Friday, January 26, 2007

A few minor points

I was pleased to see this note in today's issue of Shelf Awareness:
Who'd have thought it? Tom Stoppard's The Coast of Utopia, which has been running at Lincoln Center since late November, has created a run on Russian Thinkers, the 1978 collection of essays by Isaiah Berlin, today's New York Times reported. One of seven titles recommended in the show's playbill, until recently the book sold about 36 copies a month nationally. It's now unavailable at New York area stores and online. Penguin has done its first reprinting in 12 years and will have more copies available in days.The other six books, which are also in some demand, are:

The Romantic Exiles by E.H. Carr
Natasha's Dance: A Cultural
History of Russia by Orlando Figes
My Past and Thoughts by Alexander Herzen
Indiana by George Sand
A Sportsman's Sketches by Ivan Turgenev
Fathers and Sons by Ivan Turgenev

I like seeing other people, like me, finding books in unusual ways. The unfortunate reality is that you cannot build marketing strategies off of this kind of reading. I'm sure publishers did not petition Stoppard or the theatre to get into this recommended reading list. And yet, the books are in demand! Hurray!

More Mailer on the NYTimes here. I saw Mailer at a William Styron tribute at the Boston Public Library last month (or so), and he's looking his age. Of course, he went on to say that the women who had spoken before him were not loud enough, and would never take over the world if they couldn't speak up, "like Hillary Clinton." He then complimented the men who spoke, whom he could here, saying that it's hard for men to speak up in this day and age. Long story short, he's still a blowhard.

And people are talking about this Finnish novel written entirely in text message speak. I'm linking to the enjoyable galleycat blog rather than the blogger's source: USA Today. No sir, I am not linking to that blandness in black and white. USA Today reminds me of bad road trips. Anyhow, this novel sounds intensely irritating, no? I love the author's name - Hannu Luntiala - and I secretly love how annoyed the publisher's managing editor must have been seeing all the grammatical errors. But I ain't reading idiot code. It's useful, but it doesn't mean it needs this kind of replication. (It doesn't help that I've heard grad students say that these abbreviations are creeping into student papers. Now that's just painful.)

I don't want my posts to become a series of links, like this blog, for example. It's fine for some, but for right now, I'd rather create more content. That blogger's obviously showing signs of a busy schedule - and I have a manuscript sitting here, to edit. That blogger's manner makes more sense... So we'll see.

1 comment:

Kristin said...

Brian I've been meaning to give you this link and then read this entry about Mailer being a blowhard. Colin (Lucy's dad) just interviewed him. I never got much out of him about what he thought. But here's the link to the article in the Sun (to throw another link on the fire).