The Roundup

So what’s been keeping you literary types entertained out there this week?

The Guardian Books Blog points out that hating on formerly too-clever–for-his-own-good Dave Eggers in 2009 is really kind of pointless, since from McSweeney’s and the Believer to the 826 initiatives to his lesser known humanitarian efforts, the guy left behind the title of creative navel gazer long ago.

However, the Guardian piece did direct me to this article in The American Scholar, which is less an attack on Eggers and more on the whole Brooklyn Zoo of authors working today.  Because I’ll admit, seeing ‘Brooklyn’ on an author bio these days is sort of a red flag.

You knew it had to happen: TweetBookz, a vanity press for your Twitter updates.  I don’t think anyone would ever argue that this is a good idea, but I feel Quill & Quire could have done better than the attempt at scathing condescension in their write-up. Related: no one on my feed has ever lamented a parking space or sold out toothpaste. And really, if they did lament a lack of parking spaces, I would thank them, cause then I would know to take the TTC.

The new Nabokov cover designs are going to make me buy the guy’s entire backlist on principle.  Damn, those are nice. My favourite is for The Luzhin Defense, precisely because it’s not perfect.  I’m sort of entering a Nabokov phase, due in no small part to a piece in Zadie Smith’s recent essay collection singing his praises while not canonizing him.  I mean, I’m not one for “classics”, but I should probably run through Lolita.

Another blow to the ‘print is dead’ crowd: National Retail Foundation in the States says books made up a healthy chunk of Black Friday purchases.

This is unfortunately not real. Thank you, The Onion.

And finally, what you’ve no doubt seen everywhere if you follow these sort of topics:  the New Zealand Book Council wants you to read books.  Like, actual ones with paper and bindings.  I think they make a strong case for it.

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