Literary comic time

Some people seem to prefer Hark! A vagrant to Qwantz. In the interest of fairness, check out this series of Hark! A vagrant comics about The Great Gatsby. And then we can vote and all agree that Qwantz is number one.

Chocolate chocolate chocolate

Check it out: 5 best books about chocolate. I want!

Twitter and grammar, things that make me vomit edition

I have a personal policy, that involves eschewing e-contact with all people who use text speak, can't spell, and abuse emoticons (you get one per conversation. This is a strict rule that is enforced with real-life slaps once we finally meet up). That said, I choose to avoid the bad spellers (Firefox has built in spell check. Use it, please), the terrible grammarians, and emoticon abusers. I don't seek them out or, God forbid, try to fix their mistakes, like these Twitter grammar jerks.

And yes, I realize that someone who has a blog dedicated to commenting and occasionally judging stuff (who, me?) is throwing rocks from a glass house, but seriously, this is like going to visit the monkeys at the zoo and complaining when they throw shit. It's what monkeys do. Sure, there are some non-shit flinging monkeys, and some grammatically correct Twitter-ers, but not many.

Plus, seriously, it's like bailing out the Titanic with a thimble. Smoochy was wrong: you can't change the world, and you also can't make a dent.


Outer space + reading = awesome

Outer space is super awesome. Case and point made by this picture, taken from the Hubble:
Check out an explanation of what this picture is and even more pictures, from the book Hubble: A Journey Through Space and Time by Edward J. Weiler, at Boing Boing. They include the Sombrero Galaxy! Man, I wish I were a scientist.

Futuristic dinosaur space fairy tales

Question: is there anything better than Qwantz? Answer: of course not.

Why yes, you do have time to read the entire archive during your lunch break. And I can tell you from experience: don't forget to read the rollover text, or you'll have to read the whole archive a second time.

What a million teen weddings and subsequent pregnancies look like

Are you a teen who read the Twilight books, and was inspired by the message of abstinence? Do you find solace in the series' portrayal of the creepily controlling behavior of an older man toward an easily influenced young woman? Have you found your own creepy controlling older man, and want to perhaps indulge in your hormones without the patina of sin?

If so, you're in luck, my friend! Just email your hundred year old honey the link to buy this replica of the engagement ring Edward gave to Bella (with real diamonds!), and you'll be at it like rabbits in no time.

Then all you'll have to do is get pregnant with your own demon spawn and allow it to literally kill you because you decided not to consider options like the pill, the ring, the patch, the shot, an IUD, or fucking condoms. And if you're really lucky, you might just get your own episode of 16 and Pregnant.


Men can't read, or so I hear

At HuffPo we find former editor Jason Pinter talking about why publishers don't think men read. He writes about pitching a book by professional wrestler Chris Jericho to a room full of New York editor:
Needless to say, pitching Jericho's book to my editorial board was like pitching iPads to the Amish. A whole lot of blank stares and a whole lot of people saying 'I don't get it'. Now, this is not the fault of the individuals, but it is the fault of a system in which in a room of 15-20 people, not one of them knew what I was talking about.
I think there is something to be said about the gender disparity in publishing, just like there's something to be said about the geographical and political clustering in the industry. But Chris Jericho? Ech.

A guide to editorial positions

Associate editor, editor, managing editor, editor-in-chief--what do all of these things mean? Well, check out this guide. A sample:
Assistant Editor – this person is not even an editor, just some uncreative person with an English degree who’s in charge of adding or removing commas. They also have to replace curly quotes with straight quotes, and remembering where all the italics were when somebody loses the HTML. This person wears glasses, and was not loved as a child.
Don't say I never solved anything for you.

