Saturday, January 28, 2012

10 Bestselling Books that Were Later Debunked

Apart from having one of the most bizarre unique headlines ever, this article provides a list of 10 books that became bestsellers, only to have their authors outed as liars exaggerating the facts not remembering things correctly. Oh, whatever. :)

Here's what the article says, and I quote:

The literary world often ends up painted as some stuffy realm of academics and intellectuals who whittle away their days polishing their monocles and dusting their sepia-toned globes. Meanwhile, in the real world, it’s positively rife with drama to rival that of the latest self-deluded pinheads paraded around on MTV for society’s perverse enjoyment. Scandals abound, including fake identities, fake memories, fake science, thievery, and other schadenfreude delights. And it’s all the more frustrating (and maybe a little entertaining) when one of the contested books lands squarely on a bestseller list.

Really? Okay.

BTW, speaking of interesting facts. Did you know that today is the 125th anniversary of the world's largest snowflake?

I know, because I saw it on the Google search page.

I can think of at least one blogger who might be interested in that bit of trivia. :)

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

11 Books About Coming of Age

The headline of this post is actually is a bit misleading, because the real headline of this article says it's about 11 Books to Celebrate on Coming-of-Age Day, whatever that means.

Anyway, here's what the article actually says (word for word):

Remember the day you became an adult? Maybe you walked across a stage and threw your cap in the air, or maybe you strapped on some tefillin and read from the Torah. Maybe you are Mentawaian and got your teeth chiseled. Every second Monday in January, the Japanese celebrate Coming-of-Age Day, when all those who have recently turned 20 drink, party, and go crazy. In honor of the big day, why not drink a toast to your lost youth and think back fondly on it with the help of these excellent coming-of-age books (most of which you can read in a few days or less).

That's it. And then it lists the books with brief descriptions.

Hold on. Which headline is misleading?

PS: The list includes the book shown above, as well as this one ...

This one gets mentioned in this mystery. :)

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Between the Covers: Tattered Cover Book Blog

In Denver, CO, there's an indie bookstore called the Tattered Cover that really has its online act together. Not only does it have a website, complete with an awesome video, but it actually has a blog.

You'll note the blog features the following store links: Twitter, Facebook, MySpace, YouTube, GoodReads and podcasts.

Now, is that impressive or what?

Please note also the good placement of text and graphics, an important aspect of good blogging, in my opinion.

Check out this post, for instance. See how nicely the three books are arranged on the virtual page?

Also, notice the descriptions. Apparently, this store isn't an asshole snob is more open to embracing new authors, regardless of how they got started than certain people I could name.

Well, it threw me for a loop. :)

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Good News (I Think) for Indie Booksellers

There's good news for small retailers, including bookstores. According to this article, consumers are supporting local booksellers and other retailers, due in part to the use of online strategies to compete with you-know-who. Ha ha ha ...

Hey, what did I tell you? :)

Of course, these strategies don't always work out for everyone. Life isn't always fair. And success is never guaranteed, is it? Have I foreshadowed enough? Okay, here's the bottom line.

The last part of the article says: 

Yet some small retailers with e-commerce sites say that no matter what consumers say, supersites’ prices are just unmatchable.

Mike Stewart opened Feather & Fly, a sporting-goods store in Chattanooga, Tenn., eight years ago. As online stores started to pull away his customers, Mr. Stewart began selling some products on the Web.

Online, he found, "there’s no way I could compete against a big-box type store that could have massive inventories or cut deals to get better rates," he said.

"We did have good customer loyalty here," said Mr. Stewart, as he boxed up the inventory left over after his going-out-of-business sale, "but the Internet is a killer."


Saturday, January 14, 2012

Books and Technology: Who's Being Disingenuous?

You know, when you're telling a story, it seems to me that it shouldn't matter whether that story is told on a printed page or by way of a digitized file. I realize some people prefer one to the other and that's fine. I'm good with both formats, actually.

Now, creating literature on the other hand would seem to require substantial human input, right?

So, how could anyone say that a bunch of CAPTCHA-created stories could comprise a literary genre? Seriously?

And have you seen the actual story created? Well, here you go. Just click this link.

Bizarre Interesting, isn't it? And yet the New York Times Book Review would damn a formerly self-published ebook author with faint praise.

