Recent Articles

November 18, 2005

Short shorts in your inbox 0

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Short short stories, that is. For nearly four years now, writer Bruce Holland Rogers has been offering an e-mail subscription to his short stories. For $5 a year, subscribers get 36 stories – 3 a month delivered by e-mail – that range in length from 500 to 1500 words. So far he’s got 600 subscribers […]

November 17, 2005

A football book 0

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I’ve written often of books about baseball (especially ones by Roger Angell). Baseball values words over images – I prefer listening to games on the radio to watching them on television, for example – and so lends itself well to the page. Football is a different story, entirely. If one doesn’t see these men bash […]

November 17, 2005

Whitbread finalists 0

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Sometimes it seems like all there is to write about is book awards. The National Book Awards are handed out, but wait, here are the Whitbread finalists. The Whitbread, Britain’s second most prestigious prize after the Booker, is, it seems to me, at a disadvantage. Since the Whitbread comes out only a couple of months […]

November 17, 2005

Book bits – Sherlock, the Unbearable Dave Matthews, Renaming Google Print 0

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Stanford “will rerelease a collection of Arthur Conan Doyle’s tales of Sherlock Holmes, just as they were originally printed and illustrated in The Strand Magazine.” Maciej Ceglowski suggests that Milan Kundera “is the Dave Matthews of Slavic letters, a talented hack, certainly a hack who’s paid his dues, but a hack nonetheless.” And offers up […]

November 16, 2005

Vollmann and Didion win National Book Awards 0

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After a decidedly quiet run up to this year’s National Book Awards, the winners have been announced. William T. Vollmann, known, it seems, more for his graphomania than any of his books in particular, has won for his novel, Europe Central. Back in April, when the book came out, Tom LeClair in the New York […]

November 14, 2005

Richard Nash of Soft Skull on Google Print 0

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I’ve been writing a lot about Google Print lately. We know that the major publishers are not happy about Google’s book-related efforts, but I wanted to know what small publishers thought about the chance to put their books online via Google. I decided to get in touch with Richard Nash, publisher of Brooklyn’s Soft Skull […]

November 14, 2005

Google book rental 0

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As the saga surrounding digitizing books gets ever more convoluted, the Wall Street Journal is now reporting that Google is interested in offering book rentals. Apparently, Google has approached publishers about offering to rent digital versions of books for a week at 10% of the cover price. According to a News.com article (the WSJ article […]

November 14, 2005

What’s it like to own the Penguin Complete Collection? 0

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So who are the lucky people who own the The Penguin Classics Library Complete Collection, which costs nearly $8,000, weighs 700 pounds and is available exclusively through Amazon.com? Well, a New York Times article estimates that there’s only about two dozen people who have purchased the mammoth set. According to the article, one of them […]

November 14, 2005

Amazon customer tagging 0

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No, Amazon isn’t tagging its customers, but apparently, customers are beginning to tag Amazon. (For those who don’t know what I’m talking about, “tagging” is basically adding pieces of meta-data, descriptive keywords for example, to an object (in Amazon’s case, books and electronics). Right now there are a lot of sites that let their audience […]

November 14, 2005

What people are reading 0

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There were a few readers among the sleepyheads on the train this morning. I have to say, I’m impressed with my fellow readers this morning for the caliber of the books they were reading. Here’s what I spotted: Black Boy by Richard Wright (I read this book in high school. Still one of my favorites.) […]