Books

The big influence of four book review magazines

Sarah Johnson writes "A recent article in Slate reports on the "big four" among book industry trade journals - namely, Publishers Weekly, Kirkus Reviews, Library Journal, and Booklist. Their influence might finally be waning, says the article - and reviewers for Kirkus and PW are toning down the harshness of their reviews as a result."

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The Economics of On-line Bookselling

Gary Deane spotted The Internet Book Race from over at The NYTimes.
The author, Virginia Postrel , says authors love the rankings at Amazon and its competitor, BarnesandNoble.com (also known as BN.com), because they give us real-time information on how well a book is selling. Aside from satisfying anxious curiosity, the rankings provide immediate feedback on the effect of reviews and media appearances.

In an article in the June issue of Quantitative Marketing and Economics, Professor Goolsbee and Judith Chevalier, an economist at the Yale School of Management, figured out how to turn the book rankings into sales figures.

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National Hispanic American Read-In Chain

Mock Turtle writes "The fourth National Hispanic American Read-In Chain is coming up, September 15–18, 2003. At libraries, schools, and other community sites all across the USA, people will gather to read works authored by Hispanic American writers. The International Reading Association has information on how to host an event as part of the chain."

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Festival of Books in a Land of Waterfalls

Festival of Books in a Land of Waterfalls an article from AlllAfrica.com covers Zimbabwe, or, 'Bookland,' which they say is a very fitting description.
The Zimbabwe International Book Fair has run consistently for some twenty years now, and it is made up of several parts. This year, the Zimbabwe International Book Fair drew a vast array of publishers, authors, scholars, and many persons interested in the book trade.

"There is a need, a felt need throughout the continent, that Africans do not read for leisure, not enough Africans actually read for leisure. Even though the intellectuals who read may enjoy it, but they usually read as part of their work. So I think a book fair can be a way to stimulate that interest in books and in reading."

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New Age Books

Anonymous Patron writes ""New Age is no longer becoming mainstream; it is mainstream," says Katie McMillan, publicity manager at Inner Ocean Publishing Company. "Let's face it, between the war, terrorism and the economy, people are dealing with issues that they may not have ever had to deal with before, and they are looking for the tools that will help them." Adds Deborah Balmuth, editorial director at Storey Publishing, "This is leading more people to focus on the present moment (through mindfulness practice) and on fostering peace within themselves as a vehicle for world peace. The greatest challenge publishers face is how to respond to the growing mainstream interest in yoga, Buddhism and other Eastern spiritual practices in fresh ways with new voices, formats and viewpoints."
More at:
Publishers Weekly."

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Professor: Never ban any books

The Bennington Banner has This One on Catherine Burns, who says far from being a relic of history, restrictions limiting which books are allowed on library shelves or made available for sale at bookstores may actually be a growing problem.

"The most current problem right now is parental influence," she said. "Parents or school administrators will not have read the full book, but just have heard about some offensive language in one scene and jump to conclusions."

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Bookseller of Kabul

Anonymous Patron writes "The Bookseller of Kabul, a fictionalised account of life in Afghanistan by Ã…sne Seierstad, Norwegian journalist, will not be published in the US until Oct. 17, but is already attracting considerable attention in Europe. This Sunday, Aug. 31, the Observer, published in London, ran a major review describing how she "lifts the lid on Afghan family life". For English-language discussion of the book from a Norwegian source, see: Main character shocked by Seierstad's book, here, also:Ari Behn supports Ã…sne Seierstad, here."

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As literary feuds go, it's as good as they get

Charles Davis writes "As literary feuds go, it's as good as they get. Novelist and newspaper columnist AN Wilson has just published a biographical sketch
of his erstwhile friend and heroine, the writer Iris Murdoch. Among other things, the book is mischievously revelatory and quite
spectacularly rude about Murdoch's widower, John Bayley. He, of course, has already published three well-received books about his
wife, their marriage and her death from Alzheimer's disease (successfully adapted for the cinema as Iris, with Kate Winslet and Judi
Dench sharing the starring role).

As an antidote to what might be seen as the beatification of Iris and John, Wilson's Iris Murdoch As I Knew Her claims that Bayley
confessed that he [Bayley] did not like, or even read, his wife's novels; that Bayley's political opinions, allegedly including a
"whooping enthusiasm for capital punishment", placed him to the "right of Genghis Khan"; that Bayley's accounts of life with Iris
were at times misogynistic and motivated by envy of her success, and in general served to trivialise a great writer by reducing her to
an "Alzheimer's Lady".
Story at
The Guardian."

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Bookstore Ends Beer Promotion

Robin Blum notes some Bad News out of Lincoln, Nebraska, where The Nebraska Bookstore has ended its free beer promotion for students who bought textbooks.

Barry Major, chief operating officer for Nebraska Book Company, said Wednesday the promotion was dropped because of concerns raised by University of Nebraska-Lincoln administrators.

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Business 2.0 Article: Books that Matter

An Anonymous Patron writes "Books That Matter

"What books that should be on every smart executive's reading list...Like a diligent reference librarian, we've pored through the stacks to help you find just the books you need -- the ones that provide the most useful ideas and insights about the world of business today, from texts written 2,000 years ago to juicy tell-alls penned a few months back. We also made a point of straying from the usual MBA curriculum, in part because it's more fun that way, but also because fiction, sci-fi, philosophy, and science provide relevant business insights that you simply won't find anywhere else.""

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