A weekly selection of reading and book news, sometimes with completely inappropriate commentary.
Amazon's new bestseller lists "track what people actually read"--as long as what they're actually reading are Kindle books. I'm so tired of this up-to-the-minute fixation on what people are reading. And I'm really tired of Amazon knowing every last little thing about what, when, how much, and (soon, I'm sure) why I read. I forgot they owned GoodReads too. I weary of you, Bezos.
What is bookselling going to look like in the future? I asked a friend this week if he thought bookstores would be around in twenty years and he said, simply, no. He's probably right but I'm considering not being his friend any more.
On publishing's "digital transformation."
Asian Pacific American Heritage Month: 13 must-read titles.
Christian mommy blogger Glennon Doyle Melton is now married to Abby Wambach.
Have you ever heard of the author Kathryn Croft? She's moving a lot of ebooks.
Children's nonfiction author Jean Fritz: Obituary.
Oh, good on you, Helen Fielding: you've won the Bollinger Everyman Wodehouse Prize.
The £40,000 Wolfson History Prize winner: Christopher de Hamel, for the book Meetings with Remarkable Manuscripts.
"The Glass Castle": First trailer.
NONFICTION BOOK NEWS
Martin Luther books commemorate the 500th anniversary of the posting of his ninety-five theses in 1517.
A new microhistory: about boredom.
Now you can get poetry inspired by Dr. Who!
A new book about anxiety by someone who suffers from anxiety.
A memoir of "loss and life in motion"--about mourning and running.
Kareem Abdul Jabbar has written a book about his 50-year relationship with his coach.
Even conservative, religious authors sometimes can't go home again.
A new memoir by the bestselling neurosurgeon author of Do No Harm. I kind of want to see it.
Oh god, three new memoirs about marriage. It's one of my catnip subject areas; where am I going to find time to read all three? (Although, yeah, Love and Trouble doesn't sound like something I want to read at all. Down to two!)
Star chef Tommy Banks to publish a cookbook.
New York Times: a new book by Senator Ben Sasse about raising them kids up right (God, I'm already sick of hearing about this title; it's been all over this week--evidently the answer is to make them do chores. Thanks, Captain Obvious.);the Revolutionary War was not a pretty war; civil rights stories we need to remember; a closer look at three 18th-Century revolutions and why they matter now.
Publishers Lunch: Is offering their Complete Fall/Winter 2017 Buzz Books list.
IndieBound: bestselling books the week of May 18.
Bookbub: Ultimate Summer Reading List. Oh, joy. The summer reading lists are starting to come in. Another reason I hate summer. I think all "summer books" are so boring. For example? The very first author on this list: James Patterson. BORING.
Coastal Living: 50 Best Books for the Beach this Summer. Okay, this list is mostly boring. But I will confess to being interested in the Jimmy Buffett biography.
Popsugar: Best books for women this summer.
Christian Science Monitor: Best Books of May.
10 best books for entrepreneurs in 2017.
Entrepreneur Magazine: Top 10 books every leader should read.
Booklist: Best new books the week of May 15. You know, Grocery: The Buying and Selling of Food in America sounds interesting, but I've never been a big Michael Ruhlman fan. (Here's a New York Times article about this book.)
MY READING NOTES
Me and the printed word and the Internet have been having a tough week. I haven't been feeling very well, so looking at the computer and reading still makes me a bit wonky. I'm getting better, no worries, but I also continue to be in a mood. So I am very fitfully starting and stopping books at will.
I don't even remember why I got The Wisdom of the Radish: And Other Lessons Learned on a Small Farm, by Lynda Hopkins, from the library. One look at the cover was enough to make me think, I can't get any more books by millennial hipsters about going back to the land. And it didn't get better on the first page: "It's 4:30 a.m. on a Saturday: the start of my workweek, if a week without an end can be said to have a start. As usual, I'm awake--having opened my eyes ten minutes before the alarm's shrill beeps--but wakefulness does not correspond to readiness. At the moment, I'm firmly fixed in a state of denial. It isn't 4:30 in the morning, I'm not going to work, I didn't spend another Friday night harvesting instead of drinking, I'm not about to sprint around a field brandishing scissors and a buck knife in the predawn gloom." (p. 1.) Blah blah blah: I followed a dude who wanted to farm for love, I'm growing organic greens, it's hard work, it's hard to make a living...I've heard this all before. I've lived this all before, circa my years on the farm from 0 to 18.
I was really enjoying bits of Peter Orner's essay collection Am I Alone Here? Notes on Living to Read, Reading to Live, but it is overdue, so I've got to take it back.
So then I started Priestdaddy: A Memoir, by Patricia Lockwood. Memoir about growing up the daughter of a married--yes, married--Catholic priest. Evidently you can become a priest if you convert to Catholicism after marriage? And, get this, her father, the priest, was also a difficult man with whom to live? Huh. This is what it comes down to: I AM SO NOT IN THE MOOD FOR THIS RIGHT NOW.
AND NOW, YOUR OBLIGATORY NEIL GAIMAN LINK
Teaser trailers for "How to Talk to Girls at Parties," a new movie starring Nicole Kidman and Elle Fanning (and based on a story by Gaiman).