Thursday News: publishing, piracy, English grammar, and the Bible
Looking Back at 2015 in Book Publishing – A review of some of 2015’s publishing notable moments, from the rise of audiobooks to the phenomenon of Go Set A Watchman, to all the books that were published but did not blow the roof off their publishing house:
At the outset, 2015 looked like a blockbuster year for literary fiction, with new works by Jonathan Franzen, Salman Rushdie, John Irving, Umberto Eco and Anne Tyler and heavily hyped debut novels by Garth Risk Hallberg and the literary agent Bill Clegg.
But no single book emerged as the must-read, most-talked-about title of the year, and literary critics were sharply divided over the merits of the year’s most prominent novels. While Michiko Kakutani of The New York Times praised Mr. Hallberg’s 900-plus-page debut, “City on Fire,” as “a big, stunning first novel,” a more mixed review by Louis Menand in The New Yorker said the novel was about 400 pages too long and argued that Mr. Hallberg “tried to squeeze too much juice out of the apple.” – New York Times
Hateful Eight Pirated From The Inside, Widely Available, And It Won’t Stop Its Success At The Box Office – In an environment where film companies are becoming more and more aggressively litigious about piracy, the irony of this story cannot be overstated. The watermark on the pirated DVD identifies it as the copy sent to the CEO of the production-finance company, which is either really clever or really stupid, depending on how closely they can track its chain of custody.
It’s worth noting that Kosove himself has stated that he never had actual possession of the screener copy, which is almost certainly true. The most likely route for the film ending up on pirate sites is some employee somewhere within Alcon swiped it and then uploaded it. Still, with so much public emphasis from antipiracy campaigns being placed on outsider n’er do wells, it’s worth dinging the industry for not being able to police its own house, even as it asks service providers to police theirs. – Techdirt
Infographic: The Ultimate English Grammar Cheat Sheet – I wouldn’t call this the ultimate shortcut (where is a description of the difference between lie and lay, for example), but it’s pretty good. – The Digital Reader
New Book Discusses Urban Legends in the New Testament – Christianity’s focus on the nativity story portrayed in the Bible is ubiquitous in virtually every media during the winter holiday season (and in the U.S., at least, the symbolism way overshadows anything and everything associated with Hanukkah), so this brief piece on the reality behind the legend won’t likely change any of the songs, ornaments, manger scenes, etc. But it definitely offers a different perspective (and makes me curious about what the other “urban legends” university professor David Croteau includes in his book).
In order to portray an accurate Christmas Story, Croteau say perhaps we should tweak our nativity scenes. He says, “What you could do is buy an extra nativity set so you have like six of them, and then just put them across the room because they are still on the way there when Jesus was being born. Then your nativity set would be a little more accurate.” – WLTX