news in review · stuff I read

2009 Man Booker Prize Longlist

The 2009 Man Booker Prize Longlist was announced yesterday. I like the breadth of titles/authors under consideration but, being that the award is made off British publication dates, at least one contender has yet to hit bookselves on the US side of the Pond.

A S Byatt » The Children’s Book » Chatto & Windus
US release: October 6, 2009 – I would consider ordering from a UK source as long as I can find one that is not Amazon and the shipping wouldn’t be astronomical, at which point it probably wouldn’t arrive until October anyway.
J M Coetzee » Summertime » Harvill Secker
This will release September 3, 2009, in the UK (according to various online retailers) and I can’t find a reliable US date.
Adam Foulds » The Quickening Maze » Jonathan Cape
No US date as yet.
Sarah Hall » How to Paint a Dead Man » Faber & Faber
US release: September 9, 2009
Samantha Harvey » The Wilderness » Jonathan Cape
Released in the US February 2009.
James Lever » Me Cheeta » Fourth Estate
Released in the US March 2009
Hilary Mantel » Wolf Hall » Fourth Estate
US release October 10, 2009
Simon Mawer » The Glass Room » Little, Brown
No US date as yet.
Ed O’Loughlin » Not Untrue & Not Unkind » Penguin
No US date as yet.
James Scudamore » Heliopolis » Harvill Secker
No US date as yet.
Colm Toibin » Brooklyn » Penguin
Released in the US May 2009
William Trevor » Love and Summer » Penguin
US release September 19, 2009
Sarah Waters » The Little Stranger » Little, Brown
Released in the US April 2009

This gets to a small problem I have with books coming out of the UK because it seems like so many books have a significant delay between the UK and US releases (and I’m sure that the problem is reversed for residents of the UK). Aside from haggling amongst different publishers for UK-based authors’ manuscripts, I see no real reason why it should take that long for a book to arrive in the US once it has released in the UK. Or any other English-speaking county, for that matter. The book has already been edited for publication so you don’t have to check for typos or anything else the copy-editor might be needed for. There’s no reason to change covers and you don’t have to translate the book. So load the text into the printing press and off you go.

Translation brings up another sticky point. I LOATHE “translations” from British English to American English. It is pointless and offensive that I, as a reader, cannot enjoy the authors words as set out because some editor in an office somewhere thought that I might not understand British slang or spelling. Newsflash: slang adds color and it isn’t a different language. A different language to me is anything not English (I can read German and some French but not well enough to sense nuance and idiom so bring on the translations in that case).

My point? I want my copy of The Children’s Book. Now. Chop, chop, US publishers.

Booking Through Thursday

Booking Through Thursday: The ha-ha*

What’s the funniest book you’ve read recently? Don’t forget to leave a link to your actual response at Booking Through Thursday!

Welll…..I don’t read many “funny” books, at least not recently (as I peruse my book journal). I tend to read books with a degree of funny like:

Three Bags Full by Leonie Swann
Three Bags Full: A Sheep Detective Story

The Westing Game by Ellen Raskin
The Westing Game (Puffin Modern Classics)

Beowulf on the Beach by Jack Murnighan
Beowulf on the Beach: What to Love and What to Skip in Literature's 50 Greatest Hits

and Shakespeare Wrote for Money by Nick Hornby.
Shakespeare Wrote for Money

The last truly “funny” book I read (one meant to make you bust a gut at times) was probably
First Amongst Sequels by Jasper Fforde
First Among Sequels (Thursday Next, #5)
and that released in 2007. I’m not counting “listenings” in this list because Thursday is my road-trip buddy and the last listen of a Thursday book was about three weeks ago.

I think I prefer “snark” to “funny” (which probably explains why I liked Then We Came to the End by Joshua Ferris).
Then We Came to the End

*”ha-ha” is one of my favorite words; it is a laugh, a sort-of sunken ditch/retaining wall, and a novel by Dave King.

BNBC · Teaser Tuesdays

Teaser Tuesdays: The Pickup

Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading. Anyone can play along! Just do the following:

– Grab your current read
– Open to a random page
– Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
– BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
– Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!

If he says that one more time! So how it has to be is not what he will do about this letter, this document passing a sentence on his life, but what we are going to do.

