Monday, 18 February 2013

News: DoJ, A-OK, And Deary Deary Me

Is it me, or did this year's Chinese New Year holidays pass by much quicker than the previous ones?

Anyhoo, I've not been monitoring the Webs for book-related news during the break, which was probably what I needed. But some interesting things did happen during that time.

  • Macmillan settles with the US Department of Justice, leaving Apple the sole defendant of the e-book price-fixing suit. The DoJ was also nice enough to approve the Penguin-Random House merger.
  • 'Horrible historian' Terry Deary's comments on libraries have got tongues wagging. "Because it's been 150 years, we've got this idea that we've got an entitlement to read books for free, at the expense of authors, publishers and council tax payers," he said. Quite a few people have disagreed, including one Foz Meadows and Julia Donaldson, Children's Laureate and author of such books as The Gruffalo. This libraries thing is kind of hot in the UK right now.
  • While you're waiting for your favourite novelists' next books, Chuck Palahniuk has apparently finished three, making every other writer on Earth feel as if they're hibernating. If your favourite is Chuck, well, lucky you. Just that he won't be releasing them all at once.
  • "...a brittle little dominatrix and peerless narcissist who exploits her husband and her marriage with relish." Camilla Long's takedown of Rachel Cusk's memoir Aftermath is the 2013 Hatchet Job of the Year, edging out my personal favourites Ron Charles and ZoĆ« Heller.
  • Publishing may be growing in India, but is it really the opposite in the West? And is India's bootleg book industry helping or hindering this growth?
  • It seems, like Germany and some parts of Europe, conservative attitudes towards e-books are slowing down e-book adoption in Japan.
  • Brace for impact! The Submissive trilogy, a Fifty Shades clone by one Tara Sue Me (to which EL James might say, "Gladly!") will be released in mid-2013. At least we'll see this coming, unlike that Russian meteor.
  • "I am a misogynist according to the Swiftians, and I should die." After Taylor Swift fans flayed Rick Moody for criticising their idol, Moddy responds and asks why "serious critics swoon for her narcissistic, hackneyed pap".
  • Inkling wades into digital book publishing with Habitat, taking on Apple and Amazon.
  • Is start-up funding for book publishing driven by passion rather than business sense?

Also: In case you didn't get the memo, Tash Aw (The Harmony Silk Factory and Map of the Invisible World) will be in town in conjunction with the release of his latest, Five-star Billionaire. This Saturday, 23 February, he'll be appearing in Silverfish Books at 1:30pm and Readings at Seksan's at 3:30pm.

Also reading at Seksan's will be Kris Williamson (Son Complex, Fixi Novo),
"New Age bookstore owner/director" Melizarani Selvakkumar, Zafar Anjum (The Singapore Decalogue, Red Wheelbarrow Books) and Ksatriya, a Penang-based urban poet and songwriter. The Satay Trio, headed by Az Samad, will provide the half-time entertainment.


  1. Thanks for mentioning The Satay Trio! Will be there at Readings :)

    1. No problem. Enjoy the afternoon!


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