Wednesday, 6 April 2016

Book Marks: Peninsula, BookShots, And Mystery Book Stacks

"...I loved writing A Malaysian Journey, it was like euphoria, and I'm happy to say it felt like that again now. Except that people had to die," Rehman [Rashid] said [to The Star]. "It's not a happy story. I'm sorry, I wish I could give you a fairy tale with a happy ending, I can't. It's a sad, reflective book of failure."

Here's more about Peninsula, Rehman Rashid's new book. I think a paperback edition will be launched sometime this month.

James Patterson thinks shorter books will get more people reading. From the report:

"The idea of individually-packaged novellas is either really new, or the return of something not new at all. As the Times notes, many of the 'most beloved American literary classics are novella-length works — John Steinbeck's "Of Mice and Men," F. Scott Fitzgerald's "The Great Gatsby" and Truman Capote's "Breakfast at Tiffany’s," ' to name but a few. It isn't a format that publishers have been willing to embrace for decades, though, largely because it's less profitable than hardcovers."

Here's hoping that it will, to some degree, take off.


  • So it seems the government's BB1M book vouchers are being used for stuff other than books. For some, the money was more important - and not for entirely good reasons. One student used the vouchers to feed his cigarette habit; another said the scheme "should be safe" since "everyone is doing it".
  • The Afghan conflict still burns, and its people's stomachs aren't the only things that are starving. Some Afghans are working to address that.
  • From author Mary Roach's keynote address at Boston University's 2016 "The Power of Narrative" conference, seven bad habits towards highly effective narrative, according to Sharmilla Ganesan. I think I've blundered through all of these and, yes, it was stressful.
  • Putrajaya's Cybersecurity Malaysia has published a book on cyber crime - which probably underscores Malaysians' poor awareness of online security and whatnot. A sequel is being planned.
  • Someone is leaving stacks of books from his personal library around places in new York City and is apparently planning "to leave stacks outside of NYC and mentions Malaysia and Brazil as two places he has in mind".
  • "Nobel prize winners and stocking fillers": The Guardian looks at Souvenir Press's 65 years in London publishing. The company was "founded in 1951 by 21-year-old Ernest Hecht in his bedroom in Bayswater, London; still run in 2016 by 86-year-old Ernest Hecht OBE from his charmingly dotty HQ opposite the British Museum, where it has been for the past 42 years."
  • A dissident Hong Kong book publisher has returned home, after being allegedly abducted by Chinese agents. Lee Bo has also pledged he "will no longer publish or sell books that are 'sheer fabrication' ", which might refer to books containing "tabloid-style tales about political intrigue and love affairs within the Communist leadership." Naturally, critics of China think the Middle Kingdom got to Lee.
  • You'd think that the models on the covers of romance novels would be killing it, considering how popular the genre is. But according to The New York Times, "Few romance models, if any, make enough money to eke out a living."
  • Some writers and scientists think creatures deserve better than the pronoun "it". Some editors feel different. Sounds like Animal Pronouns: Civil War.
  • Self-published e-books, according to one source, made up 22 per cent Of e-book sales in 2015. But I wonder: is it really because of rapidly growing e-book popularity, or a surge in new digitally published titles?


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