I do not like green eggs, that schmutz, I do not like it, what a putz*

Yiddish has slowly been dying out for generations, reader types, with no solution in sight. Until now, with Dr. Seuss in Yiddish. And it's good, I hear:
Dr Seuss works improbably well in Yiddish. Yiddish's strength is its onomatopoeic expressiveness; and it contains a lot of Germanic words that are cognates for their English equivalents (such as "bloyer," which means "blue;" and "fish," which means "fish!"), but they're pitch-bent enough to make them sound a little off-kilter, which makes them perfect for a Seussian rhyme.
Hurray for the doctor!

*Yes, I'm using "putz" and "schmutz" as a slant rhyme. No comments.


Call me Ishmael, one fierce tenor

After the news about the Atonement opera, I thought there was nowhere to go but to the land of less insane. With the rise of the Moby Dick opera, I can safely say: I was so, so wrong.

Moby Dick opera-style at the Dallas Opera now, but, with its inevitable success, I can only hope it will come to NYC and the Met, so I can see how they get a live sperm whale on the stage.* Ben Heppner, who plays Ahab, has this to say:
“I’m still trying to find my sea legs, which I guess I mean as a pun,” Mr. Heppner said after hobbling through his second day of rehearsals on the artificial limb his role requires....“Ahab is beautifully written for my voice,” Mr. Heppner said, “But today that peg leg was rubbing hard on my shinbone. I’d never thought about that, or I might have been less eager. But we’re making progress.”
And artist with the soul of a guy who doesn't like to have to wear things that chafe--we may be in love.

*Yes, I fully believe the Met would and could do this. Because they are bad ass.

No one buys book apps, we are all screwed

In a majestically depressing graph, which you can check out here, we find that, while book related apps account for 18% of the apps in the iPhone app store, they only account for 3% of downloads. And, as we learned from the whole "Kindle bestsellers" thing, downloads do not mean purchases.

The caveats here are, of course, 1) that these stats were mostly collected prior to the launch of the iPad and thus Apple's bookstore, 2) that the Amazon app is a single app that you can use to download many books, and 3) these stats are crowdsourced, not official from Apple, so the potential for discrepancies are huge.

That said, I think the only right thing to do is panic about the demise of the industry. Woe to all of us, the book is dead.

Librarians pick books through arcane methods like "reading reviews"

Abigail Goben posted about how she decides which books to buy for her library. She says she reads reviews, listens to others in her field, and keeps herself well connected through the interwebs.

She of course forgot to mention the true decider: witchcraft. Dum dum duuummmm.

...She also explains what you can do as an author to not creep out librarians and get them to buy your book. Victory, information!



Reading at Rikers

Jamie Niehof, an intern with the Correctional Services Program, wrote a post for the New York Public Library about running the library at Rikers. My favorite part was:
Each prisoner is allowed one book and one magazine. The most popular books are by far James Patterson's novels, so popular in fact that we have to lock them up after book service because they tend to disappear. I wonder if James Patterson has any idea. National Geographic is the magazine of choice, and there is an entire box of them to choose from, some as far back as the early 80's. Urban magazines and books were in high demand, with almost no supply.
God, James Patterson is popular literally everywhere.

Joyce Carol Oates on widowhood

Joyce Carol Oates writes in the Atlantic about her first year as a widow, and it is one of the sadder things I have read. She writes:
My job at the university is to impersonate “Joyce Carol Oates.”

Strictly speaking, I am not impersonating this individual, since “Joyce Carol Oates” doesn’t exist, except as an author-identification. On the spines of books shelved in certain libraries and bookstores you will see OATES but this is a descriptive term, this is not a noun.

This is not a person. This is not a life.

A writing-life is not a life.
Absolutely worth the read.

The queasiness of the MFA

Lionel Shriver did an interview with Big Think in which she slams the "indulgent middle class gestalt" of getting an MFA. While she herself has one, she says:
I sometimes feel, in retrospect, I should have gotten a proper education in something like history....If I'm going to be honest, what I really needed in my early twenties was an audience.
She finds "something unwholesome" in awarding a degree that, for most students, has a best case scenario that allows you to teach classes for others to get that same degree--an issue prevalent in most higher education humanities and art degrees.


