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Archives: October 2011

Joan Didion Week at The Los Angeles Review of Books

The Los Angeles Review of Books (LARB) dedicated an entire week of essays to Joan Didion and her new memoir Blue Nights. Six writers shared their thoughts about the new book; one essay was published each day this week.

The group includes LARB senior fiction editor Matthew SpecktorTake One Candle Light a Room author Susan Straight, literary journalism professor Amy Wilentz, Cool Shades author Amy Emphron and LA Times columnist Meghan Daum. The last piece, written by Los Angeles Without a Map novelist Richard Rayner, will be published tomorrow.

LARB editor-in-chief Tom Lutz gave this statement in the release: “Didion is an icon of literary L.A. despite living in New York much of her life. In 1976 she wrote that ‘[t]o shift the structure of a sentence alters the meaning of that sentence, as definitely and inflexibly as the position of a camera alters the meaning of the object photographed.’ That attention to style, structure, perspective, and meaning animates the essays we’re featuring this week.”

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Animals & Chameleon Goggles: Coming Attractions

Here are some handpicked titles from our New Books section. Want to include your book? Just read our Facebook Your New or Upcoming Book post. Don’t forget to include your title’s exact release date and a link.

The Animals by Richard Grossman: “Consisting of 400 poems, this environmental bible is set in a mythical “field” where a shepherd engages in a series of discussions on a wide range of issues, both practical and mystical, with his flock of 200 different creatures ranging from an amoeba to a whale. Additionally, each animal tells its own intimate story in its own unique voice to the assembled group.” (October 2011)

The Chameleon Goggles (Book 2 in the Kraken’s Caribbean series) by Maureen O. Betita: “Captain Jezebel came to the Kraken’s Caribbean thirty years ago, a fiery young girl of fifteen with more nightmares than six adults. Born and raised on the capitalistic steampunk world of Novan, she left all the filth and terror behind to become a pirate captain with her own ship. And she flourishes in her new role. Until the day an offhand comment about a zeppelin in the sky above the bay of Tortuga brings all her fears to the surface.” (October 2011)

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Occupy Wall Street Book Coming In December

Writers have been joining Occupy Wall Street since the movement began in September, so books are soon to follow. OR Books has the first book on the movement slated for a December release called Occupying Wall Street: The Inside Story of an Action that Changed the Course of America.

The work will be written collectively by a group called Writers for the 99%. It will detail how the movement got started and include interviews with occupation participants. OR will publish a 200-page paperback as well as an eBook edition. It comes out on December 17th–the three month anniversary of the movement. All of the profits will be donated to Occupy Wall Street.

It will also focus on the everyday activity in the occupied Zuccotti Park. It will include details about how the occupation works.  including the general assembly, the kitchen, the medical center, the library and media center.

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New Edition of Neil Gaiman’s ‘The Graveyard Book’ Omits Newbery Medal

Neil Gaiman‘s The Graveyard Book has been been reprinted with a new paperback cover. One noticeable difference between the 2008 cover and the new one? The new one does not flash the Newbery Medal the book won in 2009.

According to Publishers Weekly, the golden award is “one of the few surefire ways” to increase sales in the children’s market. However, William Morrow associate publisher Jennifer Hart said that Gregg Kulick‘s design was meant to attract adult buyers.

Inkwood Books owner Leslie Reiner had this comment, in the article: “I can definitely say that a Newbery Medal on the cover would not be a selling point [for adults] and if I were in marketing I would not put it on the cover. Covers sell books, and I think of [Markus Zusak's] The Book Thief and how the cover works for adult and teens.” What do you think of this new cover?

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Steve Jobs Watches Over Bookstores

Over at Bookshop Santa Cruz, bookseller Kat Bailey has created a Watched by Steve blog tribute to the cover of Steve Jobs‘ biography.

As you can see by the photo embedded above, bookstore employees photographed Walter Isacsson‘s book in various locations around the store in a playful memorial to the late Apple CEO.  What do you think?

