27 December 2010

Literary News Stories Of Note, 2010 Edition

Surprising author death of the year: J.D. Salinger. Thought he would outlive us all, frankly.
Unsurprising author non-death of the year: Philip Roth. Still think he will.
"What, that was a book?" of the year: "The Social Network" née THE ACCIDENTAL BILLIONAIRES. Ben Mezrich is crying into his bathtub of cash that they didn't keep his title, which sounds like the name of an epic caper movie a la "The Great Race" or "It's A Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World." (We've got 'em on VHS!)
Driest topic I yet will read everything I can on: E-book pricing. Then again, as more people get e-readers, this will only continue producing six-paragraph stories out of "You know how this was $9.99 before? Well it's $12.99 now."
Best comeback: Nick Hornby to The Believer. (Here's an excerpt from the latest.) I knew if I just clapped hard enough it would happen!
Biggest nothing of all: The revelation, per a New York Magazine cover story, that James Frey's new venture is rife with unscrupulousness and slime. (In effect, he pays writers a small amount of money to write YA books, with a promise on a share of the film and secondary rights should they ever pan out, goal being to create some kind of media empire for bad-looking thrillers.) I mean, he may have good taste in brunch venues but what, was he going to be knitting sweaters for orphans for the rest of his life?
Most overblogged... AND YET: Jonathan Franzen everything. I couldn't help myself, I know, but in no other story can you cover the doings of both high and low literature, encompassing topics like sexism in book coverage (yes also I KNOW) and Oprah. Speaking of...
Potential overblogs of 2011: Oprah's new channel: what will it mean for the book club given her latest installment?; the U.S. adaptation of "The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo" is set for release (whose reach is longer than I expected given my dad made a Lisbeth Salander joke about Troy Aikman's outfit while commenting on the Packers-Giants game -- he hasn't even read the books!); the rise of a million competitors for the Kindle.

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