Monthly Archives: May 2010

Good Looking Guys Who Read Books

Hot Guys Reading BooksI wanted to give you all something light and fun for this lovely extended weekend. Since I didn’t really have anything Memorial Day related though I figured I would instead tell you about this amusing blog Hot Guys Reading Books. You see Memorial Day is all about those who serve our country, men who serve our country wear uniforms, men in uniform are generally good looking and here are other good looking men reading books. It totally works, right? (Not that I am trying to belittle the significance of Memorial Day at all.)

Anyway, I found out about this blog from Entertainment Weekly. And it’s exactly what it sounds like. People submit pictures of guys they find attractive reading books. It’s an English major’s dream come true. The actual attractiveness of the guys featured does vary but it goes a long way in busting the book nerd stereotype.

So check out Hot Guys Reading Books, and check out a sneak preview below:

Hot Guys Reading Books

Linked Up: Paging Through The Internet

My mom loved thinking about and talking about reading almost as much as she loved the actual act of reading.

In her absence, I’ve turned to the giant reading conversation that is the World Wide Web. Here’s what the Internet is saying about books, authors and the publishing industry this week:

The Kindle’s going on a diet this summer. Amazon is supposedly rolling out a thinner version in August. [CNET]

In case my brief round-up wasn’t extensive enough, the Los Angeles Times sums up BookExpo America. [LA Times]

Will an investment of $25 million help the seriously struggling Borders? [GalleyCat]

Way back when Mark Twain wrote an autobiography he didn’t want released until 100 years after his death. Well, 100 years is up. [The Independent]

Who needs a portrait of their kids when you can have a portrait of your bookshelf. [Jane Mount via Baby Got Books]

Reading For Robin Authors Say What?

When the authors on The List aren’t busy writing exciting works that attracted Robin’s attention, many can be found speaking their mind on Twitter.

Thin-skinned authors, the continuing oil spill and more… Check out who’s tweeting what this week:

@danijshapiro

Are writers more sensitive than other people? And so what if we are? http://bit.ly/aW7jqW

@Lisa_See

Happy to see so many nice notes about the sequel. Love the encouragement!

@rebeccawalker

Watching oil spilling into the ocean LIVE. A plumber should be called. IT’S A TUBE. Last time I checked, rocket science not involved. #FAIL

@megwaiteclayton

Tina Fey on winning the Mark Twain Award: “I assume Betty White was disqualified for steroid use.” My great laugh for the day!

@johnrobison

Just learned that Look Me in the Eye has gone to its 24th US printing. It’s like the Energizer Bunny, I guess . . . http://ow.ly/1Qz3M

I Survived BookExpo America

BEA LogoThis week the book world took over New York. The main event was a major publishing conference called Book Expo America. Yours truly had the opportunity to attend albeit briefly.

It all took place in the Jacob K. Javits Convention Center which, I found out, is huge. Like big-enough-to-be-its-own-city huge. With booksellers, book publishers and other book-related companies filling booths in every nook and cranny of the exhibit floor, you could say I was a bit overwhelmed.

Since I was only there for a little while, my activities were limited to an event that featured a discussion with author Nelson DeMille and his newest novel’s audiobook narrator Scott Brick, and then lots and lots of wandering the rows of booths. I collected two galleys of upcoming books, saw people videotaping messages to Harper Lee in honor of To Kill a Mockingbird’s 50th birthday, and walked by long lines of people waiting for authors’ autographs. Had I more time, I probably would have enjoyed more of the other events going on, such as a breakfast moderated by John Stewart, a talk about the future of the book industry and so forth. For the time being, though, I enjoyed my little taste of BEA.

For just a small peak into the conference from outside the book world, you can check out New York Magazine’s article here.

A High-Tech Version of the Reading List

BookLover iPhone appSo I was browsing the internet (or frantically searching “books” in Google News for a blog post idea) and came upon a mention of an iPhone app called BookLover, which can handle your reading list for you.

