Monthly Archives: March 2011

Toss Your Desktop PC, Keep Your Print Books, Says the NYT

Craig Morgan Teicher -- March 24th, 2011

Don’t give up on your print books yet, advises the New York Times in an article published in the paper’s tech pages yesterday. The story, called “Gadgets You Should Get Rid Of” and written by Sam Grobart, offers opinions on which household gadgets and technologies you can do without, now that other devices like smartphones encompass their functions.  For instance, the Times says you can get rid of your desktop PC because laptops can do almost everything desktops can, but they’re portable.  Books, however, haven’t been bested by e-books.  Here’s what the Times times has to say about print books:

Keep them (with one exception). Yes, e-readers are amazing, and yes, they will probably become a more dominant reading platform over time, but consider this about a book: It has a terrific, high-resolution display. It is pretty durable; you could get it a little wet and all would not be lost. It has tremendous battery life. It is often inexpensive enough that, if you misplaced it, you would not be too upset. You can even borrow them free at sites called libraries.

That one exception is cookbooks, which Grobart says can’t outdo the functionality of new cookbook apps, which offer things like video tutorials for complicated cooking techniques.

One nice thing about print cookbooks, though, is they don’t blow up or stop working if you spill a whole bottle of canola oil on them.

The PW Morning Report: Thursday, March 24, 2011

Craig Morgan Teicher -- March 24th, 2011

Today’s links!

Borders Trouble: The city of Pico Rivera, CA has been subsidizing the rent for a Borders store.  Now it’s closing down, but the city is still stuck with the rent. From the Whittier Daily News.

Walk And Talk With the Animals: Adam Hines’ remarkable debut graphic novel, Duncan The Wonder Dog–which details a world of thinking and acting animals–already a PW Best Book and recently nominated for an L.A Times Book Prize, has now been awarded the first annual Lynd Ward Prize for graphic fiction from the Pennsylvania Center for the Book.

Short Fiction Vs. Long Fiction: The Guardian contemplates the relationship of the short story to the novel.

Best Translated Books: The finalists for this new-ish award have been announced. From the Millions.

Caring for Books: The co-owner of the Strand tells the WSJ how she cares for her home library.

Google’s Options: The NYT considers what Google and publishers might do now that the settlement has been rejected.

Another Digital Library Idea: A NYT op-ed contributor advocates for a free public digital library.

The PW Morning Report: Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Craig Morgan Teicher -- March 23rd, 2011

Today’s links!

E-books in Germany: BizCommunity says they’re not a mass market product there yet, but momentum is building.

Goodbye Jordan’s Books: The Castro Valley, CA bookseller is closing in the next few weeks. From Castro Valley Forum.

Blackberry Playbook to Match iPad 2 Price: And it’s coming 4/19.

Amazon Android: TechCrunch explains why Amazon’s Android app store means the company will have to make an Android device of its own.

Lendle’s Back: Amazon reinstated Kindle e-book lending service Lendle after having cut them off.  From Business Insider.

Perspectives on the Google Settlement Rejection:

From the New York Times: Now, Google is in legal limbo.

From the LA Times: Looking towards a revision of the current settlement.

Buy an $8 Million iPad 2

Craig Morgan Teicher -- March 22nd, 2011

Oh how I love things like this: what better way to celebrate the coolest gadget on the market than to line the back in solid gold and the front in 75 million year old rock with bits of dinosaur bone in it.  That’s what you’re looking at above: a £5 million iPad created by Stuart Hughes which will run you a bit over $8 million.  But, at least you won’t have to wait the 4-5 week shipping time that Apple is currently advertising for a new iPad 2.

[via TUAW]

The PW Morning Report: Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Craig Morgan Teicher -- March 22nd, 2011

Today’s links!

Harry Potter Vs. WIlly the Wizard Update: The judge hearing the Willy the Wizard vs. Harry Potter  case is asking the Willy side to put up 1.5 m pounds as security against Rowling and Bloomsbury’s costs. From the Mail Online.

An End to Lendle: Amazon has killed a company called Lendle, which was facilitating the free lending of Kindle books between strangers. From TechCrunch.

Apple Vs. Amazon: Apple is suing Amazon over the use of the term ‘App Store.’ From Bloomberg.

Read About GoodReads: Quill & Quire interviews the community manager of the social network GoodReads.

Microsoft Vs. Barnes & Noble Becomes Trending Topic: Microsoft’s suit is getting the company some unwanted publicity on Twitter. From the SF Gate.

Good Nordic Fiction: Tired of the current trend toward Stieg Larsson crime fiction copycats? NPR offers some other kinds of Nordic fiction.

Plame Game: Former CIA operative Valerie Plame is slated to co-write a series of spy books, reports the Irish Times.

Amazon App Store: Amazon has opened  its own App store on the Android platform and Apple ain’t too happy about it (also see item above).

PW Poetry Reviews Update: March 2011

Craig Morgan Teicher -- March 21st, 2011

The biggest PW Poetry drop ever: 16 reviews!  Also stay tuned for the 3/28 issue, our annual poetry month issue, with mini-profiles of four poets and poetry critics, a feature on poetry e-books, and a Why-I-Write essay.

