Sunday, February 16, 2014

Sunday Soup - February 16

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...
Although I don't really consider myself a writer, I have squeezed myself into a corner of the world of writing and publishing, and have read a lot of essays by writers, about writing. None have moved me quite as much as this from Kelly Gregory.

Given that my specific corner of this writing and publishing world is particularly focused on women's fiction, it shouldn't be surprising that I find myself following conversations about women's issues, about women in media, and diversity in general. It's too bad that a project like this is needed, but on the other hand, really great that it exists: 44 Stock Photos That Hope To Change The Way We Look At Women.

Arranging Your Books by Color Is Not a Moral Failure: an article that caught my eye and took me on a fun little link-hop through half a dozen articles on the topic proper, as well as a side trip about what the physical aspects of a book bring to the literary experience. The implications of this question and the range of answers of course, is undergoing a massive change with the advent of ebooks, but I was not really aware of the debates that have gone before - the Slate article, What Will Become of the Paper Book was a fascinating glimpse into that topic.  I'm a bad bibliophile because I never knew any of that before.

In the Observer article The Taming of the Hue: Ailing Hardcovers Find a Fashion-Fun Niche, one designer says:
“I have too much respect for books,” said interior designer and author of Fifth Avenue Style Howard Slatkin. “There is nothing that gives a house more warmth and personality. But when people take books and arrange them by color or stack them and put objects on top and treat them as mere decoration, I find it offensive.”
I can't say I find it actually offensive... but I might judge you a bit. I might assume that your books are a pretense and you might actually have no idea what their titles or contents are. And I might be wrong! but that is the impression that I might get, particularly if I didn't know you much before I was introduced to your rainbow bookshelf. I just think it reduces a book to its-- very, extremely-- most superficial aspect.

The Paris Book Review is a fun read on books as decor in upscale mens' clothing stores.

Apartment Therapy raises one good point:
For the visual thinkers out there, organizing their books by color might just be the easiest way to find what they're looking for. You might not remember who wrote that great novel you read last summer, but the bright blue cover could easily stick in your mind.
But then reveals the true motivation:
Admit it: it looks good.  The whole point of this look is to make a visual impact with your books; to make art out of everyday items.
which I have to admit, I judge. I don't think it constitutes good art to reduce a literary work to the color of its jacket.

Now this notion, When Books Become Art Objects, is a whole different idea.  To have the physicality of the book enhance the theme or emotion of the book... that I can get behind. I don't see this as the same thing at all though -- it's the very opposite of going to Half Price Books and buying classics by the yard.

At any rate, thanks to  Mary Beth Williams for sending me down this little jaunt via her twitter feed.

What I'm reading
In the middle of Alexa Egan's Demon Curse. This is the first book of the Imnada series.  I managed to read the second one first but either way, I'm enjoying the series.  Really creative and dark mythology.

I finished Lexi Blake's "The Dom Who Loved Me" -- her offering in a 6-book set that I picked up a little while ago. I did get all the way through it but I can't recommend it. I find her narrative choppy and "telling" rather than "showing."

Sped through Kit Rocha's novella Beyond Temptation. I love this world. There were a few places where I really wanted a bit more characterization for Noah, but it is the nature of a wonderful novella to wish there was more of it. I'm a fan, what can I say.

Outlander Watch... Och. I canna wait for Jamie and Claire onscreen.
A delightful analysis from USA Today's Heroes and Heartbreakers column on why exactly, Outlander is so compelling.

The photo of the week was posted by Starz as a Valentine's gift to fans. THANK YOU STARZ.

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