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Bookish links 19 Dec: Harvards labrary, what the Dickens, book discovery more!


book news Bookish links 19 Dec: Harvards labrary, what the Dickens, book discovery & 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 it's never been great to start with). Please bear with me while I try to get things up and running again, and rest assured that I'll be moving to another server/CMS soon!

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

Dinner parties and Rick Riordan's The Lost Hero'Or why starting a new series is like trying to host a group dinner.

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

Other bookish stuff:

Flavorpill staff members recommend their 2012 top reads

On establishing a global platform for book content rights'IPR License'is new service intended by its creators to become a global hub for content rights. It promises ease of access and use ' rights holders upload their content, while interested parties can browse and perhaps purchase.

Bookshops arent doing too shabbily, as it turns out'Independent bookstores report that a range of books are moving nicely, but there are mixed numbers from Barnes & Noble, the nation's largest book chain, and solid but not stellar growth in digital sales. Independent bookstore owners say they are thriving even without that surefire best seller because of a wide array of options this year.

A look at Harvards Labrary, a library of the future''As the space began, a lot of people popping in were asking, 'What is this place?' Now, with student projects populating the space, people are not needing things to be explained as much and are more engaged with exploring themselves.'

Translating Dickens into plain English. Take a deep breath. Ready? It was one of the best and worst times in history. It was a time of great intelligence and ignorance, belief and disbelief, good and evil, hope and hopelessness.

Is writing a book really like putting together a start-up? For some authors, perhaps, the book is a start up. A blank piece of paper or screen is the place it all starts. But that romantic cliche ignores the inconvenient truth that the vast majority of books published are pro-actively commissioned by publishers, rather than being the offspring of a single, fevered creative brain.

On one mans efforts to create the perfect language'I had this realisation that every individual language does at least one thing better than every other languageWhat if there were one single language that combined the coolest features from all the world's languages?'

An interview with Philip Pullman'Literary modernism kind of grew out of a sense that, Oh my god! Im telling a story! Oh, that cant be the case, because Im a'clever'person. Im a'literary'person! What am I going to do to distinguish myself? I know! Ill write'Ulysses. [Laughs.] Actually, I dont think that was Joyces motive'but a lot of modernism does seem to come out of a fear of being thought an ordinary storyteller [But] I didnt really want my books difficult to read. This is the value for me of writing books that children read. Children arent interested in the least about your appalling self-consciousness. They want to know what happens next. They force you to tell a story.

A survey on how readers discover books. And yep, word of mouth is still number 1.

A guide to the publishing process for non-writers.'People actually think Im joking when I talk about this stuff. Not only the ridiculous wait times involved, but also the fact that you cant just pitch a one-line sentence at someone and have them give you a million bucks and print off a bunch of books for you overnight. Also books take a lot longer to write than they do to read. Just saying.

Do you have writers block, or are you just being a bum? You're a writer ' or an artist ' or you're not.' It sounds harsh, but, seriously, not everyone's wired for this stupid life.' If you think you'are, then you have to write around the block.' Anything that takes your fancy.' Just get words happening.' The rest will follow.' Best of luck.




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