Friday, May 19, 2006

Best American Fiction, Bookstores and UFOs

Okay, I'm not even apologizing this time. Suffice to say, I was indisposed. I would really like to get back into the groove. Thanks for being patient.

Now that that's out of the way, here are a few things I picked up this passing week. Hope you find them as interesting.

On the subject of books:
The New York Times has chosen the best American fiction of the last 25 years. Only American, I reiterate.
Beloved by Toni Morrison won - excellent choice of course. I agree whole-heartedly.
There is also a list of runners-up and honourable mentions. I will definitely have to add some of the books from the New York Times' list to my own TBR (to be read) list.
[[Side note: While Morrison is an African-American female, the list (if we recall the two posts about authors' gender and race) is once again comprised of mostly white males. Just interesting.]]

On the subject of bookstores:
Who here has never dreamt of opening up a bookstore? One where s/he decides on the content, the ambiance, the culture, the employees, even the clientele?
But indy bookstores are becoming a rarer sight and Slate has an article about the death of independent bookstores.
I'm lucky, I live in TO where there are more than enough book superstores and still many indy bookstores managed to survive. I enjoy the best of both worlds then but I imagine it isn't the same in other cities.
There are pros and cons to book superstores. They do make books more accessible, however, many titles get lost in the all important selling mentality. It's a toss-up, I'd say.

And finally, for the sci-fi geeks:
A British fellow, awaiting extradition for hacking into NASA and the US military networks among others, claims to have seen proof UFOs exist. He also claims we'll have anti-gravity technology within the next seven years.
BBC News, in their article - Hacker fears 'UFO cover-up', also have the 16 minute interview in a video/audio format. I'll let you be the judge of that...

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Anonymous said...

I have always wanted my own bookstore, but the grim truth is that it would fail. There are too many superstores around here to compete with. I found a cool independant bookstore in North Carolina while vacationing at the Outer Banks. I would love to own something like that.

Deborah said...

I wouldn't mind owning my own bookstore if I didn't have Barnes&Noble or Borders as neighbors. I've always enjoyed the smaller stores because of the atmosphere. The bigger stores carry more inventory, but you can easily spend hours looking for the book(s) you came for, not that I am complaining. ;)

Pat Kirby said...

Me big troglodite. I no read any of them bookies on fancy list.

Because I know just how much work a small business is, and because customers suck, I can honestly say owning a bookstore isn't one of my dreams. Go figure.

The trick to surviving in this era of superstores is to offer something that the big stores don't offer.

melly said...

Fred, yeah, exactly. Something like that, your own bookstore. That would totally rock ;)

Me too Deborah. I love searching the big stores. But sometimes the finds in the indy stores make everything worth it.

Troglodite, errr, I mean, Pat :)
No, I haven't read most of the books either.
I hear what you're saying about offering something the big stores don't, the problem is, most times it's also something that not many people want so it may not also be that profitable...

Benjamin Solah said...

Even I've dreamt of owning a bookstore. It'd be so cozy, I could sit at a desk all day, write and read and would sell the occasional book.

Even seen 'Black books'? It's hilarious.

Melly said...

That's exactly how I envision it too, Benjamin :) Just perfect.

And no, I've never seen Black Books. I'll rent it. Thanks.