Happy May Day, everybody!
Here in the U.S. it's more commonly known as Loyalty Day, "a special day for the reaffirmation of loyalty to the United States and for the recognition of the heritage of American freedom" — which explains why it's not a bigger holiday.
Can you imagine the Hallmark cards? A cuddly bear with a heart on his belly spreading his arms wide for a big, squishy hug and declaring, "Thanks for being loyal and exposing all traitors to the flag!"
Actually, I can see that. And it looks a little green from all the dollar signs dancing in front of it. Not to mention the toys, flower bouquets, and of course, we mustn't forget an entire songbook's worth of Loyalty Carols. Anyone got some seed money for a start-up?
- Damn You, Mysterious "Annihilate" Keyboard Combination! I had written a LOT of stuff and somehow my pinky hit some errant key that erased the whole damn thing in one, heart-stopping instant.
I'm still too pissed off to rewrite it all, so here's the shortcut version: read former San Francisco Chronicle book editor and Holt Uncensored writer Pat Holt's response to the whole book review brouhaha.
I wish I could applaud the National Book Critics Circle and critics like Cynthia Ozick for lamenting the loss of space for book reviews — and jobs for book review editors — in newspapers and magazines across the country.
But maybe it's time for those of us who have worked as critics for a living to evaluate what's happened to our profession — and why we may be driving readers away.
In the last 25 years, just about everything about the print experience has changed — except the way critics review books.
Now, if you'll excuse me, I'm going to cry and bang my fists against every inanimate object in the near vicinity. And SAVE RIGHT NOW!
- Where Every Whaler Knows Your Name: Some kids in Massachusetts want to make Moby-Dick the state book.
Some Thoreau fans think it should be Walden, instead.
The original version of this item was ever so much more eloquent. Luckily, the rest of today's Book News is all original, none of it deleted.
- Angel Is the Centerfold: Angel and Buffy fans, take note: creator Joss Whedon has already launched "season eight" of Buffy the Vampire Slayer through a new Dark Horse comics series, and in this Newsarama interview, he reveals his plans for "season six" of Angel in the same format, courtesy of IDW Publishing..
NRAMA: Fans seem very concerned about "official canon."...Do you understand the uproar? What does â€œcanonâ€ mean to you?
JW: Canon is key, as is continuity. If you are massive nerd. Which I am. I believe there's a demarcation between the creation and ancillary creations by different people. I'm all for that stuff, just like fanfic, but I like to know what's there's an absolutely official story-so-far, especially when something changes mediums, which my stuff seems to do a lot.
I'm not a big, slavering fan of either show, but if Whedon ever launches a "rest of season one plus season two" comic of Firefly, call me.
- Twitter? I Don't Even Know Her: My mysteriously deleted post contained a rant (or two... possibly three, come to think of it) about growing older and watching the Zeitgeist pass you by. I even managed to scrape a handful of grunge-era references off the back wall of my memory. Now that it's lost to the ether, I mention it only in passing because I suspect/fear one day we will all be Twittering all the time.
(Remember when you thought, Who the hell needs to carry a phone around all the time? Or when you looked at the first-generation iPod and said, "What a useless piece of crap, I'd never waste money on that"? Well, all things change...)
Anyway, don't ask me why, but here's TwitterLit. God save us all.
- My Precious Bones: Peter Jackson — he of the Lord of the Rings trilogy and King Kong — has completed his screenplay adaptation of Alice Sebold's bestseller The Lovely Bones and is shopping it around to studios.
Anyone else wonder if we can expect Andy Serkis to model the CGI ghost of the murdered 14-year-old girl?
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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