Oh, hey guys. Ever have that thing happen when Friday arrives and you’ve no idea what cool things in the world of publishing happened since Monday? Well, that’s why we’re going to start reviewing the week—in tweets!
Bonnie Nadzam’s Lamb was awarded the Flaherty-Dunnan First Novel Prize by The Center for Fiction. We reviewed Lamb way back in September, and had generally pleasant comments, noting its “sharp” prose and Nadzam’s willingness to focus on a topic has unpalatable as child molestation. Upon reflection, it’s a book that’s stayed with me; one driven by plot (gasp!), a plot that’s brave and unexpected and winding. Good for Nadzam. She deserves the honor.
Now this one’s not really news. FotB (friend of the blog, peepz) John Warner made a pretty solid point here about Jeffrey Eugenides’ critically acclaimed third novel, The Marriage Plot. Though few would dispute its sheer pleasantness, The Marriage Plot isn’t a great book. It’s an example of a great writer’s great storytelling, but not a great writer’s great story. Get it? Kind of?
It’s fiction for a very particular crowd. And that crowd, as it happens, is already well catered to in the literary fiction genre.
You can still read our exchange from earlier this year at The Morning News, and the review that prompted it. You should also buy his debut novel, The Funny Man.
There is a point when an organization’s or individual’s evilness transcends reality, becomes so imposing that it borders on comedy or camp or parody. What Amazon rolled out this week reads like an article from The Onion. Very short summary: Amazon will pay you up to $5 to scan items in local stores—using your smartphone—so long as you then purchase the item through Amazon. It’s bad enough that bookstores can’t compete with Amazon’s bargain-basement pricing; now Amazon is literally handing people money to not buy from other retailers. The good folks over at The Rumpus have got it right: Amazon is extremely wrong here.
And in response, we will no longer link our readers to Amazon. They’re everywhere already. You may have noticed in this post that we linked book titles to Powell’s, America’s (probably) most famous independent bookstore. (Another great idea from the fine folks at The Rumpus!) We don’t expect you to buy anything from Powell’s; just don’t buy from Amazon. Buy local—before it’s too late.