Tuesday, December 13, 2011

The Amazon Ploy

Let's see. How can we get other people to do the heavy lifting, and then swoop in and take the sale? Let's give people money for doing their research in someone's store, and then buying from us online! What could be the problem?

Amazon strikes again! While the bricks and mortar stores in your town support the local economy and invest in the local community, Amazon just wants your money--thank you very much. Let us hope that you never need to buy something, right now, right here, in your hands immediately, after all the stores on your Main Street have been driven out of business.

Richard Russo discusses Amazon's latest move in the New York Times, read his column here

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Nashville Tennessee gets a bookstore

NYT today has a story about Ann Patchett partnering to open an independent bookstore in Nashville. The store is named Parnassus, purportedly in honor of the Greek site. It appears that Ms Pratchett and her partner Ms Hayes are either woefully oblivious to the Parnassus bookstore of Christopher Morley's novels, or coyly not making that reference obvious.

Story here

Monday, October 03, 2011

Hooray for Maurice Sendak

Maurice Sendak has written a new book, but he doesn't care what you think and he may never write another. Who knows? What he does want to do at this stage of his life is read. Interview with him in the Globe and Mail

"Oh, screw the world. Why should the dumb world know what I think?"

Monday, September 19, 2011

Beecher-Stowe Descendant finally reads THE BOOK

NYT has a commentary by a descendant of Harriet Beecher Stowe in their Disunion section that is following the developments of the Civil War. link here

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Very Cool Mark Twain Project

A new CD to benefit the Mark Twain boyhood home in Hannibal is being released next week.

Stories by Twain with musical additions. I think Sam would have been proud.

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Terry Pratchett and Death

Death is a character in Terry Pratchett's Discworld novels, and he's also a reality that Terry finds the need to contemplate. Pratchett has early onset Alzheimer's. He has continued to work, "writing" his books by means of a computer voice to text program. But he realizes that his time of coherency is limited. Assisted death has become a cause that he advocates, traveling to Switzerland to be a part of a recent documentary on the process. This morning on NPR there was an interview with him aired, which will be available as an audio file on the site. HERE

As a reader who thoroughly enjoys the Discworld books, I anticipate the upcoming release of Snuff, but I regret the winding down of a creative spirit.

Monday, August 01, 2011

Faulkner Treasure Trove

William Faulkner was the writer in residence at the University of Virginia's Charlottesville campus for two terms beginning in 1957. UVa has 28 hours of tape of his readings, addresses and Q&A sessions available on line, plus transcriptions of the sessions to help where the audio is difficult. Story here

Monday, July 18, 2011

Austen Manuscript bought by Bodleian

A considerable portion of The Watsons in manuscript has been acquired at auction by the Bodleian Library. Jane Austen's last work, unfinished and unpublished in her lifetime shows many characteristics of her style. Beyond the subject matter of a family of women left in straitened circumstances by the death of the clergyman head of the family, such statements as:
"Female economy will do a great deal, my lord, but it cannot turn a small income into a large one." are noted as typical of Jane's wit. Story in The Guardian.

Friday, July 15, 2011

Classic Pooh

Disney has decided to revert to "classic" Pooh. Well, Duuuuh!

Some things are just not meant to be slick and shiny, and Pooh and his friends fall squarely into that category. My family has had a long, long relationship with the gang from the 100 Aker Wood. My mother used Pooh as part of the curriculum in her elementary classroom long before he became a Disney standard. Each of the siblings in the family has a character. One brother is Tigger, one is Piglet, my sister is Kanga, and I'm Eeyore.

Friday, June 24, 2011

Mark Twain Gets a Stamp

It's about time. The 27th stamp in the Literary Series from the United States Postal Service honors the great American author Mark Twain on a "forever" stamp. Why it took 26 issues to get around to him I'll never understand.

Monday, June 20, 2011

Uncle Tom

There are many books in the canon of American Literature that most people are pretty sure that they know, even though they may never have read the book. Between children's versions, movies and other (read Cliff Notes) means; they have been exposed and have a fully formed opinion. A recent article in NYT points out that the common perception of Uncle Tom as a bungling, old stooped servent is not the character that Harriet Beecher Stowe wrote about.

Because of the connections that various member of the Beecher-Stowe clan had in this area of Ohio/Kentucky/Indiana, associations with "Uncle Tom's Cabin, or Life Among the Lowly" are regularly cited for many locations. At least two different communities in two states claim the original of the crossing the river on the ice story, and in that era before dams and locks the Ohio River did freeze some winters. There was even a Key to Uncle Tom's Cabin published by the author because she had so many queries about her story.

Friday, June 17, 2011

Illustrator does visual interview

Shaun Tan received the Astrid Lindgren Memorial Award from Swedish Crown Princess Victoria during a ceremony in Stockholm on May 31.

In an interview with Speigel he answers questions with drawings. How cool! page through the interview here

Friday, May 27, 2011

Cincinnati well read

According to A Boy and His Books there is an Amazon report out that lists Cincy in the top 20 of well-read cities in America.

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Gone with the Wind

Today's NYT has a story about "missing" chapters of Gone With The Wind showing up in the collection of the Pequot Library in Connecticut--quite a ways from Atlanta. It seems that the president of Mitchell's publisher left it to the library along with other materials from his career at Macmillan. Mitchell had wanted the early drafts and all pre-publishing material destroyed because she had a conviction that books should only be judged as the final product, and it is not known how these chapters survived. It may have been oversight, it may have been deliberate, those involved are all beyond asking.
Also from that story, this June is the 75th anniversary of the publication. We'll have to make note of that at Words & Images.

Monday, March 28, 2011

Almost Three Months

I've been delinquent. I have been reading, just not sharing.

Right now I've started on the first of Trollope's Palliser novels, Can You Forgive Her? But there's been much running around going on, so progress is none to steady.

At the shop I've read a couple of Mary Roberts Rinehart's mysteries and novels. I had a stash on a back shelf that I had forgotten.

I visited Iris Book Cafe down in Cincinnati last week and picked up some nice Hardy Boys in dust jackets for shop inventory. It's getting tougher to find the older copies of the juvenile series books of that type. I'm really low in Nancy Drews right now.

Wednesday, January 05, 2011

The Early Days

Lately I seem to be concentrating on the early 19th century, particularly in the New York area. I started off with a history of the Erie Canal (Wedding of the Waters), which included the political career of DeWitt Clinton. Then I read a recent biography of Aaron Burr ( a contemporary of Clinton's), The Fallen Founder, which tries to debunk much of the "romantic" Burr myth, and suggests that he was a very normal politician of his times who was pigeonholed by his opponents. History is written by the winners, after all.
Now I'm on to a biography of Washington Irving--with a quick detour the past couple of days into reading Salmagundi after I had read up to that point in his career. (Salmagundi was a short lived periodical of political and social commentary produced by Irving, a brother and a friend.)
Just today I ran into mention of a history of the ratification of the Constitution which I then ordered from Powells (one of the best sources I know of for books that might be out of print) along with some other work by the same author.
One reason for my interest is that the early to mid 19th century was the time when the United States was joining the Industrial Revolution and engaging in many Internal Improvements and the resultant politics needed to implement infrastructure projects. Our own Whitewater Canal in Metamora is a product of those efforts.

Monday, January 03, 2011

Peter Pan

How many Peter Pan stories are there, I wonder? Barrie seemed to keep using the basic story in different places. I have seen Peter Pan in Kensington Gardens that has many of the elements that are in Peter Pan and Wendy. I have to admit I enjoy the Dave Barry versions of recent vintage as well.