A review in the Sunday NYT of the new Francine Prose book.
And as a general reminder, days that are too busy to allow for lengthy posts will often find worthy reading updates in the "Updates from others sites" column, on the right. Have a good weekend.
Continue reading “Reading like a writer.”
A nice idea sullied by my horrible subject choice there. Click here for the goods. Excerpt:
My idea is to produce an audio montage of readers talking about a single book, and I have chosen Never Let Me Go by Kazuo Ishiguro as the very first audio book club selection. To this end, I have set up a voicemail phone number through Yahoo (isn’t technology astounding?). So, if you have anything at all to say about Never Let Me Go, please call (415) 992-8622 and leave me a message!
Tell me whatever you want about the novel. Tell me what you liked, what you disliked, or just your reactions. What made you think? What images or words stuck with you? Read me passages from the book. Tell me your name, or not (if you do leave your name, I will credit and thank you in the audio production). Feel free to be creative. This is all new to me, so I don’t really know what to expect. Hopefully, something fun and interesting, something that is distinctly the product of a community of booklovers, will result.
Continue reading “Podcast book club, user-driven.”
The fine LibraryThing site has reached a milestone: they now have five million users’ books catalogued. That’s a lot of people typing away to keep track of their books online. They’re coming to you from beautiful downtown Portland, Maine; a big hand for LibraryThing.
Continue reading “LibraryThing: five million books.”
The Fall 2006 issue of The Quarterly Conversation is up and running. Lots of the usual goodness, plus an extended look at Haruki Murakami, including essays, a dictionary, and a review of "Blind Willow, Sleeping Woman" by yours truly. It’s a great collection of stories, though maybe as a whole a bit weaker than The Elephant Vanishes. It felt like a tying up of loose ends, collecting together all the stories in one place that had been floating out there in magazines and such – which, I suppose, is true of most collections of stories; but, some of the stories are kind of weak, which adds to that feeling. Still, a highly recommended book to check out. Literally, if you have a good library nearby.
Continue reading “Murakami Roundtable/Review of “Blind Willow, Sleeping Woman”/Other goodies”
An article today at Alternet about Why Booksellers Are Going Belly Up. The article is largely a puff piece, with a whole lot of pontificating about 60’s liberal hippies and the failure of the capitalist state to carve out a little nook for the bookstore. There’s little examination of the independent v. chain store models, though some blame is laid on the decision of some independents (Peet’s is given as an example) to become chain stores. Why? Because you lose cred if there’s more than one bookstore with the name? If a bookseller makes a business decision that will allow him/her to sell more books to more people, how exactly is that bad? It’s bad if it fails, but that is a risk of business, isn’t it? We also get some examination of the loss of the statement as a status symbol a book can make, with the author pointing to the good ole days when reading The Monkey Wrench Gang while thoughtfully stroking your goatee was a sign of intense coolness; apparently, the book has ceded this position to technology, which means you should put down Black Swan Green because a Blackberry is more likely to get you laid.
The article is written as though the author was trying to reach a certain word count, which is too bad, because it’s a good topic. There are some interesting statistics, though – 1 in 2 Americans buy one book a year. (What exactly this means is confusing – does that mean that fewer than 1 in 2 buy more than one book a year? At any rate, it sounds bad, so in it goes.) Certainly bad is the figure of 14% illiteracy in our country, which is sickening. (Click here every day – free – to do something about it.)
There isn’t a lot in the article that my sarcastic summary here doesn’t cover, but it’s worth a read anyway, if only to prime you for the comments section. Around 60 comments and counting; some of it with interesting points that the article missed.
To those of you who arrived here through my e-mail, or the MetaxuCafe post, welcome. Some of you may have visited my old site on occasion. I had the old site hosted through Blogger, and last week the site disappeared. I contacted Blogger three times with no response. So – bye, Blogger. It was fun. Now it’s serious.
Posting here may be light until I get everything running again.
Continue reading “Welcome back.”