Poet Laureate, Kenneth Goldsmith. [Previously] [Previously]
Happy Thomas Pynchon rumor day! [LAtimes.com]
"What's that, you say? America's most reclusive author, Thomas Pynchon, appeared in the news Friday -- not once but twice? Why, yes, yes, he has, surfacing in two unconnected rumours. Conspiracy? Pynchonian? Maybe we should henceforth designate Jan. 4 as Thomas Pynchon Rumor Day." [more inside]
An “Infinite Jest” atlas.
The Infinite Atlas Project is an independent research and art project seeking to identify, place and describe every possible location in David Foster Wallace's Infinite Jest. The project includes: Infinite Map
- a cartographic infographic poster identifying 250 of the most interesting locations from the novel. Infinite Boston
-a ruminative travelogue and photographic tour of key locations in and around Boston, Massachusetts. [Previously]
Bullying & Goodreads:
"Little more than a week ago, a website aimed at naming and shaming so-called Goodreads [A kind of facebook for bibliophiles.]
‘bullies’ suddenly appeared online – called, appropriately enough, Stop the GR Bullies.
Run by four concerned ‘readers and bloggers
’ writing anonymously under the handles Athena, Peter Pan, Johnny Be Good and Stitch, the site thus far seems bent on punishing the creators of snide, snarky and negative book reviews by posting their handles, real names, locations and photos in one place, together with a warning about their supposed ‘level of toxicity’ and some (ironically) snide, snarky and negative commentary about them as people. There’s a lot here to unpack, but before I get started on why this is a horrifically bad idea, let’s start with some basic context."
Want a bestseller? Write about Henry or Hitler… [Guardian.co.uk]
From Tudor England to the Third Reich, history's megalomaniacs continue to make great literary fodder.
Don't judge a book by the ad on its cover. [Guardian.co.uk]
Chalk it up as another brilliant innovation – or a sign of the impending apocalypse – as China Daily reports that publishers are making space on the front covers of books for advertising
. Apparently the "first book to carry an advertisement" is an account of the famous cellist Yo-Yo Ma, written by his mother, which was published in March adorned with "the logo of a well-known Chinese textile manufacturer".
A Stephen King interview: by Neil Gaiman
"I interviewed Stephen King for the UK Sunday Times Magazine. The interview appeared a few weeks ago. The Times keeps its site paywalled, so I thought I'd post the original version of the interview here. (This is the raw copy, and it's somewhat longer than the interview as published.) I don't do much journalism any more, and this was mostly an excuse to drive across Florida back in February and spend a day with some very nice people I do not get to see enough. I hope you enjoy it."
"The more people 'pirate' a book, the better." [Guardian.co.uk]
Multimillion-selling author, Paulo Coelho links with Pirate Bay.
Hari Kunzru: Reading The Satanic Verses in Jaipur:
Why the novelist read from Salman Rushdie’s banned book The Satanic Verses
to protest against the cancellation of Rushdie’s visit to the Jaipur Literature Festival.
Winter Reads: [Guardian.co.uk]
a new series matching the story to the season. [more inside]
The Library: [SLYT]
A film by Sergey Stefanovich. A journey through Duncan Fallowell's library which has spilled over into every available space and become an art installation in its own right. With the writer talking.
Neil Gaiman’s audiobook record label: [Salon.com]
The best-selling author talks about introducing his new, hand-picked lineup [Audible.com]
of favorite books to American ears. Neil Gaiman Presents is part of a larger enterprise by Audible.com, called ACX (for Audiobook Creation Exchange)
. It aims to bring new titles to the public by hosting a service through which authors (and other rights holders) can connect with professional narrators.
Do Androids Dream of Electric Authors? [NYTimes.com]
"So who was Lambert M. Surhone? Just looking at the numbers, you could argue that he’s one of the most prolific creators of literature who ever lived. But was he even human? There are now software programs — robots, if you will — that can gather text and organize it into a book. Surhone might be one of them."
British Fantasy Award winner returns prize; Sam Stone hands back award after criticism of judging process. [The Guardian]
"Controversy has riven the 40-year-old British Fantasy Awards, with the winner of the best novel prize handing her award back just three days after it was bestowed.
But the organisation and presentation of the awards has been drawing criticism since then, culminating in Sam Stone, the winner of the best novel award – named after American writer and editor August Derleth – announcing yesterday that she is giving it back.
The biggest attack on the awards was delivered by editor and anthologist Stephen Jones, who on Tuesday posted a lengthy blog
decrying the organisation of the BFAs and making several allegations against awards co-ordinator and British Fantasy Society chairman David Howe."
"These are confessions and/or thoughts of a book lover, bibliophile, book addict, reader, lover of literature, nerd..."
Book Blogs Search Engine:
"Looking for reviews of a book by real-life book bloggers? Tired of sifting through corporate sites in your regular Google search results? That’s why I created the Book Blogs custom search engine – all book bloggers, all the time! Whether you’re looking for other non-commercial reviews of a book you’ve just read, or want real readers’ opinions on a new book you’re considering, this is the place." If you want to include your book blog in the search engine, leave a comment at this link.
Heated Debates, Burning Books [Via NewYorker.com]
The Canadian writer Lawrence Hill
recently received the unsettling news that a Dutch political group would be assembling on Wednesday in Amsterdam to burn copies of his novel, “The Book of Negroes” (published in the Netherlands under the title “Het Negerboek,” and in the U.S. as “Someone Knows My Name”). So what exactly does this historical novel have to do with the Dutch? [more inside]
The 100 greatest non-fiction books: [Via: The Guardian]
After keen debate at the Guardian's books desk, this is our list of the very best factual writing, organised by category, and then by date.
Why are we [U.S.A.] so good at developing athletes and so lousy at developing writers? excerpted from sportswriter Bill James's book Solid Fool's Gold: Detours on the Way to Conventional Wisdom. Via: [slate.com]
Is a library without books still a library?
Newport Beach library is considering closing its original library and replacing it with a community center that would offer all the same features — except for the books.
The Ateneo Grand Splendid Bookstore.
"Argentinians are a famously literary people. In coffee shops, parks, on the bus and even while walking down city streets, their heads are often buried in a book. So it’s only fitting that Buenos Aires can lay claim to one of the world’s most incredible book stores: The Ateneo Grand Splendid."
Mr. Hargreaves takes us on a Jungian journey to the integrated self.
A series of entertaining Amazon reviews written by
Hamilton Richardson for the Mr. Men classic library.
A collection of all the best bookshelf photos for people who love bookshelves.
What is the Biblioracle? The Biblioracle is a service in the person of The Morning News contributing writer John Warner, said service being a recommendation for what book you should read next. What do I have to do to receive a recommendation from the Biblioracle?
In order to receive a recommendation, simply list the last five books you’ve read. Based on that list, the Biblioracle will tell you what to read next.
The Biblioracle is now closed.
Due to overwhelming response, the Biblioracle can only respond to requests submitted prior to 3:00 p.m. ET. If you missed your recommendation this time around, watch for the Biblioracle’s next appearance this summer!
The time for submission is closed but it's still interesting to see the recommendations that John Warner made.