Greedy Reader.

I have been greedy.

I read and read and read and read.

I do not write.

I need to write.

Firm declarative sentences perhaps equal a decision?

BookADay will be right back.


Reading at Work

I both love and hate this idea. Author readings, a ubiquitous part of book publicity campaigns, are now happening outside the bookstore. They're happening inside the office.

Of course, it's happening at Starbucks.

The NY Times has the whole story. Thanks to Media Bistro.


CIA Operative: Reading

The NY Times is reporting that George C. Minden passed away earlier this month.

He was responsible for the CIA-financed initiative to give books to Communists living in Eastern Europe and the Soviet Union.

"The material ranged from dictionaries, medical texts and novels by Joyce and Nabokov to art museum catalogs and Parisian fashion magazines."

Comments were kept on individual recipients' reading taste, not for some scary government reason, but to "better serve them in the future." Minden believed that the initiative "sprinkled reality into an unnatural and ultimately irrational" system.

New book review up as well.

Recently Finished:
Anne Frank: The Diary of a Young Girl
Foods That Make You Lose Weight (for work)


Pulitzer Prizes

Congratulations to the new Pulitzer Prize Winners for 2006. Read their books!

March by Geraldine Brooks

Polio: An American Story by David M. Oshinsky

American Prometheus: The Triumph and Tragedy of J. Robert Oppenheimer by Kai Bird and Martin J. Sherwin

Late Wife by Claudia Emerson

Imperial Reckoning: The Untold Story of Britain's Gulag in Kenya by Caroline Elkins


First Books

I'm a big fan of first books. While authors are rarely at their best, their methods are more transparent; their style is easier to dissect. Many of these works are beautiful and stunning. They inspire me as a reader and they inspire me to write.

Apparently, I'm not alone in my love of first books. NPR has the story. Click today's header to read.


The Blooker Prize

Brand new award for bloggers that turned their work into books. Julie Powell takes away the big prize.

"Blooks are the new books, a hybrid literary form at the cutting edge of both literature and technology," said Bob Young, founder of self-publishing site Lulu which organized and sponsored the prize. (from BBC News.)

New book review by Shane is live as well.


File: Logistics

As you can see, brand new look and feel.

New review in the library as well.


From The Stacks

A lot has happened since my last post.

I need to admit full disclosure: I went to work for a publishing company, which technically, makes me one of them. I am an editor, but I'm working with already-published-books, deploying them onto a popular website. (The company owns all the content rights.) This will not affect my judgment, the reviews, or my desire to post about book publishing.

And, I've been reading. A lot (see below). It's the time of year when I hunker down and read all the books that have been sent to me before my deadline passes, which is early next week. So, that's why there's been an interruption in the news and views of BookADay and I will soon return regularly.

I got tagged by Karen and it's a fun one about books, so I thought I'd post it here. Feel free to post your own.

Meme instructions (I modified slightly): Look at the list of books below. Bold the ones you’ve read, italicize the ones you might read, cross out the ones you won’t, put astericks by the ones on your book shelf, and place parentheses around the ones you’ve never even heard of.

The Da Vinci Code - Dan Brown
*The Catcher in the Rye - J.D. Salinger
*The Hitchhiker’s Guide To The Galaxy - Douglas Adams
*The Great Gatsby - F.Scott Fitzgerald
*To Kill a Mockingbird - Harper Lee
*The Time Traveler’s Wife - Audrey Niffenegger

(His Dark Materials - Philip Pullman)
*Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince - J. K. Rowling
Life of Pi - Yann Martel
Animal Farm: A Fairy Story - George Orwell
*Catch-22 - Joseph Heller
The Hobbit - J. R. R. Tolkien

The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time - Mark Haddon
Lord of the Flies - William Golding
Pride and Prejudice - Jane Austen
*1984 - George Orwell
*Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban - J. K. Rowling
*One Hundred Years of Solitude - Gabriel Garcia Marquez
*Memoirs of a Geisha - Arthur Golden

The Kite Runner - Khaled Hosseini
The Lovely Bones - Alice Sebold
*Slaughterhouse 5 - Kurt Vonnegut

