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Bookish Thoughts 27 July: transmedia worlds; endless to-read piles; brand names in books & more!

book news Bookish Thoughts 27 July: transmedia worlds; endless to read piles; brand names in books & more!

RIASS stuff:

Guest Post: Charting your course in the new world of publishing by Robert Manni

Book Review: Planet Janet by Dyan Sheldon'Rating: star Bookish Thoughts 27 July: transmedia worlds; endless to read piles; brand names in books & more!star Bookish Thoughts 27 July: transmedia worlds; endless to read piles; brand names in books & more!halfstar Bookish Thoughts 27 July: transmedia worlds; endless to read piles; brand names in books & more!blankstar Bookish Thoughts 27 July: transmedia worlds; endless to read piles; brand names in books & more!blankstar Bookish Thoughts 27 July: transmedia worlds; endless to read piles; brand names in books & more! (Oh dear. Was this the teen me?

Book Review: MacRobertsonland by Jill Robertson'Rating: star Bookish Thoughts 27 July: transmedia worlds; endless to read piles; brand names in books & more!star Bookish Thoughts 27 July: transmedia worlds; endless to read piles; brand names in books & more!star Bookish Thoughts 27 July: transmedia worlds; endless to read piles; brand names in books & more!star Bookish Thoughts 27 July: transmedia worlds; endless to read piles; brand names in books & more!blankstar Bookish Thoughts 27 July: transmedia worlds; endless to read piles; brand names in books & more!'(a book about the chocolatier who founded my high school!)

Giveaway: The Glamour by Christopher Priest

Other bookish stuff:

On creating a transmedia universe:'Though my preteen girl market doesn't really care about the technology in of itself, they voraciously use it because it helps them communicate with their friends and see more of the world'fasterMy plan was to not only give them media but also give them real-time activities that they could do off line where they live at school and at home.

My quick thoughts: Im definitely taken with the idea of transmedia/multimodal means of storytelling, and my techie husband and I have brainstormed a few ways of building creative works that extend over multiple media formats. The problem is at this point, I think, is to do with knowledge, accessibility, and ease of use.

Take telling a story using QR marks stuck around the city, for example: the concepts cool, but people have to know what to do with it, and need to be able to use QR on their phone (my current phone doesnt have the old QR app I used to use, and to be honest, I never think about QR unless theres a QR code right in front of me, so Im not going to download it). They also need to be able to easily view the rest of the information on their phone/device, interact with it, share it and so on.

Presently were still dealing with a whole different types of formats, operating systems, internet connections and so on, and people vary in how readily theyll adopt new mediaand the types that theyll adopt.'I think, then, that a lot depends on how much of the story can be told through a particular medium. For example, 'Michael Grants new'BZRK'series has all sorts of cross-platform tie ins, but though these'add to the story, each element stands on its own.

Random House has joined with Fremantle Media to create Random House Television'(I do kind of love that name, I have to say. It sounds as though television signals will be sent randomly to various residential properties. Oh, look, George, theres a telly on our wall!)

My quick thoughts: I guess this kind of ties in with the cross-platform stuff abovethe book industry looking towards various screen formats and what they can offer storytellingalthough it sounds like this involves stuff more along the lines of remakes, spin-offs and the production of new scripts and so on rather than multimodal productions.

Finding readers finding books'This is the work that teachers and'librarians (and'especially'teacher-librarians), do every single dayIt requires people; people making connections, taking chances, having conversations. 'People saying,'hey, have you read this?'People'grown up people'saying to less grown up people, people in a position of trust using that trust to say,'hey, I think you might enjoy this, if you'd be willing to give it a try.

Self-publishing platform FastPencil expands print partnership with Barnes & Noble

The search is on for the greatest American novelist

Three predictions for the e-book marketplace following DOJ settlement approval'Different retailers will react to the terms of their new deals with publishers in different ways. If they gain control over pricing as is expected, the marketplace may see a lot of creative selling

James Foley on his uncontrollable bedside reading pile

My quick thoughts:'James blames his uncontrollable bedside reading pile (BRP) on a mix of factors: lack of time, lack of organisation, and gratification delay, where he buys new books and reads those right away, rather than attending to his ever growing pile.

I, um, may have about 60 books in my BRP. My husband is getting a little bit grumpy about it, but hey, hes used up way more wardrobe space for his clothes than I have,'and hes packed out the garage with boy stuff,'and'he has an entire office at work to fill with tech stuff (admittedly with a desk set aside for me and some of my books [Hi, Jono!]).

