Monday Miscellany

Sick Of Young Adult Lit? 3 Books For The Whiz Kid

In this issue of NPR’s “three books” series, Adam Mansbach reflects on which books he read in childhood have stuck with him:

The ones I continue to love now, a quarter-century after first mauling their spines, tend to confront complex social issues bravely, convey emotions with tremendous, empathetic clarity, and rest on compelling narrative voices. In other words — the very elements that draw me into novels today.

Read his homage to these three works:

  • The Moves Make the Man by Bruce Brooks
  • Father’s Arcane Daughter by E. L. Konigsburg
  • The Flight of the Cassowary by John Levert

What’s In Store: 3 Tales Of A Terrifying Future

In this next issue of NPR’s “three books” series, Drew Magary muses on fictional presentations of the apocalypse.

I think there’s probably a point to which civilization will evolve, and then all the gas and water will run out and we’ll spend the rest of eternity trying to get back to the awesome times when we had, you know, food to eat. I really hope I’m not alive when that turning point arrives, because it will be bad.

See what he has to say about these books:

  • World War Z by Max Brooks
  • I Am Legend by Richard Matheson
  • Robocop by Ed Naha

E-books’ popularity is rewriting the sales story

“It’s been a watershed year for e-books,” says Tina Jordan of the Association of American Publishers. “Any publisher will tell you that a best-selling title from a branded author can run upwards of 30% to 40% in digital sales.”

Despite surges in new technology and strong e-reader and e-book sales, print books are holding their own; publishers see them as key for the future. They want consumers to have many choices in reading formats and ease of buying.

According to this article, publishers will continue to invest in new titles.  And the publishing industry is waiting to see how digital and print sales play out in the upcoming holiday season.

The 5 Worst Workers in Literature

I’m a little late with this one, but it’s not my fault–really. This post, in honor of Labor Day here in the United States, didn’t appear on the PW blog until the day after Labor Day.

Anyway, here’s a look at the five worst workers in literature:

1. Ignatius J. Reilly from A Confederacy of Dunces by John Kennedy Toole

2. Tom Mota from Then We Came to the End by Joshua Ferris

3. Jim Dixon from Lucky Jim by Kingsley Amis

4. Henry Chinaski from Post Office by Charles Bukowski

5. Bartleby from Bartleby, the Scrivener by Herman Melville

All-TIME 100 Best Nonfiction Books

Time magazine has chosen “the 100 best and most influential written in English since 1923, the beginning of TIME … magazine” in the following categories:

  • autobiography/memoir
  • biography
  • business
  • culture
  • essays
  • food writing
  • health
  • history
  • ideas
  • nonfiction novels
  • politics
  • science
  • self-help/instructional
  • social history
  • sports
  • war

10 Can’t-Miss Nonfiction Books For Fall

Kirkus Reviews recommends books to curl up with by the fireplace this fall. There should be at least one here to appeal to just about everyone.

The Article Everyone Who Loves Books Should Read

Keith Gessen’s new Vanity Fair e-book, How a Book Is Born: The Making of “The Art of Fielding” (available for Kindle and Nook), is a thorough and riveting study of books and their business, and anyone with an interest in writing should do themselves a great favor by buying it right now. It’s $1.99 well spent.

Gabe Habash, who wrote this post, also says:

At 17,000 words, Gessen’s article is long-form journalism done right (something e-books are really starting to figure out)–it’s long enough to bury you in its story but also short enough (and told briskly enough) to fight off any inclinations toward boredom. It’s overall message: content is king. For all of the brisk narration Gessen engages in, and for all the uncertainty creeping into the publishing conversation, it still comes down to the fact that people want to read good books. And Gessen’s piece is a really good article about a good book.


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