Life on Mars by T.K. Smith (Graywolf)

Devotions by Bruce Smith (Univ. of Chicago)

The FSG Book of Twentieth-Century Latin American Poetry edited by Ilan Stavans (FSG)

Illuminations by Arthur Rimbaud, trans. from the French by John Ashbery (Norton)

In A Beautiful Country by Kevin Prufer (Four Way)

The Bigger World by Noelle Kocot (Wave)

The Chameleon Couch by Yusef Komunyakaa (FSG)

Torn by C. Dale Young (Four Way)

Early/ Late: New and Selected Poems by Philip Fried (Salmon)

Mount Lebannon by Karl Kirchwey (Putnam)

Metropole by Geoffrey G. O’Brien (Univ. of California)

Cloud of Ink by L.S. Klatt (Univ. of Iowa)

Bone Fires: New and Selected Poems by Mark Jarman (Sarabande)

The Politics by Benjamin Paloff (Carnegie Mellon)

Red Clay Weather by Reginald Shepherd (Univ. of Pittsburgh)

Head Off & Split by Nikki Finney (Northwestern Univ)

Galley of the Day: The Kid by Sapphire

Craig Morgan Teicher -- March 21st, 2011

Sapphire is milking the Precious (the movie based on the novel Push by Sapphire, as the full title reads) phenomenon for all it’s worth, though perhaps that’s not fair to say, and who doesn’t love Gabourey?  Anyhow, this July, The Penguin Press will publish Sapphire’s sequel to Push, called The Kid, about, as the book’s jacket says, “the electrifying story of Abdul Jones, the son of Push’s unforgettable heroine, Precious.”

Here’s the opening passage:

“Wake up, little man.” Rita’s voice is coming under the covers at me.  It’s warm under the covers, smell good like Rita and clean like sheets.  I curl up tighter, squeeze my eyes shut, and go back to sleep.  In the dream it’s mommy’s birthday party and she’s holding me in he arms kissing me and dancing with me.”

An intriguing beginning…you gonna read it on the beach this summer?  Betcha lots of other people are…

The PW Morning Report: Monday, March 21, 2011

Craig Morgan Teicher -- March 21st, 2011

Today’s links!

The Salinger Dorm Room: A small college has been trying to capitalize on the fact that Salinger spent his first semester of freshman year of college there.  From the NYT.

60 Minutes of ‘Huck’: 60 Minutes takes on the ‘Huck Fin’ N-word controversy that got going in these pages.

E-book Library: The world’s first airport e-book library has been established in Taiwan. From AviationRecord.com

Twitterature: The NYT describes a new phenomenon, literature written on Twitter, and asks four poets to write Twitter poems.

BookEnds Expands: Colorado’s BookEnds used bookstore is moving to a larger location. From Coloradoan.com.

Fear & Loathing: The adventure that inspired Hunter S. Thompson’s classic book took place 40 years ago today. From the Millions.

Flipback Book: The Guardian previews a print product that may kill the Kindle, but probably won’t.

Write for Japan: A blogger is working to create an instant book to raise money and awareness for Japan.

The Art of the Review I: Laura Miller

Parul Sehgal -- March 18th, 2011

We’re happy to announce a new series on PWxyz–The Art of the Review. Every Friday, we’ll be interviewing our favorite reviewers, talking technique, and taking the pulse of criticism today: How do critics select books to review? Have they ever been wrong about a book? How much impact do reviews have anyway? How do critics in print media feel about their online counterparts and vice versa–are they in league or at odds? We’ll be talking to reviewers at established dailies, at up-and-coming review websites, and working all over the world–in New York, Dublin, and New Delhi.

We’re kicking things off with an interview with Laura Miller, author of The Magician’s Book: A Skeptic’s Adventures in Narnia, and cofounder of Salon.com for which she writes a regular column on books, beloved for its wit, directness, and deep engagement with (and omnivorous appetite for) books of all genres.

She talks to us about how book critics have let down the public, why she likes reading–but doesn’t trust–James Wood’s reviews, and why everyone should at least try to read Twilight.

You’re one of the reviewers I most enjoy following—not least because I can never predict what you’re going to cover next. You write about a novel, like Room, one week and Let the Swords Encircle Me (the world’s longest, most intricate account of Iranian politics) the next. And the week after that, you’re on to Yellow Dirt, an exposé on uranium mining in the American Southwest. How do you decide what to cover?

I cover books that I’m enthusiastic about. I look at books in the same category, sample a bunch, and pick what I like the best. My general rule is in a month of 4 weeks, I do one fiction book and 3 nonfiction books: one memoir or autobiography, one history, and something contemporary. There are a few things I’m not into—I’m not big on military history, and sports books put me to sleep—but I do have broad tastes. Any book that someone tells me about or sends me, be it self-published or whatever, I try to look at the first couple paragraphs at least.

Why do you review so much more nonfiction than fiction?

At Salon, we know exactly how many people read every single story. When it comes to reviews, people are interested in reading the reviews of nonfiction books. Maybe it’s because even if they never read the book, they’ll learn something from the review.

“Franzenfreude” and the recent reports from FAIR and Vida have drawn attention to how infrequently authors who are women and/or people of color are reviewed compared to their white, male counterparts. Is this disparity something you think about or try to address in your review coverage?

Continue reading

The PW Morning Report: Friday, March 18, 2011

Craig Morgan Teicher -- March 18th, 2011

Today’s links!

Borders Rewards: A borders employee writes to the Consumerist about her discomfort with selling Borders’ rewards cards to customers.

Davis-Kidd Throws in the Towel: Conceding it can’t submit a reorg plan to the court, the parent company of Davis-Kidd is putting the remaining stores up for sale. From the Memphis Daily News.

Do E-Books Wear Out?: The Toronto Star asks this burning question relative to the HarperCollins E-book lending cap.

The NYT Website Pay Wall: Yesterday, the NYT announced its digital subscription plan.  Reading the NYT online is about to get not-free.  Here are the details.

Miller on Frey: Salon’s Laura Miller takes on James Frey’s  latest literary scheme.

iBooks Emphasis: Apple is drawing extra attention to iBooks with its new iPhone ads. From TUAW.