The Reading Report: Book News from May 26 – June 1, 2014The Reading Report is a weekly list of book news and links we found interesting from the previous week. Actual links may not be from the previous week. We can't read EVERYTHING in a timely manner.
The Best Thing All Week
OH EM GEEEE. You need to click through just to watch that Kickstarter video, y’all.
Also? They raised a million dollars in a day. You can still give for stretch goals, though, if you want to help fund better access to books for children.
The Worst Thing All Week
Rest in Peace, Maya Angelou. Link via the NYT.
Things to Read
Patricia Lockwood’s Crowd-Pleasing Poetry via The New Yorker
“‘It’s like if you had a bad daughter—a VERY bad daughter—and it is Thanksgiving, and she keeps yelling sexual things at the turkey as you set the platter down.’ This is how the poet Patricia Lockwood, an exemplar of brilliant silliness who has been called the poet laureate of Twitter, has described her own writing.”
Featured Review: “On Mars, no one can hear you break down hydrazine into its component properties” via A Dribble of Ink. Aidan Moher reviews The Martian by Andy Weir:
“From the first page to the last, The Martian whips the reader along with all the [insert velocity-related pun here] and demands to be read late into the night.”
What Makes Haruki Murakami’s Writing So Compelling? via Odd Engine
“The plot summaries of his books are not enough to solicit my attention, but there is some quality to his writing and story-telling that grabs me by the collar and never lets go.”
“Robbins tells NPR’s Rachel Martin that writing a memoir is like driving down a once-familiar road, ‘but there are potholes in it now, and some fast-food franchises sprung up along the way, and there’s occasionally a blind curve that you might not remember.’”
A Forgotten Waugh: The Literary Feud of the Century via The American Spectator
“What gives the Waugh-Oldmeadow title fight its particular significance, unrepeatable in our egalitarian epoch, is its gentlemanly language. The combatants exhibited an ire that would not have been out of place on cage-fighters in a Bangkok brothel. But they expressed their ire in the lexicon of Downton Abbey. Could this joust acquire a fresh import in an age awash in religious scandals?”
Amazon v. Hachette: Don’t Believe the Spin via The Passive Voice
“The dispute could center on any number of issues. It could be that Amazon is seeking huge percentage discounts which are making Hachette blanche[sic]. Or maybe the price of Amazon’s co-op has increased (fairly or unfairly) and Hachette is unwilling to pay. Or perhaps Hachette wishes to sell e-books under an agency-type model and retain control of retail pricing, and Amazon wants to sell Hachette’s e-books under a wholesale model and be free to discount at will. It might simply be the case that they are poles apart on the exact levels that Amazon will be permitted to discount.”
Winning at Monopoly via Hugh Howey
Hugh Howey hasn’t made the best name for himself, and he glosses hard over indie presses in favor of (self) publishing with Amazon, but his points about how publishers conduct business are pretty spot-on.
Bestselling Quality via Mad Genius Club
A post by a published author that lays out how a book really becomes a “bestseller” (mostly, it’s not about how much people actually like the book).
What’d we miss? What was your favorite book news from last week?