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Monday Tally: Conflicts, Book Trailers, and Way Cool Libraries

monday-tag-150px Monday Tally is a weekly link round-up of some of my favorite posts discovered over the week. If you have suggestions for Monday Tally, please e-mail sophisticated [dot] dorkiness [at] gmail [dot] com. Enjoy!

Monday Tally is a day early this week because tomorrow is my discussion for Tim O’Brien’s The Things They Carried. I can’t wait!

Top Picks

Me and People I Know

Some of my very good friends who blog over at Forkful of News, a foodie blog, got profiled in a local magazine. Read this to see what cool people I know 🙂

This week at work I wrote a piece, A Homegrown, Mouse-Killing Machine, which is about how a company redesigned their traditional mousetrap so it could be manufactured in the United States. It’s actually more interesting than it sounds, I hope!

Everyone Loves Libraries

In a follow up to my love for the Old Spice guy, I bring you a video created by a Brigham Young University comedian about why people should study in libraries. I suspect these types of parodies will get old soon, but for now I’m still laughing (a lot, and loudly).

Linda Holmes (NPR Monkey See) thinks the next big pop culture thing will be libraries, thanks in part to the Old Spice Guy and that BYU video I already mentioned. We book bloggers are so ahead of the crowd on this one.

The Art of Book Reviewing

Yen (The Book Publicity Blog) shared some pictures of the books versus reviews conundrum — reviewers (“real” ones and bloggers) all have a lot of books. The Philadelphia Inquirer gets 800 books for review a month… how many of those even get a shot at print? Not many. Book publicity is tough. There’s also a Flickr photostream you can add your own To Be Reviewed shelves to.

Media Matters did a piece looking at the challenges for book review editors of discovering conflicts of interest a reviewer might have when reviewing a book, which also has some stats about how few books actually get reviewed. The story addresses a big issue for all mainstream journalism — how maintain credibility in a changing media environment. Given my background as a journalist and a blogger, I find all of these discussions pretty interesting.

The NYT writes about book trailers, focusing specifically on what it asks authors to do. Not surprisingly, some find it awkward and others think it is fun. BUT! An interesting fact:

According to a 2009 online survey by Teenreads.com, 4 in 10 teenage readers said they liked to see book trailers on book-related blogs and 46 percent watched book trailers on YouTube. Even more startling, 45 percent bought a book after watching the trailer.

eBooks and eReader News

Amazon announced that their eBook sales were higher than hardcovers, but that stat might be just a little misleading. This post from Digital Book World highlights a bunch of great posts that go behind the headlines on this issue.


In this interview with Jacket Copy, YA author Meg Cabot talks about the summer she read the Dragonriders of Pern series, one of my favorites when I was in high school.

From 1000 Awesome Things, #456 – When your friend returns your book and they actually read it. That is awesome.

This is an older, but still really awesome, piece if narrative journalism about the beginning and the end of Conan O’Brien’s time at The Tonight Show

On Journalists and Bloggers

I’m not sure I agree with all the points, but an interesting argument about how one might go about telling a journalist from a blogger.

And if you were curious what it’s like to date me, here are 5 Things You Should Know Before Dating a Journalist. My favorite is #2: At some point, you will be a topic.

Either through a feature story or an opinion column, something you do or say will be a subject. Get over it. Consider it a compliment, even if we’re arguing against you in print.

Think about it: we live our lives writing about life. If you’re a part of our life, we’re going to write about you, your thoughts or a subject springing from one of the two.

Don’t be upset when an argument against your adoration of Hillary Clinton turns up on page A4. We’re not directing the writing at you, personally — your ignorance was just our inspiration (there, doesn’t that make you feel better?).

Top Notch Journalism

The Washington Post unveiled a massive and awesome investigative journalism project about Top Secret America, the thousands of agencies and groups working to “keep us safe.” This is a must read.

This BBC News infographic shows the ups and downs of social networks. Despite being sort of creepy, Facebook is still the dominant social network in most places.

Rebecca Skloot is everywhere (as is her book The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks). In this interview with Neiman Storyboard, Skloot mentions the similarities between her book and The Spirit Catches You and You Fall Down by Anne Fadiman, which is one of my favorite books of all time.

The Bloggers Toolkit

I <3 ProBlogger, and this simple 7 Link Challenge sounds like something fun to do.

Last week I linked to a story about hashtags that would save publishing. This week, Shelf Awareness did a follow up looking at how publishers are responding to the Twitter conversation.

