Friday, December 18, 2009

French Fry Friday

It's time for the Friday Laura round-up, so Eric can start his break early, unlike some of us who will be at our blogs at least for a while:

Although Eric did a great job rounding up last week (I admit this grudgingly), I pined for you all, and hated that Eric forgot to leave a note in your lunch that said, "You're special! XOXO." Because you are special and deserve both Xs and Os. Also, surprisingly, the world keeps turning even when I'm not around, so there is a ton to round on up. So let us get right down to it.

But first, a quick digression. Happy last night of Chanukah, readers of all stripes! This is important partly because I lived through a menorah fire that almost burned my apartment down last night, which was a Chanukah miracle (the living, not the fire), and you should always share good fortune (and, tips: don't let me light candles). However, this is mostly important because I like celebrations. So whether you light 'em up or not, have a happy beginning to the national American holiday of "time off work because it is cold."

And now rounding-up. E-books: they make people mad. A number of publishers are delaying e-books until after hardcovers, and we have to ask: should they delay? And how will we remember these folk? MediaBistro held an e-book summit and rounded up some good quotes, including Steve Wasserman's "I suppose we could sum up this entire two-day conference under the headline 'too early to tell.'"

Things got shady in e-book-ville this week, when Random House asserted e-rights to old titles, which the Writer's Guild didn't appreciate, and hackers broke open B&N's Nook (and made it even cooler. I WANT). Not to leave Borders in the shade, the dinosaur has finally learned about the Internet and bought a stake in Kobo Books, which will be "device agnostic" and compatible with almost everyone. Also, Google Books is handing out free holiday e-books like candy canes from carolers.

That kind of hippie friendliness will not go over in the digital price wars and in a world in which authors skip publishing houses and go straight to Amazon. In this competitive time, you have to go for what's the best. Here we can find the best Gen X books of all time, the best (hilarious British) words this decade, the best author recommendations (and more), and the Christmas hits and misses.

Reality is a hard place to live, my friends, especially when magical realism is forced upon us and literary food seems fake. Writers try to cross borders and get the smackdown and some men don't like ladies who write memoirs. Reality has awful truths about publishing, which are depressing, and even unicorns can't save us. We are not pure!

There's a lot of hullabaloo because Kirkus is dead, and the other review standby, Publisher's Weekly, is getting a ton of flack for the Afro Picks cover, which PW tried to apologize for and explain. Maybe they could use a good dose of Thucydides, the original spin doctor. Hey, just because it's old doesn't mean it's not good.

On that note, shenanimen and women, I'm off to appreciate an old, old tradition I like to call "the weekend." Feel free to participate with me, or to celebrate in your own special way. And remember: if you have to light any fires, do not put me in charge.


  1. Glad you didn't go up in flames, Laura. Wishing you a waffle-filled weekend. :)

  2. Laura - I'm glad you're alive and well. Great info and my son would agree that the best part of his lunch are the notes I leave in there :)

  3. Glad you survived the fire!

    Thanks for the links, except for that depressing one. Which depressing one, you ask?

    I love the link to your blog on delaying ebooks "for fun and profit." I missed that somehow. Lydia's observations were lol funny, too.

  4. Ok, I'm jumping on the "Glad you aren't suffering from 3rd degree burns or worse" bandwagon.

    Are we sure this wasn't a subconcious attempt to get a glimpse at some firefighters? lol Silly girls! :P

  5. Yikes! Glad you're alive, and we missed you :)! Thanks for the fabulous round-up. Man, I want an e-reader now...

    Merry Christmas & Happy Holidays, everybody!

  6. Pass the lady's memoirs and xoxo's. They r kewl.