Amazon’s Largess?

Dublin's Weekly FindIn this week’s selection of Dublin’s Weekly Find from 3quarksdaily, Alexander Zaitchik discusses The Brooklyn Book Festival and Amazon’s various grants to many publishing companies, writing programs, and journals.  Click the link at the end of the excerpt (article originally posted on April 8, 2012) below to read the entire article at Salon.

The Brooklyn Book Festival’s website debuts a new feature this year called OnePage. Every week from March through September, OnePage will post part of a previously unpublished work — chunks of correspondence, scenes from books in progress — by authors such as Darcey Steinke, Martha Southgate, Paula Fox and Stefan Merrill Block. There will also be mini-profiles of participating small presses, including indie mainstays McSweeney’s and Akashic. That a Brooklyn book festival would promote small presses and their authors isn’t surprising. But the sponsor of OnePage has raised a few eyebrows. As the festival’s press release noted, “The project is made possible with a grant from” Yes, much of the literary world is in full-throated revolt against Amazon’s dominance — bookstores fear Amazon will push them out of business, authors worry about deep discounting, and the Department of Justice is considering the major publishers’ challenge over the price of e-books. But amid the public and private rancor, the massive e-retailer is very quietly trying to make friends in the book world. Its strategy is simple and employs a weapon Amazon has in overwhelming supply: Money.

More from Salon here.

Posted by Azra Raza of 3quarksdaily at 7:14 AM on April 12, 2012.

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Posted by on April 14, 2012 in Dublin's Weekly Find


Shadow Of The Titanic

Title: Shadow Of The Titanic
Author: Andrew Wilson
Genre: Nonfiction, History
Publisher: Atria Books
Pages: 416

The Gist: In the early morning hours of April 15, 1912, the icy waters of the North Atlantic reverberated with the desperate screams of more than 1,500 men, women, and children—passengers of the once majestic liner Titanic. Then, as the ship sank to the ocean floor and the passengers slowly died from hypothermia, an even more awful silence settled over the sea. The sights and sounds of that night would haunt each of the vessel’s 705 survivors for the rest of their days.

Although we think we know the story of Titanic—the famously luxurious and supposedly unsinkable ship that struck an iceberg on its maiden voyage from Britain to America—very little has been written about what happened to the survivors after the tragedy. How did they cope in the aftermath of this horrific event? How did they come to remember that night, a disaster that has been likened to the destruction of a small town?

The Review: I don’t usually read books about the Titanic, and I don’t  usually watch shows about the Titanic.  If I have watched them, the shows usually talk about the Titanic’s structure  and the actual damage the iceberg inflicted on the ship.  I have found that once you watch one good show on that aspect of the disaster, all the other ones are just repeats.

However, what I really wanted to know about was the people.  And there isn’t that much written on what happened to the survivors once they resumed their lives.  Andrew Wilson’s Shadow Of The Titanic addresses this issue.  Wilson researched for this book thoroughly and in Shadow Of The Titanic he presents a thought-provoking, heartbreaking, and inspirational book. Read the rest of this entry »

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Posted by on April 12, 2012 in Andrew Wilson, Book Reviews



Sunday Salon: Additions

This past week, I read and wrote a review for Not Alone: Stories Of Living With Depression.  You can check it out here if you like.  And when I added the book to my LibraryThing account, I was and still am so far, the only one who has a copy of it.  I know that kind of sounds bad, but I was actually kind of excited about that.  It’s rare now that I have the only copy of a book on LibraryThing.  So now I’ve added a unique work to the overall collection.

Okay.  So it doesn’t take much to make me happy.

One time I added a book I purchased from the Folger Shakespeare Library (wonderful gift shop) — Queen Elizabeth I Selected Works.  No one on LibraryThing had a copy but me.  Then, about a week or so later, I noticed that 30 other people had added it to their collections.

As for other reads, I’m still reading Shadow Of The Titanic.  This book just has a lot of stuff in it.  At times it bogs down, but in general, it’s the kind of book that just has slow pace.

I’m also reading Sacre Bleu by Christopher Moore.

Have good week everyone.


Posted by on April 8, 2012 in Sunday Salon


The Past Is Never Even Past

Dublin's Weekly FindIn this week’s selection of Dublin’s Weekly Find from 3quarksdaily, Nick Owchar reveiws Peter Silverman’s Leonardo’s Lost Princess and A.S. Byatt’s works Possession and The Children’s Book. Click the link at the end of the excerpt (article originally posted on March 4, 2012) below to read the entire article at the Los Angeles Times.

“The past is never dead,” Faulkner famously wrote in “Requiem for a Nun.” “It’s not even past” — and nothing demonstrates that maxim better than the discovery of a “new” painting by a revered, long-dead artist. Suddenly, it is as if that person is alive and well again and walking among us. Art collector Peter Silverman had such a jolting recognition concerning a painting he saw in the late 1990s and again at a New York City auction in 2007. He was convinced it must have been executed by the one and only Renaissance master from Vinci — a story he relates, with Catherine Whitney, in “Leonardo’s Lost Princess: One Man’s Quest to Authenticate an Unknown Portrait by Leonardo da Vinci” (Wiley: 256 pp., $25.95). The painting that beguiled him — a 9-by-13-inch drawing in chalk and pen and ink — seems hardly dramatic: A young woman in profile, her brown hair bound in ribbons. Simple. Plain. Leonardo? Really?

