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Preview: The Inkwell Bookstore Blog

The Inkwell Bookstore Blog

Your second (maybe third?) choice for book news, reviews, praise & slander.

Updated: 2016-10-17T05:22:58.716-04:00


Hasta la vista, Irregulars!



Book News, In Brief


(image) Today's indie bookstore reach-around is brought to you by Edward Nawotka.

(image) David vs. Goliath -- part II! (How much do you wanna bet Goliath wins this time?)

(image) You know those 'bestselling e-books' that Amazon keeps hyping? Over 50% of them are giveaways.

(image) American Book Review asked writers to speculate -- in one sentence or less -- on the future of fiction. Here are the responses.

(image) Director Bryan Singer has offered the first concrete quote as to what the hell the next X-Men film is going to be about, and it sounds like a yoai fanfic writer's dream: Professor Xavier and Magneto's tumultuous relationship as twenty-somethings.

Go, Look: Time's Top 10 Magazine Covers of '09


(image) Click here to begin.

Book News, In Brief


(image) Q: Are Americans are getting fatter because of their recent reading habits? A: Of course not, but the link needed a hook.

(image) It's only slightly less depressing than those 'Local Bookstore to Close' articles: Local Bookstore Taking Painful Steps to Stay Afloat.

(image) The NYTimes asked a handful of authors to explain how they decide which books to throw away and which to keep. Needless to say, the trash talk is as tepid as the praise is rhapsodic.

(image) Local lawmaker hopes to make it tougher for pervs checking out kids checking out books. (Or: Quincy, MA is considering an ordinance that would ban Level 3 sex offenders from libraries.)



(image) "If Mr. Bezos wanted to do his part to avert layoffs of schoolteachers and firefighters and, yes, professors at state universities, he should start collecting the sales tax."
To read the rest of the NYTimes' assault on Amazon, click here.

Tuesday's Tips for Flailing Writers,


(image) Voilà -- Voltaire! Philip Larkin explains the 'The Process of Poetry' in three simple steps.

(image) Oy vey, the chutzpah! Daily Writing Tips has The 40 Yiddish Words You Should Know.

(image) Plot to Punctuation echoes what I've been telling my probation officer for years: Villains are heroes too.

(image) You tell me. Is CopyBlooger's 'The Eminem Guide to Becoming a Writing and Marketing Machine' the best titled tip of the day or what?

(image) Three different approaches to dealing with writer's block, all from the same source. Swati Nitin Gupta's How to Avoid, How to Cure, and How to Take Advantage of Writer's Block. (Homegirl seems a li'l obsessed, no?)

These Are The Comics I Gave My Kinfolk For Christmas


I'd originally intended to post this pre-X-mas, but on the off chance that one of my family members somehow happened upon this blog (yeah, right!), I figured I'd better wait. Fast forward four days, and now that all of the gifts have been distributed and the fill-in-the-name thank-you cards emailed en masse, I figured it was safe to share. So now, without further intro, a brief list of the comic books I gave to my comics-curious family.To the 6th grade nephew who likes Bone, Monty Python & The Holy Grail, and monster movies:The first two Dungeon books by Lewis Trondheim and Joann Sfar.The Essential Godzilla by Doug Moench, Herb Trimpe, et al.To the 9th grade niece who likes emo music, shopping at Hot Topic, and the Death Note anime:The Umbrella Academy by Gerard Way and Gabriel Bá.The first three xxxHOLIC books by Clamp.To the 11th grade nephew who likes death metal, skinny jeans, and zombie movies:The first three Detroit Metal City books by Kiminori Wakasugi.The Walking Dead Omnibus volume 1 by Robert Kirkman, et al.To the 40-something sister who loves sappy BBC costume melodramas and reads almost as many comics as me:The first three Emma books by Kaoru Mori.Future Lovers volume 1 and 2 by Saika Kunieda.To the 40-something British brother-in-law who likes beer, wine, and looong conversations fueled by beer and wine:Alec and The King Canute Crowd by Eddie Campbell.The Disappearance Diary by Hideo Azuma.What about you? I want to to know what books you got for your friends and family. More importantly, I want to know what books they gave you. Feel free to list, critique and offer public praise for gifts received in our comments section.[...]