Angels and Demons - Dan Brown
*Fight Club - Chuck Palahniuk
Neuromancer - William Gibson
(Cryptonomicon - Neal Stephenson)
(The Secret History - Donna Tartt)
A Clockwork Orange - Anthony Burgess
*Wuthering Heights - Emily Bronte
*Brave New World - Aldous Huxley
The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe - C. S. Lewis
Middlesex - Jeffrey Eugenides
(Cloud Atlas - David Mitchell)
The Lord of the Rings - J. R. R. Tolkien
Jane Eyre - Charlotte Bronte
Good Omens - Terry Pratchett, Neil Gaiman
Atonement - Ian McEwan
(The Shadow Of The Wind - Carlos Ruiz Zafon)
The Old Man and the Sea - Ernest Hemingway
The Handmaid’s Tale - Margaret Atwood
*The Bell Jar - Sylvia Plath
*Dune - Frank Herbert

So, play nice until next time. Also, I'm currently searching for nice quotes. Anyone have any?

Currently Reading:

The Litigators, Pg. 16

2006 Books Completed (in no particular order):

1. Spook: Science Tackles The Afterlife, 288 pages
2. Dress Your Family in Corduroy and Denim, 272 pages
3. The iTetralogy, 365 pages
4. The March of the Frozen Martyrs, 404 pages
5. Noble Vision, 338 pages
6. Abrasoka, 197 pages
7. Athena's Forum, 329 pages
8. The Champion Maker, 270 pages
9. Cryptid: the Lost Legacy of Lewis & Clark, 299 pages
10. DiVerse, 123 pages
11. Letters to Allie, 178 pages
12. Liars Dice, 364 pages
13. A Castle in Romagna, 103 pages
14. Nocturne, 379 pages
15. Rocks That Float, 282 pages
16. The March of the Frozen Martyrs, 391 pages
18. The Time Keeper, 235 pages
19. Gardening Made Easy
20. Organize Your Closet
21. Beyond Business Casual, 192 pages
22. Real Style, 192 pages
23. What Should I Wear? Dressing For All Occasions
24. Before You Put That On, 384 pages
25. How to Gain The Professional Edge: Achieve the Personal & Professional
Image You Want, 155 pages
26. Nice Girls Don't Get The Corner Office 101 Unconscious Mistakes Women Make That Sabotage Their Careers, 288 pages

No links on that one, it's a lot of coding.

Total Approximate Pages Read: 5,537


A Tribute to Wendy Wasserstein

Playwright Wendy Wasserstein has died.

There are a number of beautiful obituaries for her on the web right now and I'm sure they'll continue as the day goes on, but the one I find the most comforting is from The Miami Herald.

I loved Wendy Wasserstein's work. I loved them for their wit, for their ridiculous humor, for their unabashed blatant political statements. I even loved them for the things I hated: the similar characters and dialogue, the whining, the pseudo-man bashing. Maybe it was because I could see their flaws and respect her work anyway. Maybe it was because I, too, am a Jewish girl with overprotective parents. Maybe it was because her characters saw what they wanted and went after it-- a character trait I admire. Whatever it was, her work inspired me to continue writing.

Sometimes it's about timing. She caught me at the exact right moment with The Heidi Chronicles, a pick from my 10th grade English class. Her plays led the life I wanted (well, except for the dead-end romances with schmucks), told with the sense of humor I stole as my own.

I followed her career as my own began, even forgiving her missteps (An American Daughter, which disappointed me when I saw it on Broadway) because every interview I read of hers was a delight. She was a woman I admired; a woman I wanted to befriend.

I never did, but I thought about writing to her a lot. To tell her that her words danced across my mind, reverberated, making me feel dizzy and real. To tell her that her feminism was my blueprint; that her work and her life meant something to me even though I later discarded her brand of identity for my own. That her books sit on my office's inspiration shelf and that even now I thumb through them on bad days reminding myself why I write.

Her death makes today one of those bad days. Yet, even though she is no longer with us, she still inspires me and reminds me why I write. This time, it is to her.

Ms. Wasserstein, you'll be sorely missed. Thank you for all you've done for me.


How Do You Read?

Pop Quiz: How do you read? What are your preferences? Hard cover, paperback, ebook? Do you ever read books onscreen (via PDA, cell phone, ereader, monitor)? Would you?

