Tuesday News: Book of the Month Club returns, Winter is coming, gift recs, and hotels for book lovers
It’s not your grandma’s Book of the Month Club – Despite the cringe-worthy title of the article, I had not realized that the Book of the Month Club was back in business as of late last year. Apparently they have more than 100K Instagram followers and the Club is now an online subscription service that uses technology to reach readers and encourage discussion of the book selections. Five books a month are chosen as possible selections by a panel of “writers, editors, bloggers, and reviewers.” Anyone a member?
As in years past, members receive hardback books at prices lower than they would pay at most bookstores. The base rate for one book is $16.99, with additional discounts available for three-, six- or twelve-month commitments.
The club continues the practice of selling its own logoed editions. Not that Kreizman sees this as off-putting to readers. Today’s club editions are generally the same size as trade editions and “have some unique features like special endpapers and casings, and less advertising copy on the jackets.”
In addition to its social media feed, the club offers an online discussion forum where members can engage with other readers, the panel of judges, and sometimes even a selection’s author. Panelist Liberty Hardy raves about her interactions with members. “They are incredibly kind and super fun,” she said. “It’s amazing to answer people’s questions and hear their interpretations.” – LA Times
George R. R. Martin Hints At Grim Ending For ‘A Song Of Ice And Fire’ Series – So maybe there might be a slight possibility of the hint of The Winds of Winter before the end of 2017. Maybe. In any case, Martin appears to be writing and he discusses the upcoming book in an interview available at the link above. Of the new book, he is giving a few clues:
The ending may also be quite long. Martin praised how lengthy the denouement of J. R. R. Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings series at the talk this month, saying he appreciates it more with each rereading. . . .
“There are a lot of dark chapters right now in the book that I’m writing,” he said. “I’ve been telling you for 20 years that winter was coming. And winter is the time when things die, and, you know, cold and ice and darkness fills the world. So this is not going to be the happy, feel-good book that people may be hoping for. Some of the characters end in very dark places.” – Huffington Post
These Are the Books We’re Giving Our Friends This Year – Another interesting book list, this one designed for gifting, but not because these are nice coffee table tomes. Some widely recommended authors here (Colson Whitehead, Zadie Smith, Cynthia Ozick), and some not so much. The one I’m most and least looking forward to reading is this:
Real Food, Fake Food: Why You Don’t Know What You’re Eating and What You Can Do About It, by Larry Olmsted. We’ve all been told to steer clear of artificial ingredients, but how much do you know about fake—meaning fraudulent—food? Turns out, it’s everywhere, including in your kitchen right now. Olive oil, parmesan cheese, fish fillets, red wine; it would seem the more scrumptious the victual, the more likely it is to be a sham. Olmsted gives us the lay of this seedy landscape with momentum and aplomb. He demystifies the process by which fake ingredients end up in your shopping cart, explains why some of these deceitful foods could be a real threat to your health, and sheds a light on the government policies and shortsighted commercialism that landed them there. —M.O. – Mother Jones
Hotels for Book Lovers – From Bangkok to Zurich, more hotels are catering to book lovers, not only in decor, but also in reading opportunities:
Yet when the books don’t belong to an individual, but rather to a hotel or a bar, it is not armchair psychology — it is an invitation to a chance encounter. Which book might catch your eye from the shelves at the Wine Library at the B2 Boutique Hotel & Spa in Zurich, where guests can browse some 33,000 books with a glass of white in hand? What books might be in your room in the Library Hotel in New York where each floor celebrates one of the 10 categories of the Dewey Decimal System and a reading room is open 24 hours? Which volume will be brought to your table at the Gryphon, a cafe in Savannah, Ga., where diners receive their bill tucked inside the pages of a book? Might any of these books change your trip, your mind, your life? . . .
Some hotels decorate with elaborate bookshelves; some with stacks of coffee table books. Others lean a few novels on a shelf, or make a vignette with an objet d’art. The arrangements that have soul are obvious to any book lover; the books are chosen and displayed so as to encourage a guest to crack one open, to reach for the book that seems to whisper, “I’ve been waiting for you to come along.” Oregon has several such spots, such as the Sylvia Beach Hotel in Newport, where rooms are separated into Best Sellers, Classic and Novels, and there’s a library but no Wi-Fi or television in the rooms. There’s also the Heathman Hotel in Portland, which, with more than 2,700 books, has one of the largest autographed libraries in the world in partnership with Powell’s Books, the country’s largest independent bookstore. – New York Times