We’re in best books season here, and in the spirit of list-making, I offer another: books I purchased with my own cash-money. At PW, I have access to more free books than I can cart home, let alone read in this lifetime, but I still want to support independent bookstores and read older titles. During recent browsing trips to two excellent indie bookstores in Brooklyn—Greenlight Bookstore and Unnameable Books—I found such unusual and delightful selections that I spent more than intended. Here are some of the titles I purchased this year and why: Continue reading
Today the Paris Review announced it is now offering a digital subscription through the Zinio platform. Digital subs start with this summer’s issue and cost $30 for a year, meaning four issues. Zinio offers an easily accessible PDF iteration of the magazine viewable on iOS devices and on the Web.
The Paris Review is among the elder statesman of lit mags, so it’s significant of a new era that it, too, should go digital under the new editorship of Lorin Stein. So, if you are looking for something to read…
Today’s tech news is all about magazines and tablet computers. As of today, the New Yorker is selling digital subscriptions through its iPad app, and current print subscribers get free access to the tablet edition as well; Hearst has announced, though not yet implemented, similar plans. (Here‘s a nice writeup on the news from AllThingsD.)
Despite the declining confidence in the capacity of tablets to save magazines, this is nonetheless exciting news, in that it brings together, in a big way, the print and digital readerships of a major magazine–Conde Nast seems confident that New Yorker reader will find value in the idea of having two ways to read–paper and screen, and that the ability to read one way will tempt people toward the other. This also, of course, means double the eyeballs for advertisers, or two looks from the same sets of eyeballs.
Also, the New Yorker’s new subscription plan will allow, for instance, for my wife and I to read the week’s issue at the same time, instead of weeks later when I’m able to dig it out of whichever corner of the house she’s hidden it. Some weeks I never even get to reading the magazine–now it’s more likely I will.
What do you think? Can you see yourself reading more magazines digitally if you can get them on screen and on paper for the same price? And what about with books? Is there value for you in bundling print and e-book editions (obviously there are different problems in the print/ e-book scenario, where the book itself, whether print or digital, not the readers’ eyeballs, is the product)?
Jeanne Leiby, the editor of the literary journal The Southern Review died on Tuesday in a single-car crash in Louisiana, reports the LA Times. The Southern Review is one of America’s most respected and longstanding literary magazines, and Leiby, who served as editor for the past three years, has been praised not only for navigating budget challenges at the Review’s home-university of LSA and bringing the magazine into the digital age, but also adding a welcome level of warmth and humanness to hear dealings with writers.
In a blog post on the TSR blog, for instance, she discusses her practice of calling writers whose work she is accepting:
I spend a lot of my life rejecting things—that’s the reality of my job. When I find something that excites me so much I want to put it in print, I’m happy, I’m thrilled. In the moment of the call, the writer likes me and I like her and we celebrate the work. I call because we—all of us at TSR—strive to build long-term relationships with our writers. We want to engage as much as possible in their writing lives because it’s our job.
Leiby was a beloved presence in the literary world and will be much missed. More information is available on the LSU Web site.
‘Hunger Games’: The Movie: Suzanne Collins and Gary Ross talk to EW about the making of the movie.
Looking Toward London: The Bookseller looks toward a “packed” LBF.
Karen Russell Interviewed: The Millions talks to the author of the hot new novel Swamplandia!
AOL Bloodbath: An AOL insider tells all about the layoff bloodbath after the HuffPo acquisition. From the AWL.
Time to Decide: A reader writes into the SF Weekly’s advice columnist to ask whether it’s time to switch to e-books.
Improving iBooks: A TUAW blogger has five suggestions for how Apple could make iBooks better.
Literary Journals: The NYT reports on how they’re thriving both on paper and on screen.
B&N and Android: Barnes & Noble is developing new tools to let developers create Android apps for the Nookcolor, All Things Digital says.
Nook!: Personal Finance Bulletin analyzes how Nook is key to B&N’s success.
Apple’s In-App Purchase Clause: Apple’s In-App purchase clause may threaten e-book apps on iOS devices, according to TeleRead.
More Children’s Apps: Wired’s Geek Dad says the second Wave of iOS kids apps is coming!
