Roundup

  • Because one can never cover too many awards, I note that Orhan Pamuk has won the 2005 Book Trade Peace Prize. The prize is the most coveted literary award in Germany.
  • Alan Riding points to a quiet controversy that has been unearthed regarding women’s writing prizes (and the Orange Prize in particular). Specifically, novelist Anne Fine is quoted, “I do think the Orange Prize has created a division, an artificial barrier where there was only an awful inequality.” Perhaps the answer is much simpler. Could it be because Fine has never been longlisted for the Orange Prize?
  • Super Size Me filmmaker Morgan Spurlock is entering the book industry. The first book is Don’t Eat This Book. The second one will be Slightly Smarter Though Still Stupid White Men.
  • After years of relying on numbers cobbled together from disparate sources for our neighbor up north, publishers can now rejoice. BookNet Canada has introduced a new centralized sales-tracking system. This makes Canada the last English-speaking nation to do this. But the Globe and Mail‘s Kate Taylor is mourning: “At its most useful, it will let publishers stop guessing how many books they have really sold; at its most dangerous, it will draw them yet further into the pointless game of second-guessing their customers.”
  • In Waynesville, MO, as many as 20,000 books from Waynesville school libraries are going straight to the dumpster. This remarkable idea comes to us from the mind of Superintendent Ed Musgrove, who is inflexible to donations because “it would cost more for us to pack them up and donate them than to destroy them.” It seems that despite the fact that other members and local residents expressed concern over this small-town homage to the barbarians who destroyed the Great Library of Alexandria, Musgrove stayed firm, revealing that the main factors being employed to remove the books are the copyright date and the subject. If you’d like to let Musgrove know how you feel about this, here’s his contact information.
  • One amusing thing that’s come out of the ballyhoo concerning Edward Klein’s expose, The Truth About Hilary, is, as the BBC has reported, the listings over what other books the customers have bought. Currently leading the list is John E. O’Neill’s Unfit for Command: Swift Boat Veterans Speak Out Against John Kerry. Craig Shirley and Dick Morris are concerned that Klein’s smear approach will make Hilary Clinton a more sympathetic person and thus a more viable presidential candidate for 2008. Meanwhile, Klein himself keeps flip-flopping with his source (Or is it none or more than one? One never knows with this guy.) that claims that Bill Clinton raped Hilary to conceive Chelsea. [UPDATE: Ron Hogan has additional information about Klein, jumping off from this Publishers Weekly article.]
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