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Authors, readers, critics, media — and booksellers.


Book News for Monday, July 9, 2007

  • In Memoriam: Science fiction and fantasy author Fred Saberhagen, best known for his "Berserker" series, has died at the age of 77.
  • Tats In the Stacks: According to the New York Times, today's librarians are younger, hipper, and less prone to shush kids for giggling too loudly at Calvin & Hobbes collections.

    Now, there is a public librarian who writes dispatches for McSweeney’s Internet Tendency, a favored magazine of the young literati. “Unshelved,” a comic about librarians — yes, there is a comic about librarians — features a hipster librarian character. And, in real life, there are an increasing number of librarians who are notable not just for their pink-streaked hair but also for their passion for pop culture, activism and technology.

    Another beloved stereotype bites the dust...

  • Web of Intrigue: DC Comics, the home base of Batman, Superman, and Wonder Woman, among other super-powered heroes and villains, has unveiled its new web-comics venture: Zuda Comics.

    According to the site, it will feature "all-new, original comics made specifically for the web," offering open submissions to the "Zuda community" and allowing an American Idol-style voting system to pick the winners:

    We'll put up a batch of the comics you submitted each month. Then you and all of the other users will vote, comment, and rate the comics. The one you guys like the best is the one we'll sign up for a one-year contract.

    Heidi MacDonald at Publishers Weekly's comics blog The Beat has a round-up of reactions from across the Internet.

  • Up In Leonard's Library: Elmore Leonard — whose most recent novel, Up In Honey's Room, is his 41st — tells Newsweek about the five most important books he's ever read, and admits he never got past page 50 of Crime and Punishment.

    Be honest — Leonard's not the only one. You know who you are.

  • A Farewell to Paws: Hemingway's six-toed cats have escaped eviction.

    The Ernest Hemingway Home and Museum, where the writer lived and worked for 10 years, has been locked in a dispute over its feline residents with the US Department of Agriculture (USDA), which says the cats should be caged.

    The federal government claims the museum is an "exhibitor" of cats and needs a special licence to keep them...

    Thank God! Imagine if an entire army of mutant, Hemingway-inspired cats were turned loose on the general public. We'd be overrun — enslaved, possibly. Fortunately, they wouldn't use a lot of adjectives or flowery prose.

÷ ÷ ÷

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. Up in Honey's Room: A Novel
    Used Hardcover $5.95
  2. Crime and Punishment (Everyman's... New Hardcover $24.00

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