Man, can I just say that I'm getting my butt kicked in the Office Blogger Pool on the Tournament of Books? The Pool was a clever move on the part of The Morning News, since I'm now checking the matches every day, and it makes for a very fun literary diversion. But ever since ECHO MAKER got knocked out in Round 1, your Book Nerd's brackets have been suffering. See, this is why I never got into sports: there are enough sources of emotional drama in the world without getting all invested in who's going to win a darn game. Still, it's making for some very interesting reading, and a kind of book reviewing that's fairly unique. I liked the first round judges better (I almost never agree with Jessa Crispin's often snarky reviews, and my fellow LBC member Mark Sarvas still seems to be under the impression that Firmin talks [HE DOESN'T TALK]), and it's hard to watch my favorites go under. But it is an exciting thing, and now seems like anybody's tournament. If you feel the need of a literary adrenalin rush, check it out. March madness, indeed.
- Speaking of literary matchups, anybody visited the Book and Reading Forums? Seems like potentially a great place to have those conversations Gabriel Zaid emphasizes as the strength and joy of diverse book culture. I haven't spent time there myself, but I'm curious about other's impressions.
- Here's a nice mention in Bookselling This Week of our ELNO-BO, and the upcoming inaugural Emerging Leaders meeting in Boston. Props to Bookdwarf for being the force behind this new urban local EL
- And here's another great feature of Bookselling This Week I've never noticed before: the media guide! It's kind of a version of the Shelf Awareness summaries of books featured on radio and TV, but cumulative for the week. I'm bookmarking it at the bookstore so I can refer to it when a customer asks "Do you have that book they talked about on Fresh Air last week?..."
- I mentioned it obliquely last week, but I have to tell you again about one brilliant YouTube user who has created animations for several poems by Billy Collins. Collins' brand of "serious light verse" is perfect for this sort of thing, and some of the combinations of words and sounds and images make me ache, embarassingly, with beauty. See, I'm even writing like Billy Collins now. Give yourself a treat and watch a few of these.
- And, in case you missed it, today is officially the first day of spring. Even if it's cold where you are (like here), allow yourself a moment of the delicious anticipation of newness that this time of year implies. Who knows what joys summer will bring?