Roundup

  • Publishers Weekly reports that total bookstore sales have taken a 1.0% dip in January — this, as retail as a whole rose 4.0%. The question, and perhaps this is something that booksellers might answer here, is whether or not this represents a definitive death knell. Do people feel less inclined to purchase books in January because they are too busy reading the books they received for Christmas?
  • Lee Goldberg contends with a nutjob.
  • Nick Hornby goes YA. The book will tell the tale of a young boy terrified of saying anything even remotely bad against the books he reads and chronicles his transformation from a writer of promise to a dull and uninteresting person.
  • Go Firmin go!
  • I try to keep my literary ecstasy at a minimum here, reserving my praise for titles that truly deserve it. But Lionel Shriver’s The Post-Birthday World is most definitely worth your time. It may just be my favorite book of 2007 (so far). I’m afraid that I was slow on the draw trying to line up an outlet where I could set forth my thoughts on this ambitious and extremely interesting novel at length, outlining the book’s pitch-perfect observations about relationships and its fascinating riffs upon life choices. Thankfully, Heller McAlpin offers a few reasons why. While I may not get my two hours back from Sliding Doors, I’m very glad that Shriver’s book has made up for that cinematic atrocity.
  • Francine Prose has been named the president of PEN. I can’t think of a better person for the job.
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