The NY Times profiles library-ladder makers Putnam Rolling Ladder Company


* Not exactly news, but could someone with greater influence than I possess help The Guardian understand that they’re not obliged to cover every single Harry Potter-related story that comes down the pike?

* The Millions discusses anticipated books left to publish in 2008. And if you want more hot forthcoming books action, you can check the catalogs I run down regularly on Fridays and my two BEA roundups

* FC2 is getting dropped from the University of Florida. Guess innovative fiction is too much for a university to support these days.

* There’s a new Words Without Borders up.

* I just new they were going to start doing this sooner or later. Now custom agents have the power to randomly search your electronic media.


* A number of reviews for The Book of Chameleons: Three Percent, The Complete Review,

* Ready Steady Blog uncovers a thorough, not-terribly-complimentary review of James Wood’s poorly titled How Fiction Works


* The LRB on Philip K. Dick


* A Harvard study claims to have refuted the thesis of the book The Long Tail. (The author responds.)

The Rest

* Newsweek recommends summer reads, and their list is actually a lot better than you would expect. There’s Nathan Englander, Chatwin, and Hitchens before he became tired.

* Shane at eNotes discusses his pleasure with finding books for $1.00 and less at the Salvation Army store. I can beat that . . . I’ve been finding the best stuff lately just sitting in boxes on the sidewalk.

* Imperial America somehow managed to offer us all video of Christopher Hitchens being waterborded as part of some kind of proof to the beefy critic that it is indeed torture. Glad he’s convinced. And if you click the link and read Scott McLemee’s thoughts on the footage, perhaps you’ll ask yourself, as I did, "how does he know how ‘any dominatrix’s client’ is treated?"

* Is email losing its importance?

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Hey there- Thanks for the link to eNotes Book Blog. Only this blog was mine, Jamie, that’s right, J-A-M-I-E. Shane’s rival for the crown.

How do I know how a dominatrix’s client is treated? Perhaps it is a bad idea to generalize from a couple of scenes in “Sid and Nancy” and the recent British newspaper’s online posting of video of a public figure’s afternoon romp in a London dungeon. Then again, maybe that’s enough.
Suffice it to say the fact Hitchens was given a “stop word” made the whole thing seem more like consensual roleplay than anything even distantly resembling a military interrogation.

In regard to The Long Tail glance-over, both sides seem to be taking a short-sighted look at this phenomenon. There are major shifts occurring within the realms of media, and it’s apparent most with the literal changing of companies. Borders is on its last threads, Random House is playing musical chairs, and some of the major music publishers have simply stopped being around. There is a swing towards a broader market currently, and perhaps the “Internet Popularity” bump is slowing it down for a few years, as Lee Gomes refers to.
The internet is changing things, it’s just that business isn’t adjusting their strategies to it. When they do though, it’s working. Amazon has an internet approach (as with the article awhile ago about how it’s not financially wise for Amazon to take on Borders), and it’s become the giant of sales. Publishers and vendors alike need to find ways to follow suit… or be left in the age of the blockbuster.

My fellow Gator Maud beat me to it, but you don’t confuse us with Seminoles. (Actually, I worked on a joint UF/FSU project when I was a staff attorney at the UF law think tank and have always been impressed with FSU — I was last there for a great writing and publishing conference in March 2005.)
As someone who worked as an editorial assistant for the Fiction Collective at its beginning, when Brooklyn College provided us with space, first at a downtown building that was formerly St. Johns law school, and then on the main campus, I can tell you that somehow FC/FC2 has always managed to find an academic home (at the University of Colorado, for example) and am glad they’ll be at the University of Houston-Victoria for the 35th anniversary of its founding by Jonathan Baumbach, Peter Spielberg, Mark Mirsky, Ron Sukenick, Ray Federman and other terrific writers.

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