Spellings, I haz it?

After the previous news about cooking with "ground black people," the Book Bench put together a list of poor spelling and copyediting through history.

This includes the Bible that encourages, "Thou shalt commit adultery." In other news, this Bible has been sanctioned by the Anglican Church to only be valid on opposite day.

PS I considered writing this whole post as a LolCat, but decided against it. Ur welkomz!

That's what she said: Literary haterade

Writers are notoriously cranky, reader types, not only in regard to their own work, but also in regard to the work of others. And sometimes, they just want to throw down. Like Faulkner on Mark Twain:
A hack writer who would not have been considered fourth rate in Europe, who tricked out a few of the old proven sure fire literary skeletons with sufficient local color to intrigue the superficial and the lazy.

That is what the kids would call "a burn," I believe. And there are 49 more! Click click, sirs and madams.

Also, thank you michael for sending this along!

Knowledge of volcanoes trumps that of zombies

Hello, American friends stuck in Europe and European friends stuck everywhere but Europe. Are you mad about this whole Iceland/volcano thing? If so, I hope you are only mad at yourself, for not being properly prepared for the temporary volcano apocalypse in the same manner that I'm sure all of you are ready for the zombie apocalypse and Y2K part 2 (The Reckoning).

For those of you who are sure you would be ready for volcanobliteration, take this quiz of volcano knowledge (um, about volcanoes in literature) and see how you stand. Stand ye strong?

I took this quiz and got 5 out of 10, and the admonition, "Don't blow your top, but nothing much erupted there." So maybe someone else should be in charge of our survival from volcanoes. Volunteers?


The art of the anonymous review (hint: only do it if you're nice)

People really love to leave mean comments on blog and nasty reviews on Amazon. But guess what--you may be unmasked! This happened to Dr. Stephanie Palmer, the wife of a British academic, who flamed other academic texts on Amazon.

Well, that blew up in her face.

So you need a typeface?

Check out the flowchart. Flowcharts for life!

Bitches be crazy, Victorian style

There are many (many) crazy ladies in literature, but they're especially concentrated in Victorian literature. But were they really crazy, or just regular type ladies who were interested in sex?

Just something to think about.


Ground black pepper is decidedly not "ground black people"

A misprint in an Australian cookbook (in which "people" was substituted for "pepper" of the "ground black" variety) cost $20k to fix. Now, this super sucks, and is one of the worse possible typos. The publisher's response?
"When it comes to the proofreader, of course they should have picked it up, but proofreading a cook-book is an extremely difficult task. I find that quite forgivable."
Of course it's forgivable! It's not like you pay proofreaders to keep you from having to recall for misprints.

Failed screenwriters of yesterday are the intellectuals of yesterday

In an excerpt from Eli Batuman's book, "The Possessed: Adventures With Russian Books and the People Who Read Them," Salon publishes a list of screenplays written by people famous for not being stifled screenwriters. This includes Winston Churchill, Jean-Paul Sartre, Aldous Huxley, and, of course, Vladimir Nabokov:
As a struggling young writer in Berlin, Vladimir Nabokov once wrote a phenomenally depressing screenplay titled "The Love of a Dwarf" (1924). The protagonist, a sexually frustrated London circus dwarf, has a one-night stand with the depressed, childless wife of a circus magician. The dwarf quits the circus and retires to a small northern town, waiting vainly for the magician’s wife to join him. Eight years later, she turns up on his doorstep, announces that he has a son, and rushes away. The dwarf pursues her, but dies of a heart attack at her feet. To the gathering onlookers, the magician’s wife announces that her son died a few days ago. In 1939, Esquire printed a short-story version of "The Love of a Dwarf," titled "The Potato Elf": it was Nabokov’s first American publication.

That is all.

George Washington: Thieving scalawag

George Washington forgot to return 2 library books in 1789, and now owes $300,000 in library dues. Shame on you, father of our nation. Returning library books is a civic duty, sir.


