The dog days of summer always seem to slow life down a bit, don't they? Similarly, compelling book-related news stories and/or content seem to have dwindled to a trickle as well. But I managed to find a few items of interest, so to continue what has become a monthly feature at The New Dork Review of Books, here's a short list of recent literary "things" in the news
The Millions' Future Releases List — There's so much to look forward to the rest of 2010! I mean, the new Franzen by itself makes me squirm with anticipation. But new books from Sara Gruen, Nicole Krauss, Philip Roth, and Tom Clancy (yeah, I sorta like Jack Ryan...) all make me wonder how in the name of Neal Stephenson I'm going to do all this reading. Which on this list are you looking forward to? (Also, in case you're tempted to bail out before the end of the post, the last item provides some info about David Foster Wallace's last novel — The Pale King. That just makes me giddy.)
2. E-books Sales Beat Hardcovers — Depending upon your e-book persuasion, Amazon's announcement that it sold more e-books than hardcovers in the second quarter of this year is either terrifying or exciting. Amazon says it sold 143 e-books for every 100 hardbacks in the second quarter, a rate which accelerated to 180 to every 100 in the past month, according to this article in Wired. It'd be easy to be skeptical about these numbers since Amazon is always so secretive and shady about its sales. But Publisher's Weekly reports that publishers are backing the numbers. And as an addendum to this, Amazon also acquired the e-book rights to a few titles by Norman Mailer, Philip Roth, Vladimir Nabokov and John Updike, among others.
McEwan Whines — Have you read Solar? I didn't think it was horrible, but it definitely wasn't McEwan's best effort. McEwan, however, defends his satire from the chilly reception by readers and critics in the U.S. by explaining that Americans are "profoundly bored" with climate change. From where I'm sitting, this couldn't be further from the truth. As the wonderful blogger "Jane Doe" at Dead White Guys tweeted this week, "Or maybe, McEwan, your book just sucks." Indeed.
4. Frank, You're A Long Way From Ireland — Lindsay at Not-So-Gentle Reader just discovered the joys and wonders of Frank McCourt's memoir Angela's Ashes (as I did last fall). But instead of being cliche and writing a gushing review — since we already all know the book is amazing — Lindsay recorded this video blog of herself singing a tribute to McCourt and his memoir. Really good stuff!
Any literary items I've missed? What's caught your eye?