Books for My TBR

  • The Secret Life of Words by Henry Hitchings thanks to Nymeth at Things Mean A Lot
  • NPR did a short piece on Hamlet’s Blackberry by William Powers, which I have on my review shelf but wasn’t sure what I’d get to read it. Clearly, sooner rather than later.
  • I Am Not Sidney Poitier by Pervical Everett because Tara at BookSexy Review said, “Everett is as much a ringmaster as an author, keeping his audience captivated and amused as he directs their attention to one extravagant performance after another.”
  • A Hope in the Unseen by Ron Suskind thanks to a guest post on The Book Lady’s Blog.
  • The Wave by Susan Casey, which is about giant waves, scientists, and surfers. Thanks to Trish (Hey Lady! Watcha Readin’?) for sharing about this book, although I’m bummed because it is not coming out until September!
  • The Accidental Adult by Colin Sokolowski thanks to Sheila at Book Journey
  • Give A Little by Wendy Smith thanks to Esme at Chocolate and Croissants

Comments on this entry are closed.

  • tolmsted July 25, 2010, 6:39 pm

    I love it when I make the Monday Tally! Thanks for the mention and have a great week. 🙂

    • Kim August 1, 2010, 5:02 pm

      tolmsted: Thanks, you too!

  • trish July 25, 2010, 7:19 pm

    I’m glad you’re as excited about WAVE as I am! 🙂

    • Kim August 1, 2010, 5:03 pm

      Trish: Super excited! I love books that have a similar format on random stuff like that.

  • Andi July 25, 2010, 10:45 pm

    I just never get tired of telling you how awesome your links are! I was sort of out of the book news reading loop this past week because it’s the end-of-term at work (I’m up to my arse in research papers), so I’ll have to catch up this week.

    • Kim August 1, 2010, 5:03 pm

      Andi: Thanks! It’s easy to get out of the loop on that sort of stuff. I like that I have lots of bloggers and Twitterers who help me find things to share.

  • Trisha July 26, 2010, 9:02 am

    I must have watched that Old Spice imitation 10 times and it’s funny every time. I plan on using it in my courses this coming semester.

    • Kim August 1, 2010, 5:04 pm

      Trisha: I think it’s so funny! I wish I was smart enough to make great parodies like that.

  • Amy July 26, 2010, 9:20 am

    As always, a great collection. I had missed a lot of those!

    • Kim August 1, 2010, 5:04 pm

      Amy: Thanks!

  • Alessandra July 26, 2010, 10:01 am

    I can’t imagine receiving 800 books for review each month. That makes almost 10,000 books a year! One would be swimming in books after as little as a few months and could open their own personal public library. I hope all those books get to be donated to libraries or schools or whatever at some point, because keeping them all would need the storing space of a small cathedral.

    • Kim August 1, 2010, 5:05 pm

      Alessandra: I can’t either! The small paper I used to work for got quite a few books each month, and then had a shelf where you could take them after the decided they weren’t reading it or using it for a review. It certainly was 800, but still a lot of good options. I think eventually the books got donated; I’m not sure what the policy is for all newspapers.

  • Sheila (Bookjourney) July 26, 2010, 4:49 pm

    Love that Old Spice spoof so no worries Kim you are not laughing alone 😀

    • Kim August 1, 2010, 5:06 pm

      Sheila: I love creative people. I hope there are more good parodies soon… I haven’t seen any others recently.

  • Jenny July 26, 2010, 4:57 pm

    That 1000 Awesome Things is a totally true story, and it is really rare. I’m pleased with myself this month because I made my mother, sister, and friend all read The Knife of Never Letting Go. It was awesome.

    (On the flip side, when I broke up with my ex-boyfriend, he gave me back at least twenty books I’d lent him (because he asked me to lend them to him) and he never read. It was sad.)

    • Kim August 1, 2010, 5:07 pm

      Jenny: That is a sad story. Too bad he never got into the books. I’ve had a few good recommendations lately, which is exciting for me.

  • Gwen July 26, 2010, 5:03 pm

    My favorite of the list of “5 things you should know before dating a journalist” is number 2 as well. Funny thing, writing about my relationship was also how I got started blogging. My editors felt that it was too much for print, but I had just had to get the words out of my brain and I turned to blogging.

    • Kim August 1, 2010, 5:07 pm

      Gwen: I know the feeling. I’ve written about a lot of people I know, just randomly in the course of doing book reviews and opinion pieces for work. I try to keep people private, but I suspect it wouldn’t be that hard to figure out who I’m talking about.