BLOGGER-IN-TRAINING: Another author falls victim to the lure of instant publishing
We've spent part of our late morning reading about local author Steve Almond and his offspring Josie over at his new Baby Daddy Babble blog. It's interesting and witty stuff -- seriously. But just for the sake of clarification, let's get one thing out of the way.
Word Up had a bit of trouble coming up with a favorites list for 2006. As much as we love us some literature up in this blog piece, it's not as though we're only consuming new, contemporary fiction. There's always new-to-us classics to discover, not to mention long-published tomes that have been on our must-read lists for months.
It's Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows. No pub date or cover yet; Rowling's still working on it. The deaths of two major characters TK.
BUH BYE: So totally fired
The big news in the publishing world today is Rupert Murdoch's firing ReganBooks publisher Judith Regan for some nasty comments she made about Jewish people. And probably for just being an all-around nutcase. Nice work, Judy! We're rivited by your psychotic literary misadventures.
The almighty Gawker points us to this funny bit about Michael Crichton, a man who makes his living writing techno-thrillers.
When The New Republic's Michael Crowley wrote a not-so-nice feature profile about Crichton for the mag, the author's fifth grader-like response was to "create" a villainous character named Mick Crowley in his newest novel.
A few things to note:
1. It's officially December, which means the 2006 National Novel Writing Month bonanza is dunzo. And we'd like to know: did any of you participate? Does anyone get something worthwhile out of this thing? Is it just bullshit pressure to pump out drivel for 30 days? Or is it a magical literary bender of creativity? Discuss.
Nothing better to start our Monday than this SNL parody of departing Seventeen mag editor Atoosa Rubenstein gobbling makeup and telling teen girls to stop eating for charity. (via Gawker)
Hey, wanna hear something absolutely repulsive?
Via The Book Standard:
"Simpson is indeed publishing a book, O.J. Simpson: If I Did It, Here’s How It Happened, which will be released on Nov. 30, the New York Times reported yesterday. Fox will also take advantage of the scandal by broadcasting two one-hour interviews with Simpson during the last week of sweeps, on Nov.
In the spirit of politics and exhaustion, today's Publisher's Lunch newsletter threw another hissy over this brief New York Times piece on Barack Obama's "surprise best seller," entitled The Audacity of Hope.
Says the Times:
"But its rapid rise to the No. 1 spot on the New York Times nonfiction list next Sunday, placing the author, the freshman Democratic senator from Illinois, ahead of heavyweight authors like John Grisham, Bill O’Reilly and even Bob Woodward, is something of a publishing stunner."
Seventeen EIC Atoosa Rubenstein is leaving the girlie rag to "launch her own teen-centered Web business, write a book and start a consulting firm specializing in the youth market."
We don't mourn her departure, seeing as we stopped reading Seventeen when we were 13, and realized that life would never been as bubble gum sweet as its editors kept saying it could be.
Now at your local Urban Outfitters
Jessica Crispin's latest Book Standard piece, which questions Borders' refusal to stock a promising YA title by Aury Wallington, is interesting.
But not nearly as interesting as Selling Literature to Go With Your Lifestyle. Non-bookstore stockage of niche titles hits the NYT's front page today.
Cary Tennis's Salon advice column, Since You Asked, is going to be turned into a book. And he wants readers to vote on the best ones (Site Pass required to view the full piece).
But he hasn't signed with Simon Spotlight or Random Hizzle, oh no. Cary's putting out this little baby all by himself because, when he tried dealing with the industry hobgoblins, things just got "weird and twisted."
The Guardian's Michelle Pauli (aka TeaAndOranges Snookums) reports:
"The first time I meet Penguin's digital publisher, Jeremy Ettinghausen, I crash land at his feet. Admirably unperturbed, he shows me his house, we have a chat about Penguin's latest digital initiative, then fly to a library before he teleports me into the future."
Right. First things first, here's your readings option for tomorrow:
ELIZABETH KOSTOVA was so obsessed with Dracula, she spent a decade researching the legend, originally inspired by “pleasantly creepy” tales her father told her about the vampire when she was a girl. Ten years later, the first-time novelist cashed into a publishing jackpot — a $2 million advance for The Historian, seven-figure rights to the film, dozens of rave reviews, and a #1 slot on bestseller lists.
ALICE MCDERMOTT is a rare writer, the sort who keeps her work focused on one type of person (Irish Catholics) in one setting (Long Island), and never tell the same story twice. Her latest, After This, is a Vietnam novel full of the political and social chaos of the ’60s and ’70s as well as the tumultuous inner turmoil surrounding the six members of the Keane family.