The five best lit-links (okay, I know there are six!) from the past week:
- So many book reviews, so little time. CRITICAL COMPENDIUM selects five reviews daily from around the world, to feed you a spoonful of literary healing at a time. See the August 8 post for a link to my Miami Herald review of Lottery by Patricia Wood.
- Breaking into Barnes and Noble’s or Amazon’s top echelons and “also bought” recommendations can have a viral effect, the New York Times asserts—but how do they calculate these rankings, and how obsessively to authors check them?
- Can I have a Grande Americano and three copies of Listening Is an Act of Love: A Celebration of American Life from the StoryCorps Project? The AP reports that Starbucks is selling Dave Isay’s book, a collection of 50 stories in an oral history project compiled on book and CD, at its stores. It’s just the third featured title since they began the program last fall. Can mine be next?
- Literary stars have been felled, says UK bookseller Waterstones in reaction to the announcement of the BOOKER LONG LIST. Bookies are favoring McEwan’s On Chesil Beach: A Novel, while I like Nicola Barker’s Darkmans. I must confess I haven’t read it, but loved Wide Open and Behindlings, the latter I reviewed for the San Francisco Chronicle in January 2003.
- Go ahead and post a comment—but only if you’re quoted in the story. The Washington Post tech blog reports that Google is testing a feature that allows comments on news stories, but unlike blogs, which invite comments from readers, this will accept them only from the people who are mentioned therein.
- Book reviews are making a comeback, at least at Truthdig.com, where former LA Times book editor Steve Wasserman has been appointed book editor of a weekly review to be launched in October. As they report: At a time when newspapers are cutting back on their coverage of books, Truthdig is acting to counter this betrayal of journalism’s fundamental obligation to deliver the news that stays news. … Book coverage on Truthdig will complement its political emphasis by deepening public debate on a range of compelling issues.