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Japan earthquake at epicenter of new memoir
January 8, 2015 | 6:25 pm

Where the Dead Pause and the Japanese Say GoodbyeMarie Mutsuki Mockett is a Japanese-American writer whose overseas relatives were at the epicenter of the tragic March 11, 2011 killer earthquake and tsunami that devastated the northeast coast of Japan. The author of a novel titled [easyazon-link asin="1555975763" locale="us"]Picking Bones from Ash: A Novel[/easyazon-link], Mockett has written a memoir titled [easyazon-link asin="0393063011" locale="us"]Where the Dead Pause, and the Japanese Say Goodbye[/easyazon-link] that is set to wash across the pages American readers this spring. As the fourth anniversary of the tragic quake and tsunami that killed some 25,000 people approaches, Mockett's book has been timed to appear at an opportune time for reflection...

Juli’s Best Books of 2014
December 30, 2014 | 12:25 pm

best books of 2014Joanna and Paul have done their best books of 2014 articles, and I thought I should do one as well. This year I used Goodreads to track all of my reading, which made it easy to compile my list. I just sorted my 2014 list by 5 stars, something I give infrequently. Out of 220 books read in 2014, I gave 20 of them 5 stars. Selecting from that list, which included several older books and re-reads, here's my best, in no particular order. [easyazon-link asin="0553418025" locale="us"]The Martian[/easyazon-link] by Andy Weir This was selected as the Goodreads Best Science Fiction of 2014, so...

Publishers should offer e-book bundles for lengthy series
December 25, 2014 | 4:00 pm

ferdelanceMerry Christmas, everyone! If you celebrate it, I hope you’re enjoying it; if you don’t, I hope you’re at least enjoying the day off you probably got on account of someone else’s religion. This year, I gave a number of books to people, including a Nero Wolfe novel to my father. And it got me to thinking about how great it would be to read those books again. A number of years ago, I obtained all 47 of them via means less than completely licit (I was a poor college student in those days), and read through them...

Iceland celebrates the most bookish Christmas going with Jólabókaflóð
December 24, 2014 | 4:25 pm

For yet another year, Iceland is on track to cement its reputation for being the most literary society in Scandinavia's already hugely literate constellation of nations and peoples, with Jólabókaflóð. That, when you've finished trying to wrap your tongue, or even your eyes, around it, is Iceland's annual "Christmas book flood," when Icelandic publishers release a tsunami of new publications onto the local market in time for Christmas. This can make for what sounds like the perfect Christmas for book lovers and writers elsewhere. According to one source, "the book is still the most popular Christmas present in Iceland,” and Publishing Perspectives...

2014 in Review, Part 3: What About Paper?
December 24, 2014 | 12:25 pm

2014 in reviewI have written already about my best e-reads of the year, and about how much they cost me and what devices I read them on. But...what about the paper? Yes, you heard that right! On an eBook blog, why would I be writing about reading paper? Because to me, one of the most annoying Threads That Never Die in the eBook world is the myth that this is a zero-sum game, and either paper or eBook is going to 'win' and that will be that. In my home, as in many, there is a mix of eBook and paper. There are...

2014 in Review, Part 2: Book Spending and Stats
December 23, 2014 | 12:25 pm

book spendingI know we still have a few days left in the year, but we are en route as I write this to pick up our holiday guest, and I know I won't get in much reading time while he's here. So this is as good a time as any to wrap up my year. I have posted already about my best books of the year. But how did those books fit into my larger library collection? What are my stats for spending and cost per book looking like now that I have plowed through 50-odd more books? I am an inveterate...

Joanna’s Best Books of 2014
December 16, 2014 | 4:25 pm

best books of 2014It's that time of year again! There are still two weeks left in the year, and that's time enough to find another great book, I guess. But there was so much I loved about my 2014 reading year! I managed just over 50 books, and they covered a range of genres and styles. What were my top reads of the year? In no particular order, my best books of 2014. [easyazon-link asin="1439102775" locale="us"]The Storyteller[/easyazon-link] by Jodi Picoult: The first of my 'read more Jewish books' project, this book was a can't-put-down, in spite of some minor flaws. I found the modern-day character...

BookCon to showcase diversity in books
December 16, 2014 | 2:25 pm

bookcon2015BookCon is showcasing diversity in its 2015 event in a partnership with We Need Diverse Books. BookCon will take place May 30-31 at the Javits Center in New York City. We Need Diverse Books will hold two panels, the first of which includes Hugo Award winners Kameron Hurley (The Mirror Empire) and Ken Liu (The Paper Menagerie), World Fantasy Award winner Nnedi Okorafor (Who Fears Death), Daniel Jose Older (Shadowshaper) and Joe Monti (Executive Editor of Saga Press). Their panel will be a “moderated conversation about the role diversity plays in the genre, their works and their influences,” according to ReedPOP. The...

Connor Cochran rebuts Internet troll’s allegations over Conlan Press product delays
December 8, 2014 | 10:13 pm

connorUpdate: Cochran has determined the responsible party is not his former employee after all; said employee has contacted Cochran in such a way as to convince Cochran it wasn't him, and apologized for his prior behavior. Cochran reports that more evidence has emerged about who the responsible party actually is, and he has provided that information to his lawyers and instructed them to "go after him to the fullest extent of the law. It’s never easy to have to deal with trolls, and Connor Cochran, publisher of Conlan Press, best known for publishing works of Peter S. Beagle including The Last...

I’m a lover – AND a reader
November 30, 2014 | 2:25 pm

KindlesBibliophiles looking to get plain old phile can draw comfort from apparent scientific proof of how good their reading habits can be for their love lives. A recent article in Elite Daily summarizes this, although it also claims that: "readers, like voicemail leavers and card writers, are now a dying breed, their numbers decreasing with every GIF list and online tabloid. The worst part about this looming extinction is that readers are proven to be nicer and smarter than the average human, and maybe the only people worth falling in love with on this shallow hell on earth." Kindle sales figures and...

Zelig and the art of winning a Pulitzer: Q&A with J. Ross Baughman, photojournalist
November 30, 2014 | 12:25 pm

nazisphotographedbyjrossbaughmanImagine you’re with the Secret Service. A young Ohioan calls up and says he’ll be joining the Nazi Party. “I wanted you to know.” Wait---the story gets even better. The Ohio man already has been within shooting range of presidential candidates. J. Ross Baughman isn’t a real Nazi, however. Instead he is a photojournalist for my old newspaper, and he is about to infiltrate the National Socialist movement. My friend is merely trying to keep his name off the Secret Service’s watch list so he can continue his campaign coverage. A letter co-signed by his editor does the trick. The Nazis think...

The wonderful book-loving graphics of Tom Gauld
November 28, 2014 | 12:25 pm

Tom Gauld formatsProbably many of you will have noticed these bibliophilic graphics in passing, without realizing that they all came from the same source. So now it's time to pay due tribute to Tom Gauld, who has produced some of the most fun, insightful, and reverential short book-related strips, magazine cover illustrations, and other graphic art around. He lives and works out of London, but features on the cover of The New Yorker and elsewhere worldwide - plus of course, on the internet and social media, where he's almost become a meme creator of choice. As well as the hilarious Formats of the...