Wednesday, 6 November 2013

Late News: Amazon, Dandy Dudes, And Food-Related Reads

Mrs Jeff Bezos trashes Brad Stone's The Everything Store in a one-star Amazon review (where else?). Amazon and Mrs Bezos are not pleased with some of the things Stone had to say about the online retail behemoth in the book.

A former Amazon employee replies with a four-star review, and Stone has since responded as well.

"No matter how hard we strive for objectivity, writers are biased toward tension—those moments in which character is forged and revealed," Stone writes. "I set out to tell the incredible story of how Amazon grew from three people in a garage to a company that employs 100,000 people around the world. It wasn't an easy journey for the company, and for many Amazon employees, it wasn't always enjoyable. It's precisely that tension—between sacrifice and success—that makes Amazon and Bezos so compelling."

Across the pond at The Guardian, someone wonders if this is becoming part of a trend.

The etymology of "dude", revealed. Why do we call dudes "dude"?

Evidence points to "doodle," as in "Yankee Doodle Dandy." He's the fellow who, as the song has it, "stuck a feather in his cap and called it macaroni." "Macaroni" became a term for a dandy in the 18th century after young British men returned from their adventures on the European continent sporting exaggerated high-fashion clothes and mannerisms (along with a taste for an exotic Italian dish called "macaroni").


Right. What else we got?

  • The current war in Syria is only the latest problem publishers in the country have to face.
  • Going into self-publishing? Know the jargon. Here are some acronyms to kickstart your foray into self-publishing.
  • Vice interviews Irvine Welsh. Among other things, he recommends that writers avoid being "comfortable": be more socially engaged, take public transport, and "hang out with people who are a bit of a pain in the ass and all that, but are interesting rather than comfortable." Might be NSFW.
  • Loaded question from the editor-in-chief of "Is the Western publishing industry institutionally racist?" Well, it is HuffPo.
  • This Land Was Made for You and Me (but Mostly Me), one-percenter David Letterman's "selfish" endeavour with Bruce McCall.
  • One of the longest forewords I've read: Anthony Lane's intro to The Big New Yorker Book of Cats.
  • "Fire-eaters": Lauren Collins joins the search for the hottest chilli. Sounds like growing gut-melting chillies is as much a macho sport of one-upmanship as eating them.
  • The best-selling genres: self-help, kid's books, and 'romance'. Kind of explains the manuscript submissions I've been reviewing. Received only one romance novel so far, and it's only two shades of grey.
  • "Unpaid writers" of Yelp sue Yelp, call themselves employees. Will letter writers to The Star, Malay Mail, and New Straits Times want EPF and Socso?
  • Just what we need: a "miracle tea" that apparently wards off colds, courtesy of Robyn Eckhardt aka @EatingAsia. This might be the solution to the bugs said to be making the rounds of late. The lemongrass is optional.


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