Anyway, the same factors pretty much apply to meI manage to get through roughly a book a day, but I also buy books in batches, and they regularly arrive in the post as well. The piles arent orderly because there are simply too many of them, and though I might have the best intentions about tackling a particular book, sometimes I simply feel like reading something else instead. Theres a reason that book lovers always have far more books than they can possibly read.

Part of the enjoyment of reading is the thought and care that goes into the book selection process. What next? Which author? Which genre? How long? What format? Shall I try something that will resonate thematically with the last book I read? Or something entirely different? Have I read a foreign author recently? Have I reviewed too many male authors in a row? What about something with a green cover? An ebook, perhaps? And so on and so on until an author nudges me and reminds me that Im a year behind reviewing their book. Oops.

(And, oh, crap, I just got an email from Booktopia saying that they have a free shipping deal, and now I have to go and buy'more books.)

Write your search with your finger using Handwrite, a new feature for search on mobile and tablet devices'Now you wish you hadnt flunked handwriting class at school, dont you?

Nobody Gets Mad About Hamlet Remakes: Why Superheroes Are the New Cultural Mythology'Nobody who puts on a serious production of a Shakespeare play thinks 'oh, ours will just be okay.' They want to do the source material justice. And that's what's happening every time our cultural remakes a superhero.

My quick take:'The author compares remakes of the superhero canon to remakes and reproductions of Shakespeare and Verdi and so on, and argues that all of these productions deal with larger than life characters, epic themes and overall'bigness. He says that, like the many productions of plays and operas every year, were telling our favourite stories over and over again, and that this is nothing new. Whats new, he argues, is the speed with which this being done, and its the speed of this thats pissing people off.

Id argue that its more the scale and scope of these productions (and perhaps the fact that Shakespeare didnt pepper his stories with monster lizards living in sewers, or come up with endless Romeo and Juliet origin stories, and is kind of one of the most influential English authors of all time) that divide the superheroes from Shakespeare. A production of Shakespeare isnt beamed out to the entire world via big screen every year as part of a limited selection of films. Shakespeare is real and live and immersive. Each production and indeed each performance is a reproduction and a re-intepretation that changes with the audience, the actors moods and so on.'However, although each play performance is indeed an interpretation, its (rarely) a complete reimagining of Shakespeares work. Shakespeare is performed in a fairly faithful manner year upon year, because the public demands itbecause its damn good. It neednt be completely reinterpreted to justify a new season. Oh, we thought that the Merchant of Venice would be better with Catwoman, so here you go!

Films, on the other hand, generally'do need that. Films are physical, reusable artefacts in a way that a live performance cant be. They need to be properly reinterpreted to bother with a remark, otherwise, why wouldnt we just go and rent the DVD of some earlier adaptation?

Library of Congress Plans To Archive Every Tweet Ever Made'Including all 17k of mine. (17k?!)

Hate it when authors use brand names to stand in for an actual description of something?

My quick thoughts: Book Riot labels this phenomenon proxy detailing, and I have to admit that it is absolutely one of my pet peeves. Authors use it because theyre told to be precise in their descriptions, and what can be more precise than naming the particular brand and style of a pair or shoes or the exact make and model of a car? Well, sure, if you can assume that your reader has the exact same pop culture knowledge that you do. Honestly, describing a pair of shoes as Blahniks brings to mind little more than expensive and tall to me; a Bentley is big and Paris Hilton.

Its interesting that this effort to become more specific has had the opposite result, and actually comes across as a type of authorial laziness. Isnt it more interesting for me to know that your shoes have been sticky-taped back together, or that you cant even walk in those massive heels? Or that you have wanky personalised number plates or an air freshener shaped like a dog hanging from your rear vision mirror?

In addition to the brand-as-object thing being lazy, theres also the issue that things date very quickly. If you describe your car as a 2012 such and such, well, in ten years time thats going to sound like a fairly ordinary car, isnt it? (Ill never forget this 80s werewolf film I watched where this guy screamed Not everyone can afford a Mazda! [He also pronounced it MAHZ-dah])

The 2012 Prime Ministers Literary Awards have been announced'Im embarrassed to admit I havent read any of these.

The'Cloud Atlas trailer:


  1. That trailer really makes me want to read the book

  2. I admit I havent read any of the winners either, but I have When We Were Two on my ereader, ready to get stuck into, because it, and the Bill Condon book, are both on this years CBCA shortlist. I know of the Barry Jonsberg book. Hes a wonderful writer and I have read some of his other work. Hes funny and sad at the same time and has a tendency to end his book with a shocking twist.

    • Stephanie /

      I read The Whole Business with Kiffo and the Pitbull years agoin high schooland remember really enjoying it, but thats all the Jonsberg Ive read so far. :)

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