Monday, July 23, 2007

Friday, June 29, 2007

Better World Books

Through a route possible only in our connected culture, I found a book selling group in northern Indiana that is focussed on increasing literacy around the globe.

Wednesday, June 06, 2007

The Strand 80

The Strand Bookstore is compiling a list of the top 80 favorite books. You can vote online from now through Sept 15, 2007.

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Gone With the Wind, again

NYT reports that a new sequel to Gone with the Wind is being published. This one is a retelling of the story from the point of view of Rhett and titled Rhett Butler's People, written by Donald McCaig. Apparently Mr. McCaig has written previous work dealing with the Civil War era that has been highly regarded, so we can hope for a better quality product than Scarlett.

Monday, May 07, 2007

Business Week - Books in the Ukraine

Business Week reports that Bertelsmann is finding a strong market for the printed word in countries of the former Soviet Union. Where bookstores are scarce, and internet access not universal, they are finding success with inexpensive editions of printed books. It seems that in areas such as the Ukraine they are signing the hottest young writers and acting as their distributor. From comments posted to the story it appears that other regions of the world, one was from Peru, would respond favorably to such offers as well.

Thursday, May 03, 2007

James Whitcomb Riley

Riley Rhymes
a program based on the works of
Indiana's beloved Hoosier Poet
Jeff Keel appearing in character at
Words & Images,
home of The Train Place
19040 Main Street, Metamora, IN
Saturday, May 5, 2 PM

Monday, March 26, 2007

Cat in the Hat Birthday to Benefit First Book

The 50th Birthday of The Cat in the Hat is an opportunity to support First Book. Visit the Cat in the Hat website and click on send the cat a card to participate.

Thursday, February 22, 2007

Used Books on the web

Chief Marketer-a business enewsletter I subscribe to in my workaday career-has an issue devoted to the book trade. Of course the first article I clicked through on was the one concerning the impact of the web on the used book trade. Go to

Monday, February 19, 2007

Sinclair Lewis cited by Joe Canason

You never know when an old tome that is rarely referred to in current time will pop up. All the more reason to keep those old books available.

Sinclair Lewis' It Can't Happen Here is cited in the new work by Joe Canason, It Can Happen Here. An excerpt published in Salon is here.

Here is the Lewis material as taken from Salon:

To Sinclair Lewis, who sardonically titled his 1935 dystopian novel "It Can't Happen Here," "it" plainly meant an American version of the totalitarian dictatorships that had seized power in Germany and Italy. Married at the time to the pioneering reporter Dorothy Thompson, who had been expelled from Berlin by the Nazis a year earlier and quickly became one of America's most outspoken critics of fascism, Lewis was acutely aware of the domestic and foreign threats to American freedom. So often did he and Thompson discuss the crisis in Europe and the implications of Europe's fate for the Depression-wracked United States that, according to his biographer, Mark Schorer, Lewis referred to the entire topic somewhat contemptuously as "it."
If "it" denotes the police state American-style as imagined and satirized by Lewis, complete with concentration camps, martial law, and mass executions of strikers and other dissidents, then "it" hasn't happened here and isn't likely to happen anytime soon.
For contemporary Americans, however, "it" could signify our own more gradual and insidious turn toward authoritarian rule. That is why Lewis's darkly funny but grim fable of an authoritarian coup achieved through a democratic election still resonates today -- along with all the eerie parallels between what he imagined then and what we live with now.
The question that we face in the era of terror alerts, religious fundamentalism, and endless warfare is whether we are still the brave nation preserved and rebuilt by the generation of Sinclair Lewis -- or whether our courage, and our luck, have finally run out. America is not yet on the verge of fascism, but democracy is again in danger. The striking resemblance between Buzz Windrip [the demagogic villain of Lewis's novel] and George W. Bush and the similarity of the political forces behind them is more than a literary curiosity. It is a warning on yellowed pages from those to whom we owe everything.
From "It Can Happen Here" by Joe Conason. Copyright (c) 2007 by the author and reprinted by permission of Thomas Dunne Books, an imprint of St. Martin's Press.

Thursday, February 15, 2007

Book Store Sales Down!

Bookies of the world, take to the streets and visit your favorite bookstore!

From PlanetRetail this morning is a story on the recent release of information from the US Census Bureau indicating that bookstore sales in 2006 were down almost 3 percent. While total book sales were up 6. I know that I've done my part for both sides of that report.
US Census Bureau says bookstore sales fell in 2006
The US Census Bureau has released preliminary results for bookstore sales in 2006, saying that they fell by 2.9% to USD16.1 billion. The Bureau said that the drop was affected by poor holiday sales, with December showing a fall of 8.8% to USD2.0 billion. However, the news for book selling was not uniformly bad in the US, with total sales for book retailing rising by 6% over the course of the year.

Tuesday, January 30, 2007

American Revolution

The last two books I've read have both dealt with early American events, The Whiskey Rebellion and Benedict Arnold. The Lantern Guy is still working sporadically on The Longest Raid of the Civil War.