09 March 2010
Yes, yes, I know, eventually I should talk about some nonfiction books. I have some all read that are sitting here staring me in the face, but I am just not motivated. So I will take care of some reading housekeeping instead.
In today's news, a new issue of the Reader's Advisor News, published by Libraries Unlimited and sponsored by the Reader's Advisor Online, is available, and it's a particularly good one this time around. There's a great article for librarians about the value of floating collections, and a very practical article on creating a mobile web site for your library. Do consider checking it out; it's an email newsletter that you can also subscribe to (should you so choose).
In other news, Stacy Horn's latest book Unbelievable: Investigations Into Ghosts, Poltergeists, Telepathy, and Other Unseen Phenomena from the Duke Parapsychology Lab, is now out in paperback. Stacy Horn, you'll remember, is the author who so generously shared a lot of insight about the nonfiction book writing process with us (and whose book The Restless Sleep we read for the last Menage). Even if a book about the history of parapsychological research and the search for proof of life after death isn't your cuppa, do consider suggesting that your local library purchase a copy so others can enjoy it. Horn is everything a nonfiction author should be: independent, able to perform stringent research, the writer of thoughtful prose and complete endnotes, and whose books are often indexed. Unlike some nonfiction writers, like, say, Thomas Friedman (who I can't imagine has any use for his ill-gotten buckets of money other than stuffing hundreds into the mattresses in the many bedrooms of his 11,000-square foot home), Horn could actually use a few sales so she can keep writing new books.
I was also going to link to a hilarious interview between Jacquelyn Mitchard and Lorrie Moore, two of my least favorite women writers*, in this month's edition of the UW-Madison alumni magazine On Wisconsin, but the good old alumni association doesn't have their new issue online yet, so I can't. Sorry about that; I'll link someday when it's available. What's particularly funny is that most of Mitchard's questions are longer than Moore's answers. Gotta love an interviewer in love with the sound of her own voice. This is my favorite exchange:
"Q: Which brings me to another question. If we write in the Common Era, as it were, are fiction writers obliged to give a nod to 9/11, as Bugs Bunny constantly referred back to World War II? (I regret the unfortunate example, but Warner Brothers cartoons were significant in my cultural anthropology.)"
Scintillating, ladies. And, Jacquelyn Mitchard? Stop using phrases like "cultural anthropology."
*Well, I didn't really mind Moore until I read A Gate at the Stairs, which I'm going to go out on a limb and call the most overrated novel of 2009.