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Author Archive: "Brockman"

Book News: Obama’s Wilsonian Moment, eBook Delays, and More

  • Presidential Parallels: Tomorrow, President Obama accepts the Nobel Peace Prize. Writing for The Daily Beast, John Milton Cooper, Jr. examines the parallels between Obama and Woodrow Wilson, the last U.S. president to win the prestigious award.

    Obama, like Wilson, has drawn both praise and condemnation for his soaring rhetoric, but, like Wilson, he looks for practical, down-to-earth measures to advance his ideals. Just as Marx once said, "I am no Marxist, just Karl Marx," Wilson's ghost could say, "I am no Wilsonian, just Woodrow Wilson."

    Ironically — because Wilson oversaw a racist administration and failed to deal with racial injustice — no president since has resembled him more than Barack Obama. Their public images are strikingly similar, cool, deliberative, thoughtful, and each was a professor before entering politics. Soaring eloquence is something else they have in common. Presidents no longer write all their own speeches the way Wilson did, but Obama's two books show that he likewise owes his eloquence to himself, not his staff.

Book News: Palin Gets Bushwhacked, Harry Potter Gets Naked, and More

  • You Throw Toe-may-toes, I Throw Tah-mah-toes: A Sarah Palin "fan" went rogue and threw some tomatoes at the would-be president unemployed memoirist during a book reading at the Mall of America.

    Both messy missiles launched from a balcony missed the former vice presidential candidate but one caught Bloomington Police Commander Mark Stehik right in the puss.

    That got Olson busted for suspicion of assault and disorderly conduct. He also may be charged with assaulting a cop.

    Ouch! Good thing he forgot his shoes.

  • Save Ferris: Then We Came to the End author Joshua Ferris has a new novel, The Unnamed, coming in January.

    Ferris contributes an essay on Jonathan Franzen's The Corrections to the Guardian's examination of the most influential books of the closing decade.

Book News: Amazon’s Fake Store, Scrooge Rewritten, and More

  • The Story that Wasn't: If a news story gets debunked before the next news cycle, did it ever really exist? Or was it the proverbial falling tree in the proverbial forest that no one proverbially heard?

    Yesterday, the Sunday Times announced that Amazon is opening its first brick-and-mortar store — and in the UK, of all places:

    Property landlords said that the American company, which has a market value of $59.1 billion (£35.6 billion), had launched a secret search for bricks-and-mortar stores to support its rapidly growing website. It is understood to be scouring the country for high-profile sites just as the Borders book chain is shutting up shop.

    It represents an extraordinary reversal from the dotcom boom, when there were fears that internet shopping would kill off the high street. It would also be the most high-profile move by a web-only retailer into stores.

    *shockwhispergaspwhisperheadshake* You can just imagine how atwitter this would make the publishing industry and its followers (especially on Twitter!). Except...

Book News: New Hunger Games, Scary Fairy Tales, and More

Today's Bits: poe's first book at auction. scary fairy tales. new hunger games. and more.

  • Going Once: A rare copy of Edgar Allan Poe's first book, Tamerlane and Other Poems, is expected to fetch some pretty pennies at Christie's auction house. The volume was published in 1827 when Poe was still a teenager.

    "This is known as the black tulip of U.S. literature," said Francis Wahlgren, head of books and manuscripts at Christie's in New York, which expects to get from $500,000 to $700,000 for the book on Friday. To the best of Wahlgren's recollection, the record is $250,000 for a copy of "Tamerlane" sold at auction nearly two decades ago.

    No more than 40 or 50 copies of "Tamerlane" were printed, and only 12 remain. Poe's name doesn't even grace the cover of the 40-page book, which is credited to "a Bostonian."

Book News: Bad Sex, Geek Fight, and more

Today's Bits: the best worst sex. geek loves to kicks ass. n.y. times picks of the year. meyer's legal victory. and more.

  • Like the Bad Pizza Award: Many authors would kill for awards recognition. In the case of the Bad Sex Award, however, the honor may not be very honorary. Or is it?

    Sometime nominee Ian McEwan, one of Britain’s greatest novelists, once graciously described the Bad Sex Awards as the prize every writer longs to win. He has yet to join the ranks of John Updike, Norman Mailer, and Tom Wolfe, all of whom, in the awards' 17 years, have been judged to have inflicted on readers the worst piece of erotic writing of the year.

Book News: McCarthy’s Typewriter, New Lost Promo, and more

Today's Bits: the road to mccarthy's typewriter. best lost promo ever. glimpse of deathly hallows. rouge goes to stores. and more.

Book News: Absentee Edition

Today's Bits: end of the aughts. stephenie meyer's comic.

I'm afraid I'll be gone from the blog scene until Wednesday, December 2nd. But here are some links to keep you occupied in the meantime...

  • It Begins (and Ends): The Onion AV Club has compiled its list of the best books of the '00s.

    Oh yeah, you read that right: it's time for end-of-the-decade lists!

    Are you suddenly flashing back to the end of the '90s lists that you could swear ran just a year or two ago? (Or, perhaps, vividly recalling that shopping trip to buy propane tanks and bottled water for the earth-shattering Y2K catastrophe that temporarily derailed all of civilization?)

    News flash, kids grown-ups: it's been TEN YEARS.

Book News for Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Today's Bits: palin goes rogue on fans. the road to the big screen. book snuggling. and more.

  • Going (Away) Rogue: Last Thursday in Noblesville, Indiana, hundreds of people allegedly waited more than three hours for Sarah Palin to sign their copies of Going Rogue, her memoir.

    Then the author and unemployed ex-governor did something truly mavericky: she went rogue on her fans.

    'Cause who needs supporters who are so fanatic about you that they'll wait in line for three-plus hours just to get your signature?

    As Palin marches out of the bookstore, the crowd can be heard chanting, "Sign! Our! Books!" And also booing. The 2012 campaign is off to a great start.

Book News for Monday, November 23, 2009

Today's Bits: new moon rises high. b&n and sony e-sold out. king on carver. fiction sued for libel. and more.

  • Full Moon: As expected, the second Twilight film, New Moon, sucked the competition dry at the box office this weekend.

    The swoony flick that turns vampires and werewolves from awesome, scary things into wimpy emo heartthrobs raked in $140.7 million in North America alone, plus another $118 million from foreign markets, for a grand total of $258.8 million, making it the seventh-biggest opening weekend of all time.

Book News for Friday, November 20, 2009

Today's Bits: oprah calls it quits. new moon rises. lost in february. and more.

  • Au Revoir, Oprah: In news that's guaranteed to send publishers into convulsions of horror, Oprah Winfrey is announcing on today's episode that she is folding up her talk show.

    Wipe away those tears, Oprah fans: she's turning her attention toward an entire cable network.

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