Books

How 'Gatsby' Went From A Moldering Flop To A Great American Novel

When book critic Maureen Corrigan first read F. Scott Fitzgerald's The Great Gatsby in high school, she was unimpressed.

"Not a lot happens in Gatsby," Corrigan tells Fresh Air's Terry Gross. "It's not a plot-driven novel and I also thought, 'Eh, it's another novel about rich people.' And I grew up in a blue-collar community."

She also couldn't relate, she says, because it doesn't feature any likeable female characters.

"In fact, that's one of the reasons why Fitzgerald thought it didn't sell well in 1925," Corrigan says, "because there are no likeable female characters and women drive the fiction market."

But today Corrigan considers The Great Gatsby to be the greatest American novel — and it's the novel she loves more than any other. She's written a new book about it called So We Read On: How the Great Gatsby Came to Be and Why It Endures.

Full piece:
http://www.npr.org/2014/09/08/346346588/how-gatsby-went-from-a-moldering-flop-to-a-great-ame...

The Beast, the Eunuch and the Glass-eyed Child: Television in the 80's

In this lively & provocative collection of essays, veteran media critic Ron Powers, recipient of both a Pulitzer Prize & an Emmy Award, takes a searing look at a pivotal decade in TV history. He playfully presents some serious thoughts on TV, arguing that TV is a subject of utmost importance, perhaps the unifying & inevitable subject of our time. The essays by Powers contain significant insights into what TV did for us &, most especially, to us in the 1980s. He shows how America has reached a stage where the distinction between entertainment, news, & education -- between TV & the real world -- has nearly vanished.

This book was written in 1990. I think it is especially interesting to look at books again because now time has passed and you can see where things have actually headed and that can be contrasted to the discussion in the book.

The Beast, the Eunuch and the Glass-eyed Child: Television in the 80's

How a book designer plucks a vision from an author’s pages


If you judge a book by its cover, you might want to know what goes into its design. Jeffrey Brown speaks with Peter Mendelsund, author of “What We See When We Read” and “Cover,” about the process of communicating an author’s work to readers, as well as the importance of cover design in the age of e-readers.

There Is One New Book On Amazon Every Five Minutes

Tech Crunch has some sobering news for the indie author while also highlighting the incredible allure of Amazon,.

"In an interesting post, writer Claude Nougat estimated the total number of books on Amazon – about 3.4 million at last count (a number that could include apps as well) and then figured out how many books were added in a day. Nougat noticed that the number rose by 12 books in an hour, which suggests that one new book is added every five minutes. And, most likely, it’s probably an indie book.

Let’s let that sink in.

What does that mean for the indie publisher? If you’re perpetually optimistic, very little. If you’re even a little bit pessimistic, however, you might want to rethink your career."

Would You Want to Work In a Bookless Library?

Story about the latest bookless library from LJ.

Kathryn Miller, director of the Florida Polytechnic University Library (FPU) looks happy enough...

And no, The Annoyed Librarian would NOT want to work in one.

‘The Giver’ Author Lois Lowry Thinks ‘Dystopian Fiction Is Passé’

Author interview in Variety

The economics of a web-based book: year one

"Take the ex­am­ple of desk­top web browsers. Let’s face it, un­less you’re re­al­ly slow on the up­take, you’ve out­fit­ted your web brows­er with an ad block­er. Ha ha, you win! But wait—that means most web ads are only reach­ing those who are re­al­ly slow on the up­take. So their dol­lars are dis­pro­por­tion­ate­ly im­por­tant in sup­port­ing the con­tent you’re get­ting ad-free. “Not my prob­lem,” you say. Oh re­al­ly? Since those peo­ple are the only ones fi­nan­cial­ly sup­port­ing the con­tent, pub­lish­ers in­creas­ing­ly are shap­ing their sto­ries to ap­peal to them. Even­tu­al­ly, the con­tent you liked—well, didn’t like it enough to pay for it—will be gone."

http://practicaltypography.com/economics-year-one.html

Unpopular books flying off branch libraries’ shelves

At the Dudley Branch of the Boston Public Library, clustered volumes fill only half of many long, red shelves; the rest stand empty. In the adult nonfiction section, some shelves are completely barren.
http://www.bostonglobe.com/metro/2014/08/07/bpl-push-reduce-books-community-branches-stirs-c...
The library, in Roxbury, once brimmed with books. But officials have been steadily culling its collection the past few months as part of a push by BPL administrators to dispose of up to 180,000 little-used volumes from shelves and archives of branches citywide by year’s end. Library officials say the reductions help assure that patrons can comfortably sift through a modern selection that serves their needs.

This Sex-Ed Book Is Way Too Sexy, Parents Complain

Teaches ninth-graders about masturbation, like they've never heard of it before
California parents are complaining that a new sex-education book for ninth-graders has way too much hot, naked sex in it.
http://time.com/3094386/sex-ed-teens-fremont-parents-virginity/

Sad Book Returned to NYPL After 54 Years

From Melville House:

Every so often, a book is returned to the library so late, it makes headlines. The due date of the sad book in this particular headline was August 17, 1959.

The New York Public Library recently received a copy of Ideal Marriage by Th.H. Van de Velde, M.D. The librarian reports it’s a “very wordy” and scientific guide to sex from 1926. (It’s “certainly more juicy than The Tropic of Cancer,” writes Billy Parrott of the Mid-Manhattan Library.)

It was such a source of shame, it wasn’t returned by the patron, but by his in-laws after the patron’s death:

We found this book amongst my late brother-in-law’s things. Funny thing is the book didn’t support his efforts with his first (and only) marriage… it failed! No wonder he hid the book! So sorry!!

A shocked in-law

Syndicate content