I’ve turned all of my Goodreads shelves other than the
to-consider one into lists on my Bookshop page, minus books only available as ebooks (that’s coming to Bookshop soon, supposedly). Bookshop will be replacing the current in-house sales links on IndieBound, and purchasing through my page or any of my individual book links gives me an affiliates cut, and puts money into a pool of funds that gets divied up amongst independent bookstores.
I’ve started reading The Sky Is Yours by Chandler Klang Smith; I’m still reading Building and Dwelling by Richard Sennett, which is taking longer than I’d thought it would; and I’ve finished reading A Song for a New Day by Sarah Pinsker, which I’ve already twice told you to read. I’ve finished eight 📚 so far this year, with eleven waiting in my queue.
I cannot for the life of me figure out why only some of the Kindle books I converted to Kobo format kept their chapter breaks and tables of content. I’m uncertain what’s different about the ones that ended up considered as one long, book-length chapter.
Last night before going to sleep, I finished Sarah Pinsker’s A Song for a New Day (a Charlie Jane Anders recommendation), and weirdly it’s a bit akin to Tim Robbins’ Cradle Will Rock, at least in that I wept for the end. If you’ve read the book and seen the movie, you know why I make the loose linkage there, and I stand by my earlier instruction.
Anyone who’s ever run a new or newish site or service that I’ve signed up for knows that I almost immediately have a flood of questions like this.
Goodreads offered a list of “great books” coming out this week and while there’s nothing there for me I’m captivated by this explanatory text on one of them.
You should read this book if you like: Sophisticated contemporary fiction, librarians, family schisms, societal schisms, empathy, despair, conscience, collusion.
Is there a write-up somewhere of Bookshop as compared to IndieBound? Are independent bookstores embracing Bookshop or are they pointing at IndieBound and going, “Um, hello?” What’s the rationale behind a site not run by the American Booksellers Association versus one that is? It’s not entirely clear to me from reading the former’s About page and the latter’s FAQ page. Is it just the matter of Bookshop letting users sert up their own shops and recommendation lists? Bookshop’s orders are fulfilled through Ingram; who fulfills IndieBound orders? I’ve a vague recollection of finding a book on Bookshop that wasn’t showing up on IndieBound, but I can’t remember what it was, or if it was just user error.
My one exasperation with having switched to Kobo is that there’s a bug in its built-in OverDrive functionality: every so often, but not very often, the two systems disgaree about what’s in OverDrive’s holdings, and a library loan simply refuses to appear on the Kobo.
Six days ago now, OverDrive checked out to me Future Tense Fiction. It’s there on OverDrive and it’s there on Kobo, same format (EPUB) and same ISBN (9781944700928). This is just how every other OverDrive title I’ve read on the Kobo has looked, and yet they’ve worked.
When looking at OverDrive on the Kobo itself, it sees no such title available at OverDrive. It does see the same title in its own online store.
Kobo, for their part, I guess still is working on the question, but I’ve not heard from them on it for days now. OverDrive simply keeps repeating the same nonsensical response: they don’t carry the title in “Kobo format”.
OverDrive has now pitched this nonsense explanation to me twice, but in reality they don’t carry any title in “Kobo format”. They carry ePub and if the same ePub is available in the Kobo store, you can borrow it on your Kobo directly without having to download it from OverDrive and side-load it on your Kobo device.
This is a baffling degree of apparent refusal to simply talk to one another for two companies that until recently both were owned by Rakuten, which is why the Kobo has been the only e-reader with built-in OverDrive functionality to begin with.
It’s late at night and no one will see this and I’m still only about 70% through it but you all should sort of run not walk to read Sarah Pinsker’s A Song for a New Day.
On the one hand, the defunct Fencing Center Salle Trois Armes (and not, excuse me, the “North Portland Fencing Club”, apparently) will be a great coffeeshop location, what with that southern exposure. On the other hand, if the previous Two Stroke location is any indication, this will make four coffeeshops within a two-block radius in downtown St. Johns with a lack of interest in soft, comfortable seating. I’m in desperate need of more coffeeshops run in more of a librarian spirit than a bartender one. Although, now that I think of it, there are probably more bars in Portland these days with lounge seating than coffeeshops. Whatever happened to the nice place to have a latte and a book?
