Wednesday, March 12, 2008

A Breakfast of Links

A couple of quick links to pass along on this fine Wednesday morning:
  • Kate Christensen, whose fabulous book The Epicure's Lament I recommend to everyone, has won the 2008 Pen Faulkner Award for her novel The Great Man. In the words of novelist James Hynes, "Buy it, read it, love it. Nuff said."
  • Border's is going to "face-out" a lot more books, reducing its overall selection by 5-10%. We'll see how this strategy works. When you work at a bookstore, one of the first things you learn about merchandising is that books turned face out sell faster than books that are shelved spine out. Of course, whenever anybody talks about what they want in a bookstore, "great selection" is usually the second thing they mention, after a friendly cat.
  • David Kelly opened a controversial topic on the NY Times Paper Cuts blog on Monday, asking who is the most overrated author. In the comments section, people are taking their semi-anonymous internet shots at everybody, and I mean everybody. Nabokov, Kerouac, Melville, Carver, Oprah books (oh, of course), nouveau literary whipping girl Marisha Pessl (seriously, can we get over this?), Dave Eggers (again, get over this, people), Bellow, Faulkner, Dickens, Proust, Eliot, Atwood, all of fiction, and of course, that hack F. Scott Fitzgerald. "What about Mozart? You don't want to forget Mozart when you're trashing people."

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