I wasn't going to post a series of links for this week, but I had a few that came up that were too good not to pass along. Here's your bi-weekly mix of the fun, interesting, and newsworthy book stuff from around the web. After linking all of these, I realized there's probably a whole week's worth of reading here, so grab a meal and a drink before diving in.
- To honor the death of Ray Bradbury, Slate has a nice slide show of the cover art from Fahrenheit 451. I know. I had slide shows too, but this one is worth it, especially if you like cover designs. Oh, and then you can check out which of those covers of Bradbury's book make ShortLists's compilation of the 50 coolest book covers.
- Remember a couple weeks ago I wondered whether the reissues of the Truman Capote books would get new covers? Turns out they are. Some of these are great and some, like the one for In Cold Blood, I don't care for as much. It fits, but I prefer the original one (actually, both earlier ones -- and hey, one of them made the ShortList compilation linked above, too). My favorite is the one to the left over there. It's creepy as hell.
- Two things on digital books and digital reading. First, Craig Mod has a post about how book covers aren't dead in the digital world, and he has some interesting ideas of how digital books can delight readers who like design in different ways. It's a little lengthy, but the gist of it is: opportunity! There are new and neat things to be accomplished. The second post on this topic worth reading about got really overlooked because of another post I'll share, but Jackie Parker has a great piece on enhanced ebooks and how they can be such a great treat for readers. See, John Green shared at BEA how enhanced books aren't necessary because the story is enough. What he failed to mention or consider, though, is how sometimes the story is so good that readers just want more, and that's why enhanced books are emerging.
- Ever wonder if blogging matters or can make a difference? Fear not. Jackie posted the table of contents about a pair of books she got at her workplace: How to Survive Anything Boys Only and How to Survive Anything Girls Only. It got picked up quickly and made the rounds of Jezebel and the like (Jezebel did not credit the story to Jackie but to Ryan North, who DID credit her -- I'm a little frustrated because Jac deserved the recognition for this from Jezebel who took the lazy way out in credit attribution). Anyway, people were upset about these books, so much so that Scholastic decided they're not going to be in print anymore. I think it was a good apology, but Jackie ponders whether or not what she did was incite censorship inadvertently.
- Guess what, bloggers? You have no obligation to "be nice." You can be, of course, but there's no obligation. A great post about what bloggers do over at Gossamer Obsessions. Biggest takeaway from that post is this: honesty trumps positivity. This post stemmed from the keynote given by Jennifer Weiner at BEA Blogger Con, which takes me here. . .
- Let's talk about BEA Blogger Con. First? From what I've read in the recaps, it sounds like Weiner did a pretty good job undermining the hard work of bloggers by proclaiming Oprah was like the first one because she became a reader-raver. That doesn't sit with me, but since I didn't get to hear the whole context of the speech or that comment, I'll go ahead and link to a few of the awesome recaps of BEA Blogger Con. I have been a little disappointed with BEA Blogger Con for a while, and not necessarily because of what I've read here -- I was invited to be on the critical reviews panel. Note that: I was invited by the organizers to be on the panel. When I said I could not make it but could I attend virtually, I was told nope, sorry, no way, despite there being a panel on using new tech in your blogs. What bothered me about this was how I was approached. I was asked to be on a panel -- I didn't apply, didn't put my name in consideration, didn't register for BEA Blogger Con -- and then when I said I couldn't make it and offered an alternative solution, I was simply shut out. From a professional standpoint, it seems sort of backward to invite someone before you know they're attending (I didn't ask for a stipend or financial assistance; I simply asked to Skype into the panel). And that's all I've got to really say on the topic, but I'm saddened to see that the BEA Blogger Con wasn't quite what it could have been. You know. A conference on blogging.
- I lied. I have more to add about the BEA Blogger Con, and it's pretty well summarized in this post about the blogger-publisher relationship. Rather than offer up commentary on that post, I'd like to direct readers to this post. It's stuff like that which makes all bloggers look pretty greedy and selfish and I ask this, and I ask it with sincerity: why is it every discussion about blogging somehow devolves into ARCs? It's not currency. I mean that in both senses of the word. I'd like to add, too, in regards to the first post and the topic of the publisher-blogger relationship that there are so many other ways to "judge" a blog than on stats or on Klout (seriously, that was brought up).
- Beth Kephart talks about the trends -- or lack thereof -- in YA .
- You're probably looking for something worth laughing about at this point, right? Here's something: Courtney Summers has some tips for surviving the zombie apocalypse. I'm buying stock in toothbrush companies right now.
- Flavorwire has a list of 30 books you should read before you're 30. I've read 13 of them, and a handful of them are books I've actively avoided for all my reading years. I suspect at age 30, I'll fail this list at about the rate I'm failing it now at 27.
- Though imperfect (and acknowledged as such!), Tessie Girl has a really neat flowchart of the Stephen King Universe.
- Over at io9, they're celebrating (?) death week, and they offer up a list of a few children's books that look death right in the eye. One of the books notably missing that I remember dealing with this topic and making me cry pretty hard as a kid was Bridge to Terabithia (that may be the only book as a kid I remember having such a reaction to).
- One of the best bloggers I've "met" this year has been Sarah over at Clear Eyes, Full Shelves. Aside from being a great reviewer (I really love how thoughtful she is and how she presents her reviews), she writes some really intelligent posts on big topics. Her commentary on the notion of guilty pleasures and gendered language is worth reading. If her blog isn't one you're regularly reading, you should fix that.
- Liz Burns wonders what impact will be had if YALSA chooses to go ahead with making a couple of their selection committee virtual. That's one of the topics they want to bring up at Annual this coming week. The other noteworthy items on her blog post about the Board Docs worth paying attention to are the changes to the YALSA award list access (they have collected 16,000 email addresses, friends -- that's huge). For me, one of the items that caught my eye in the Board Doc was looking into finding a source of revenue for the YALSA blog and YALSA's The Hub through advertisement. Here are my thoughts on that: if the organization is going to profit from the blog posts that members write and post, I will no longer be posting there. I do not pay to be a member of the organization and then write in order for them to earn more money, wherein I receive no benefits for doing so. I mean, I can't even access the award lists anymore without having to log in a few different times and come across a number of error messages before ultimately just Googling the lists.
- I'm posting this one for selfish reasons and legitimate reasons. Random House made this video about how a book goes from the hands of an author into the hands of a reader, and more than one person kindly forwarded it to me and said check out the screenshot of STACKED at 5:25. I like what they have to say about how bloggers can make the difference in a book's success. Did you read that? I emphasized it to help. I wish they'd left out the qualifiers of "oddly enough," but I think that they bring it up at all is pretty substantial, especially in light of a lot of what came out of Book Blogger Con and what's come out lately in the blogging world. Also, our blog looks really great on screen!
- Flow charts are neat, aren't they? Here's one on what you should read this summer.
- I haven't read a Haruki Murakami book since college, which was when I really fell in love with him, but after checking out this bingo card, I'm ready to visit some of the novels of his I haven't read.
- I saved one of my favorite posts from the week for the very end because it's one you can't help but laugh at. What My Mother Doesn't Know indeed.
I like to think there is a little of something for everyone here this week!