Sunday, January 07, 2007

BOOKS: Discuss Amongst Yourselves

I've had a couple of big questions and topics kicking around in my head these days, and I meant to write an in-depth post about at least one of them this afternoon. But then I got caught up in a cleaning frenzy and got a little overzealous with the solvents, which has couched me for the rest of the day. (We don't dabble in chemicals very often around our house, but when we do the results are always interesting. Remind me to tell you about the time Rusty created a home-made chlorine gas bomb out of bleach and ammonia in order to oust a trespassing raccoon from our porch roof.*)

But anyway, who wants to get on their computer first thing on a Monday and read some essay? Me? No. You? Maybe. Instead, I offer you a few neato book-related items of note:

50 Cent launches line of G-Unit novellas
"Rapper 50 Cent has ventured into the world of publishing with a line of books starring characters based on members of his former group, G-Unit.... The stories cover many of the same themes as 50 Cent's music, including sex, guns, cash and the short lives of street players, the publishers said." [from]

Catch the Next Chapter on Your iPod (It’s Even Cheaper)
Unlike onscreen e-books, which never quite caught on, downloadable audiobooks have taken off, driven by the explosive popularity of the iPod. [from The New York Times Book Review]

Getting It All Wrong
"We love stories, and we will continue to love them. But for more than 30 years, as Theory has established itself as 'the new hegemony in literary studies' (to echo the title of Tony Hilfer’s cogent critique), university literature departments in the English-speaking world have often done their best to stifle this thoroughly human emotion." [via Arts & Letters Daily]

Your Toddler: Socrates in Training Pants
"As I immersed myself in Spinoza, trying to find an answer for my inquisitive toddler, I realized how much I did not know. Not only how much I did not know of the world around me, but how much I did not know about my own characters. Taking a cue from Pascale, I now ask of my major characters, why did you choose this course? Why are you feeling this way? How did you become the person you are in this story?" [from Literary Mama]

Book Slaves
"Last year an anonymous letter-writer to Quill & Quire, identifying him or herself only as a bookseller, claimed that in addition to Canada Council grants and other allowances and prizes for authors and publishers, the publishing industry in Canada is also subsidized by the poor wages of booksellers.

"[Jason] Sullivan, the 30-year-old son of two teacher librarians, began work as a shipper/receiver for the Chapters B.C. flagship store two weeks before it opened in July of 1998. Seven years later to the month, he and his co-workers voted 95 per cent for union certification. He answered [reporter Charles Demers's] question about the process, as well as the place of booksellers and book retailers in the world of Canadian letters." [from The Tyee]

*No raccoons were harmed in this lab experiment -- just very, very angered.


Anonymous said...

Oh, I work for a Chapters here in Vancouver, and let me tell you, the Robson store's unionization is spoken of in hushed tones by everyone--the company was NOT happy when it happened and many of the management (not only of that store, but higher up, too) lost their jobs. Now I (and many of my coworkers) get the feeling that if anyone in management even gets the whiff of unionization in the store, they will crack down hard and jobs will be lost. Working at a bookstore can be a joy, but what was said about the poor hours and little pay is very, very true and I can entirely understand why the Robson's crew would vote to unionize.

Quillhill said...

Does one have to be literate to publish books?

Anonymous said...

Since I don't know anyone else who enjoys books about what other people are reading as much as I do...have you seen that "Housekeeping vs. The Dirt" is finally out (follow-up to The Polysyllabic Spree)? I was so happy to see it when I was in Chapters on Saturday, and it's just as good as the first one.