Monthly Archives: June 2012

Has Your Nook Been Nookd?

As an avid e-book reader, I revel in the fact that I can read the word-for-word text of a paperback novel in a portable, electronic way. That’s the beauty of it, isn’t it? But what if the text of the novel you’re reading were not word-for-word the original?

That’s what happened to this person, who came across some manipulations when reading Leo Tolstoy’s War and Peace. Turns out his Nook had been Nookd. When reading the classic novel on his Barnes and Noble Nook — the same e-reader that myself and millions of others use — he found the the word “Kindled” had been changed to “Nookd” every time it was used. The capitalization and odd/incorrect spelling makes it a dead giveaway that something unusual was going on. After checking an original print copy of the book to make sure he wasn’t losing his mind, he learned that it was in fact changed.

This raises an important question: how often are our books being manipulated by reading them on electronic devices? Was this just a one-off case? Was it a glitch? Or are publishers playing tricks on us and doing this far more often than we think? And was this a direct attack on Amazon’s Kindle?

According to Huffington Post, Superior Formatting Publishing, who formatted the novel for the Nook, admitted there was an error when converting the e-book version for the Kindle to the version for the Nook, as Britney Fitzgerald explains.

From Superior’s explanation:

This happened because all of our titles were originally published on the Amazon Kindle platform first, and the titles formerly had a small paragraph of text describing our works at the beginning of the book. This paragraph had the word Kindle in it several times. When Barnes and Noble released their publishing platform we were obviously excited to offer our books there as well. A Find and Replace was done on the introductory paragraph to replace the word Kindle with Nook (along with some other formatting modifications specific to the Nook editions). On this particular title there was obviously a mistake in which the process was carried out on the entire work, instead of just the intro text.

The error has since been fixed. This slightly hysterical, but mostly ludicrous mistake blows my mind. What do you guys think?

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50 Shades of ‘Fifty Shades’

Since Fifty Shades of Grey continues to be the biggest chatter in the world of book news, I thought I’d fill you in on a whole bunch of Fifty Shades news stories, or as I like to call it, the 50 Shades of Fifty Shades. Enjoy!

**Fifty Shades penthouses for sale: Penthouses in the Escala building, where most of the kinky sex in the Fifty Shades books takes place, are now up for sale. That’s right; the Escala building in the Belltown neighborhood of Seattle, WA is real. According to Huffington Post, penthouses typically cost between $4 million and $6 million. About a year ago, the building and its condos started to become a tourist attraction for the book’s avid fans. It caused so much chaos that the penthouses are now only being shown to those who are serious about purchasing; those interested must be pre-approved and pre-qualified. But hey, there are pictures to look at. A girl can dream, right?

**Fifty Shades merchandise on the way: With each big book series comes a massive market for merchandise. Think of all the Harry Potter and Twilight products you’ve seen in the past few years. Well according to The Hollywood Reporter, Fifty Shades of Grey is about to do the same, offering Fifty Shades perfume, lingerie, beauty products and adult products aimed at women. (Feel free to let your brain run wild with that one.) No specifics on products yet, but there’s no doubt in my mind that they’ll sell well no matter what they are.

**Synonyms that would make Fifty Shades of Grey better: Whether you like the series or not, there’s one thing we can all agree on: the writing is definitely not elite. So here’s a list, compiled by Vulture, of the book’s worst synonyms. This isn’t necessarily newsworthy, but it will certainly make you smile.

Okay. I’m Fifty Shaded out. You’re welcome.

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Esquire Publishing Men’s Fiction E-Books

Children’s fiction. Young adult fiction. Women’s fiction. And now, men’s fiction. Esquire is trying to define what men’s fiction is by regularly publishing a new series of e-books written by men, starting this month.

According to The New York Times, the first volume became available yesterday, including short stories by Aaron Gwyn, Luis Alberto Urrea and Jess Walter. The stories are only being sold in e-book format. Another volume will follow every few months. Another three pieces will be published in the June/July issue of Esquire.

The new fiction pieces coming to the publication are important, especially as Esquire continues to pull out of the recession. Julie Bosman explains.

David Granger, the editor in chief of Esquire, said he has lamented the loss of space that magazines devoted to publishing fiction. The New Yorker is perhaps the most visible home for fiction in the magazine world, but many other magazines have cut back.

”It’s a struggle, because especially during the recession, we lost so many pages,” he said. ”Fiction begins to feel a little bit of a luxury.”

Do you think the new publications will open people’s eyes to men’s fiction? How do you define men’s fiction?

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‘Devil Wears Prada’ Sequel in the Works

The heels of the devil are clicking again. According to Entertainment Weekly, bestselling author Lauren Weisberger, who wrote The Devil Wears Prada in 2003, is now working on a sequel.

The Devil Wears Prada was a bestselling novel that led to a hit movie, starring Meryl Streep, Anne Hathaway, Stanley Tucci, and Emily Blunt, in 2006.

