First-Time Caller, Long-Time Writer

January 6th, 2006 · 6 Comments

Next week, BS is hosting the monthly meeting of The Bookclub. This is where women and men get together to drink wine (the post-Christmas gathering is prime timing due to holiday gifts) and eat food. Having mastered macaroni and cheese, we are moving on to a new recipe this year. Should be very exciting. Hmm, […]

File Under: Books/Mags/Blogs

As The Fiction Trends

January 5th, 2006 · Comments Off on As The Fiction Trends

We read Nick Chiles’s opinion piece on the changing face of black fiction with mixed feelings. First, we wanted to take him aside and promise that everything would be all right. Then we realized that popular fiction will never meet his standards; everything would not be all right. For those of you who don’t explore […]

File Under: Books/Mags/Blogs

Books Once Again Safe To Eat

January 4th, 2006 · 1 Comment

As noted by David Thayer recently, Hershey, the maker of fine chocolate products*, decided that no publicity is good publicity. They thought that throwing a fit and saying “no way” to their signature product on a book cover would be a better plan than, oh, having lots and lots of customers walking by the book, […]

File Under: Books/Mags/Blogs · The Business of Publishing

Prognosticating For Beginners

January 4th, 2006 · 2 Comments

Far be it for us to offer tips on how to do one’s job, but, well, we have to go there. We can’t sit back and watch folly. As you’re surely aware, now is the time of year for all manner of lists. A lot of “Best Of” stuff is happening, and a lot of […]

File Under: Books/Mags/Blogs

Smith Wins Last-Ever Whitbread, Sort Of

January 4th, 2006 · Comments Off on Smith Wins Last-Ever Whitbread, Sort Of

Just as the Whitbread conglomerate pulls out of the annual Whitbread awards — apparently they don’t fit the current business model — announcements are made regarding this year’s winners. The British do love their book awards, and they love to draw out the process. You have your long lists, your short lists, your winners, and […]

File Under: Books/Mags/Blogs

In Which We Reveal That Novels Are, Actually, Formulaic

December 29th, 2005 · 4 Comments

As it turns out, the secret to Agatha Christie’s success was not compelling mystery nor enduring characters. This is good news for you — what made Christie’s work unputdownable* was her hypnotic writing style. Yes, the mother was hypnotized all those years. Somehow this puts a pall on our small childhood victories: did we argue […]

File Under: Books/Mags/Blogs

The Ally Sheedy Effect

December 14th, 2005 · Comments Off on The Ally Sheedy Effect

It is rare that we point out the failures of the BS mother, but sometimes we must. Yes, we realize this incursion will lead to a longish catalogue detailing each and every transgression we committed under her roof — we are prepared to take our punishment. The mother missed a golden opportunity during our seventh […]

File Under: Books/Mags/Blogs

Teenage Lit, Or Something Like It

December 6th, 2005 · Comments Off on Teenage Lit, Or Something Like It

We took a wrong turn in the bookstore the other day. One moment, we were blissfully considering cookbooks (for someone else, not the BS household); the next, we were lost in a sea of reading teenagers. Have you ever tried to navigate an aisle filled with kids lost in books? Let us assure you that […]

File Under: Books/Mags/Blogs · The Future of Publishing


December 5th, 2005 · Comments Off on Finally

Some authors simply don’t end well. Neal Stephenson, for example. The man will write forever to avoid ending a book. Also, he seems to have a lot of extra paper or maybe stock in a paper factory. His books tend to rip-roar (in a very broad sense of the term) along before doing everything they […]

File Under: Books/Mags/Blogs · Tools and Craft

More Fun In The New World

December 2nd, 2005 · Comments Off on More Fun In The New World

We’ve long been a fan of Bud Parr of Chekov’s Mistress, so are very excited to see he’s launched a new venture — MetaxuCafe. Using a mix of cool technology (finally a Litblog featuring a folksonomy!) and cool content, Metaxu will, well, we’ll let Bud say it: MetaxuCafé is devoted to highlighting the best content […]

File Under: Books/Mags/Blogs