Reading and gaming: So happy together

Are you a serious gamer, reader type? If so, you may want to read the 5 best books about video games. Because reading about video games and playing video games go hand in hand.

But don't read and play at the same time, or you will fall off your Wii Fit and develop a sex addiction. You can't make this stuff up, guys.

Librarians won't tell you what to do...

They'll just send you really passive-aggressive notices.

Amazing. Click click, sirs.

Go read my roundup

Over at Pimp My Novel. Unless you've already read it, in which case: besos for you, sir or madam.


Crowdsourcing Glenn Beck

Glenn Beck fans of the world, prepare yourselves to vote on the cover of his novel. Just think: Lady Liberty, or Lad Liberty?

Professor of vice, scholar of debauchary

It turns out academics do more fun stuff that I had previously thought. First we found this analysis of the ethics of vampirism (and part 2 is up!), and now we have Mara L. Keire of Oxford, who writes about American red light districts. She says:
I wanted to write a history of American drug culture, but I soon discovered that if I wanted to talk about the regulation of drugs, I really needed to understand the regulation of alcohol. And to understand the limitations on drinking, I needed to grapple with people’s attitudes toward saloons. Once I started reading the anti-saloon literature, I soon realized that reformers were more concerned about men drinking with prostitutes than with workers grabbing a beer. In other words, step by step I found that I was studying red-light districts: the environment for vice, not simply vice itself.
So. Smart. Please be my friend!

Readers, overwhelmed by choice, implode and buy nothing

Book pricing has gone haywire. Peter Osnos at the Atlantic uses David Remnick's The Bridge as an example of the pricing craziness (although he could also have pointed to the forthcoming Twilight novella):
Here are the ways you can buy it: the hardcover list price is $29.95 and the CD audio lists at $50. But that is barely the beginning. Amazon sells the printed book for $16.47, the Kindle e-book version for $14.82, the audio CD for $31.50, and the downloadable audio for $34.12. B&N.com has a "member" price for the hardcover of $15.52 and the CD for $36. At Borders.com, the book is $17.97. The Sony Reader e-book is $14.50.
What Osnos takes away from this is that a) things are bananas in publishing, and b) readers should take advantage before they figure it out. I think it probably has more to do with the ease of comparing prices, as bookstores have always had the discretion of their own pricing (although fewer format options).

Just remember, in your shopping, that some people are not so fond of the Apple bookstore, even though vooks are big in iPad world.


Revisting the past, YA style

A new trend in the blogosphere is rereading childhood books and mocking their hilarity. Also enjoying the awesomeness that was Sweet Valley.

How to write the sexy bits

Russell Smith put together a guide to writing your own graphic sex in novels (not sex in graphic novels, although perhaps the advice would also apply?). I think the trick might be, "If you are snickering, so is everyone else."

Verily, thus Shakespeare tweeted

Shakespeare characters tweet, verily they do!


Hit Girl, Kick Ass, and language

On his blog, author China Mieville (who I think is a wonderful author, for what it's worth) put up an interesting analysis of the use of the word "c*nts" by an 11 year old girl in the movie "Kick Ass," in particular discussing the difference between how the term is used in the US and the UK. He writes:
When used as an epithet on either side of the Atlantic, c*nt has been invaluable to a misogynist agenda. There has, however, always been something explicit, & thus both exact but socially limiting, about the American version: used to attack women by describing them as their supposedly self-evidently loathsome vaginas, the cuss proclaims itself the woman-hatred it is. The British (& Antipodean) tradition, by contrast, in designating the vulva the telos of shittiness indiscriminately, though it may blunt the sheer stiletto specificity of the sexism, allows for a multitasking of spite: against a particular person, usually a man, predicated on that against an entire gender.
Mieville goes on to say that "Kick Ass" may well herald an age in which the c-word becomes regularly used for both genders, which will push the American meaning of the word to the neuter of the UK. I vigorously (very vigorously) disagree. It is not uncommon to hear men told "not to be a bitch," the implication being that their behavior is feminized and unacceptable. Similarly, I think that the use of the c-word toward men will convey the same negative concept of acting in a feminine way.