Here’s more from the Tumblr blog: “You know that feeling you get sometimes, like you’re being watched? You keep looking over your shoulder, and even though no one’s there, you just can’t shake it. We booksellers have been feeling that way a lot lately, and we think we know why. (We certainly mean no disrespect with this – it’s been wonderful to have this long-awaited book in our store. We see it as a tribute to a very striking book cover, one that we can’t stop seeing everywhere we go.)” (Via Reddit)

Sylvia Plath Drawings Displayed at Mayor Gallery

Today would have been Sylvia Plath‘s 79th birthday. In her honor, Flavorpill has posted up sixteen images from the book Sylvia Plath: Her Drawings and Dadamaino: Volumes.

With the blessing of Plath’s daughter, Frieda Hughes, 44 of Plath’s pen and ink drawings will be displayed in London’s Mayor Gallery for the first time. The exhibit will last from November 2nd until December 16th. According to Flavorpill, the drawings range from French street life to scenes from the Spanish countryside. In the image embedded above (via), Plath drew a kiosk near the Louvre museum.

In a guest piece for The Guardian, Hughes explained: “Although my mother is known primarily for her semi-autobiographical novel The Bell Jar and her poetry – particularly her last collection, Ariel, published posthumously in 1965 following her suicide on 11 February 1963 – her passion for art permeated her short life. Her early letters and diary notes and poems were often heavily decorated, and she hoped that her drawings would illustrate the articles and stories that she wrote for publication.” What do you think of Plath’s drawings?

Kobo To Publish Books

Digital book company Kobo is reportedly getting into publishing early next year. Like a traditional publishing house, Kobo will do the book editing, design and marketing, and will sell the books.

Sound familiar? Amazon has been pushing into the publishing business itself making deals with agents and authors alike. The online giant already has a handful of imprints under the Amazon Publishing umbrella including: 47North, AmazonEncore, AmazonCrossing, Powered by Amazon, Montlake Romance and Thomas & Mercer.

Kobo has been fighting with Amazon for the international eBook business. eBookNewser has more: “The news comes just as Kobo is getting ready to ship out its new tablet computers. The device, which ships tomorrow, is a $199 competitor to the $249 Nook Color and the $199 Kindle Fire (which ships 11/15/11).”

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Books-A-Million to Open 41 New Stores in November

After closing 21 stores in its third quarter this year, Books-A-Million will open 41 new bookstores next month. We’ve listed all the locations below–will your neighborhood be adding a bookstore?

Many of the new stores will open in locations where Borders stores used stand. Booksellers needed some good news this week. Yesterday DreamHaven books in Minneapolis announced it will close its retail store, St. Marks Bookshop didn’t get a rent concession and a Los Angeles Barnes & Noble outlet is rumored to close as well.

Books-A-Million president Terrance G. Finley explained in the release: “We have been working diligently in the last several months to find ways to keep a number of former Borders store locations in operation under the BAM! brand, and these store openings are the culmination of that work. These 41 stores will also benefit local economies by providing and sustaining jobs in and around our new locations. To BAM!, it’s about forging a lifetime partnership with all bookstore lovers.” (Via BookTV)

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Snooki’s Simon & Schuster Video Stokes Debate

In a new book video, Jersey Shore star Snooki visits Simon & Schuster and delivers tips from Confessions of a Guidette.

What do you think? As you can see, the video brings Jersey Shore-style makeup and mayhem to the major publishing house. The longer director’s cut version has been removed. Above, we’ve embedded the original.

As of this writing, the original version has earned 1,900 views on YouTube, counting 11 likes, 20 dislikes and a few comments. The comments were brief: “I’ve just witnessed the death of Western Civilization.” and “Oh dear God, she should not be allowed near a book.”

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H&M to Release ‘Girl With The Dragon Tattoo’ Clothing Line

Lisbeth Salander is one inspiring character. The fictional “girl with a dragon tattoo” in Stieg Larsson‘s The Millennium Trilogy has inspired a new fashion line at H&M.

The Swedish fashion company has hired Trish Summerville — the costume designer who created the wardrobe for Sander’s character in the Hollywood film adaptation of The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo — to create a line inspired by the heroine.

Stylelist has more: “If you’re a big fan of the books or of Rooney Mara’s recent Dragon Tattoo transformation this new collection is definitely up your alley. Replete with black ripped tees, asymmetrical jackets and leather leggings, the capsule indulges in tough girl chic. Though this is H&M’s first dip into the movie market, they aren’t the first label to create pieces of clothing inspired by characters seen on the big screen or on television.”

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