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Bookish links 18 Dec: doing what you love, authors shunning retirement, grumpy Beckett more!

book news Bookish links 18 Dec: doing what you love, authors shunning retirement, grumpy Beckett & more!

RIASS stuff:

You might have noticed that RIASS has been having issues. A server crash took the site down last night, and its performance is definitely still sluggish (and its never been great to start with). Please bear with me while I try to get things up and running again, and rest assured that Ill be moving to another server/CMS soon!

Nameless narrators and Sarah Brills Glory. What are your thoughts on books that avoid naming their narrators?

My top reads of 2012'(I anticipate a few additions, so stay tuned)

Romance on the ward: Lily's Scandal by Marion Lennox and Zoe's Baby by Alison Roberts

Other bookish stuff:

How'to'avoid'work'and'do'what'you'love: 'there is only one way in this world to achieve true happiness, and that is to express yourself with all your skill and enthusiasm in a career that appeals to you more than any other. In such a career, you feel a sense of purpose, a sense of achievement. You feel you are making a contribution. It is not work.


Are'tablets'killing'ebooks? 'The stunning rise and then blazing flameout of ebooks perfectly encapsulate what has become an axiomatic truth in the industry: Single-task devices like the ebook reader are being replaced without remorse in the lives of consumers by their multifunction equivalents, in this case by media tablets,' says Jordan Selburn, analyst at IHS iSuppli.

Fifty'Shades'is'likely'an'anomaly:'erotica'is'a'tough'sell. 'While Barnes & Noble is still devoting significant ' though significantly reduced ' display space to Fifty'Shades'of'Grey, as well as giving prominent space to Sylvia Day's Crossfire'series, independent booksellers such as Jeremy Ellis with Brazos Bookstore in Houston, Texas, and Kathy Patrick, owner of Beauty and the Book in Jefferson, Texas (as well as founder of the 500 chapter Pulpwood Queen's Book Club) both say that Fifty'Shades'of'Grey'is no longer selling at their stores and, try as they might, they can't entice their shoppers into buying and reading any other erotica.' Ill ignore the fact that its probably not that surprising that erotica doesnt sell well in Texas and note that surely people have realised that a huge part of the Fifty'Shades success was from one-off curiosity and people wanting to be part of a cultural phenomenon?

100ScopeNotes'is'asking'for'more'non-fiction'book'trailers. Which to me actually seems like a better idea than fiction trailers.

How'to'juggle'blogging,'day'jobs,'freelance'writing'careers'and'having'a'life. My solution so far has been to sleep less and drink more coffee. Im very, very fortunate to have a husband whos not only a'small'business'owner, so he knows exactly what Im trying to achieve, but who is insanely supportive of everything I do as well.

Writers'on'great'authors'they'hate 'If you can't get beyond half a dozen pages of On The Road'at the age of 18 it's unlikely that you will later in life. I have, however, on a couple of occasions punished myself by pressing on and coming to the benevolent conclusion that it must possess some sort of sociological importance that is extra-literary. 'It defines a generation' ' that sort of tosh. Of course it doesn't. Like all of the beats, with the exception of Burroughs, Jack Kerouac was an artless, undisciplined, unfunny solipsist wrapped in a mantle of cosy outsiderness, comforting self-pity and snug alienation,' says Jonathan Meades. And, um, I agree. Although I promise that Ill try again. One day.

William'Burroughs'and'Susan'Sontag'on'meeting'Beckett 'Everybody knew that they werent supposed to stay very long. I think it was ten minutes after six that we got out of there. [...] He gave me one of the greatest compliment that I ever heard. Someone asked him, What do you think of Burroughs? and he said grudgingly Well, hes a writer.'


On'the'wonder'of'secondhand'bookshops 'serendipity is the greatest pleasure of browsing, and there is no substitute for being able to hold the physical book in one's hand. Among other things to be found in books are the markings of previous readers. When I first started buying antiquarian books I rejected those that had been marked, but now I find the markings sometimes more interesting than the books, and certainly revealing of the byways of human psychology.' (see also my post on the topic over'here)


Is'the'internet'the'novels'saving'grace? 'The internet is a permanent fixture in modern life, and that it influences the way we read, write and think is simply fact. So instead of lamenting how digital ubiquity is nibbling away at the novel's purview, what if a novel were to pull a fast one and swallow the internet whole? What if, rather than putting novels online, we downloaded the internet into a novel? What if there was a character so drawn in by the internet's gravitational pull that her every send, post, cut and paste determined her trajectory, and her page views informed the plotline?'

Who needs those dodgy mass market prints from Target to brighten up their homes? How'about'wall-mounted'bookshelves'filled'with 'beautiful'books'instead?