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Book News for Tuesday, October 2, 2007

  • It Takes a Nation of Drunken Readers: If you love America — and you must, or else you'd hear the clomping of jack-booted soldiers heading toward you right now — then you can't afford to miss the debut of Stephen Colbert's book, I Am America (and So Can You!)

    And if you're as eager to get ahold of this book as we are, then you can't bear to miss the Stephen Colbert Release Party on Monday, October 8th, at 11 p.m. — because why should little satanic wizard kids have all the fun?

    The party will be held at Blitz Bar on NW 10th Ave. (that's right next to our giant Burnside store) and all of the Blitz flat screens (upstairs and downstairs) will tune to The Daily Show at 11, followed by The Colbert Report at 11:30. At the conclusion of his show, the book will be unveiled and the beauty of consumerism will consume the revelers faster than the alcohol flowing through their veins (or so we hope).

    Please join us. If you don't, the terrorists (and liberals) have won. Click here for details.

  • Tintin Goes Up the Creek: Publishers Weekly learned that Little, Brown quietly yanked the controversial Tintin in the Congo from its fall list.

    Publicist Melanie Chang did not give a reason for the standalone book's cancellation, but of its omission from the box set she said, "Given the controversy surrounding the Congo title, we felt including it in the box set would eclipse the true intention of the collection, which is to showcase Hergé’s extraordinary art and his remarkable contribution to the graphic arts."

    I'm of two minds here. On the one hand, I read the Asterix books as a kid and came across the occasional depiction of African characters, often held in slavery (it was very similar to the bug-eyed stereotypes one found in Three Stooges and Little Rascals shorts). Even as a young 'un, I knew these were incorrect and offensive — I just dismissed them as emblematic of the outdated notions of that time period.

    However, it's not my race, religion, or culture being depicted as "strongly resembl[ing] monkeys." Whether child or adult, I might not dismiss them so easily if it were.

    Still, I can't help feeling that an opportunity for a parent/child discussion about race and racism is being lost here.

  • The Greene Party: Happy birthday to Graham Greene!

    In honor of what would have been the late, great author's 103rd birthday, the Guardian tests your knowledge of all things Greene with a quiz.

    And who doesn't love a quiz? It's like WE get presents for HIS birthday! And really, that's how every birthday ought to be.

  • Build a Better Book: If at first you don't succeed... release an updated version!

    That's an old adage at Sony, which is putting out a new and improved version of its eBook reader.

    Among the upgrades to the e-book device are the inclusion of the next generation electronic paper display that provides for a sharper contrast of the text and increased storage capacity that allows readers to store 160 e-books; the old reader stored about 80 titles. Sony is pricing the new edition at $299.99, down from the $349.99 the original Reader had been priced at, although in recent months Sony had cut the price to just below $300.

    Will the upgrades and price cut make this the first viable eBook reader? Will the culture finally turn the page (so to speak) and enter a future without paper books?

    If Sony's share holders are hoping the answers to either question is a resounding "Yes!" I suspect they're going to have a grim holiday season.

  • Party On, Garth: Fans of Garth Nix's Abhorsen trilogy will be heartened to learn that HarperCollins has just purchased the North American rights to three new books from the popular YA fantasy author — for a heaping seven figures (No! Way!).

    Included in the deal are a prequel and a sequel to the Abhorsen trilogy. Which, I think, will turn it into a quintilogy — or else a pentalogy. Does anyone know the difference?

÷ ÷ ÷

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. I Am America (and So Can You!)
    Used Hardcover $3.50




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