Friday, June 24, 2011

Book News: Pottermore Disappoints, True Blood Premieres, Ann Patchett in Nashville, and Bookstores Charge for Events

I'm just going to say it: it's been kind of a slow week for book news.

The most exciting thing that happened was J.K. Rowling's big Pottermore announcement yesterday morning, and if Facebook and Twitter are trustworthy gauges of how fans feel, the anticipation was much higher than the end result. Most fans were hoping for a new book, even though Rowling's publicist insisted that wasn't it in the days before the announcement.  

The Guardian broke part of the story early, after receiving "accidental" emailed memos. The rest of the announcement? A website full of Potter material Rowling claims she's been hoarding for years, and (finally -- I mean, honestly) e-book versions of all the books. Despite her announcement, little is known about Pottermore. [CORRECTION: After I readied this for posting yesterday, the blog Underwire on offered details of what Pottermore will mean -- lots of them. Click on over for those details.] The free site will open to a select few in July and to the public in October.

If you are a Charlaine Harris fan (or just an HBO fan), you are well aware that True Blood season four starts this Sunday night. Although I love both the books and the television series (the two are very different), The Book Bench pointed out a writer who feels strongly that the HBO series bests the books. So much so, in fact, that she listed her 10 Reasons Why True Blood Is Better Than the Books It's Based On. To hype the season premiere and encourage subscriptions, many cable and satellite providers are participating in a free HBO preview June 24-27. Check with your provider for details.

From CBS News
Nashville native Ann Patchett's newest novel State of Wonder is showing up everywhere lately, and receiving all kinds of praise. It made it onto Amazon's Best Books of the Month list for June. The novel has been reviewed and recommended all over the web recently. And best of all? Patchett makes a stop at the Salon@615 author spotlight series this coming Tuesday evening at the Nashville Public Library.

I love this article from EW's book blog Shelf Life: "'The Hunger Games': A doubter finally dives in" details writer Rob Brunner's initial refusal to believe in the dystopian YA series (much like I did). However, also like me, he immediately realizes the folly in his holding out -- and promptly stays up all night to fix how very behind he is.

Graphic from
In an ongoing effort to stay afloat in this world of e-books and Amazon buyers, independent bookstores announced this week through a NY Times article that they may begin charging for author events. Some stores already require a purchase of the book to attend events; others even charge a flat fee for big-ticket authors. Although once considered "unthinkable" for stores to do so, booksellers nowadays have to find ways to capitalize on the things that make them different from online retailers. As author events are one unique aspect of brick-and-mortar bookstores, it's also one sure-fire way to make money. Unless, that is, readers simply stay at home.

With my trip to Africa less than two weeks away, I am heavily into my reading prep. (This, of course, is a prep necessary only in my own mind -- not because it's actually a requirement!) I am currently reading two novels set in East Africa: Baking Cakes in Kigali by Gaile Parkin and The Camel Bookmobile by Masha Hamilton. Baking Cakes is set in Rwanda, but the main character is a native Tanzanian. Bookmobile is set in Kenya, and the main character is a young American woman. I am enjoying both. Although neither is set in Tanzania, where I will be traveling, both countries border Tanzania and (hopefully) both books can teach me something about the region.

I am also in search of lots of audiobooks and e-books to keep me entertained (and ease or distract from my anxiety) while I am traveling. If you have suggestions, please let me know! I can't do "heavy" books in either format; I just can't concentrate as much on audio or e-books. My favorite audiobooks have been those in Lisa Gardner's D.D. Warren series, which are narrated by multiple voice actors.

1 comment:

  1. Can't wait for True Blood! Psyched!

    I didn't know Ann was doing an author event here on Tuesday. I probably won't be able to go. =O( Have you heard that she's trying to open an indie bookstore in Nashville? I read about it a few weeks ago.

    I hope you have a wonderful trip. Be careful!



Related Posts with Thumbnails