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Book News: Google’s Digital Bookstore, Wallace’s Road Trip, and More

  • GooBooks: Google is rolling up its sleeves and preparing to go head-to-head against Apple and Amazon with a digital bookstore.

    Google's vision of a digital book store varies from Apple's iBookStore (AAPL), Amazon (AMZN) and Barnes and Noble's (BKS) models in a number of ways. Google (GOOG) wants anyone to be able to sell their books through the Google service on as many devices as possible. Apple, for instance, only wants to sell books on its own iProducts.

    Google will also be able to focus on the long tail as it has relationships with tens of thousands of smaller publishers through its Google Books service — which it will strategically use as an entry point to the Editions store.

    No firm launch date yet, but the article suggests it could go live as soon as next month. This is gonna get ugly...

  • Infinite Trip: NPR's Michael Schaub takes a look at David Lipsky's book Although of Course You End Up Becoming Yourself — essentially, a transcript of Lipsky's road trip with late author David Foster Wallace.

    Wallace was famously reticent about giving interviews, so the book seems like a blessing to his most devout fans — but there's no denying why many people will be interested in the book:

    It's impossible for anyone who ever fell in love with Wallace's prose not to read Lipsky's account looking for clues. And while suicide is never really logical, it's heartbreaking to read Wallace discuss his history of depression: "I think somebody who's been in a suicide ward is either way better prepared or way less prepared. Because I mean, I don't think we ever change. I'm sure there are still those same parts of me. I've just got to find a way to not let them drive." Somehow even sadder are Lipsky's observations of Wallace's moments of happiness: his love for his dogs, his fondness for television, the music of Alanis Morrissette. Even his Diet Pepsi and McDonald's habits read as sweet, childlike and, in the end, crushingly poignant.

    Schaub notes that "the rapport that [Lipsky] and Wallace built during the course of the road trip is both endearing and fascinating."

  • Fake Blood: Entertainment Weekly has a Q&A with Charlaine Harris, creator of the Sookie Stackhouse novels (which bred the HBO series True Blood).

    Her new book, Dead in the Family (the tenth in the series), just hit stores.

    What's a book you've faked reading?
    Moby-Dick. I gave it a tremendous try, but I don't think I ever finished. Oh, The Magic Mountain, too.

    At least she's honest — and you know she's not the only one!

    Portlanders: Harris will be reading at the Bagdad Theatre next Wednesday, May 12th, at 7 p.m. Click here for more info.

Book News Round-up:

÷ ÷ ÷

Chris Bolton co-created the all-ages webcomic Smash, which will soon be published by Candlewick Press, and created the comedy series Wage Slaves. His short story "The Red Room" was published in Portland Noir from Akashic Books.

Books mentioned in this post

  1. Portland Noir (Akashic Noir)
    Used Trade Paper $9.95
  2. What Would Google Do? Used Hardcover $6.50
  3. Moby-Dick (Bantam Classic)
    Used Mass Market $2.95
  4. Dead in the Family (Sookie...
    Used Hardcover $4.95
  5. Although of Course You End Up...
    Used Trade Paper $9.00
  6. The Magic Mountain
    Used Trade Paper $10.00

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