Book News, In Brief


(image) "A brilliantly ambitious article, this is, without a doubt, the editorial of the day...and possibly the decade."

(image) Wanna-be writers of limited skill have reason to rejoice: Publishers are now begrudgingly accepting submissions from the merely "insanely great."

(image) Librarians, like everyone else with even an infinitesimal investment in the written word, are nervous about what's gonna happen when Google scans the world.

(image) Inspired by the publishing industry's recent ebook release announcements (and using the film industry's many missteps as a measuring stick), Booksquare has put together A Long, Detailed Look at Distribution Windows.

(image) After initially announcing that they would be closing close to 200 Waldenbooks locations in the first few weeks of January, Borders now promises to save twenty of those stores. Question: Is this the big box bookstore's attempt at spinning themselves some positive PR? Cuz it still sounds grim.

Merry Christmas!


To all our faithful Irregulars and anonymous passersby:
If I were a much richer and more generous man, I'd give each and every one of you a copy of each and every one of these books. But since I'm not, the covers will have to suffice.
Happy Holiday! See you next week!

Last Minute Gift Tips for the Bookish: Papercraft


(image) (image)

Jules Verne Bust is available for download here.
Lovecraft's Cthulhu is available for download here.

(image) Twilight: New Moon characters are available for download here.

Tuesday's Tips for Flailing Toast Writers


(image) We're three short days away from Christmas. It's time to put down that NaNoWriMo novel you're secretly rewriting and get to work on your non-denominational, safe for alkies, seasonal toast. The fact is, your friends and family already 'jokingly' refer to you as a 'wannabe' writer. If you can't come up with a memorable pre-martini mantra, they're really gonna start talking sh*t about you. That's why, in an effort to save what's left of your writerly rep, we've put together a short list of toast writing tips. If you use these and your toast still sucks...well, maybe your family's right.

eHow's How to Write a Great Toast

Toastmasters Tips on Holiday Toasts

How To Do Things' How to write a toast

Emily Posts' Toasting Tips and Sample Toasts

Life123's Great Tips for Making The Best Holiday Toasts

Purple Trails Party Ideas' Toasts – Tips For Giving A Great Toast

Ezine @rticles' Holiday Toasts - Setting the Tone For the Holiday Break

Book News, In Brief


(image) Timely topic! While I giftwrap this copy of Nanny Returns: A Novel that I'm giving to my stepmother, please entertain yourselves with EW's Would you buy a book that makes you cringe as a gift if you know the recipient will love it?

(image) A year-end list to make you slit your wrists! The LA Times momentarily forgets that they cut out the Books Section of their newspaper to make room for more film premiere photos, then asks, The decade in reading: How bad is it?

(image) Don't go getting any ideas! Now that movies and music are available for free download online, arts & entertainment obsessed shoplifters have found a new favorite thing to steal: Books. (Don't worry, booksellers: With the rampant rise of e-books, the thieves will soon be downloading these, too.)

Gift Tips for the Bookish: T-shirts


Jaime Hernandez 'Stussy' Tee: $28.00Paul Pope 'Crepax' Tee: $20.00Albert Camus Tee: $25.00Shakespeare hates your emo poems Tee: $10.00Movies: Ruining the book since 1920 Tee: $10.00E.E. Cummings Quote Tee: $16.00Kurt Vonnegut Tee: $16.00William S. Burroughs Tee: $17.00Charlotte Bronte Tee: $25.00Yotsuba&! Tee: $15.00[...]

