Roundup

  • Just one new area to hit: A neologism traditionally anticipates kleptomaniacs, expectant and frenetic. Underlying concerns, kidding, innocent nefarious gambol. Criminally, hearts inside lilt low, pandering in lecherous lulls.
  • The Guardian‘s John Lanchester examines the American concern with copyright, and what this means for Google Book Search and publishers. (via Scott)
  • Apparently, there’s a Casino Royale play has been commissioned. My fellow Bond fan wonders if there have been any others. Me, I’m wondering what resemblance this has to Bond’s first dramatic appearance on television (which, by the way, also included Peter Lorre).
  • Some details have been released on the forthcoming LATBR overhaul (as well as the general newspaper), and I happen to know that the writers being commissioned for the web-only columns are definitely going to be worth your reading time. Alas, I am sworn to secrecy. Not even torture flying in the face of Geneva Conventions will loosen my tongue. Of course, you’ll find out soon enough. What’s also interesting is that all this has caused the aforementioned Bond fan to pledge a revival of the LATBR thumbnail.
  • Fuck you, give me my car.
  • Attention, all reviewers! Can we put a moratorium to the use of “snookered” in relation to Lionel Shriver’s The Post-Birthday World? I mean, really, this is the best wordplay you can come up with? (See also Mr. Birnbaum’s views on the subject.)
  • With all due respect to Jessica, who is a thoughtful litblogger, now that it’s out in the open, the recent Chabon-signed copies of The Yiddish Policemen’s Union sent out to bloggers strike me as a more escalated and egregious version of last year’s Diane Setterfeld controversy. I’m exceedingly grateful that I wasn’t targeted. I can read this book on my own, judging it independently, without having to feel guilty that it may not live up to any kind or personalized proclamations offered by Chabon. I generally set aside any and all handwritten correspondence, press materials, or other ephemera into a file, permit the book to sit for some time (so that I will have forgotten about the note) and read and respond to any and all notes or kind gestures after I’ve finished the book. I do not wish for my opinion to be corrupted or tainted in any way. Even my friends know, when offering any manuscripts or work for me to look at, that I will tell them the truth, and it is because I greatly care about literature (and, particularly, my friends’ creative development; I wish to see them blossom) that I will be honest (sometimes quite hard) yet always encouraging. I’m wondering, however, if some of my fellow litbloggers who received these packages might, in some small way, have been unduly influenced by a personalized bookplate from a high-profile literary author. After all, I don’t believe Chabon is doing this for critics and editors who are requesting review copies (and such a practice would be a no-no on a newspaper). Sure, it’s a clever marketing gimmick. But this preys upon the general bonhomie I’ve observed in the litblogosphere.
  • I can’t believe that Jeff is ahead of me on this Vollmann item, but it seems that this reading has been made available by Politics & Prose.
  • Warren Ellis: doing his bit for a nice, clean blogosphere.
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2 Comments

  1. They sent out signed copies of the Chabon book? I got a galley (though I didn’t request it) and it’s just a regular old unsigned galley.

    I agree, Ed. Bloggers should be treated like any other reviewers. We should get plain old galleys just like the newspaper and magazine folks. Publishers should save the marketing push for the bookstore folks (and maybe that’s what they were doing in sending a special copy to Jessica since she is both a blogger and a dedicated bookstore employee).

  2. This debate reminds me of the joke often (but most likely erroneously) attributed to Churchill, the punch line of which is, “Madam, we already know what you are; now we’re just haggling about the price.”

    As an “average reader,” who neither works in the publishing biz, writes a book blog, or works in book retail, the very fact that we can score free copies of books means, to me, that you’re already enjoying special privileges from the industry. Whether your book is signed or not matters very little. You’re getting freebies and I ain’t.

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