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Authors, readers, critics, media — and booksellers.


Book News for Monday, February 19, 2007

  • Kristin Hersh Hersh So Good: Blog contributor, lead singer of Throwing Muses and 50FootWave, and solo artist in her own right Kristin Hersh will make an in-store appearance at the Music Millennium on Northwest 23rd Ave. See her live this Wednesday the 21st at 6:00 p.m, promoting her new album, Learn to Sing Like a Star.

    Pitchfork writes of the album, "[Hersh's] voice has that edgy intimacy it's always had, and sometimes the crashing strings even accentuate it and build it into something huge....And she's still as powerful a presence as she ever was."

    If you speak to Kristin at the event, tell her you heard about it on the blog!

  • Feel Lucky, Spunk?: Powell's Kid's Lit maestro Karen Bonkoski alerts us to this heated controversy over Susan Patron's Newbery Award-winning book, The Higher Power of Lucky — specifically, over the use of the word "scrotum."

    Complained one teacher/librarian on a listserv:

    "I would not be doing my job if I booktalked or recommended this book to young audiences....The inclusion of genitalia does not add to the story one bit and that is my objection. Because of that one word, I would not be able to read that book aloud. There are so many other options that the author could have used instead."

    Karen points out that the word is used in reference to a dog's testicles and adds:

    Yes, librarians, who are typically ardently anti-censorship, pro-free flow of information, are in some cases not buying this book for their libraries because of a single reference to a part of the male anatomy — incidentally using the correct term for it, rather than a cutesy childish word, and I wonder whether that increased the offense taken.

    I agree with Karen in spirit — although, living in terminally arrested adolescence as I do, I prefer the cutesy childish words.

    To oblige reluctant teachers and librarians, we suggest inserting a handy fist-cough to cover the offending word when reading aloud. If that's too hard on your throat, we're pleased to offer a bevy of alternate terms, courtesy of Wikisaurus:

    50 cents
    Bush and Blair
    man ovaries
    ping and pong
    spunk pumps
    uncle frank's suitcases

    And, finally, the eminently kid-friendly "moose knuckle."

  • Parlez-Vous Scorsese?: We're pleased to note that Eric Jager, who contributed a wonderful essay to our Powells.com ten-year anniversary celebration a couple of years ago, has sold the film rights to his book The Last Duel: A True Story of Crime, Scandal, and Trial by Combat in Medieval France to Oscar nominee and legendary filmmaker Martin Scorsese.

    I can't wait to see DiCaprio and DeNiro struggling with Gallic accents.

  • A Hard Hobbit to Break: New Line Cinema plans to release its film adaptation of The Hobbit in 2009 — with or without Peter Jackson, the Oscar-winning director who shepherded the Lord of the Rings trilogy to box-office and award-winning glory.

    In an interview with the New York Times, New Line chairman Robert Shaye refused to comment on reports that Spider-Man director Sam Raimi might reside in the director's chair abandoned by Jackson — though, presumably, the chair will have to be made much smaller for Raimi, lest he look like a hobbit squatting on the throne of Gondor.

  • Big Read Keep On Rollin': Still waiting for the iPod of eBooks? The Sony eBook Reader didn't quite cut it — but Polymer Vision is unrolling the Readius, a device that is setting industry tongues wagging and is similar to Sony's effort, with one, crucial difference: it's rollable.

    You can roll the 127mm (diagonally) E Ink display into a compact form factor that measures 56mm wide, 100mm tall and 21mm deep, so it will fit into a jacket pocket. The Readius can display 16 shades of grey and it has 4GB of on-board memory, so you can store all your books, emails and PDFs on it. It also features USB, as well as GPRS/EDGE and DVB-H connectivity, meaning you can download data wirelessly, too.

    The Readius will be available later this year. Check out Polymer Vision's page for more information and pictures.

÷ ÷ ÷

Brockman is the head writer for the daily Book News posts on the Powells.com blog. In his free time he's hard at work on his fictional memoir, which changes titles daily.

The views and commentary posted by Brockman are entirely his own, and are not representative of the whole of Powell's Books, its employees, or any sane human being.

Books mentioned in this post

  1. The Higher Power of Lucky
    Used Hardcover $6.95
  2. The Last Duel: A True Story of... Used Trade Paper $8.00

4 Responses to "Book News for Monday, February 19, 2007"

    Venkman February 19th, 2007 at 1:48 pm

    Brockman, you ignorant slut.

    "Moose knuckle" is the male equivalent of a camel-toe. It doesn't refer to the scr*t*m itself; rather, to the pleasing shape the scr*t*m makes in too-tight pants. Learn your slang, punk!

    Kurt February 19th, 2007 at 3:54 pm

    Kinda funny that your software blocks "the word' from comments.

    Dougc February 20th, 2007 at 1:26 pm

    Regardless of the moose knuckle discussion, I just want to thank Brockman for bringing such a wonderful buncha euphemisms into our rainy day.

    Alexis February 21st, 2007 at 1:52 pm

    My personal favorite, being a lover of word games, is "Scrabble sack."

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