6. The Read A Book Guy. "Not one of these movies is as good as reading a book." On a list of books, by the way, he will say none of the books is as good as books used to be. He also hates Kindles, which he may or may not mention.
I attended a reading of Toibin’s in Princeton, and when I mentioned that I was going to give the stories to my mother, he warned me not to: too much explicit gay sex, apparently. Well, that’s true about a couple of stories here, but I think my mother could have handled it, if only because she’s a good reader, knows what art is, and would have enjoyed the range of subjects and lives treated here.
A brilliant movie with career-cementing performances by Charlize Theron and our own Patton Oswalt. (Yes, we’re claiming him.) Scribner saw a special screening several weeks ago (Thanks, Patton!) and can vouch that this is a provocative, unflinching film with terrific performances.
I spoke about various ongoing antitrust investigations into agency model pricing on All Things Considered earlier today. Since it was a short segment, there was a ton of stuff that didn’t make it into the broadcast (not to mention, as I said to the producers and to Lynn Neary off-tape, this topic leads to so many different other Amazon and publishing-related issues that have dominated the publishing headlines in 2011 that it’s like being sucked down a gigantic rabbit hole) but I do think it’s fair to say no decisions on any of those pending inquiries - state, federal, EU - will be arrived at anytime soon.
And this weekend, my black-blazer-wearing self will be on Book TV talking about the Year in Books. Which (surprise) turned out mostly to be the Year in Publishing.
A very good source, on a very important (and fast-evolving) issue.
"Most of the editors I have worked with over the past thirty-five years have made crucial contributions to the books entrusted to them, and the copy-editors have always, in every case, done exactly the same. They have enriched the books that came into their hands. Can you have good, thoughtful, creative editing and precise, accurate, immaculate copy-editing if you self-publish? And if you can’t, what is being said about the status or role of selflessness before the final form of the fiction as accepted by the audience, I mean the willingness of the author to submerge his ego to produce the novel that is truest to itself?”
—Peter Straub to Edan Lepucki (emphasis ours), in an excellent article on the value of traditional publishing in The Millions, see also this leaked memo from Hachette that explains what traditional publishing actually does (if you’re curious)
"Tebow wrecks all that, because he makes blind faith a viable option. His faith in God, his followers’ faith in him — it all defies modernity. This is why people care so much. He is making people wonder if they should try to believe things they don’t actually believe."
"A professional nonpayer of rent paid his deposit, his first and last, a few more months to establish his bona fides, then settled in for a spell of hard luck. It had come to this, he would declare, choking a sob, his mother’s medicine or the rent.
Just this once slid into twice and after a while his mother died again. By then the landlord knew he was in for a porking but too late. The nonpayer would claim hardship and file for bankruptcy. In like a tick, it could take two years and lots of money to get him out. Sometimes ten grand in legal fees alone. That’s when a heads-up landlord would call me.