Now, Jezebel also addresses the representation of women in "Kick Ass," and deals with the c-word, and I am an unabashed Jezebel lover. However, Jezebel fails to recognize the teleology of the vulva, and doesn't use the word "gynophobia" (the lamest of phobias), so I'm a little torn on which interpretation to prefer.

Dothraki is real, squees from my face

So, ok, deep breaths: HBO created a grammar for the language Dothraki from A Game of Thrones. No I'm not that excited whatever shut up.

Charles Dickens: May have been a dick

So, rumor has it that Charles Dickens was not always so nice. To quote:
At the age of 45, [Dickens] decided that his wife no longer deserved his love, and he made her leave their home--her youngest children were then 9 and 6. "To think of the poor matron after 22 years of marriage going away out of her house!" said Thackeray at the time. The chattering classes probably knew about it, but Dickens continued to write his books celebrating the healing of families, the love of young sweethearts and the creation of new homes - while his discarded wife tried to preserve her early letters from her husband in order to prove to the children he tried to estrange from her that there was indeed a time when her husband had loved her.
But the question remains: does it matter if novelists are good people? Hopefully not, because if so, we are down to way fewer books to read, world.


Vampires do shop at Whole Foods

An open call to Emily Colette Wilkinson: please be my friend. Although I ever so slightly mocked this conference on vampires in modern writing, and still think it is a little silly, Wilkinson has written a really amazing analysis of vampirism in the Twilight and Sookie Stackhouse books, which made my inner psuedo-academic fall in love. She writes:
Our vegetarian vampires, I think, are afflicted with the same crises of conscience that we are as first-world twenty-first century humans. We eat too much, we shop too much, we use too much fuel, water, land; we mistreat the animals on which we depend for food and the other peoples whose labor produces for us the cheap abundant goods we have all grown so used to....Contemporary vampire fiction mirrors our collective anxiety about our need for self-discipline and a return to a more humane approach to our fellow beings....From the shimmering pâleur of the vampire radiates something new and hardly otherworldly: an aura of white liberal guilt.
The whole post is absolutely worth the read, and is only the first of two. Is there such a thing as being a pop culture PhD? Because if so, I will start working on stuff like this posthaste.

Young explorers, unite for nature

Things everyone loves this time of year: rediscovering that there is life outside, enjoying said life outside, adventures. For the tiny people around, this isn't always a "rediscovery" so much as a first time discovery. But how can we interest them in the great outdoors while secretly educating them?

This list of nature focused picture books is the equivalent of hiding carrots in cookies. They'll never know that education has hit them square between the eyes.

1770, a great year for sex

The 1770s, which saw the American Revolutionary War and the beginning of Britain's industrial revolution, was a trying decade for England. Luckily, that timeframe also saw the publication of the erotic pamphlet, The Crafty Chambermaid.

While we all appreciate ye olde erotica (Boccaccio, looking at you), not only is this original mass market written in verse, but the titles of the three segments are faboosh, being "How the young Merchant fell in Love with his Mother's Chambermaid"; "How they met in a Grove, where the young Merchant attempted her chastity"; and "How the Crafty Chambermaid outwitted the Merchant, by putting an old Bunter to her bed, which so affrighted him that he ran down Stairs and alarmed the Family; Concluding with their happy Marriage, and other things of Note".

Also from the article:
Another title in the collection is The Devonshire Garland. "This one's slightly racier," said custodian Emma Wright. "It includes incest and all sorts of things – the main protagonist dies when she realises she's inadvertently slept with her son."
People in the 1770s really knew how to party.


I will break you! Son of a biscuit.

This video is dual purpose: it is hilarious, and it quells my desire to have kids. They are loud, and, in this case, super rude. I would have been in time out about 15 times during this 10 minute video if I had pulled these stunts when I was 3. Actually, I would still be in time out now.End digression, commence video!

