Wednesday News: Sainsbury’s done with digital, Kirkus Prize finalists, a-holes v. jerks
Sainsbury’s exits digital entertainment, hands over e-book business to Kobo – It’s amazing how many customers Kobo has inherited from other companies. This time Sainsbury’s is shutting down their digital operations, Sainsbury’s On Demand, which includes movies, television, magazines, music, and digital books. The company calls it a “strategic decision,” aka the business was not profitable enough, but at least digital books will shift over to Kobo, rather than simply disappearing.
For some parts of the businesses like music and digital magazines, you will be able to buy content until October 1, and you can listen to and download your music on Sainsbury’s apps until November 30. Movies and TV have been closed “with immediate effect.” And Kobo has confirmed to us the details of the e-book aspect of the deal:
Kobo says that existing customers who have purchased e-books from Sainsbury’s will be able to transfer these books to a Kobo library to continue reading and owning them. Those who were already customers will get notified by Sainsbury’s by October 25 with a unique code and instructions of what to do to continue accessing their existing libraries. Sainsbury’s will be completely discontinuing its service on December 1. – Tech Crunch
These authors are in the running for the $50,000 Kirkus Prize book awards – A full list of finalists can be found via the link above, six authors in each of three categories: fiction, nonfiction, and young readers. At $50K the prize is generous by book award standards, and winners will be announced next month.
The finalists for the awards, now in their third year, include a few who also made the National Book Award longlists this year: Colson Whitehead for his Oprah-approved “The Underground Railroad,” Adam Haslett for his novel “Imagine Me Gone,” and Meg Medina for her young adult novel “Burn Baby Burn.”
Books become eligible for the Kirkus Prize by earning a starred review in Kirkus Reviews. This year, there were more than 300 eligible books in the fiction and nonfiction categories, and more than 500 in the young readers’ literature category. – Los Angeles Times
Fundamental Trump – Thanks to Kaetrin for this one. And I will say right off the bat that you can ignore the Trump reference (or not, as you prefer), because Aaron James’s book may be focused on Trump, but the concepts of the asshole and the jerk are actually relevant to discussions we have about various “alpha” heroes. James, a philosophy professor, has also written a whole book on assholes, and it appears that in his new work, he provides a definition of terms that can easily be applied to the way we think of literary characters, Romance heroes, in particular:
The distinction is important. “The asshole,” James writes, “is the guy (they are mainly men) who systematically allows himself advantages in social relationships out of an entrenched (and mistaken) sense of entitlement that immunizes him against the complaints of other people.” His sense of entitlement is absolute; his self-aggrandizing behavior is spontaneous and noticeably lacking in inhibition. The asshole may recognize that violating certain norms of acceptable behavior may cause pain or give offense but feels no conflict over that possibility.
The jerk, by contrast, is aware it is normal to apologize or express embarrassment — and does so, sincerely or not. Someone parking in a handicapped parking space without the appropriate plates or sticker may be either a jerk or an asshole, but only the jerk will feel the need to come up with, at least, an excuse.
More important, the asshole will, James writes, often “feel indignant when questions about his conduct are raised. That, from his point of view, shows he is not getting the respect he deserves.” Just such an escalation — from habitual, self-centered indifference toward the feelings of others to rage at even the perception of being slighted — became familiar as part of Trump’s debating style throughout the Republican primary debates. – Inside Higher Ed