Links that made me think
I’ve got a bunch of tabs here with articles that might be interesting to bookish folk:
Jessa Crispin’s trip to the London Book Fair had me laughing hysterically. It’s hard to pick the funniest bits out, but here is one, from the section on a panel about how to make publishing sexy: “None of the panelists are younger than 50, and none of them has anything to say about making publishing sexy. Instead they talk about books’ “transformative powers,” followed by a discussion lasting a solid seven minutes on peer-reviewed science journals that seems to have come from Mars. Everyone but the talking physicist is looking around, confused. The panelists avoid eye contact with one another and have taken a sudden interest in the ceiling tiles. Finally, after uttering the sentence, “1642 is my favorite year of our nation’s history,” University of Bristol’s Emeritus Professor of Physics Sir John Enderby stops talking, and the rest of the panel goes back to this question of how to get more people to read. Talking about books in the same language one would describe the benefits of a daily multivitamin is maybe not the best way to sex up the industry.”
Bookdwarf wrote about a great essay by Rebecca Solnit, and relates it back to books. Make sure you read the essay she links to; it’s profound and funny. It’s a strange thing, talking about gender in fiction, because it is true that women often seem to dominate the industry in many ways, except for in the accolades dept. It often reminds me of how the majority of teachers in an elementary school are almost always women, but there’s a better than average chance that the principal will be a man.
And speaking of diversity in fiction, here’s an older post from The Angry Black Woman that I found recently about how to promote it. If the publishing industry cares at all about actual diversity in fiction, reading this would be a good place to start.
In closing, here’s something for you to do for the next 15 minutes, and a guarantee it’ll make you think (in my case, about books, of course, and how they fit into this general idea of a “cognitive surplus”). It’s a video of Clay Shirky, recent author of Here Comes Everybody, found (obviously) on Warren Ellis’ website (you may have also seen it on Boingboing). Very cool, as long as you cover your ears and hum when he tells people to buy his book on Amazon.
Look for an update later today of the beginning-to-teeter stack of recently read books!