Books

Mapping the Literary Landscape of Los Angeles

Here's A Neat Project devoted to the phenomenon of Los Angeles Literature. Students at Mount St. Mary's College make a pretty compelling argument that a great deal of good writing has emerged and is continuing to emerge from Los Angeles.
The information gathered on the website has been amassed by first- and second-year undergraduate students, who devoted a great deal of time and effort to providing accurate, helpful, and interesting information.

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How threat of war inflicted collateral damage on a cosy book prize

Bob Cox noticed a Guardian Article on Book of the Year prize which went to Michael Moore's Stupid White Men.
The ceremony, nicknamed The Nibbies because of the large gold pen nibs which are its only prizes, has tended to be seen as a back-slapping rite at which the industry rewards authors of its highest selling titles.

But this year's organisers, the magazine Publishing News, introduced an element of public voting into the judging by distributing more than 100,000 leaflets in bookshops.

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New book on Book Burning

There is a new book coming out in May 2003 entitled, \"Libricide: The Regime-Sponsored Destruction of Books and Libraries in the Twentieth Century\". Here is a description from Amazon:

\"Where they have burned books, they will end in burning human beings,\" declared German poet Heinrich Heine. Libricide identifies the regime-sponsored, ideologically driven and systemic destruction of books and libraries in the twentieth century that often served as a prelude or accompaniment to the massive human tragedies that have characterized a most violent century. As Knuth argues, the destruction of books and libraries by authoritarian regimes was sparked by the same impulses toward negation that provoked acts of genocide or ethnocide. Through case studies of libricide committed by Nazis, Serbs in Bosnia, Iraqis in Kuwait, and Maoists during the Cultural Revolution in China, and Chinese Communists in Tibet, Knuth illustrates the dynamics of book destruction. Anyone committed to freedom of expression and humanistic values will embrace this passionate and valuable book.\" (via Blog Drivers Waltz)

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County's 'One Book' program fizzling out

"A month after it was launched, the One Book, One Community program, which had hoped to get the whole county reading and discussing "To Kill a Mockingbird," is still struggling to take flight."

"While most of One Book's schedule focuses on discussion groups and film showings at libraries and bookstores, several events scheduled this month were aimed at drawing bigger audiences and they have been canceled."

"It just seems to be a nonevent," said Shelia Fisher, president of the Friends of the Carnegie Library and a member of the organizing committee. "It's just not making a big hit and that's too bad. It has a lot of potential." (from The Post-Gazette via Waterboro Lib Blog)

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Stanford Libraries Create Saroyan Prize for Writers

"As the leader of the A-Team liked to say: "I love it when a good plan comes together." Or words to that effect. So I am happy to report that an institution where I enjoyed a too-brief, but most memorable learning experience will cosponsor an award bearing the name of one of my all-time favorite American authors."

"The new literary prize, officially titled the William Saroyan International Prize for Writing, will be sponsored by the Stanford University Libraries in partnership with the William Saroyan Foundation. Aimed at encouraging new or emerging writers rather than established authors, it will recognize a newly published work of fiction or memoir with a purse of $12,300."

"The Saroyan Writing Prize (the monicker which I suspect it will be most commonly used) will be awarded every other year, with January 31, 2003 set as deadline for entries in the first competition. Entries are limited to works published in English in book form during calendar 2002 and available for purchase by the general public. Complete information, including entry forms and rules, are available at this website:" (from IOBA Standard)

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Stephen King E-Book Headed to Big Screen

"The Stephen King novella "Riding the Bullet" is headed for the big screen three years after it was released as an e-book."

"Producer Brad Krevoy is set to turn the ghost story into a feature film through his Motion Picture Corp. of America shingle, with production financing provided by German backer ApolloMedia."

"Casting for the film is under way, with a tentative May start for shooting."

"In March 2000, Simon & Schuster released the "Bullet" novella in a strictly electronic format, with over 400,000 downloads recorded in the first 24 hours." (from Reuters)

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Buzz about books spreads across Southeast

Bob Cox spotted This One on the S.C. Book Festival, opening its seventh annual celebration of writers and readers this weekend at the State Fairgrounds, has become South Carolina's biggest book event and one of the premier literary festivals in the Southeast.
More than 35 readings, panel discussions and special programs are on tap, along with some of South Carolina's most popular writers, including Dori Sanders, Bret Lott, William Price Fox, Sue Monk Kidd, George Singleton, Blanche McCrary Boyd, Darion McCloud, Nikky Finney, Janette Turner Hospital and Cassandra King.

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Germans to create book in 12 hours

Jen Young noticed This One from over at CNN on a team of Forty German authors who are hoping to set a new world record by conceiving, writing and printing a book in 12 hours.
Stiftung Lesen, a foundation that promotes reading, will give the team of writers a topic at 7.45 a.m. on World Book Day, April 23. They aim to have the finished book on shop shelves in 10 German cities by the evening of that day.
Stiftung Lesen has a German Web site.

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Brutal trade of rare books

An Interesting Article from Australia, on the rare book market, an antiquities market that, for some, has become more attractive than Wall Street.
Book brokers say they are always on guard against thieves and have to rustle through rare-book bins in competition with private buyers as some investors increasingly see rare books as a haven from sliding stock and bond markets.

"For collectors, books are nothing like paintings, Most buyers of fine art like to say how much they paid and display the painting. Reading is a private affair. Being secretive about the price and what's in your collection is part of the book game."

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The Open Source Book

The Open Source Book project will be developing the book using open source tools such as LaTex and CVS. LaTex allows authors to concentrate on the content of the book, rather than the typesetting. Authors can use basic text editors for the book, rather than complex word processors. However, more complex word processors are available for LaTex.
The project aims to bring the case for open source together into a compelling and easy to read exposition. Such a book is needed to communicate with the decision makers - such as politicians, heads of departments, CIO's and CEO's. The Open Source Book Project intends to take the expertise of the open source community to write a book putting the case for open source, and explaining how to manage the migration to open source.

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