Sunday, September 29, 2013

Sunday Soup - September 29

Sunday Soup is... a little of this, a little of that, not too much work, and hopefully a tasty result.

Soup Dish:  book people are talking about...
Bookish twitter feeds and blogs lit up this week about David Gilmour's (literature teacher, not guitarist) completely un-self-aware interview about how he chooses his curriculum.  Spoiler: all middle-aged white male authors, how shocking is that? The interesting thing here is that he really believes it's a totally justifiable stance.  Later, he apologizes for the sake of his future book sales:
I talked to Patrick Crean [his publisher]. He was concerned that this was going to affect the general climate around the book, that some women might not like the book if they think that that’s my policy. And that’s one of the reasons that I’m apologizing. Normally I actually wouldn’t.
Here's what I don't get.  He seems to think it's perfectly reasonable that he only loves middle-aged straight white literature, because he IS a middle aged straight white guy, but... now here's the crazy part... aren't most of his students young women, most likely of a cross-section of sexualities? Apparently that matters, right?  How does he expect his students to love this stuff?  I mean, it seems perfectly reasonable to assume that they cannot and never will. Isn't privilege a delicious thing?  It's just like air, you don't even know you're breathing it.

Then there's the Goodreads thing. Goodreads recently deleted a number of shelves (a tagging mechanism) that had labels referencing author behavior, and related articles by members that focused on the author rather than the book. 

Online communities succeed or fail -- or struggle along somewhere in between -- by virtue of their content. Goodreads correctly observes that there is no way to please everyone:
We recognize that not everyone is going to agree with our approach. People have different - and often quite strongly held - viewpoints about what should and should not be allowed in a review.
So perhaps it's a sign that I'm getting old, but I don't think there's anything wrong with adding guidelines to keep discussion civil. Another point that comes to mind is this chestnut:

image attribution
Aside from the question of content, you might also take from that bit of wisdom that if you really want to be in full control of your content, you might want to consider taking more ownership of your platform.  Some Blogger users learned this the hard way recently too.

On a related note, I think all of us in this brave new world of reviewing books online occasional stop and think about what the inevitable (is it? I tend to think it is...) interaction with authors, publishers, and other industry professionals means for us as readers and reviewers.  Kaetrin has some interesting thoughts on the topic.

Font geeks: I just thought this was cool.  It's from a Seattle building too.  Who knew that "font designer" could be an actual career?

Sometimes, it's all about the title.  Honestly, I have my doubts about the premise of this book.  But I am mostly likely going to give it a whirl because I'm loving the title: Heavy Metal Heart.

What I'm reading
This week has been all Charley Davidson, all the time.  I'm on the third book of Darynda Jones' series about a wise-cracking human portal to heaven, her fling with the son of Satan, and the mysteries and mishaps they solve along the way.  I tend to avoid books with overtly slapsticky humor, just a personal preference, but these are working for me.  The one-liners and smart-assery are really consistent throughout these books, and yeah, I think there have been a few that clinked or felt forced to me, but for the most part, the combination of humor, action, and sexual tension are reeling me through these books like a well-hooked trout... er, I'm not sure if that's the best analogy, but haven't got a better one at the moment, so let's just go with it.  I'm hooked, get it?

On Tap... what soup isn't a little better with a slosh or two?
Last week I talked about the Blue Moon fall sampler. This week I picked up the Sam Adams version of the same thing - a 12 pack with 5 different beers. So far I've tried the Hazel Brown - interesting, heavily flavored with hazelnut, quite sweet; the harvest pumpkin ale, which honestly I doubt I'd be able to tell the difference from the Blue Moon beer of the same label; the IPA, which unsurprisingly is too hoppy for my taste, and the Octoberfest ale, which is entirely nice but I won't be holding my breath waiting for it next year or anything. There's also a Ruby and a regular lager that I haven't tried yet.

One Last Thing
I might resemble this woman:

Hopefully I won't have to chain either of my daughters by the legs to prevent them from throwing themselves into the haunts of vice though.

(Ohh, and I can't help but think, wouldn't "Ungovernable Passion" be a great name for a romance blog?)



Anonymous said...

I hope you do host an informal blogger meeting at RT. I am on the fence about RT because the schedule for readers really doesn't appeal to me. But if I go, I am stalking you!

Nicola O. said...

I think I will do something for sure. I just don't know what.

I figure that a week in New Orleans can't suck, no matter what goes on in the conference.

My advice would be to ignore the "track" designations and go to see whatever topic or whatever speaker interests you. And not to worry if you don't fill your whole schedule with workshops. Hanging around the spaces in between is just as (if not more) fun.


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