• Last week the film rights to Karen Joy Fowler’s The Jane Austen Book Club were optioned by Sony Pictures Entertainment and producer John Calley. So fewer Americans are reading, but apparently they want to see films about book clubs. (Via Publishers Lunch.)
  • David Kipen reports on the The Dickens Universe, “a symposium and a summer camp all in one”: “I revere Dickens, I adore California with an obsession that borders on stalking, and yet, if not for a friend’s chance remark, I’d still be in the dark about this ambitious undertaking.” (Via The Elegant Variation.)
  • Tom Payne gathers up and defines some stock vocabulary deployed by British literary reviewers, including: “anything-fuelled: narratives of a new, edgy type of fiction sometimes called Britfic tend to be fuelled by a range of uppers – amphetamines, caffeine, cocaine, Robbie Williams.” (Via my favorite former financial news writer.)
  • If you want to score with a chick, replay scenes from her own romance novels to woo her. Unless, of course, the chick sees through your phony, platitude-wielding ass and smacks you upside the head with your thorny bouquet of roses. (Thanks to the excellent Mick Stingley for the link.)
  • Speaking of romance fiction, it’s booming, but the Harlequin and Silhouette imprints are losing ground to the single-title business.
  • In other “crap sells” news, the Seattle Times is the latest newspaper to notice that Christian fiction is brainwashing hordes of new readers branching out and commanding a wider audience.
  • I have mixed feelings about this briefcase covered with computer code that allegedly spells out “The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock.” On the one hand, it calls to mind those shirts dumb U.S. tourists buy: you know, the ones featuring Korean characters that look cool but say, “I like to fuck my dog.” But if it really does spell out the Eliot poem, I’m all for it as a comment on our sad, wasted corporate lives. (Thanks to Mr. Maud for the link.)
  • Friedrich Nietzsche — no, really — offers the recipe “for how someone can become a good novelist.”
  • Were my affection not so strong, I would hate Terry Teachout for writing a book in three months. Instead, I think I’ll just pull the covers back over my head and sleep for a couple of days.


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