Tuesday, 8 September 2015

Book Marks: Nazi Goreng, Going Slow

Nazi Goreng (the English edition, Monsoon Books) by Marco Ferrarese and Psiko (Lejen Press) by Ehsan El Bakri are among the latest publications to be banned, apparently. Along with To Love Ru Darkness, news of which I'm surprised that none of the otakus on my timeline have picked up. Maybe they don't care. Maybe it's passé.

Meanwhile, the YA novel Into the River by New Zealand author Ted Dawe has been banned over what I'd define as "objectionable content". Seems it's the "first book to be banned in New Zealand for at least 22 years", according to the New Zealand Herald.

Still, it's a little bit drama to ask "Will I be burned next?"

Why do smart publishers build bad websites? Digital Book World says "That's because the typical publisher's site is covered with dozens of images showing frontlist releases, current bestsellers, author listings and some lame ads to join a boring mailing list.

"In other words, a publisher's site feels like an inferior online store."

Of course, the article has some suggested solutions.

Literary technologist Hugh McGuire trained himself to read books again to escape the relentless, fast-flowing stream of digital information and go slow.

"In the same way that snake venom can be used to produce curative antivenom, I wondered whether that old, slower form of information delivery — books — could act as a kind of antidote to the stress caused by the constant flow of new digital information," he writes in the Harvard Business Review. "Whether my inability to sustain my focus—at work, home, and on reading books—could be cured by finding ways to once again sustain my focus ... on a book."


  • From Charlie Hebdo to Virginia Woolf, the webchat with Joyce Carol Oates, as it happened. It's a pretty long piece, and kind of insightful.
  • The Vietnamese Ministry of Education asks a publisher to pull a "living skills" book that teaches kids to, among other things, walk on glass to build - or as a show of - courage. Yeah.
  • "Toxic shock": Seems Ms Agatha Christie an expert on poisons, which sort of explains why many of her villains used lethal substances. I wonder if reviewers had a hard time being honest with her novels back then.
  • Huzir Sulaiman has completed the film adaptation of The Garden of Evening Mists. Unfortunately, no further details were given, like whether it'll be out on DVD.


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