Thursday, July 31, 2008

Ho, Hum, Yawn: Is It That Time Again?

Genre versus literature: Why will the fact that Tom Rob Smith's CHILD 44 made the longlist for the Man Booker Prize only serve to widen the gulf between genre and "literature"? There's more than enough talk out there already to make most want to skip the blogs, but the link to Jeff Vandermeer's THE LANGUAGE OF DEFEAT makes up for the topic.

Saturday, July 19, 2008

The Dark Knight

The new Batman movie will undoubtedly be the blockbuster of the summer. I've had a chance to see it, and offered up my initial thoughts. Best movie I've seen in quite some time.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Votes For Sale?

One man puts his vote for the president for sale on Ebay and is arrested, while elsewhere on the internet, the debate about the reputation of awards and groups raises important questions for us all to consider about how we ensure awards are determined fairly and impartially.

As always, there are no easy answers, although the importance of the topic shouldn't be overlooked.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

A Writer's Fear

When I was a child I had recurring nightmares about Hamburgler. Not all fears are rational, and although as an adult I can look back at that one and know it was silly, there are still things that weigh on my mind and twist my stomach in knots.

Friday, July 11, 2008

Ah, opinions...

There's a bit of discussion about whether or not this is a weak year for crime fiction, which has led to a discussion about the place of taste in assessing books. Is it possible to evaluate a book without considering the emotional response it prompts from the reader?

Monday, July 07, 2008

Heads and Tails and Book Sales

Barbara Fister's excellent blog post, THE TAIL THAT WAGS THE TAIL, raises interesting questions about how we decide what to read and whether or not more people are influenced by popular opinion now than ever before. I haven't rehashed what Barbara had to say, because she said it so well already, but I am curious about what influences people, and what people think of the articles Barbara references in her post. Her post is one that deserves some discussion.

Saturday, July 05, 2008

The Freedom To Believe...

... is at the center of a controversial custody case unfolding in Winnipeg, Manitoba after a seven-year-old girl went to school with a swastika on her arm and white pride slogans.

Does the right to your beliefs ever justify hatred of another group? I've chimed in with my opinion.

Friday, July 04, 2008

Friday's Forgotten Children's Books: TWENTY AND TEN

Patti Abbott's ongoing series, Friday's Forgotten Books, continues with an installment focusing on children's books. This was an easy choice for me, and an opportunity to talk about a book that had a profound impact on me as a child, and probably contributed to my lifelong interest in WWII history. You can read about the book at the new blog, here.

Wednesday, July 02, 2008

More Bad Book News?

I must admit, sometimes I get tired of hearing predictions of doom and gloom for the book industry, but we have heard of multiple store closings and declining newspaper review coverage. In light of other business news reported today I'm wondering if things are as bad for the book business as people sometimes suggest, over at the new blog.