~p 55, The Pickup, Nadine Gordimer*

* Gordimer’s The Pickup is our August read for “Literature by Women” at Barnes and Noble Book Clubs; come visit and don’t forget to put your $0.02 in by voting for our next batch of books.

BNBC · random

I’m still me!

Just an FYI for everyone who follows me from BNBC – my pen name has changed to “Melissa_W” due to some combining/improvements going on at BNBC.

Which means I need to update some links (like the one in the previous post because I don’t think it will work correctly now).

Musing Mondays

Musing Mondays: Online Book Sites

Musing Mondays is hosted by Rebecca at Just One More Page…
Today’s MUSING MONDAYS post is about online book sites…
Do you have an account with an online book database site (LibraryThing, Shelfari, GoodReads etc)? If so, do you have a preference? Do you use it for – your own record keeping? finding new books to read? social networking?
PLEASE LEAVE A COMMENT with either the link to your own Musing Mondays post, or share your opinion in a comment here (if you don’t have a blog), and make sure to comment on Rebecca’s original post. Thanks.

Haha! I did a Goodreads post last night, how crazy is that for anticipation? As previously posted, I do have a Goodreads account and have just re-started using it – as in seriously using it – but I don’t have Shelfari or LibraryThing. Which is probably a good thing. I also have a My B&N page which I tend to update slightly more often because I’m on the Barnes and Noble Book Clubs website far more often because of my moderating duties; I also like My B&N because I can favorite CDs and DVDs, too, along with my B&N reviews and favorite B&N Review and B&N Studio pieces.

I don’t use either for record-keeping, as such. I have huge Excel databases that I use for generalized keeping track of what I own and my hand-written journals to tell me what I thought of something and when I read it.

new books (yay) · random


I’ve had a Goodreads account for quite some time – since August of 2007 to be exact – but I never really made much use of it. I think I only entered 10 books and joined two groups and that was kind of that. I’d get the email updates for a few of my friends (one friend has over 1000 books in her profile, so she was obviously getting mileage out of it) but never felt terribly compelled to visit much until last night.

I’m not sure how I wound up on Goodreads last night. I think it might have been because I dropped by Lauren Willig’s site for news about Pink VI or Lizzie Skurnick may have mentioned Goodreads reviews on her blog. So I signed into Goodreads for the first time in nearly two years and proceeded to follow Lauren and Lizzie, re-arrange some books, play trivia, stalk, er, follow Alain de Botton, and waste a good 3 hours of sleeping time in general.

Moving forward to today, I combined this new thirst for all things Goodreads with my mission of culling the rapidly growing book collection. I entered all the books in my “in-progress” bedside bin, the “TBR” books on my desk, the new book I bought today (The Big Rewind by Nathan Rabin), and then proceeded to go entry-by-entry through my book journals starting in 2003 to update my “read” list. I didn’t put every single entry in – that would be nuts – and I didn’t even have accurate information on some of the books I either DNF’d or got rid of (hastily). I rapidly discovered that searching isn’t all that accurate by title and ISBN is far more accurate causing me to look up books at B&N then copy-and-paste the ISBN into Goodreads. I also discovered a mistake where the publisher data for RHI and B&N editions of Dorian Gray were mixed up causing the RHI data to appear on the B&N page of Goodreads (and I know I had the right ISBN because I got the book and checked).

I also updated the Goodreads widgets on my blog to those really snazzy montage widgets. I have three now. Since I’m a nerd.

I increased my Goodreads shelf count to 204.

I culled 10 books from the collection. It’s better than I had been doing.

I’ve got some reviews to write (both movie and book) and some knitting to finish. Catch y’all later.

Teaser Tuesdays

Teaser Tuesday: Shelf Discovery

On Thursday. Oh well (I didn’t get my book until Wednesday anyway).

Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading. Anyone can play along! Just do the following:

Grab your current read
Open to a random page
Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!

The most delightful thing to me about Judy Blume books is that unlike so many other children’s books, they never feature a sage adult offering the younger characters wise counsel in their time of need (at the most, during the height of her spiritual crisis, Margaret’s mother suggests Margaret go to the movies with a friend.)….

~p 52, Shelf Discovery: The Teen Classics We Never Stopped Reading by Lizzie Skurnick

(and I pre-ordered this sucker as soon as humanly possible – it is fantastic!)