I've got a bit of time this morning, so in addition to some recent links I'm excited about, I'm cleaning out my inbox of all the suggestions and requests I've received since way back in July. So it's a long list today. Enjoy!
* It's Firmin week at the Litblog Co-Op! Click over for the beginning of a roundtable discussion about Sam Savage's literate rat (including commentary by yours truly). Rumor has it Mr. Savage himself will join the discussion later this week.
* Bookselling This Week has this article about the winners of scholarships to the American Booksellers Association's Winter Institute -- with some (as usual) slightly cringe-worthy quotes from your Book Nerd.
* In the spirit of the documentary INDIES UNDER FIRE, Bookselling This Week also reports on a number of independent booksellers who are involved in fights to keep chains and big box stores out of their communities and encourage local, small-scale retail. In Montana and California, the size cap that would keep big boxes out is up for a vote. In Nantucket, the little guys have already won! Hooray for indies!
* On that note, the American Independent Business Alliance (AMIBA) has declared November 18 to be America Unchained! day. On that date they're encouraging American (and Canadian) consumers to avoid shopping at chain stores entirely, and do all of their consuming at locally owned independent businesses -- just to see if we can do it. Anybody up to the challenge?
* I'm delighted to discover two new booksellers-as-bloggers! Well, new to me -- both of these folks have been blogging since 2005. Sarah of Sarah's Books in Bangor, Maine has a blog called Sarah's Books - Used and Rare (thanks for your comments, Sarah). And Stanley of Book House in Albany, NY has a blog called Stanley Reads (thanks to Robert at Fresh Eyes for the link). Glad to have your company!
* Can I just point out that Edward Champion agrees with me about Michiko Kakutani. The man's no stranger to the (cleverly) snarky review himself, so when he's baffled by Michi's hostility, you know she's gone too far.
* Another new blog I'm enjoying: John Fox's Bookfox. He directed me to Marilynne Robinson's fierce essay on Dawkins' THE GOD DELUSION, for which I'm grateful, and I'm looking forward to more bookish thoughts from the West Coast (John is a writer and professor in L.A.). Glad to have your company as well!
* My friend the food writer Stephanie Rosenbaum (also known as the Fabulous Pie Queen) hepped me to this supercool, (relatively) new Brooklyn website, Until Monday. I've only just started to explore, but I know it's going to be an incredible resource for Brooklyn events (especially of the literary sort) and other resources. Up with the borough!
* Two more shameless friend plugs: the artists in my life seem to be starting blogs lately, and they're so lovely you'll have to forgive me that they're only occasionally about books. Our mistress of the bookstore receiving room has created the meditative and joyful Hundreds of Ways (the title is a Rumi reference about loving beauty), and a longtime bookstore customer and good (if too rarely seen) friend has started up Auk Wrecks & Auk Larks, a title as unclassifiable as her own art, with a recent post about Nell Freudenberger among thoughts about social justice and bits of unexpected art. Enjoy.
* Larry Portzline of Bookstore Tourism directed me to this charming post about book browsing in Europe. Click for a window on bookstore culture far away from our American battlegrounds.
* Okay, and now a roundup of all those lovely folks who have emailed me over the last couple of months with links to other blogs. I admit I haven't had time to peruse all of these, but I wish them all the best -- perhaps you, the readers, can check them out and report back.
- Gimme Your Stuff, a "cultural exchange blog." Rikki, Australian ambassador for Gimme Your Stuff, writes "It'd be fantastic to get some more book lovers involved, as i think it'd be amazing to give and receive pre-loved books which may not be available in your area of the world. It's also a great way of getting new or culturally significant authors noticed in different countries."
- Reading On Writing, a blog by Kevin Allison "about short stories and how they work."
- I was invited to join this group blog based in Canada, but I'll admit I can't figure out what it's all about. Anyone?
- Confessions of a Bookplate Junkie, from Lewis Jaffe of Philadelphia, PA, "a passionate bookplate collector."
- Underground Literary Alliance Book Review blog, one of many projects of founder Victor Schwartzman. Word has it he's looking for additional reviewers, so get in touch if you've got something to say.
Whew! That's it. See you Wednesday!