The follow-up sequel, called Revenge Wears Prada: The Devil Returns, picks up 8 years after the first book ended. Main character Andy is now an editor at a big-time bridal magazine called The Plunge with her former co-worker turned friend Emily. She’s also planning her wedding to Max. But with the magazine industry being as small as it is, Andy and her former boss, Miranda, are bound to cross paths again.

The sequel is set to be released in 2013, 10 years after the original. Do you think the popularity will still hold up? Will you read it? And hey — what about another movie, huh??

Get The Devil Wears Prada in paperback for $10.90.

Or for your Kindle for $11.99.

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‘Fifty Shades’ Now Has Its Own Fan Fiction

E.L. James started writing international bestseller Fifty Shades of Grey as Twilight fan fiction, substituting Edward and Bella for Christian and Anastasia and getting rid of the vampires. But now in a truly meta turn, Fifty Shades of Grey has its own fan fiction.

According to Entertainment Weekly, Fanfiction.net — where James originally started writing her Twilight fan fiction — is hosting a number of Fifty Shades fan fiction stories, which only date back to this March. Is it all becoming too much? Hillary Busis explains.

The concept of fan fiction itself, of course, is hardly new: “There was fan fiction before you called it fan fiction, and before there was copyright it was called writing,” University of Utah professor Anne Jamison told the AP when asked about this new trend. But would-be novelists who are writing fan fiction based on someone else’s fan fiction? That’s some seriously kooky hall of mirrors stuff.

What happens if one of these stories eventually morphs into another “original” novel? Will all fiction one day be traceable back to Twilight?

To be honest, I think the concept of fan fiction is a little odd, but that’s just me. This whole Fifty Shades fan fiction thing is as meta as meta gets, and it definitely drives me a little nuts. Love the books, but do we really need fan fiction about them? What do you think?

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Review: Horrible Man

Recap: If you’re intrigued by the Etan Patz case or have ever wondered what really happened to Amelia Earhart, this is the book for you. Horrible Man tells the true story of an unsolved double murder that took place in Portland, Australia more than 20 years ago. Called the Portland Hair Salon Murders, journalist Leonie Wallace writes about the homicidal act that led to the deaths of Claire Acocks and Margaret Penny. Acocks was doing Margaret Penny’s hair at her weekly appointment when someone came into the salon and savagely killed the two women.

Over the years, people have come forward, admitting to seeing a person flee the scene or hearing screams coming from the hair salon, but it has never been enough to pinpoint who did it. And after 20+ years of a case unsolved, many wonder if police will ever come to a conclusion about what happened.

Leonie Wallace takes us through the evidence, the police interviews and statements given by witnesses and family members, as well as insight from personal interviews she conducted with all the key players of the devastating tragedy. Wallace also discusses other similar murders that took place in Australia around that time. She talks about some of the prime suspects — and why they were never arrested or convicted. But most importantly, Wallace investigates who Claire Acocks and Margaret Penny really were, and how their loss has affected an entire community.

Analysis: What’s most intriguing about the murders is the fact that they happened in broad daylight on a Friday afternoon in a commercial downtown area. Before starting the book, I found myself wondering how something like this could possibly happen and go unsolved for this long. But Wallace’s journalistic prowess and research proves to us that there are so many different avenues, so many different options about what could have happened. Without proof and a lack of reasonable doubt, you’ve got nothing but a mystery.

Wallace writes the book in a way you would imagine a journalist would write it — straightforward, factual, mostly unbiased. While Wallace weaves in some of her own experiences about researching the case, she does an excellent job of simply informing the reader of the facts and not swaying us. She leaves us to come to our conclusions about what happened, and we find ourselves understanding why police were never able to come to a solidified conclusion.

Wallace’s research is extensive. But her interviews with the victims’ family members are easily the most heartbreaking portions of the book. These interviews are seamlessly woven into the facts of the case in a way that makes us want to finish the book in the hopes that there will be a happy ending, despite already knowing that is not the case.

MVP: Mr. Acocks and Mr. Penny. It’s impossible not to feel for the two men who lost their wives that day. It’s a shame that they have no clue as to why this happened or who did it, and that they probably never will. But their ability to continue living their lives and moving on as best as they can is inspiring.

Get Horrible Man on your Kindle for just $9.99.

Or in paperback for $29.22.

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‘Breakfast at Tiffany’s’ E-Book Now Available

First there was the book. Then there was the movie based on the book. Then they were books about the movie. And now there’s an e-book version of the original book. Got it?

Truman Capote’s beloved Breakfast At Tiffany’s was released just last month as an e-book for the first time, thanks to Vintage Books. According to Entertainment Weekly, this is not the only Capote book that’s going digital. Also released were The Grass Harp and Music for Chameleons.

Vintage is also planning a paper reissue of some of Capote’s work, including the classic In Cold Blood.

Get Breakfast at Tiffany’s on your Kindle now for just $9.99.

Get The Grass Harp on your Kindle also for just $9.99.

Get Music For Chameleons on your Kindle for $11.99.

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