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Thursday News: Cool sentence diagramming art, Barnes & Noble’s new Nook,...

25 Literary Opening Lines Diagrammed on One Giant Poster – Using the Reed-Kellogg sentence diagramming model, Pop Chart Lab has created a poster consisting of 25 opening lines from classic works of fiction. “Call Me Ishmael,” (Moby Dick) to “It was a queer, sultry summer, the summer they electrocuted the Rosenbergs, and I didn’t know what I was going in New York (Plath’s The Bell Jar), this “Diagrammatical Dissertation” is a feat of grammatical construction, literary analysis, and visual art, all in one, and it’s even for sale (of course I’ll be buying one) –Mental Floss

As Barnes & Noble Nook revenues slide 50%, the company says it’s launching another tablet – For those of you following the soap opera that is now Barnes & Noble’s corporate strategic planning, and despite the continuing (current) losses and layoffs, the company is planning to release a new Nook color tablet “in early fiscal 2015.” According to the Gigaom article, “The goal is to ‘reverse the content sales decline,'” and the company is apparently trying to partner with a hardware developer to design and produce the new device.

The company laid off or lost 190 Nook employees during the quarter — 26 percent of the Nook team, according to CEO Michael Huseby on the earnings call Wednesday — and about 500 Nook employees remaining in Palo Alto and New York. The company also suggested more cuts are on the way. From the release: “[S]taffing levels in certain areas of the organization have changed, leading to certain job eliminations after the quarter ended. These ongoing efforts may involve additional actions.” –Gigaom

What to Wear: Sleepwear for the Ruined, Inspired by Pride & Prejudice – It surprises me that considering I’m not really into the whole Pride and Prejudice phenom, I still find stuff like this cute. But I do, and therefore I’m sharing it with you. A series of blog posts in which episodes of the BBC’s Pride and Prejudice are used as inspiration for fashion styling. And it’s pretty remarkable how well current fashions seem to reflect the Regency-esque costumes.Also, who can resist the blog title “Sleepwear for the Ruined”? –Emily Style

Protect Users and Indie Publishing Authors from Bullying and Harassment by Removing Anonymity and Requiring Identity Verification for Reviewing and Forum Participation – I hesitated posting about this, because I wasn’t sure I wanted to give it more publicity, but in the end, I could not resist Ann Rice’s reference to Amazon “gangster bullies.” This petition, drafted by Todd Barselow, senior editor at Imajin Books, and supported by Rice, asks Amazon to require that everyone who leaves a review does so without the protection of a pseudonym.

I’m not exactly sure how that’s a “flaw in the system.” Also, I didn’t check, but I’m wondering how many petition signatures have been made anonymously or under author pseudonyms…

I believe, as do countless others—many who will have signed this petition—that the reason this bullying and harassment is able to take place is because of the allowance of anonymity on Amazon. People have found ways to exploit this flaw in the system and are using it to bully, harass, and generally make life miserable for certain authors on Amazon –

isn't sure if she's an average Romance reader, or even an average reader, but a reader she is, enjoying everything from literary fiction to philosophy to history to poetry. Historical Romance was her first love within the genre, but she's fickle and easily seduced by the promise of a good read. She approaches every book with the same hope: that she will be filled from the inside out with something awesome that she didnʼt know, didnʼt think about, or didnʼt feel until that moment. And she's always looking for the next mind-blowing read, so feel free to share any suggestions!


  1. Ros
    Feb 27, 2014 @ 05:18:44

    I haven’t clicked through but if that’s the same petition I’ve been hearing about, it’s from the lovely people at STGRB.

  2. Sandy l
    Feb 27, 2014 @ 06:36:46

    I really like the nook tablet. It’s really nice and has an excellent price. Unfortunately, it was the lack of content that turned me to the iPad mini. Even if they manage to top what is currently on the market, for me it is simply too late.

  3. DS
    Feb 27, 2014 @ 07:21:32

    I haven’t been following it closely, but Anne Rice has been all over the place on the Amazon fora. She made a notable appearance on the Top Reviewers where the high (or low) point involved someone telling her she had violated Amazon’s no self publicity on the customer boards rule and that she needed to go to the Meet Our Authors board for that.

    I wonder what my impression of Jane Austen would have been if she had posted on the internet?

  4. Jen
    Feb 27, 2014 @ 07:50:26

    That diagrammed sentence poster brings back memories of freshman English in high school and the somewhat crazy nun who taught us endless how to diagram sentences.

  5. Jody
    Feb 27, 2014 @ 08:05:07

    I could get more behind the Amazon petition if it addressed bogus four and five star reviews, and attacks on reviewers.

