The Thursday Book Beat: Gender and Books

1

Amazon Has Got Competition in the Form of a Google/Barnes & Noble Team Up

Part of Amazon’s appeal is their fast and cheap delivery but it seems like they’re getting some competition in that area in a form of a team up between Google and Barnes & Noble. BN provides the books while Google offers same day delivery through Google Shopping Express. Both have something to gain from this partnership since it’s a new delivery system from Google and BN has been having trouble with their brick-and-mortar stores with closures of 63 stores in the last five years. Right now, it’s just a test arrangement, but with the bad press Amazon has been getting lately, it could spell trouble for the company or at least another annoyance.

Dumbledore Sends a Shooting Survivor an Acceptance to Hogwarts

Dumbledore. Harry Potter. Film. Warner Bros.

Yet another moment in which J.K. Rowling is a rock star. Known for her charitable donations, Rowling recently sent a letter with her condolences and “several paragraphs from the point of view of Albus Dumbledore” to shooting survivor, Cassidy Stay, after the teen quoted the Headmaster in her family’s memorial service.

Then, on Monday, August 4th, Ids.net reported:

“According to sources close to the Stay family, Cassidy received a package from Rowling with a signed copy of Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, the book Stay quoted from in her remarks. In addition, Rowling sent Stay a letter with her condolences. In the letter, Rowling wrote several paragraphs from the point of view of Albus Dumbledore, telling Cassidy what the headmaster would have told her if he could have.”

The quote Stay used in her speech was, “Happiness can be found even in the darkest of times, if one only remembers to turn on the light,” and to say something like that even after what happened says a lot about this remarkable teen.

A Look at Why Print Books Declined in 2013

So why did print book sales drop slightly in 2013? Many things caused the drop, says Michael Kozlowski from Good eReader — like less books being printed, for example.

The non-traditional publishing sector was hit the hardest due to the rise of public domain and indie authors switching to digital. The print industries output for 2013 was projected at 1,108,183 titles, a decrease of 46% from its production of 2,042,840 titles in 2012 and a dramatic reverse from its 55% growth in 2012 over 2011.

Frozen Director To Pen A Wrinkle In Time For Disney

Were you one of the many people who fell in love with Frozen? Did you read and enjoy Madeleine L’Engle’s A Wrinkle in Time? Well, you’re going to explode in ecstasy because writer and co-director of the hit animated film, Jennifer Lee, has been tasked with writing the script for the film that’s been in development since 2010. I’m excited about the coice of Lee, who knows how to write great female characters, and as I’ve been told by others, A Wrinkle in Time is chalk full of them.

Published in 1962, “Wrinkle in Time” was one of Lee’s favorite novels as a child, and she impressed Disney executives with her take on the project, which emphasizes a strong female-driven narrative and creatively approaches the science fiction and world-building elements of the book.

Lee also co-wrote Wreck It Ralph — this script is going to rock.

Chuck Palahniuk Claims That Men Aren’t Represented Enough in Literature

Chuck Palahniuk. W.W. Norton & Company. October 17th 2005. Fight Club.

Chuck Palahniuk, the author of Fight Club, answered questions on Tumblr and in one answer claimed that men are a marginalized group in literature, as far as exploring male issues goes. There seem to be two different claims he’s putting out there: young men aren’t reading as much, and there’s a lack of male perspectives/issues represented in literature. But one isn’t necessarily a result of the other, and I think Palahniuk is simplifying both issues too much. Women may read more but that doesn’t mean it’s due to increased representation of women in literature. The books that tend to get critical acclaim, respect, and notice tend to be by men and be about men. From an early age, women are pushed into the arts, while men are guided to the math and science disciplines which are seen as more masculine. It’s gendered socialization that determines who reads or doesn’t. And while Palahniuk claims to be talking about all men, the experiences  that he’s referring to are usually those of white, straight, cis men — so even the male experience he’s talking about is specific, not general.

You can check out the screenshots of his answers over at Flavorwire.

Guys, Sherlock Holmes is in Public Domain. Seriously. 

A third federal judge ruled that Sherlock “and the familiar elements of his stories are in the public domain.” The Conan Doyle estate threatened to block Holmes scholar Leslie Klinger’s anthology, which he co-wrote with Laurie R. King, from getting distributed if they refused to pay the licensing fees. Arthur Conan Doyle’s last ten stories of the consulting detective are copyrighted until 2022-2023, due to special circumstances. The estate demands that anyone who writes stories featuring the character should pay a fee based on those copyrighted stories.

The Doyle estate’s business strategy is plain: charge a modest license fee for which there is no legal basis, in the hope that the “rational” writer or publisher asked for the fee will pay it rather than incur a greater cost, in legal expenses, in challenging the legality of the demand. The strategy had worked…only Klinger (so far as we know) resisted. In effect he was a private attorney general, combating a disreputable business practice—a form of extortion—and he is seeking by the present motion not to obtain a reward but merely to avoid a loss. He has performed a public service—and with substantial risk to himself, for had he lost he would have been out of pocket for the $69,803.37 in fees and costs incurred at the trial and appellate levels.

– From io9

Bollywood is Taking Its Crack at the “The Fault in Our Stars”

In a statement shared by The Hollywood Reporter, the Bollywood studio said that the popularity of the film encouraged them to make a version of The Fault in Our Stars for India.

“We think the story will have an emotional connect with Indian audiences,” said Fox Star Studios CEO Vijay Singh. “The original English version was released here a couple of weeks ago and is still running. The film has done a business of about $1 million. We had actually thought of adapting it locally even before the film was released here.”

Cool. It’s always nice to see a film speak to all kinds of people and I’m very interested to see this Hindi version.

Share.

About Author

Former senior editor for WWAC. BA in criminals (a minor in daydreams). Batman seeks her advice constantly. Bylines at Book Riot, Teen Vogue, Slate, The Toast and Hyperallergic.

1 Comment