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links for 2010-03-04

04 Mar
  • To paraphrase one Colonel Hans Landa, I regret to inform you that I’ve exhausted the extent of my English… for these crappy prologues, anyway. Yes, my vocabulary is limited to one intro a week. Thus, we skip this part for today and make do with the statement that this movie sucks donkey balls!
  • The nation's top 20 favourite bedtime stories:
    1. The Very Hungry Caterpillar, Eric Carle
    2. The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe, C.S. Lewis
    3. BFG, Roald Dahl
    4. Winnie the Pooh, A.A. Milne
    5. The Gruffalo, Julia Donaldson
    6. Famous Five, Enid Blyton
    7. Matilda, Roald Dahl
    8. The Tales of Peter Rabbit, Beatrix Potter
    9. Alice in Wonderland, Lewis Carroll
    10. The Secret Garden, Frances Hodgson Burnett
    11. Peter Pan, J.M. Barrie
    12. Mr Men, Roger Hargreaves
    13. The Witches, Roald Dahl
    14. The Twits, Roald Dahl
    15. James and the Giant Peach, Roald Dahl
    16. The Wind in the Willows, Kenneth Grahame
    17. The Cat in the Hat, Dr Suess
    18. Hans Christian Fairy Tales, H.C. Andersen
    19. Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince, J.K.Rowling
    20. A Christmas Carol, Charles Dickens
  • Readers are what every novelist really wants, so isn't it about time that a reader offered them some advice? I've never written a novel, and don't expect to ever do so, but I've read thousands. More to the point, I've started 10 times the number of books that I've finished. Much of the time, I'm sampling brand-new novels that aren't great — that frequently aren't even very good — each one written by someone sincerely hoping to make his or her mark. I can tell you why I keep reading, and why I don't, why I recommend one book to my fellow readers, but not another. I've also listened to a lot of other readers explain why they gave up on a book, as well as why they liked it. Here are my five recommendations for the flailing novice
  • Some self-righteous folks remind us that Qatar is not a democracy, nor does it guarantee freedom of expression. But Qatar’s record on free speech is not relevant; India’s is. And it is for Indians to reflect on why India’s most widely known painter feels safer in Doha than in Mumbai.
    Did India’s robust democracy guarantee Husain’s freedom of expression? Did India protect a vulnerable, fragile, nonagenarian artist, who wanted to live in peace and paint? Did the Indian system protect him when Hindu nationalists attacked an art gallery in Ahmedabad, filed hundreds of cases against him, forced a foreign bank to withdraw credit cards displaying his art and defaced his paintings, and when a cartoonist-turned-politician threatened him?…
    Maqbool Fida Husain was Indian. India made him a foreigner.
  • whatever the innovation on the instrumental side of the delivery system, there will still have to be a measure of mediation, or gatekeeping. I share with Epstein the view that whatever the hopes of the blogosphere for communal projects, the fantasy that the contents of the digital cloud can be mashed up to form "a single, communal, autonomous intelligence" is just that – strictly for the birds…
    The act of reading is a reflective and solitary pursuit that abhors distraction. The act of writing is also a lonely business: it takes place in small rooms, in solitude, and (typically) in silence.
    It's hard, if not impossible, to imagine a radical new literary paradigm that might change that. For the moment, writers still need intermediaries: the job description will change, but the function remains broadly the same.
  • Starting at the end of March, we will move from the “retail model” of selling e-books (publishers sell to retailers, who then sell to readers at a price that the retailer determines) to the “agency model” (publishers set the price, and retailers take a commission on the sale to readers). We will make this change with all our e-book retailers simultaneously…
    For physical books, the majority of new release hardcovers are published in cheaper paperback versions over time. We will mirror this price reduction in the digital world.
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Posted by on March 4, 2010 in Links

 

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