  6. Jody
    Feb 27, 2014 @ 08:06:13

    Not to mention reviewers-for-hire…

  7. Eve Silver
    Feb 27, 2014 @ 08:36:47

    So if reviewers are not to be allowed to post under a pseudonym, does it follow that authors will not be allowed to write under a pseudonym? Just saying.

  8. Isobel Carr
    Feb 27, 2014 @ 08:54:58

    ARGH! The “I’m being bullied by reviews” canard makes me stabby. Maybe if nasty, shitty authors didn’t round up their “street teams” to go after reviewers, reviewers wouldn’t feel the NEED to use a pseudonym. *grumble; kicks over wastepaper basket; grinds teeth*

  9. MrsJoseph
    Feb 27, 2014 @ 09:34:07

    Yet another reason not to review at Amazon.

  10. Karenmc
    Feb 27, 2014 @ 09:43:19

    Love the diagramming poster. In a former life, I was one of those teachers who introduced seventh graders to sentence diagrams. I always approached the subject as learning how to reduce anything down to its parts, whether it’s a sentence or a toaster. Fun times, people!

    Do people behind things like the Amazon petition all have unhappy inner children?

  11. AnnaM
    Feb 27, 2014 @ 09:46:55

    I have the larger sized nook tablet and with it, access to the Google Play store as well as direct purchase of apps from BN. BN will never match up to the Empire of Google, so they should find a better way to leverage that relationship. I have even downloaded the kindle app onto my nook hd+, allowing me to have the cheapest tablet while still making sure I buy the cheapest offering of my ebooks. I have only purchased 1 app that isn’t a game (a scientific calculator) and I have only downloaded 3 free apps that are not games, so they may not have me in mind when trying to sell more content. I’m not a big app user.

    You know what they COULD do to improve my satisfaction and the rate at which I buy ebooks and paperbooks? Synchronize my wishlists across all devices and the web.

  12. Lindsay
    Feb 27, 2014 @ 11:37:44

    Anyone who thinks anonymity is the cause of hatefulness on the internet has never bothered to see what people are willing to say with their Facebook accounts. People are going to say nasty things no matter what name’s associated with them.

    However, in this case, it’s the person who is clearly identified who has been going off on people…

  13. Susan
    Feb 27, 2014 @ 12:01:23

    I can’t imagine Amazon changing their policy to ban pseudonyms in reviewing. For starters, anyone who really wanted to get around it could do so. Second, such a move would put a damper on reviews, something Amazon really doesn’t want. Even if someone only writes “nice” reviews, that doesn’t mean they want their real name associated with the product, whether it is a book or hemorrhoid cream.

    This is a rhetorical question, but WRF is wrong with Rice?

  14. Ridley
    Feb 27, 2014 @ 12:32:38

    Authors and white feminists have done a smashing job of devaluing the heck out of the word “bullying.”

  15. Lostshadows
    Feb 27, 2014 @ 13:18:17

    I sometimes get the feeling that I went to the only school that never covered diagramming a sentence.

    Since the only way Amazon seems to have of verifying identity is if you pay with a credit card, I think that’s a terrible idea. Not everyone has one or wants to risk using them online, but they still may have an opinion they wish to share.

    Of course, there’s a simpler solution. If you don’t like seeing negative reviews of your work, stop reading them. Tadah! The “bullies” lose all ability to affect you and potential readers still get to see a wide range of opinions.

  16. Eliza Evans
    Feb 27, 2014 @ 13:42:10

    @Lostshadows: I didn’t learn how to diagram sentences until a grammar class in college, and I went through the honors/AP track. This was ~15 years ago.

  17. azteclady
    Feb 27, 2014 @ 13:43:49

    @Ridley: I can’t.

  18. MB
    Feb 27, 2014 @ 13:57:50


    Exactly. I’m not going to do so, because I will not do Amazon/Authors a favor (write review) and put myself at risk of repercussions. I’m not willing to lie about less than positive reviews.

    They seem to forget that I’m their customer buying a product, rather than a paid employee trying to help them sell.

  19. Jamie Beck
    Feb 27, 2014 @ 15:52:00

    I don’t think people should be forced to use their real name when giving a review. There are many reasons why some people wish to remain anonymous on large public forums (clearly, I am not so smart! ;-) ) that have nothing to do with the content of the review.

    That said, I do think anonymity makes it easier for people to post unpleasant remarks. I’m not talking about a critical/negative review of the book at issue, but rather the review that turns more personal and denigrates the author instead of the work product.

    Yet another reason why I prefer to read well-reputed review blogs than the Amazon or Goodreads postings.

  20. Kaetrin
    Feb 27, 2014 @ 22:24:00

    I’ve never seen a sentence diagram until today. :(

  21. Elizabeth Cole
    Feb 28, 2014 @ 09:17:36

    Some of those diagrammed sentences would make fine tattoos. Just sayin’.

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