Monday, July 03, 2006

Link-Mad Monday, July 3rd Edition: Few, but proud

Hooray for finishing projects and holiday weekends! I spent the weekend in Great Gatsby mode, drinking on the porch and the beach and the lawn with smart lovely people at a house party in Connecticut, and got to pass along two of my favorite light/smart reads of late, TOLSTOY LIED and ACTION PHILOSOPHERS, the first compilation of the comic book about yeah, famous philosophers kicking butt.

I haven't been doing as much blog reading as usual of late, so the links today will be few, but there are a few major happenings to report.

Aubrey's Episode Soldier is exceeding expectations, with thoughtful and well-written posts on life in Moab and love of books. Her Summer Reading Series and Wednesday Poetry posts both look very promising, and I loved her love-note to my own favorite poet Elizabeth Bishop.

Speaking of bookseller blogs, I came across this great list on a blog called Using Books. It looks like Jeff Sharman, the owner, hasn't posted here in a while, but his list is an exhaustive one, and there are dozens of bookseller bloggers out there that I'd never heard of. Cool -- more booksellers in blogland!

And speaking of literary blogs in general (drumroll please....) -- your own Book Nerd has realized the dream of her cyber life: an invitation to join the Litblog Co-op! Yup, that's my blog linked right there on the lower right under "Participating Weblogs."

For those of you who (like me until recently) aren't sure what the Litblog Co-op (or LBC) is, or why this is such a big deal, allow me to elucidate. Founded in the spring of 2005, the LBC is basically a group of literary bloggers who nominate, vote upon, and feature great books they feel are under-publicized in the mainstream media markets. Several are nominated, but only one book becomes the "Read This!" selection each quarter. The blog contributors (of which there will be 20-something for the coming season) each read the book and contribute to an ongoing online discussion, which may also include interviews and Q&As with the author or other neat ways to get into the book in question.

The goal, in short, is the same as that of many indie booksellers: to get people to read those great books that don't get an ad in the New York Times. It's like a Staff Picks of the blogosphere, and also like a book club or panel discussion that creates a dialogue about the book, and also like a sort of "buzz marketing" experiment. It's a literary venture done entirely for the love of it, and one that is unique to the web. I think it speaks directly to the potential of the internet to positively change, not undermine, the print book industry. And the contributors are some of the literary blog writers I most respect and admire (whom I'll be adding to my own litblog links as soon as I can). I'm excited to be a part of this project, and I'll be sure to keep Written Nerd readers posted on how it's going!

Have a great 4th of July -- see you on Wednesday!