Kendi, over the span of an enlightening and often infuriating book, brings this point home in many ways: racist policies have to be combatted with antiracist policies. It is not enough, nor is it possible to be neutral; there is no “not racist” in a society that is inherently unjust, and that we have to actively combat that injustice through policy.
From How to Be an Antiracist by Sameer Vasta
Since I did so much reading over brunch in my decade patronizing Byways Cafe, I’m commemorating them in the banner image of my Bookshop page, where you can find and buy the books I’ve read over the last several years, although they haven’t yet added ebooks.
I also had the incredible and unexpected honor of seeing A Memory Called Empire named the best science fiction novel on the American Library Association’s Reference and User Services Association’s 2020 Reading List. I didn’t even know this was a thing a person could win, and I’m hugely delighted, and very thankful to all the librarians. Having a book I wrote in a library — any library — is one of those strange and special parts of authoring that feels utterly surreal; having a whole lot of librarians recommend one’s book is even better.
From The Imago Machine (2/3/20) - a small collection of lovely things by Arkady Martine
I’ve started reading A Song for a New Day by Sarah Pinsker; I’m still reading Building and Dwelling: Ethics for the City by Richard Sennett; and I’ve stopped reading Bridge 108 by Anne Charnock because it turns out it’s just a republished edition of The Enclave, which I’d already read three years ago. I’ve finished seven 📚 so far this year, with twelve waiting in my queue.
So here I am, reading the galley of Anne Charnock’s Bridge 108 from NetGalley and I’m recognizing characters but I knew it’s set in the same world as another of her books so I didn’t think much of it but then specific things started feeling really, really familiar, so I do some digging and sure enough it’s apparently just The Enclave, which I already read three years ago, retitled, repackaged, and republished. I could have been reading something else.
There are a number of things worth noting about the latest Dan Hon newsletter, not the least of which is the Vonnegut quote I’ve cited before (while discussing Eighth Grade, of all things) as one of my top-two literary quotes.
It’s through Hon that I learn of this Twitter discussion about how not all people have an internal narrative of words, and I swear to god that’s like learning humans are comprised of two distinct species, and part of me doesn’t even want to to try to comprehend what it’s like not to have that ongoing internal story of words. (I wonder, has there ever been a study on how mental health issues impact each type of person?)
Hon notes that the discussion off that initial tweet was somewhat akin to those MetaFilter at its best has been known for, and therefore exemplify the power that still remains on this “global communications network now exists that’s cheap enough or in some cases even free to access, offering a pseudonymous way for people to feel safe enough to share a private experience with complete strangers”.
Also, I’m reminded therein that I am losing steam to discuss Joanne McNeil’s Lurking, which I’ve put off because I first want to finish Bulding and Dwelling: Ethics for the City, which I’d interrupted for the NcNeil.
I’m reminded not just because Hon mentions the book but because he wishes to “create more spaces where people can learn and hear what is it like to be you”—how we use of the word “space” being the thing I want to write about when I get to blogging the book.
I’ve started reading Bridge 108 by Anne Charnock (a PDF proof through NetGalley); I’m still reading Building and Dwelling: Ethics for the City by Richard Sennett; and I’ve finished reading Waste Tide by Chen Qiufan. I’ve finished seven 📚 so far this year, with thirteen waiting in my queue.
Interesting: Bookshop wants to be the place you buy your books online, supporting affiliated independent bookstores rather than Amazon. Orders are fulfilled via Ingram, and the involved bookstores get a share of the sales pool. Ebooks coming this spring.
I’ve not had this issue on my Clara (yet?) but Mike Hall has your rundown on what to do if suddenly you don’t seem to be able to read DRM-protected ebooks on your Kobo, the tl;dr of which appears to be to ignore the advice and factory reset your device.