Which of these statements is true? 1. Memoirs are popular. 2. New memoirs are popular. I suspect the latter. As I weeded my library’s biography section last summer, I found many memoirs and other autobiographical writings in nearly pristine condition; most of them had not been borrowed since the year of their publication. Sadly, I also found highly regarded memoirs that had not moved in years. These books had been selected initially to meet current demand, and some had, like the Mars rovers Spirit and Opportunity, performed beyond expectations, but our readers had lost interest in or awareness of all of them. For a small library needing room for new, in-demand memoirs, it was time to part with the old.
Near the end of each year, I have the pleasure of meeting with lots of university press reps so they can show me their Spring catalogs for the next year, indicating their forthcoming lead trade titles as well as some mid-list treats they feel sure LJ’s readers will find compelling. There’s a lot of exciting stuff coming in Spring 2013 from these publishers. Here are pairs and threesomes that seemed to form themselves from the academic Spring 2013 catalogs that came to me via press appointments.
You might think developing an entire law school’s collection from scratch would be a daunting task. But it just got easier for startup Indiana Tech Law School, in Fort Wayne, IN, which will welcome its first class in August 2013. Dean Peter C. Alexander announced on December 5 that the school has received a donation of an entire library collection.
Self-help: the term evokes the busier aisles of the bookstore and some of the most popular ranges in any local public library. It is also, as we know, a category of writing, publishing, and reading subjected to a great deal of mockery and satire in the public sphere and, perhaps, deservedly so: there is a kind of rapid reach for easy conclusions and at times a haste in writing and structure that leaves self-help writers and readers vulnerable to the most contemptuous sort of criticism.
While writing is a creative endeavor and therefore excitingly unpredictable, there are some time-honored paths that authors tend to follow when considering a new project: short story writers often write novels, romance writers can easily edge into urban fantasy, and reporters frequently write nonfiction. But there are many other ways writers illustrate their ambidexterity. The [...]
From Nick Hornby’s High Fidelity to Bernie Krause’s The Great Animal Orchestra to Dion Graham’s astounding reading of Miles: The Autobiography by Miles Davis, books on or incorporating the subject of sound hold deep and resonant attractions for readers. These five new books explore the great range of aural-centered works, spanning such diverse approaches as [...]
With Leo DiCaprio set to star as Gatsby, Tom Hanks and Hugh Grant joining an ensemble cast in Cloud Atlas, and Jennifer Lawrence currently playing Katniss Everdeen, it is a commonplace that a popular book often finds its way to the screen. Yet the screen also finds its way into books. Be it a witty [...]
While abhorrent to some, the appeal of historical true crime is not so difficult to imagine: vivid eras are brought to life in these accounts, many of which are assiduously researched, footnoted, and indexed. Furthermore, the story lines offer readers many compensations—the satisfaction of the compulsion to face the worst in human nature; the assurance that justice has been done; and, certainly not least, the chance to empathize with and offer witness to the victims in their hours of need.