My preferences: paperback (easier to haul around in my purse). I'm trying to get into the ereader thing. I started Silas Marner on my PDA/cell phone.

Two new book reviews up in the Book Review section. I also moved all the 2005 reviews over to the Book Review Archive.

Currently Reading:
The iTetralogy, Pg. 255.
Scion brochure.
Silas Marner, Pg. 2.


My eRead Over The Ocean

Our friends over at Britain's Observer report on a story about the next big advance in publishing: the ebook.

Yeah, I know, sort of old news. But the article is a great read, especially because it wanders through all points of view.

Most exaggerated quote from the article:
Weisberg, a passionate bibliophile who delights in trawling secondhand bookshops for modern first editions, concedes that a book is a lovely thing and believes that hardback books will become more like illuminated manuscripts after Gutenberg. 'You will keep in your home only ones you find attractive, or have a sentimental connection to. Owning printed books will eventually become synonymous with collecting them.'

Of course, I think that's a bunch of bunk. And I'm a big fan of ebooks.

A quote that makes more sense from the same article:
"When the e-reader emerges as a mass-market item, the shift will be very rapid indeed. It will soon be a dual-format market."

Yeah, much better.

In other news, three new reviews coming this week (hopefully). One's in the can, one's in my head, and one's still being read.

Currently reading:
The iTetralogy, Pg. 168.
The New Yorker, current issue, Pg. 27. (Yeah, I know it's not a book, but it's what I'm reading.)


New Year, New Me

And, we're back.

First, a thank you to all of the very, very patient BookADay readers.

I've looked at BookADay in 2005.
Here it is, by the numbers:

10 reviews posted, about one per month, except when on sabbatical
48 posts, 2 more than in 2004

That's not good enough.

When I originally started this my goal was to share what I was reading. I had always been that friend people asked what was good to read. But, I've been a miserable friend, the kind who doesn't return your phone calls because she's off hiking the Alps or something. Part of that is because I began reading a lot of books for a contest that I was judging at the time, so I got away from the core, replacing it with news and other tidbits. Part of it was because I was too busy/lazy to update on a regular schedule. Part of it was because I was trying to find my voice on deciding what I would and wouldn't publish. (Regular readers know about my good review/bad review debate.)

Speaking of reviews, I'd like to announce the BookADay Awards for Excellence in 2005.

BookADay Reviewer of the Year

Shane Wilson.
Shane's diligence and prolific review writing has kept BookADay going this year, almost single-handedly. I'm incredibly grateful to his fervor, anger, and well written book reviews.

This year there's only one category. Next year, I'll ask you to read the awards wearing a tux with tails, and I'll write them in a flowing dress with plenty of bling. Seriously, congrats and thank you to Shane.

It's a new year and I've think I have it figured out. Which could mean I don't have it figured out at all. Anything's possible.

Due to wonderful advances in technology (way to go Palm Treo and Blogger Mobile), I can now post from just about anywhere. I'm going back to the core--less news more books. Which means more reviews and more regularly scheduled posts. And, if I'm going to be off traveling, there will be guest contributors to keep this going. Because I owe it to you, and truthfully, to me as well.

New features for 2006:
-Search capabilities of reviews. People have asked for this and I'm going to figure out how to make this happen. If there's a developer in the house,
-More indy book reviews. I'm currently working through a stack that will be up in the next few weeks.
-Possible new design.
-Much more fun and exciting innovations I can't tell you about because I haven't thought up yet.

Thanks again to everyone who reads BookADay. There's a new review by Reviewer of the Year Shane Wilson up in the BookADay Book Review section.

And now...your regularly scheduled post ending.

Currently reading:
The i Tetralogy, Pg. 68
Tori Amos: Piece by Piece, Pg. 18

2006 Books Completed:
1. Spook: Science Tackles The Afterlife
2. Dress Your Family in Corduroy and Denim
Total Pages Read: 583


What? Still On Leave?

It's the New Year, for crying out loud.

Yes, yes, I've heard your cries and I apologize.
Putting together a nice big post, including a year wrap up.
New reviews as well.

Coming January 9.