Over-Priced Auction Results
(or: some of the gifts you won't be getting this Christmas)


Reuters puts a pillow to the face of your absinthe soaked sense of entitlement, reporting:A first edition of Lewis Carroll's classic book Through the Looking-Glass, and What Alice Found There -- dedicated to the real life Alice who inspired the story -- was sold at a U.S. auction for $115,000, auctioneers said on Thursday.Click here to read the rest.Get ready to see some eyeliner streak. Amoeblog dashes your inner goth's gimmie-gimmie fantasies, announcing:At Christie's Auction House today in New York, an 1827 first edition copy of an Edgar Allan Poe poetry collection, Tamerlane and Other Poems, was sold for $662,500 -- the most ever for a 19th century book of poetry. The 40-page collection, and Poe’s very first publication, was inspired by the work of British poet Lord Byron.Click here to read the rest.Anne fans, put down your outstretched hands. The Canadian Press reports:A first edition of Anne of Green Gables has sold for a record $37,500 at auction. The sale was made Friday at Sotheby's in New York and eclipses the previous record of $24,000 for the same title, which was set in June 2005. Sotheby's says only eight first edition copies of the Lucy Maud Montgomery book have appeared at auction over the last 35 years.Click here to read the rest.The AFP casts out the demons responsible for your unbridled lust over heathen texts, testifying:A first edition of Charles Darwin's seminal On the Origin of Species found in a family's toilet in southern Britain sold for more than 100,000 pounds Tuesday, Christie's auction house said. The book, which was first printed in 1859, was bought for just a few shillings in a shop about 40 years ago, and kept in a bookcase in the guest toilet at the family's home in the Oxford area.Click here to read the rest.Happy holidays![...]

Book News, All Bad


(image) Marvel Comics has announced a new superhero series written and drawn solely by women. Its name? Girl Comics. Johanna Draper Carlson rightly rails against this.

(image) The city of Laredo, TX is about to become the largest city in the U.S.A. to have no bookstores. Boot shops, gun shops, and liquor stores, on the other hand, remain as plentiful as unpaid border guards.

(image) Author Philip Pullman has copped to his disappointment over the failure of Hollywood to complete the film trilogy of his series of fantasy novels, His Dark Materials. Um, has he seen the first one? Cuz it sucked.

(image) PW reports, "Bob LiVolsi, founder of independent e-book retailer Books On Board, grabbed the spotlight at the MediaBistro eBook Summit, charging with 'predatory Pricing' and lamented the lack of antitrust enforcement in today's marketplace." Amazon, unsurprisingly, has yet to respond, choosing instead to wait the year or two it takes for Books On Board to go bust. The bastards.

One Last Bit of Adaptation News


(image) MovieWeb reports:
On the Official Avatar Myspace Site, director Bryan Singer (X-Men) dropped a major announcement about one of his next projects. It appears that the director is headed back to the franchise he pioneered...
"I just yesterday signed a deal to do an X-Men: First Class origins picture, which is kind of cool. I'm very excited."
X-Men: First Class is expected to inject a next-gen sensibility into the superhero series. - The studio has been leaning toward using the younger characters introduced in the previous films in future installments -- teenagers with powers taught at the Xavier Institute for Higher Learning.
To read the rest, click here.

Adaptation News


Reason #23433 I'm glad that Robert Downey Jr. never OD'd: The trailer to Iron Man 2.The LATimes proclaims, "Greek mythology makes movie and TV comeback!" Here's hoping Homer has hired himself a good agent.Wanna know exactly how J.D. Salinger feels about a Catcher in the Rye film? Letters of Note has a copy of an anti-adaptation screed handwritten by the reclusive author.The Independent UK has put together a slide show featuring "the changing faces of Sherlock Holmes." Dilettante detectives can search for it themselves, everyone else can click here.My favorite type of adaptation can't be seen on the big screen or the little screen, but in the small glass window on the oven. Click here to salivate over Through the Looking Glass cupcakes.Natalie Portman has signed on to star in and produce a film based on the best-selling, sub-genre-creating book, Pride and Prejudice and Zombies. My note to Ms. Portman: Before they rip your flesh off, please have them gratuitously tear away your bodice.CHUD's take on Disney's plans to adapt all four Fallen books seems pretty spot-on: "Well why the fuck not? Swap out retarded but lofty sounding vampiric and lycanthropic mythology for epic and highly-simplified biblical babble and voila, you've got some coattails to ride!"[...]

