Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Books of the Not So Distant Future

There's not enough book gossip in this word; this blog entry is the best book news I can come up's the books I'm excited to hear more about in coming months. In no particular order here they are:

"The Wordy Shipmate" by Sarah Vowell (October 2008). Vowell's account of Puritans sounds exciting! Well, okay, exciting is the wrong word, but I'm sure it will be a fun read.

"Mouse Trap: Memoir of a Disneyland Cast Member" by Kevin Yee (July 2008). As a former employee at Disney's Anaheim Mouse Trap, I'm sure this will be a fun read...doesn't look like much of a story though.

"Ask a Ninja Presents The Ninja Handbook: This Book Looks Forward to Killing You Soon" by Douglas Sarine and Kent Nichols (September 2008). I think I'm more looking forward to this book to fail than to do good. I'm tired of seeing every blogger and their mother try to make a quick buck on a book, and I want it to end! Maybe I'm wrong, I hope that I am, but this book just looks like the blog; the trouble with that is who wants to read a blog in a book? The writers of blogs can make fine writers, but more often then not when they try to publish books, they simply rehash what makes their blog popular. I'm a blog writer who published a book, but you don't have to be a fan of one to enjoy the other.

"Jesus Wants to Save Christians: A Manifesto for the Church in Exile" by Rob Bell and Don Golden (October 2008). This looks like a pretty short, thought-provoking read. I'm a fan of Bell, so I'm sure I'll be a fan of this book.

"Indignation" by Philip Roth (September 2008). I always say I'm going to read Roth, but then I never do. Maybe this time I actually will...

And on the subject of publishing gossip, I recently heard that Amazon has yet to sell even 50,000 Kindles; some reports say it might not even be 20,000. All the buzz was on Kindle at the start of the month when Bezos talked at the Book Expo in L.A., and it's no wonder--Amazon knows how to spin a story!

I really want to have high hopes for the Kindle, because I think it has big potential in a dying publishing industry; but that same part of me wonders if the Kindle is going to be just like that thing Amazon pumped up several years ago...I think they called it the "it." A few months later they said "it" was actually the Segway...suddenly it was just a cool toy for yuppies and their friends.

When Toshiba is making a laptop that weighs about the same as a Kindle, then why would I want a Kindle? That's what you need to answer for me, Amazon! Because if I'm paying $360 for a book reader, then I want it to do so much more.

I think it would be great if there was a reader that let you read an authors book, and have the ability at anytime to see every bit of news about them, every blog they've written, and what's on their homepage. It's a great way to connect the reader to the author. I even could see the rebirth of the serial novel--writers writing chapters by the week and sending all their readers auto updates for a buck.

It seems like people are saying it's the either the death of publishing or the death of eBooks...I for one would like to see the two coexist.

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