Tuesday, May 24, 2011
Oprah Winfrey's Book Club will live on in some form on her new cable network, OWN. USA Today reported that "America's most popular reader" said she is "going to try to develop a show for books and authors" even though the book club shows seldom garnered big ratings. "Some things you do because it is necessary. We've done okay with them. We found the more I could connect the author and the book to the audience, the better the numbers would be."
USA Today called the book club's sales numbers "beyond compare," citing Fordham University marketing professor Al Greco's estimate that sales of the 70 Oprah editions since 1996 totaled about 55 million copies.
"She made book discussions interesting, educational and entertaining," Greco said. "Literature professors can be interesting and educational, but are they entertaining?"
Little, Brown publisher Michael Pietsch observed that Winfrey "didn't originate the idea of book clubs, but more than anyone, she has spread the idea of reading a book as a shared community.... She's a woman reader, and it's mostly women readers who responded to her selections. But she's open to all kinds of reading pleasures, from Toni Morrison to Jonathan Franzen."
Tuesday, May 17, 2011
Here's a tour we'd like to join, for at least a round or two.
During June, with the help of the Lagunitas Brewing Company, Petaluma, Calif., Algonquin Books is taking three authors on the road on the Free Beer Tour. The events will include beer tastings, "pairing great books with great beer." The authors (and their beer pairing) are Pete Nelson, author of I Thought You Were Dead (Lagunitas New DogTown Pale Ale); Josh Wilker, author of Cardboard Gods: An All American Tale (Lagunitas Czech Style Pilsner); and David Anthony, author of Something for Nothing (Lagunitas Censored Rich Copper Ale).
The Free Beer Tour will slosh into Anderson's Bookshop, Naperville, Ill., Boswell Book Company, Milwaukee, Wis., DIESEL Books, Oakland, Calif., Brookline Booksmith, Brookline, Mass., and Book People, Austin, Tex.
More information at algonquinbooksblog.com/freebeertour. Check out the Free Beer Tour poster, designed by Shelf Awareness's own Alex Baker
Wednesday, May 11, 2011
Jacket Copy visited Jack Kerouac's house in Orlando, Fla.: "I know: Florida? Jack Kerouac lived in Florida? In 1957, when On the Road was published, Kerouac came to live with his mother in Florida, in her Orlando bungalow in a quiet neighborhood called College Park. He stayed less than a year, but there, during a short and intense stretch not all that different from the one in which he composed On the Road, he wrote The Dharma Bums."
The house is maintained by the Jack Kerouac Project, "a bootstrap nonprofit that keeps the house up and, just as important, funds three-month writers residencies in the house," Jacket Copy wrote.