My Favorite Comic Book Covers of 2009


Wolverine: First Class #19Cover by Skottie YoungStrange Tales #1Cover by Paul PopePunisher: Frank Castle Max #70Cover by Dave JohnsonPunisher: Frank Castle Max #72Cover by Dave JohnsonDetective Comics #854Cover by J.H. Williams IIIDetective Comics #855Cover by J.H. Williams IIIAmazing Spider Man #578Cover by John Romita Jr.Justice Society of America: Black Adam & IsisCover by Alex RossAmazing Spider Man #605Cover by Mike MayhewDeadpool #11Cover by Jason PearsonLockjaw and the Pet Avenvers #2Cover by Niko HenrichonRunaways: Teenage Wasteland Vol. 2Cover by Jo ChenCreepy #1Cover by Eric PowellUptight #3Cover by Jordan CraneIf'n Oof Cover by Brian Chippendale Dark Reign: Sinister Spider Man #2Cover by Chris BachaloLone Ranger and Tonto#2Cover by John CassadayLooney Tunes #180Cover by Scott GrossSee also: The Best Comics I Read in 2009[...]

Book News, In Brief


A shout-out to the sell-out who spoke out about selling her soul to Chicken Soup For The Soul. Or: Victoria Patterson talks turkey about 'Chick Soup-ing' her story, The Kindness of Strangers.Congratulations to one of my all-time favorite cartoonists, Gilbert Hernandez, on being awarded a 2009 Rasmuson Fellowship in the category of literature. If you haven't read any of Beto's Palomar stories yet, get to it!A "microanalytical examination" of an "illustrated miniature manuscript" of The Gospel of Mark found the kid-sized codex to be a fraud. That said, the faithful don't give a f*ck what scientists are able to disprove, so who cares?First Publishers Weekly made a Best Books of 2009 list that didn't have any women, now they've come under fire for their unintentionally offensive 'Afro Picks' cover. Quick, before Hanukkah's over, can they pull off The Whoopi Goldberg Trifecta?Do you obsess over J.D. Salinger's copyright and speak fluent legalese? Then head on over to the law offices of Frankfurt Kurnit Klein & Selz's website, where they've posted the transcripts to the entire Salinger vs. that guy who wrote the unlicensed sequel court case.A gold and ivory retractable toothpick belonging to Charles Dickens is going up for auction in NYC next week. A word to my Secret Santa: Although I enjoyed A Muppets Christmas Carol as much as the next guy, please remember, I want a case of Sugar-Free Red Bull, not this bit of bacteria-laden memorabilia.[...]

Gift Tips for the Bookish: Book Lights


The Hydra Two Headed Book Light: $14.96The LightWedge: $24.95-$34.95Both the LightWedge and the Hydra come highly recommended from multiple members of our staff. Then again, multiple members of our staff also pushed me to read Stephenie Meyer, so caveat emptor.Book Light In A Book Cover: $31.45The Book Light In A Book Cover is just that: a pleather slip cover with a book light built into its spine. I can't vouch for it personally, but I sort of dig the robo-Bible aesthetic of the second picture. Mecha-Messiah would approve.The Reading Light: Currently UnavailableThe Enlightenment: $125I know, I know. What sort of a**hole teases his readership with an adorable little creation like The Reading Light, only to then say, 'Whoops! Currently unavailable'? I'm sorry. I've got no excuses for you. And as for The guess...too literal?[...]

Listmania: Best of 2009s -- Updated!


NPR's Year's Best MemoirsNPR's Best Cookbooks of 2009The L.A. Times' Favorite fiction of 2009The NYTimes' 100 Notable Books of '09ALA's 2009 Best Books for Young AdultsEntertainment Weekly's 10 Beautiful BooksBlackwell's 10 Favourite Books of the DecadeThe NYTimes' Notable Crime Books of 2009Booklist's Best Books for Young Adults: 2009Lifehack's 10 Best Productivity Books of 2009The National Book Awards' Best Books of 2009NPR's Big and Beautiful: Best Gift Books of's 10 Best Book Club books of 2009Drawn!'s Favourite Comics and Art Books of 2009Publishers Weekly's 8 Different(!) Best of 2009 listsThe Globe & Mail's 11 Different(!!) Best of 2009 listsThe Millions' Best Fiction of the Millennium (So Far)The NYTimes' Best Illustrated Children’s Books of 2009Politics & Prose's Favorite Graphic Literature of the YearSmall Business Trends' Best Small Business Books of 2009The Christian Science Monitor's Best Books of 2009: FictionThe Christchurch City Libraries Blog's Best and Worst of 2009Human Events' Top 10 Best-Selling Conservative Books in 2009Paul Gravett's Angoulême 2010: The Best French Comics Of 2009The Washington Post's Best Fiction, Nonfiction, and Top 10 of 2009The Daily Cross Hatch's The Best Damned Comics of 2009 Chosen by the ArtistsThe Comics Reporter's The Best Superhero Comics of the 00s, and his readers' picks[...]