To quote Zaylee: I will break you! If you don't watch this. Although if you watch the outtakes, you worry that this is how the Britney Spears-es and Lindsay Lohans of the world got started. First it's a Flip camera and some chocolate chips, next it's Disney stardom and rehabs. Stay strong, Zaylee!

Glenn Beck owns you

Glenn Beck, giant crying man child, made $13 million this year from publishing. This is not counting his other endeavors.

Why yes, I am super jealous and bitter. How did you know?

Read my round up or face my wrath

Seriously, I will sic a dinosaur on you if you don't read my round up. Go read!


Decoding Palin, don'tcha know

Honestly, I can't remember if Sarah Palin ever said "don'tcha know" or if that was only the mom from Bobby's World, but either way, I think the point is made that Palin has some great folksy shit to say. Luckily, for those of us too bourgeois to understand the peasant dialect she speaks, a translation has arrived.

But seriously, it's a really interesting analysis of how Palin speaks, and how she conveys her message through her style. You betcha!

An anthropological look at vampire lit

The University of Hertfordshire is putting on a conference about vampires in literat...books. And it looks to be a doozy! Potential topics include:
  • sexuality and the (living or undead) body  
  • Goth culture 
  • celluloid vampires: adaptations and incarnations
  • teen vampire/zombie fiction 
  • blood, money, and circulation 
  • the Undead as Other (nationality, class, gender, etc.)
Guys. We are ALL GOING. To quote the cinema: pack your shit! Pack your shit! We gotta get out of here!

Classics be damned, one star!

Over at Salon, Jeanette Demain writes about the rash of one star reviews for classics on Amazon. Just because something is called a classic doesn't mean it's any good, sirs. My favorite review she cites is about Charlotte's Web:
I really didn't care that Wilbur won first prize. And how in the world does a pig and a spider become friends? It's beyond me....Even as a child I found the plot very far-fetched. It is because of this horrid book that I eat sausage every morning and tell my dad to kill every spider I see.
And my day has been made. Go to the link to check out all of the poorly spelled and completely ungrammatical rants. You will not be sorry.


Judy Blume quiz!

Check it out, ladies and gents. I scored a 64%, which is higher than Jessica at Jezebel. Beat that!

What Phillip Pullman means to me

Phillip Pullman has been around the internet a lot lately, because of his new book about Jesus and the controversy it has stirred, as well has his views on the future of publishing and on censorship. However, his fantasy trilogy, His Dark Materials, is still the jewel in his crown, and Intelligent Life has a great analysis of Pullman's style, taking a look at the things that make him the writer he is.

When asked how to become an expert on art, Rabo Karabekian replies, "All you have to do, my dear, is look at a million paintings, and then you can never be mistaken." The same can be said for great writing--all you have to do, my dears, is read a million books (and probably think about how they're written), and you'll never be mistaken about good and bad writing again. One analysis down, 999,999 to go.

Number crunching: Family fun

Publishers Weekly put out a revised list of 2009 book sales, fiction and non-fiction, hard covers and mass markets. What's really interesting (and perhaps obvious) is that almost all of the top selling titles are by authors who are franchises in and of themselves.


I super do want an iPad, it turns out

So, yea, I think in theory the iPad has a lot of weird problems, and I understand that no Flash, and no USB ports, and the weird keyboard issues, are all bad. And these beautifully rounded up iPad skeptics do point to something important.

But...it is so. Shiny. Apple, how do you make everything so desirable? Clearly the answer is that Steve Jobs is a wizard.

In which stalking pays off

Step 1: Write a book.
Step 2: Get book rejected many, many, many many times.
Step 3: Find the address of famous people who run a television book club.
Step 4: Book deal!

Yes, this is the only way to get a book deal. Commence stalking, all ye who enter here.

The First Brother-in-Law spills

And boy, does he have some nice, enthusiastic, and encouraging things to say. Note to Craig Robinson: you're doing tell-all wrong.

