Tuesday, February 03, 2004

Tuesday roundup 

Let's start off with what appears to be totally pointless news: the paperback edition of Harry Potter V: The Voyage Home (oh wait, that's not the title, is it) will be out in the UK on June 10. Um, didn't the entire world rush out to get the hardcover? Somehow, a PB edition isn't likely to get those who didn't want to read it willing to do so now. OTOH, maybe Bloomsbury's tired of cranking out the 32nd edition of the hardcover...

This year marks the 100th anniversary of Bloomsday, which commemorates the date used in James Joyce's ULYSSES--and Ireland plans a five month extravaganza celebration in Dublin.

A rare copy of T.E. Lawrence's SEVEN PILLARS OF WISDOM--one of only two known to be inscribed by the author-- is expected to fetch 35 000 pounds at auction in New York later this month.

Now that Amazon is finally making a profit, must they discount their books so deeply? This is what's being asked by the Seattle Times, but my own feeling is that the discount is what still makes people likely to buy books from them--and if they stopped doing so, people would stop buying.

Whitbread Award winner Mark Haddon answers readers' questions at the Guardian. Topics include his method of research (nothing specific, just used his background working with disabled children) and his next novel, BLOOD AND SCISSORS, "a comedy about nervous breakdown and skin cancer."

Chris Lehmann reviews Chris Abani's novel of a young boy named Elvis coming of age in Nigeria, in what looks to be a fascinating read.

Ed audioblogs about the "healthy rage" inherent to the bookblogger.

Michael Moore, regular Joe? Well, that's what he wants the world to think, even if they aren't quite buying it.

So has all the controversy surrounding Bill Keller's comments to the Book Babes forced him to name a successor more quickly? Some in publishing seem to think so. (link from Maud.)

And finally, the work of celebrity photographer George Zimbel is now being exhibited in the Charlottetown, P.E.I. gallery. He speaks to the Globe and Mail about his life, career, and his opinion of current photojournalists:

"It's a scummy way to make a living, frankly," he says. "You get an exclusive picture of someone that immediately goes all over the world and your agent can sell it like 10 times and you make $50,000. I never made $50,000 on anything."

"They track people. They intrude. I don't intrude." He's often asked if he conversed with the famous people he's photographed, but Zimbel says his policy is he doesn't speak unless spoken to because it interrupts the dynamic of the photograph. "I consider celebrities as workers. They're just workers, as we all are. Everybody is always asking, 'Did you get to talk to this one or that one?' Sometimes yes, sometimes no. But they're doing their job and I'm doing my job, and I've always felt that way."

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