I think what we have here is a bad case of putting the "fart" in art. (via Pretty Feet, Pop Toe) Ha ha ha ...

PS: Speaking of disingenuous, haven't I blogged about this before?

Monday, January 9, 2012

Some Idea To Make Fantastic Art Wall Stencil

Some Idea To Make Fantastic Art Wall Stencil

Make your room Look fantastic with wall stencil, Any walls may be a perfect place for hanging framed stencil art prints.

Some Idea To Make Fantastic Art Wall Stencil
1. One of the best parts of creating your own stencil art is that you can choose whatever colors you want. You can use colors from the current d├ęcor or you can just reach right into your imagination and pull out whatever pleases you. Decorating with stencils is a great way to truly add personalized art to your room. By creatively adding different colors we add excitement. And we add a little of our own personalities.  We all have our favorites and by putting the colors that appeal most to us in our art, we oake it personal.

Some Idea To Make Fantastic Art Wall Stencil
2. Other second Best Tools for Sketching and Lettering on Walls is costum stencils. Stencils are one of the finest accessories to get your wall decorated in the best possible way. The best place to search for designs for your custom is through the internet. There are a lot of templates which you can look at for generating ideas. You can also give a visit to the local libraries available in your residing city.

Some Idea To Make Fantastic Art Wall Stencil
3. The Third Option for stencil is tuscan wall stencil, The Tuscan style is popular with home decorators and professional designers alike. Tuscan motifs, used as borders and accents, add the finishing touches to a Tuscan style. Tuscan wall motifs are versatile. They can look good in the kitchen, dining room, living room or patio and the effect is just as attractive in bedrooms and even bathrooms.

Saturday, January 7, 2012

'The Ghosts of Belfast' is Suspenseful and Haunting

Author: Stuart Neville (Soho Crime 2009)

Ages and ages and ages A little over a year ago, I wrote a review of a novel called COLLUSION by Stuart Neville for Mystery Scene Magazine. I loved it so much, I swore I'd read the book that preceded it, if it was the last thing I ever did.

Fortunately, it hasn't quite come to that. Ha ha ha ...

Anyway, this novel opens with Gerry Fegan getting drunk off his ass, which he does all the time. Fegan is, in point of fact, a stone killer who murdered many people during the The Troubles in Belfast, Northern Ireland, where the story takes place (of course). Fegan has served time in the Maze prison and has been released. However, there's a reason Fegan has become a freaking drunk bit of a rummy. He is a man haunted by the ghosts of those he's killed -- the innocents who died by his hand for the causes of others -- other people who must pay the piper.

So ... Fegan goes about whacking seeking retribution from people whose orders he blindly followed. And with each execution retribution, another ghost bites the dust vanishes. Convenient! Well, for a while, anyway. Ha ha ha ...

In any case, Fegan's series of retributions become a thorn in the side of the powers that be. Politicians (new and old guard) and another more mysterious faction (ooh, complicated!) who see his crusade as a threat to the uneasy peace that's been struck in Northern Ireland. Thus, they will do anything to stop him, including terminating Fegan with extreme prejudice.

To do this, the mysterious faction enlists the help of a renegade Scotsman named Campbell, who's about as mean a bastard fellow as Fegan. The two are about equally matched as opposing forces can be. Fegan ends up doing all sorts things to elude/outwit/fight him off. The plot is, needless to say, highly suspenseful and tension-filled. And can get pretty bloody bloody. :)

Thing is Fegan is the one the reader is rooting for, because he's the protagonist. His humanity is best expressed in his relationship with Marie McKenna and her child, Ellen. Marie has been shunned by her family due to her shagging relationship with a British peeler, aka cop. And Ellen is the result of their, um, merger relationship. So Fegan and Marie are naturally drawn to each other like two lost souls grasping for lifelines.

When you come down to it, all the characters have a touch of that humanity to them. That's what raises this story beyond the level of a suspenseful and bloody crime fiction read, to something that resonates with the reader long after you reach the book's stunning climactic bloodbath at the farm I kept reading about in the sequel. Now, I finally know what that was about! :)

And, honestly, who'd have thought a scene with a stone killer, a mother and her child could actually bring a tear to a hardboiled crime writer's eye?

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