Tuesday's Tips for Flailing Writers


(image) I'm listing it first, yet hoping you'll click on it last: How to turn off the internet while writing.

(image) You see what I did there? I followed C.W.C.'s sage-like advice to Start with the Unexpected.

(image) C.S. Lewis proffers a niggle of admonition regarding the utilization of voluminous words...hither.

(image) Hilarious: The Rejectionist has assembled seven true-life writing tips gleaned from his/her viewing of Terminator: Salvation.

(image) Yet another online article sure to appeal to aspiring authors looking for a secret shortcut to success: Publishing Perspectives' Inside the Secret World of Literary Scouts.

The Best Comics I Read in 2009


Puh-leeze do not mistake this for one of those scientifically produced, computer algorithm-culled, 'Best Of 2009' lists that you see in comics curious magazines like Newsweek and Wizard. This is purely the product of one seriously scatterbrained blogger who has been obsessing over funnybooks for far too long, yet still feels woefully behind in his reading. (Hell, truth be told, most of these books came out pre-2009!) The only criteria for inclusion in this list was this: Out of every comic I curled up with, huddled over, and ate my favorite meals with in the past twelve months, which ones do I still think of most?Cold Heat issues 1-8 by BJ and Frank SantoroClick here to read the review that made me shell out $50+ on single issues when I know that there's inevitably gonna be a trade paperback stuffed with extras...for under $30.Two-Fisted Tales vol. 1 by the EC Comics crewClick here for the black & white excerpt that made me a convert.The Disappearance Diary by Hideo AzumaClick here to read my review.Pluto by Naoki UrasawaClick here to read the first five chapters.Soldier X issues 1-8 by Macan & KordeyClick here and here to read two reviews that will make you feel like you've missed out on one of the best superhero comics in years.The Life and Times of Scrooge McDuck by Don RosaClick here to read the review that convinced me to stop being such a Carl Barks snob.Gus by Christophe BlainClick here to read my review.Black Jack vol. 1-4 by Osamu TezukaClick here to read my review of volume 1.Yotsuba&! vol. 1-6 by Kiyohiko AzumaClick here to a review that's as infectiously light-hearted as the series itself.Little Nothings 1 & 2 by Lewis TrondheimClick here and here to read The Comics Reporter's reviews.Uncanny X-Men issues 94-279 by Chris ClaremontClick here to read an issue by issue analysis, or here for some highlights.[...]

Book News, In Brief


According to The Wall Street Journal's review of Barnes & Noble's e-book, the Nook, old fashioned books have nothing to worry about.The Chicago Tribune has compiled the perfect time-waster for literary trivia nerds: 10 Things You Didn't Know About The Biggest asked some "prominent Bostonians" to name their favorite comics from childhood. The results prove the old cliche -- New Englanders are a tasteful, educated lot.The Guardian UK looks into a new trend in kids lit that's so controversial it's already been a 'Hot Topic' on FOX News and The View: Holiday books that intentionally take the Christ out of Christmas.A new documentary about Fidel Castro, Fidel Anecdotes, contains a nice anecdote about the homophobic dictator's unexpected reaction to the copy of Bram Stoker's Dracula given to him by Gabriel Garcia Marquez. To read it, click here.The New York Times tattles on US booksellers importing UK copies of The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet’s Nest. While this is in direct violation of the hood's staunch, 'Stop Snitchin'' credo, it's kinda refreshing to see us portrayed as money-hungry hustlers instead of mild-mannered librarians. Holla![...]