Tuesday, 17 September 2013

News: Local Book News, Open Book(er), Life After Potter

Some local book news:

  • "Malaysian books boleh!" And the chief's in there, along with Silverfish Books' Raman and Amir Muhammad of Fixi. But I'm sure they could've come up with a better title.
  • Here are the brave people at Borders asking for justice on behalf of a colleague.
  • Meet Ridzuan Mohd Ghazali, a.k.a Iwan Reaz or Iwan Ghazali, local author.
  • Did you know that Dewan Bahasa dan Pustaka, the Malaysian Institute of Language and Literature, has guidelines for abbreviating words and terms in text messages?

And here are some other book news:

  • Lit journal Ploughshares' People of the Book features Leah Price, "professor of English at Harvard University and frequent writer on books, old and new media."
  • Are they opening the Commonwealth-focused Man Booker Prize to American participation? Zounds!

    Scott Pack, for one, thinks it might be a good thing. Point number five: "Some people are up in arms about the move, suggesting that this will result in British writers ending up as the poor relations in the new set up. If British, Australian, Canadian, Irish etc. writers carry on writing great books I am not sure what they have to worry about."
  • Not just a suitcase of old papers: Class project reveals a Boston man's amazing life.
  • No, Lance Armstrong did not lie in his autobiographies; it really was "not about the bike".
  • "The juice ain't worth the squeeze." Chuck Wendig's take on why authors probably shouldn't critically review (read: bulldoze) other authors' books - and why the reviewed probably shouldn't respond to negative reviews.
  • MSN shuts its Page-turner book blog. A darker future for books coverage?
  • Jon Krakauer, who wrote about the brief life of Chris McCandless in Into the Wild, posts the latest findings on how McCandless may have died.
  • Translating Holden Caulfield in Russia. Catcher in the Rye's apparently big in Russia because, well, "who knew phony better than these daily consumers of official Soviet language?" But damn, DAT COVER. Is that supposed to be Caulfield?
  • "... the argument that some books transcend genre is incoherent: Genres aren't conceptually solid enough to be transcended. Any genre is going to be made up of things that both fit and don't, and over time those things will change and shift. Frankenstein, as John Rieder argues, was Gothic romance first, but now it's science fiction. Jimmie Rodgers was hillbilly music, now he's country." Why the notion that novels can transcend genres is flawed.
  • Does anybody care what Jonathan Franzen thinks is wrong with the modern world? Me neither (at least, not right now), but some of you do.
  • Lit-journal editor shares some tips on how to get published in lit mags and journals.
  • Ben Yagoda highlights some comma mistakes.
  • Looks like Vikram Seth's A Suitable Girl has found a suitable publisher. But will the 2016 scheduled release be a suitable timeframe for Seth-starved readers?
  • "...we've managed to take the 15 years of children's lives that should be the most carefree, inquisitive, and memorable and fill them with a motley collection of stress and a neurotic fear of failure." AA Gill makes a good (and funny) case against the "education-industrial complex" (school system).
  • Fantasy author Terri Bruce stops selling her book, Thereafter, because 'errors' introduced into it including "grammatical mistakes and changes to the style and meaning of sentences" made her "sound like an illiterate git."
  • Now that the fever has subsided, charity shops are stuck with thousands of unwanted copies of Fifty Shades of Grey.
  • No idea if those teenage exorcists are actually for real (the UK is a "hotbed of witchcraft"? Not Salem, Massachusetts?) Meanwhile, more heresy is coming our way as JK Rowling announces the continuation of the Potterverse. Who d'you think will win?
  • So, hell yes, there is life after Harry Potter.


  1. I have to say, my heart goes out to the matronly ladies at the various church charity shoppes, nodding bravely and hoping that all those copies of an atrociously written little volume of pornography will at least raise a few pence for the parish...

    1. Or they'll probably be wondering, "How many among our congregation actually reads that?"


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