E-Books in India: Reuters looks at the burgeoning e-book biz in India.
An Author on Indie Booksellers: Author Teyari Jones sounds off on why she’s committed to indies now more than ever.
It’s the end of the day on Monday, the best time of the week for some deep thinkin’, and what better subject to think deep about than classic Russian literature. Right. Of course, the two writers in the video above (an interview conducted by Jewcy magazine, an online forum for “ideas that matter to young Jews today), Elif Batuman and Ben Greenman are not only two of the smartest young thinkers about Russian lit, but also two of the funniest–Batuman’s book The Possessed is a super-smart and hilarious take on the academic culture around Russian novels while at the same time making those novels seem newly irritable; we also made her book one of our best books of 2010. Greenman went for something else entirely, replacing the characters in Chekov’s stories with contemporary celebrities. In the video above, the two writers talk about their books, backlash, and more. Check it out.
25% Digital: The Bookseller reports on a French study that says 25% of the book market will be digital books by 2015.
Books and Diapers: Amazon is in talks to buy the parent company of Diapers.com, according to International Business Times.
Color E-Ink: A Chinese company will be the first to bring an e-reader to market with a color E-Ink screen, reports the NYT.
Twilight for Twilight: The Bookseller also reports that a drop in sales of Stephenie Meyer’s books has had a noticeable effect on Lagadere’s bottom line.
Listening to Literature: The Rumpus reports on a lit mag you can listen to.
Elmore Leonard’s Writing Rules: The Detroit Free Press studyies Elmore Leonard’s rules for writing, and analyzes why they lead to particularly film-read books.
Jim Shepard’s Gojira, King of the Monsters is out next week from Solid Objects, a New York press recently founded by poet and critic Max Winter and poet and translator Lisa Lubasch.
At 52 pages, the work falls into the murky and, for some reason, often controversial, realm between the “long short story” and the novella.
When I asked Winter how he’d come to be publishing a single short work by Jim Shepard, he said he’d been a fan of Shepard’s for years and contacted him when he and Lubasch decided to start the press. Shepard sent him Gojira, and Winter was “moved and fascinated. One immediate draw for me,” Winter said, “was what you could call the cult of Godzilla [the American-ization of the original Japanese title], an observed, long-standing intense interest in both the Japanese and American versions of the monster and the film. In addition, the movie has always been important historically, as an influence on other movies and as a metaphor for America’s status in the world at the time of its release.”
Set mostly in 1954, Shepard’s novella sticks closely to Eiji Tsuburaya, the real life special effects director of the historic film (known during production as only “project G”), revealing a Japanese man torn, like many, between home and work. “He was falling behind everywhere: in his wife’s affections and in his work’s responsibilities,” writes Shepard. Tsuburaya’s wife, Masano, is unhappy, and seems to shoulder the lion’s share of grief over the loss of their young daughter years before. She’s also not thrilled that Hajime, their 19-year-old son, wants to follow in dad’s footsteps; indeed, Tsuburaya gets him a job working on the film as a camera assistant helping to shoot the miniatures (of which there are many). Continue reading
Granta Names 22 ‘Best of Young Spanish-Language Novelists’: Granta announced the names of the 22 Spanish-language novelists who will be featured in the next issue of the magazine, and PWxyz had ‘em first.
Franzen’s Freedom Recalled In UK: HarperCollins UK is recalling and exchanging 80,000 copies of Freedom due the fact that the novel is simply too incredible. No, just kidding–it’s being recalled due to typesetting and copyediting errors. From the Bookseller.
Against the Agency Model: This recent article by the Editor-in-Chief of Authorlink argues that the Agency model is hurting authors.
Following Frankfurt: The Frankfurt Book Fair’s annual blog is now up and running, so you can keep up with the fair as if you were there. Unless you are there, in which case, you can relive your Frankfurt days.
Enter Narnia (Contest): HarperCollins is sponsoring a contest to draw attention to a $100 gift edition of the complete Narnia books; the contest winner wins said fancy edition. From Aslan’s Country.
In Praise of the Paris Review: Blogger Maud Newton loves the new Paris Review, as edited by Lorin Stein.