Sunday, March 16, 2014

Sunday Soup - March 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...
At my house, March madness doesn't have anything to do with basketball:  it's all about the Girl Scout CookiesStarting in late February, my house becomes the Cookie Depot for our troop, which is quite large-- we have about 30 girls this year.  I got the last of the cookies out of my house yesterday, and now just need to square up the accounting -- also, super fun!  Anyway, it's all for a good cause.

Then there's St. Patrick's Day.  Our family is not in the least Irish, nor are we in a particularly Irish community, but this year we decided to decorate a little bit, which entailed power tools and spray paint... I'm exhausted just thinking about it.  I put up a little faux mantel on one wall and my younger daughter and I decorated it.  It's probably kind of lame that that took up as much brain-space as it did, but it is what it is.

Anyway, on to Book Things!

How Public Libraries Are Solving America's Reading Problem Really good article, with really good news, IMO. How the publishing revolution is offering libraries a new life. Via the twitter feed of Seattle Book News.  

Anonymous reviews -- Two items in the news recently; first a petition endorsed by Anne Rice to remove the ability to leave anonymous reviews at Amazon.  Her endorsement can be found on her public Facebook page. Second, a major Australian paper announced that they will be publishing their professional reviews pseudonymously. Good summary article here.

My thoughts are mixed here.  Mostly I do not attempt to keep my reviewing identity secret, because I am just paranoid enough and just tech savvy enough to know that if someone really wanted to out me, it's just not that hard to do so.  Therefore, I started from the very beginning with the decision that I would not put anything online that I am not willing to have my name attached to, for any reason.  (The one place that this really inhibits me--heh-- from posting is discussions about erotica.  I would say things anonymously that I'm not really willing to have out there in front of the world.)

Amazon's review system is troubled, for sure.  I don't pay much attention to reviews or average stars.  I go more by word of mouth and reading an excerpt for myself, but there's no doubt that those ratings and reviews influence sales, for better and for worse.  It's a shame that some people have nothing better to do than to game the system.

Do you use photos in your blog? then this is BIG NEWS: Free Use of Images from Getty. If you read the fine print, you may find that once again, there's no such thing as a free lunch:
once the images are embedded, Getty has much more control over the images. The new embeds are built on the same iframe code that lets you embed a tweet or a YouTube video, which means the company can use embeds to plant ads or collect user information.
To be honest, that pretty much seems worth it to me, but your mileage may vary. Via Dear Author's Twitter feed.

Author News
Interesting stuff from some of my favorites!

Charlotte Stein's newest release is with a new Avon line -- I'm gonna need to check out both.

Ilona Andrews announces new book, new series, and new publisher -- very exciting.

Chloe Neill also has a new series beginning.

What I'm reading

Apples Should Be Red, a subversive, salty little novella by Penny Watson.  This is a second-chance romance, with characters edging into senior citizen territory. I have more to say about this one, but bottom line is -- I liked it, and you should read it.

Clean Sweep, by Ilona Andrews.  I read a little bit of this when it was published as a serial for free, and adored the world premise. Really loved it, and the full book!  Great story, but it felt like the beginning of something that might not get finished.  I'm getting spoiled about long-running series, I guess.

Crazy, Stupid Sex by Maisey Yates. How can you resist a title like that?  Another winning nerd-girl heroine.

Fury of Desire, by Coreene Callahan.  Book 4 in the Dragonfury series, and not bad on the adventure and series arc fronts.  I found the hero's character resolution to be a little jarring and not quite on target though.

 Kinked, by Thea Harrison.  Good grief, I really, really loved this one. This is the story that I wanted for J.R. Ward's Vishous.  It's the story of two extreme entities, who have waited a long time to meet their matches.  When they do, sparks fly, and nobody has to give up who they are.

Outlander Watch... Och. I canna wait for Jamie and Claire onscreen.

Delightful photo via Outlander Life's Twitter feed:

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