Robinson, brother of the First Lady, has a memoir coming out, in which he wrote about his parents meeting not-yet-President Obama. Verdict? "'Too bad,' Marian said. 'Yep,' Fraser answered. 'She'll eat him alive.'"

This is, of course, the prequel to Robinson's novel about zombie Michelle Obama, in which she literally eats Pres-bama alive.


Consumers and t-shirts and lit, oh my!

America is the land of consumerism and capitalism, folks, and culture and money have always gone hand in hand. The best way to spend your money may be on these literary t-shirts. Super cool!

Plus, if you wear one of those shirts, and use one of these book covers, you can read Twilight or erotica on the subway, and no one will be the wiser.

Eating, reading, and Laura Ingalls Wilder

I have a deep love for Laura Ingalls Wilder--at first, when I was little, almost entirely because she was another Laura, but later because her adventures were so awesome. Now I have another reason to love: her written food-gasm. Pete Wells writes:
Some of Wilder’s accounts of hog butchering are exact enough to serve as manuals. If you have a big enough pot (and the fortitude to scrape out a pig’s cranium), you could follow her directions for boiling the head meat, then chopping, seasoning, cooling and shaping it. You would have head cheese. And while her description of Ma’s cooking off the fat in big iron pots over a wood stove might not inspire can-do confidence in a first-time lard renderer, it does, in fact, give a reasonably complete picture of the process, down to the skimming and draining of the crunchy solids, the cracklings.
Om nom nom. Plus, he includes recipes! Hurray, Laura Ingalls Wilder, greatest of writers and first food writer I ever cared about.

Prison bloggers, unite

Lil' Wayne, recently incarcerated rap artist, has begun blogging from jail. Now, I don't particularly care about what he has to say, but Gawker put together a great post comparing Lil' Wayne's prison blogging to great prison writers of old, including St. Paul and the Marquis de Sade.

Prison: can super help your writing. That advice is free to all you aspiring novelists!


April Fools is over, thank God

I really dislike April Fools Day, mostly because it makes sifting through the internet really, really irritating. Luckily, someone put all of the AFD literary shenanigans together, so we won't all tear our hair out all weekend trying to get to the bottom of the truth (which, contrary to popular belief, I can indeed handle).

Villainous, authors

Some authors are bad, reader types. Not only in the "talent" sense, but also, often, in the cinematic "what a bad ass or a crazy" way. And, oh look, a gallery of the best of these bad authors!

How convenient.

Round up time

At PMN. check it out!


E-books ruin America, make babies and puppies cry

The people are angry, reader types--angry at the e-book overlords. First they won't display all book covers on iTunes, which makes for the crankness. Very enraging, and it's only the tip of the iceberg!

Then the e-books make it harder to flirt on the subway, because you can't see the cover and strike up a conversation (even when the reader is perhaps actively giving you dissuading vibes and non-committal answers and is on her way to work and doesn't want to talk to anyone and is already lobbying to be one of someone's many fiancees and oh em gee please stop talking to me).

Also, e-books are putting monks out of business. Have ye no decency, sirs?

Twilight returns, funds blood suckers

Stephenie Meyer wrote a new novella! Which she's giving away for free on her website! Which stars a vampire who was in Twilight! And if you do buy it, money will be donated to the Red Cross! Which I assume was picked because it's ironic to have vampirism benefit blood donation! But I'm not sure, and might be giving people too much credit!

And now I am exhausted, from that sincere level of enthusiasm.

Nicholas Sparks-ize your movie

Nicholas Sparks, you are so good at writing really similar books and making people buy them. Give me your secret potion sir!

Oh, wait, someone else already found it, and showed us what 10 movies would be like if they were inspired by Nicholas Sparks novels. So...good...

Plus, thank you, great Rejectionist, for sending along the link, with the subject line "HAHAHAHAHA" and no text in the body of the email. You read my friggin mind.