Reviewing Reviewing

Once More With Feeling: The LATBR Publishes Its Last

July 28th, 2008 · 36 Comments

Rumor has it that I’m going to be on News Hour with Jim Lehrer tonight. I’ll be talking about the demise of the Los Angeles Times Book Review. Eight minutes isn’t near long enough to cover a topic this broad; it’s barely enough to get started with the conversation. Yesterday was the last day for […]

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Cranky, Cranky Post About People Who Don’t Think Before They Write

February 12th, 2008 · 8 Comments

Way back in the day, I was all hot diggety dog (is there a correct spelling for diggety?) about defenders of traditional media dismissing the blogosphere as nothing but a bunch of noise. Since even I can hit prey when shooting fish in a barrel, the sport of exposing holes in logic grew wearisome. I […]

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Stop Your Sobbing

September 18th, 2007 · 14 Comments

At first I was amused. Now I read articles decrying the cutting of newspapers book reviews with barely-contained impatience. I am tired of the hand-wringing, the bemoaning of “loss of culture”, the sense of entitlement many of these articles present. Rather than leading the way to the solution, the writers behind these pieces show, sometimes […]

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Save The Book Review, Save The World

May 1st, 2007 · 13 Comments

As we have seen over the past weeks, there has been much hand-wringing and navel-gazing on the topic of saving newspaper book review sections. To read some pundits, we need to save the world via book reviews (or, at the very least, literacy). We have been ranting about this topic for years now, and, frankly, […]

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Are Newspapers The Best Place To Learn About Books?

March 19th, 2007 · 6 Comments

There has been much talk these past weeks about the decline of the newspaper book coverage. The reason, as we’ve been noting for quite some time, is that the advertising dollars simply do not support the the same kind of coverage that motion picture dollars support. You’ll also, if you take the time, notice that […]

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See, It’s Because Women Can’t Review Military History…

February 26th, 2007 · 10 Comments

It’s a funny thing, isn’t it, how the New York Times Book Review — or rather its editorial staff — keeps digging holes and then tripping headfirst into them. You’d think they’d absorb the knowledge that their male-to-female reviewer ratio is woeful, maybe take some conscious steps to correct the problem, and, well, move on. […]

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Why Maureen Dowd Should Avoid Bookstores

February 14th, 2007 · 6 Comments

Recently, Maureen Dowd went to a bookstore. This shouldn’t be news, but one suspects this was a rare event in her life. One also suspects she’ll avoid the experience in the future. What she saw terrified her: nubile pink books snuggled up against aged gray novels. Surely she thought the sweet young things would take […]

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The Great Paid Review Scandal, Follow-Up

January 25th, 2007 · 7 Comments

We were somewhat intrigued by Slate’s storyon self-published authors and Amazon’s BookSurge division. The fact that BookSurge offers paid reviews as part of the service didn’t make us blink. Sure, we wonder about the authors who believe this is a valuable service, but we’ll get to that in a moment. What gave us pause was […]

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The Value Of Readers

October 27th, 2006 · 12 Comments

We have been following recent discussions about the decline of book coverage in major newspapers with interest. As always, we remain surprised by the lack of discussion about content when it comes to reviewing and discussing books in newspapers. Is it possible that newspapers don’t value book coverage because their readers don’t value book coverage […]

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Our Huh Moment For The Day

February 15th, 2006 · 2 Comments

Maybe it’s that we got up too early, we don’t know, but we’re sitting here in BS Central, and thinking, “Huh?” Sure, the publishing industry moves slowly, but as we read an article on reviews at The Bookseller, we couldn’t help but wonder if we’d flipped back a year. Not that we’d complain on that […]

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