- I Miss Lynda Carter: Wonder Woman has a new costume today. And if you don't believe the '80s are back, check out this "new" design from the back of DC's 1987 drawer.
(What, you don't think this is news? Well, the New York Times does.)
As with all superhero costume makeovers, this will last just long enough to provoke outrage and fan fervor for the old costume, which will make a triumphant "return" in a year or two, after which time people will promptly forget all about the new one. Still, it's nice to see that black spandex and shoulder pads never get old.
- Google Alert: In recent years, Google has turned into something of a bad guy among booksellers, thanks to its controversial Google Books initiative. So, it's nice to see that the company might be slipping back into the good graces of the book industry — in a major way.
Later this summer, Google plans to introduce its long-awaited push into electronic books, called Google Editions. The company has revealed little about the venture thus far, describing it generally as an effort to sell digital books that will be readable within a Web browser and accessible from any Internet-connected computing device.
Now one element of Google Editions is coming into sharper focus. Google is on the verge of completing a deal with the American Booksellers Association, the trade group for independent bookstores, to make Google Editions the primary source of e-books on the Web sites of hundreds of independent booksellers around the country, according to representatives of Google and the association.
The partnership could help beloved bookstores like Powell's Books in Portland, Ore.; Kepler's Books in Menlo Park, Calif.; and St. Mark's Bookshop in New York. To court the growing audience of people who prefer reading on screens rather than paper, these small stores have until now been forced to compete against the likes of Amazon, Apple and Sony.
WOOHOO!! Go, Google! And, in case you're wondering — yes, that is Powells.com's own Darin Sennett posing for a photograph in the New York Times! He gets quoted, too:
"Google would allow us to play completely outside the device-centric game," said Darin Sennett, the director of Web development at Powell's.
Mr. Sennett acknowledged that Google would also be a competitor, since it would also sell books from its Web site. But he seemed to believe that Google would favor its smaller partners.
"I don't see Google directly working to undermine or outsell their retail partners," he said. "I doubt they are going to be editorially recommending books and making choices about what people should read, which is what bookstores do."
He added, "I wonder how naïve that is at this point. We'll have to see."
Let's hope he's right. I, for one, would like to see Google stay on the side of the angels.
Book News Round-up:
- The scariest headline in recent human history: "Glenn Beck: The Publishing Industry's Biggest Hope?" Yeah, they mean it.
- The Harry Potter theme park is only a week or two old, but fans are eagerly lapping up the butterbeer.
- Are bookstores the new bar? Used to be that retiring folks who wanted a quick-and-easy business opened a bar. But former Afghanistan military commander General Stanley McChrystal is apparently thinking about opening a bookstore. Suggested title: Loose Lips Books.
- TV's onetime Punky Brewster, Soleil Moon Frye, has sold her memoir. Tentatively titled Happy Chaos, it's scheduled for publication next summer. (What did I just say about the '80s being back..?)
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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