PC World summarizes the features:

Electric Pocket released BookLover on Wednesday, an iPhone application that allows you to keep track of the books you’ve recently read and remind yourself of ones that you’d like to read. It also features some sharing options for you to recommend books to your friends and a handy feature for keeping track of whom you’ve lent your books to.

It sounds useful, but it just seems amusing to me that there’s such a high-tech way to keep track of your reading list. My mom did that for years on just a piece of paper in her purse. When she upgraded, it was just to a Word document that she then printed and kept in her purse. Fancy, eh?

I’ve done her one better and created a Google doc for myself where I keep track of the books I want to read (that aren’t on Robin’s Reading List and therefore kept track of here) and the books I’ve read. But these days I also keep my mom’s list in my purse too. It seems fitting. Though my mom must have had a much more organized purse (no question there) because the list has taken a definite beating on the bottom of my bag.

Anyway, this BookLover app certainly takes the idea of the reading list to a new level and I kind of like the idea of it… especially the sharing features, since that’s something a traditional list can’t do. And thank goodness there’s technology to remind me about books I can’t seem to remember on my own.

Too bad I don’t have an iPhone. Actually it’s not too bad since I did have an iPhone and it dropped every single one of my calls. But too bad I don’t have a hypothetical iPhone that isn’t on an AT&T plan. Then I’d be all over this BookLover.

My Most Recommended Book So Far

The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie SocietyIn the almost four months since I started this project, I’ve read nine of the books on my mom’s list. That leaves 48 to go if I’ve counted correctly. Even at this relatively early juncture people often ask me to rank my preferences or ask for a recommendation. Instead of just telling them to read my reviews (read my reviews!), I generally offer them my humble opinion. So what book on Robin’s List is on the top of my list?

That would be The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society. The first book from the list I’ve read also happens to be my favorite so far. It’s hard to pinpoint exactly why except that it was original, heartfelt and endearing. The characters are all quirky and the main character, Juliet, is witty and the perfect person to tie this story together. I’ve definitely suggested this book to more than a few people and even bought it for a friend. I’m so glad my mom’s former book club has just read this book too. I’m looking forward to hearing what they thought of it.

(For those who are curious, I think my runner-up for favorite book may be The House on Fortune Street.)

Happy Girl Who Kicked The Hornet’s Nest Day

Today is the day America has been waiting for: The U.S. release of Stieg Larsson’s The Girl Who Kicked The Hornet’s Nest, the third and final book in his wildly successful series. I’m sure most of you are tired of hearing me talk about this book here and here, especially since it’s not even on the List.

However, today seemed like an appropriate day to share some more fun Stieg Larsson and Girl With The Dragon Tattoo related news. Then I’ll try and refrain from blogging about it anymore… until I finish the book at least and need to gush a little.

So, first, from an article I somehow missed last week, it seems the unusual main character Lisbeth Salander is based on none other than Pippi Longstocking. The New York Times article exlains:

An old colleague of Mr. Larsson’s has said they once talked about how certain characters from children’s books would manage and behave if they were older. Mr. Larsson especially liked the idea of a grown-up Pippi, a dysfunctional girl, probably with attention deficit disorder, who would have had a hard time finding a place in society but would nonetheless take a firm hand in directing her own destiny. That musing led to the creation of Lisbeth Salander, the central character in Mr. Larsson’s trilogy.

Admittedly, I never read Pippi Longstocking books (though I always really liked the movie and still reference it too often), but I love this story. The article goes on to compare the two independent gals, focusing on their singular beginnings, their odd looks and their awesome skills. It’s great.

In honor of this day, I thought I should also share links to some reviews of The Girl Who Kicked The Hornet’s Nest. Some are better than others, but regardless I’m sure there are many, many people looking forward to this book. Check them out:

The Kansas City Star

The New York Times

Entertainment Weekly

The Dallas Morning News

USA Today