2014-07-21-80667564

Summer Reading

You might have been inspired by Bill Gates’ summer reading list, to try an old business book or two, or a new novel.
Here’s my list, which includes a few oldies and a couple of new ones. Just a recommendation, of course – most people like having books suggested to them, though few actually follow through…

2014-0717-173975094

Summer Reading

What are you reading this summer?
Are you a book reader (physical) or an e-reader (virtual)? The material is same though the sensation might be different. But the wealth of material available to anyone, online or not, is staggering.
In any event, did you know that Bill Gates recommends reading lists for the summer? I didn’t, but…

2014-0519-169270796

Do Not Enter: Actual Ideas Might Cause Pain

Are you liable to be offended by reading something because you are very sensitive, because something traumatic in your past causes you to flinch at the very mention of a something even tangential that recalls such incident? Would you demand that your teacher remove a book from a course because it might cause someone to…

2014-0512-104822102

Keep Your Strong Point of View

One of the faults of American journalism is the insistence on that tricky thing called balance. This can lead to an actual imbalance, when an opposing voice is quoted merely to give the opposing voice a say in an article. Often, that opposing voice is given equal weight, when it shouldn’t be.
This happened often during…

Reading

The Pleasure of Reading

Do you read for pleasure or business? Is there really a difference? There seems to be. At least according to questions posed by the National Endowment for the Arts. In a survey measuring public participation in the arts, the agency found that more than half of Americans read a work of fiction or nonfiction that…

Enjoy Sharing Your Message

The filmmaker Steven Soderbergh is apparently tweeting a novel.
Now this isn’t exactly news. But it says something about how some creative folks are utilizing other means to express themselves.
Soderbergh, director of big-budget flicks such as “Ocean’s 11,” Academy Award-winning films such as “Erin Brockovich” and indie favorites such as “Sex, Lies and Videotape,”…

A Community of Readers

Getting your book noticed has always been a challenge. Even if you’ve got a platform up and running, and are building an enthusiastic audience for your work, you’ve still got to get that book talked about, bought and read.
For many readers and authors, Amazon customer reviews remain the default option, but since these reviews have…

The Lunacy of One-Star Amazon Reviews

The Amazon review system is broken. When angry fans can pretty much besiege it with negative reviews of a book they haven’t read, then the reviews overall are simply useless.
Recently, fans of the late Michael Jackson posted many negative reviews of “Untouchable: The Strange Life and Tragic Death of Michael Jackson,” a book by Randall…

Banned Book Reviews and the Platform-Builder

Amazon has banned some book reviews from its site. In particular, those from publicists and companies that consolidate reviews. But you shouldn’t worry – you’ve got a platform.
Now, everyone knows the Amazon review system is flawed. Friends weigh in on authors’ books and bestow five stars to build up their rankings. Enemies try to drive…

“HANDLE WITH CARE”

What are books, exactly—treasured artifacts to be displayed behind glass, or objects to be enjoyed and devoured, like a good meal?
I know that no book I actually enjoy leaves the experience unscathed. For the lucky few that I enjoy, I’ll refer back to the content often, dog-eared pages in my wake. While stories offer…