More from Los Angeles Times here.

Posted by Morgan Meis of 3quarksdaily at 4:42 AM on April 7, 2012.

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Posted by on April 7, 2012 in Dublin's Weekly Find


Not Alone: Stories Of Living With Depression

Title: Not Alone Stories Of Living With Depression
Edited By: Alise Wright
Genre: Memoir, Psychology, Mental Health
Publisher: Civitas Press
Pages: 194

The Gist: Author and editor Alise Wright’s Not Alone: Stories Of Living With Depression is a collection of short stories from people who suffer or have suffered from depression.

The Review: Each story in Not Alone: Stories Of Living With Depression reveals real people and their real struggles with depression.  Wright divides the book into sections so each set of stories in each section has its own theme. These sections– Awareness, Acceptance, Recovery, and Post-Depression Reflections break up the book’s stories into manageable, readable chunks.  However, these section themes and its contributions seem to mirror the chameleon-like nature of depression itself:  Often, it seems that the essays don’t completely fit the section theme.

For example, in the section Recovery, many of the writers still deal with depression and its effects.  These essays show that a person doesn’t forget an episode of depression.  Depression, even if a person never has another episode the rest of his or her life, permanently changes that person’s perspective on life in some way. And  a person always remembers the damage and the chaos depression wreaked in his or her life. In those respects, depression never really goes away. So have they really recovered?  What does recovery from depression actually mean? Or rather, what is recovery from depression?  Not having another episode or managing a chronic cycle?  For each contributor, recovery from depression means something different.

One thing about Not Alone: Stories Of Living With Depression did surprise me.  The majority of contributors come from a Christian, evangelical background. Not coming from such a background, I found this aspect of the book interesting.  Throughout Not Alone: Stories Of Living With Depression, the writers wrestle with faith and depression.  How does a born-again Christian, who is supposed to have absolute faith in Jesus reconcile this with having depression?  I think that’s a big question, and I think anyone of any faith at some point, in some way wonders why G-d allows depression into his or her life.

Wright’s Not Alone: Stories Of Living With Depression contains humor along with the grim realities of depression.  I found this book interesting and helpful.  The writers of these stories wrote them to inspire and help others who have depression with the main messages being:  Seek help, and you are not alone.

Because you’re not alone.

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Posted by on April 5, 2012 in Alise Wright, Book Reviews


Sunday Salon: Pace

Ever thought you were just cruising along in the book you were reading only to discover that you’re not as far along as you thought you were?  That’s what’s happened with Shadow of The Titanic.

I thought I was just zipping along this 413 page book only to discover that I’m only on page 164.  Is it me?  Is it the book?  It’s an engaging book, but I have other things to do and distractions so maybe I haven’t focused on reading as much this week as I thought.  Or maybe it’s the book’s pace.  Maybe I’ve hit a slow spot.  Not sure yet.  Have to keep reading to see what’s up.

But there are books that if I read 20 pages I’ve felt like I’ve read a hundred.  These books are either well written and just packed with a lot of action in a few pages or they’re poorly written.  For the former, Robert Jordan’s  Circle of Time series comes to mind.  For the latter, I could pick any book I really didn’t like.

Usually, I read one book at a time if I’m writing reviews.  I want to keep my focus on that particular book I’m reading, but maybe I should read a short book in tandem with Shadow.

Have a good week everyone.


Posted by on April 1, 2012 in Sunday Salon


Rethinking The Literature Classroom

Dublin's Weekly FindIn this week’s selection of Dublin’s Weekly Find from 3quarksdaily, Jeff Hudson uses his experience teaching English to discuss how to revamp the literature classroom. Click the link at the end of the excerpt (article originally posted on March 27, 2012) below to read the entire article at Full Stop.

Here is something I know: I feel better when I read — not just good, but better. Anxieties are assuaged, burdens lightened, relationships enriched. I feel part of something hopeful, a connection to the writer, the characters, other readers. I feel smart, if it is okay to say that. I am moved to act after reading — to write, to talk. I have new questions and fresh answers. And I am hardly alone. Anne Lamott knows that “when writers make us shake our heads with the exactness of their prose and their truths, and even make us laugh about ourselves or life, our buoyancy is restored. We are given a shot at dancing with, or at least clapping along with the absurdity of life instead of being squashed by it over and over again.” After sharing stories, writer Barry Lopez feels exhilarated: “The mundane tasks which awaited me, I anticipated now with pleasure. The stories had renewed in me a sense of the purpose of my life.”

Here is something else I know: the power of literature to “renew a sense of purpose in our lives” gets killed in literature classrooms — unintentionally, no doubt, but killed nonetheless.

More from  Full Stop here.

Posted by Robin Varghese of 3quarksdaily at 4:53 PM on March 28, 2012.

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Posted by on March 31, 2012 in Dublin's Weekly Find

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