Book Blogs weekly round-up (July 9)

Your weekly round-up of the best in book blogging:


1) Max Brooks interview, from

A hysterical interview with Max Brooks about selling 1 million copies of The Zombie Survival Guide

A Taste:

EW: First of all, congratulations on selling 1 million copies.
MAX BROOKS: I’m still trying to track down the warehouse where my father bought all those books.

How did you end up pitching it?
I met a book agent and he asked to see the manuscript. He said, “I can get this published for you.” And I said doubtfully, “Yeah, you go do that.” Because I thought, come on, who’s going to read a book that isn’t real? I did it as an exercise in sanity. And then it sold like crazy. I knew I had turned a corner when I did my first zombie-protection lecture, which was at Colorado College, I believe. Two hundred people showed up and I was so panicked, flop-sweating like Albert Brooks in Broadcast News. I did my lecture for 45 sweaty minutes and I opened the floor up to questions, thinking, okay, they’ve suffered through my lecture. I thought they’d ask me questions like, “Is Will Ferrell really that funny?” or “Is Tina Fey nice?” but the questions were all, “If I cut off my arm, can I stop an infection?” “What rifle do you recommend at what range?” “Should I wear body armor?” They were all actual zombie questions, and I thought maybe I was on to something.

2) Ilona Andrews lovingly torments her fans

By posting the following blurb:

I finally figured out what Kate 5 is about.

Poor Julie. :(

3) Carrie Vaughn talks about the rise of the UF trend

A taste:

CV: If ten people are talking about urban fantasy, they’ll actually be talking about six different things.  When I first started paying attention to things like sub-genre definitions (early 1990’s), the term urban fantasy usually labeled stories in a contemporary setting with traditionally fantastical elements—the modern folktale works of Charles de Lint, Emma Bull’s punk elf stories, the Bordertown series, and so on. But the term is older than, and I’ve also heard it used to describe traditional other-world fantasy set in a city, such as Fritz Leiber’s Lankhmar stories. Vampire fiction (the books of Anne Rice, Chelsea Quinn Yarbro, and P.N. Elrod for example) was its own separate thing…

4) A Reading Survey delivers unexpected results

Apparently Books are faster and more relaxing to read, but people rate reading on the iPad and Kindle more satisfying. Also, readers loathe reading on their PCs.

5) A brief discussion of historian Christopher Hill and his legacy

A taste:

One of Hill’s opening sentences deserves to be as well-known as E. P. Thompson’s famous determination to rescue the working men and women of eighteenth-century England from the “enormous condescension of posterity”: Lunacy, like beauty, may be in the eye of the beholder.

5) Scott Westerfeld would like his fans to become paleontologists

SW: A skeleton of the highly predatory, 17-meter-long (55 ft) whale was discovered in Peru. It’s teeth are twice as big as those of any current-day whale, possibly because it shared the water with a prehistoric 15-meter-long shark! (Remind me not to bring my swimming gear when traveling to any era before, say, 1492.)  And what’s the scientific name of this newly discovered monster? They’ve chosen Leviathan melvillei, in honor of Moby Dick. So study hard and grow up to be paleontologists, because the bones of a Behemoth westerfeldii would totally rock my mantelpiece.

7) discusses Harvard’s Open  Collection on Reading

A taste:

Last year, the National Endowment for the Arts declared Reading on the Rise after issuing a dire report five years earlier, Reading at Risk. This back and forth about the state of reading — who reads, what they read and how they’re reading it — is nothing new, as a visit to Harvard’s Open Collection on Reading shows.

8 ) Pub Rants talks e-books and why you can’t get English outside the U.S.

A taste:

A couple of weeks ago we got an email from a rather upset reader in Denmark. He wanted to buy Gail Carriger’s SOULLESS as an eBook in English for his eReader. According to this fan, he is Danish but reads most of his novels in English. He could see that it was available in the US without a problem but why couldn’t he buy it? I imagine this fan is not the only non-US resident with this question so I’m going to tell you why he can’t buy the US English eBook version in Denmark (or wherever outside of the US). And yes, we did send a letter to this person explaining why.

9) Richard Francis’ top 10 pubs in literature

A taste:

After setting his latest novel in an English pub, Richard Francis drops in on his favourite literary drinking dens, from the Tabard in Chaucer’s Canterbury Tales to Daphne du Maurier’s Jamaica Inn

10) Slightly off-kilter questionably entertaining posts about librarians

A taste:

It all started a few weeks ago, when I was at the American Library Association conference and texted my friend Ali about the Book Cart Drill Team World Championships taking place the following day…

Featured Contests:


1) Enter to win the entire Daniel X series by James Patterson. Contest ends July 21, 2010.

2) Enter to win an ARC of Caroyn Crane’s Double Cross. Contest ends July 31, 2010.

3) Enter to win an eReader or $100 GC! Contest ends July 15, 2010.

4) Enter to win signed copies of Shiver and Linger by Maggie Stiefvater. Contest ends July 19,2010.

5) Enter to win a historical fiction or Gail Carriger prize pack. Contest ends July 17, 2010.