Friday, May 7, 2010

Friday Round Up, Post-Cinco de Mayo

Round up time, with Laura from Combreviations:

Guys. I was going to write a real, adult round up today, I swear, with all sorts of facts. But then I watched this week's Community and can't tell if I want to make out with the show or cry because they aren't hiring random people named Laura to be staff writers (hello, I would do a super job! Maybe!). So, as per usual, you can enjoy "stuff Laura thought was cool," which, actually, is pretty standard. So... onward!

I hope everyone got their free comic book on Free Comic Book Day, and also dressed up as Spider Man to foil a thief. If so, Bill Murray will read you a poem, you can get a book dedication from Molly Ringwald, and you can cry at all of your favorite childhood stories. If you didn't, however, you just have to hope that you'll survive the zombie renaissance, all authors will survive the Internet, and people will make good choices about book promotion. Hopefully this library custodian will clean up afterward, either way.

A mess that the library custodians can't clean up seems to be the craziness around Yann Martel's latest book. Although he has responded to the bad reviews, his publishers are pulling for support from indie bookstores (even though indie bookstore sometimes put their own interests before authors). You know, these things don't happen to Ian McEwan—even scientists are behind his books. On the flip side of the coin, Jodi Picoult wants people to admit that she's a good writer and not just popular. Is it so hard people? Is it?* Maybe she should drink more, because there is a correlation between drinking alcohol and vocabulary. Or maybe she could get a Google map of readers, like Kathryn Stockett, which would make her feel better, maybe. Or a stay at Nora Roberts' romantic inn! In fact, we should all go. You can read these 10 best love stories while we're there.

And after those 10 best love stories, you can read these 10 most objectionable books, which, for once, have parental explanations for why they're so questionable. Fatima Bhutto's new memoir is objectionable to some, while others find the lack of good political fiction questionable. I find the sharp rise in supermarket book sale depressing, myself. And stop blaming Betty Friedan for everything!

And, on that charming note, I'm off to write another love letter to Community. Besos to you, sirs and madams, until next week or this afternoon at Combreviations.

*Ok, I've never read anything by JP, so I can't really speak to this.


  1. Jodi Picoult's a good writer, and her plots are also formulaic. It's not because she's a girl, it's because after you've read a couple of her books, if you've a mind to do so, you can guess the ending. What's the strangest and most improbable thing that could happen here? Yep, that's what'll happen.

  2. I enjoyed the Slate story on Friedan. And yeah, Martel's right, Zen is a good way to deal with any sort of rejection, let it go...after you cry in your beer with your friends.

  3. Thanks for the links-- very interesting stories this week. I'm starting to feel sorry for Martel. Picoult? Not so much.

  4. Oh, the zombie renaissance! I think I'm part of that. I think.

  5. I've only checked a couple of the links so far -- the Jodi Picoult article and the drinking/intelligence test post. The first was not surprising -- commercial success doesn't always mean you'll be granted literati status. (She wants it all?) The second item -- how alcohol consumption ties in with other factors such as religion, and education identifies that drinking is part of our culture in varying degrees. Not that surprising, but interesting. Even in most celebrations, there is a drinking component, even if it is only a toast.

    Thanks for the data gathering, Eric.