The biggest news of the past week is that Barnes & Noble CEO, William Lynch, resigned. Commentators seem to feel that this is a result of the failure of the Nook Media strategy, which Lynch headed up. I love the prices over at Amazon as much as the next reader but we need competition and I truly hope that however Barnes & Noble restructures their company or strategies in the coming months is effective. I am still mourning the loss of Borders. Speaking of the rise of digital media, Apple was found guilty of ebook price fixing this week in that case that has been going on for months and months. All the publishers involved in the case settled earlier and the damages Apple will be assessed have not yet been determined, but all parties will be forbidden from using any agency pricing agreements for two years. An Apple spokesperson said they will be appealing the decision.
All three of us Readventurers are newly fanatical about graphic novels so it makes us happy to report that comic and graphic novel sales are up 15% in the past year and remaining steady. This is so exciting because it will hopefully translate to more being published and a wider variety of stories. Amazon, of course, has jumped on the bandwagon by opening Jet City Comics, their own comics/graphic novel imprint, which will release comics from Neal Stephenson, George R.R. Martin, and Hugh Howey, among others. New to graphic novels but grew up in the 80s or 90s? Well, NBC Universal and Lion Forge Comics have teamed up to release graphic novel versions of several shows from that era--namely Saved by the Bell, Knight Rider, Punky Brewster, Miami Vice, and Airwolf--so that might be a good place to start. But seriously, if you need a recommendation for a graphic novel, just ask! We've also read a huge number of short stories lately so we're excited to mention that the 2013 PEN Literary Awards shortlists were announced this week. I hope to get my hands on each of the nominated shorts:
A Naked Singularity (University of Chicago Press), Sergio de la Pava
My Only Wife (Dzanc Books), Jac Jemc
Happiness Is a Chemical in the Brain (W.W. Norton & Co.), Lucia Perillo
Battleborn (Riverhead Books), Claire Vaye Watkins
Ender’s Game is set more than a century in the future and has nothing to do with political issues that did not exist when the book was written in 1984.
With the recent Supreme Court ruling, the gay marriage issue becomes moot. The Full Faith and Credit clause of the Constitution will, sooner or later, give legal force in every state to any marriage contract recognized by any other state.
Now it will be interesting to see whether the victorious proponents of gay marriage will show tolerance toward those who disagreed with them when the issue was still in dispute.
Here's a few extra notable links from the week:
- A New York school district sent home an error-riddled summer reading list.
- An Indian author was given a 1.7 million dollar advance in 1993. He’s being asked to give it back after not producing the book.
- A new Humble Bundle of ebooks was released! You can buy it here, and it includes works from authors including Lois McMaster Bujold, Cory Doctorow, and Peter S. Beagle, who did an AMA on Reddit to promote it.
- A rare collection of over 10,000 African American historical books, films, etc. was thrown out in Highland Park, Michigan. The books were found and people are now protesting the school board.