Tuesday 15 February 2011

Stuff that's tickled me recently... (3)

Margaret Atwood, just
one of my many fave female writers
Gender imbalance in the literary world:
Following on from what Lionel Shriver was saying in the first Stuff That's Tickled Me about problems with having her books taken seriously by the powers that produce her book covers - this Guardian article looks at the gender imbalance reviews and reviewing in major literary publications such as London Review of Books, Granta and New York Review of Books to name a few.  Check out the statistics - the world of reviewing is clearly skewed towards men. I find that really odd considering most book bloggers who review books online are women... I wonder if it's because the reviews these publications publish are dominated by literary criticism from the academic domain. Anyone got any thoughts?

If I was going to get it,
this would be the one
Further to this debate, the Telegraph weighs in by commenting that despite 'literary hard-hitters' being overwhelmingly male, this may only be because women have only relatively recently been admitted to serious literary circles. They make a few good points though: the best selling author of this age is a woman (JK Rowling, represent) and the most important person in publishing is Oprah. So I'm certainly not about to start losing hope yet. Keep it up girls!! (As a side note, it's funny that all female authors are referred to by both first and last name whereas half of the men on the list are only referred to by last name. Seems like a really rugby team/military thing to do.)

The smell of books in a can:
Love the smell of books? I'm a self-confessed book-sniffer. I love the smell of books both new and old; I love the waft of literature and knowledge that hits you when you enter a library and this is one of the prevailing reasons I refuse to switch to an e-reader.... but apparently there's a cure on hand for those who have an e-reader and miss that familiar aroma. Book flavoured aerosol. I'm still not totally sure how I feel about this one....

Keeping on top of bookish news:
Undoubtedly a lot of you will already have heard of this one, but I'm a recent discoverer of the beauty that is Shelf Awareness. Great little e-newsletter about books, publishing and all of the sort of things we all love.

Are these the books our kids will be studying one day?
I came across this by way of One Person's Journey Through a World of Books and also saw a post about it from Sarcastic Female Literary Circle. Entertainment Weekly produced a list of the best reads from the 1983-today and deemed them to be the New Classics. The books that people would still be reading and talking about and studying in decades to come. I'm not entirely convinced by some of the inclusions on the list (Da Vinci Code a classic? Please say it ain't so!) but despite the potential longevity of these books it's a darned good reading list. I've knocked of twelve of them and about 10 more are waiting patiently for me on my shelves. How about you? How many have you read?

How to not look like a Twitter newbie:
As you all know, I'm a recent and enthusiastic convert to Twitter and despite my best efforts, I'm sure my first few weeks made me look like a complete newbie. This article about how to start on Twitter and not look green (that I found thanks to Coffee and a Book Chick) is slightly too late for me but I got some good tips from it. I changed my background from standard blue to something more 'branded'. I'm learning every day.

The cover in question...
Taipei International Book Expo 2011:
In some local news, the Taipei International Book Expo has just been here. This article from Publisher's Weekly is a glowing report of the positivity abuzz there. Much to my chagrin, this one did not show up on my bookish stuff radar until too late. I promptly set up and alert for it on Google so in 2012 I'll know about it in advance. For a insider's view of what happened there, check out Shu Flies' overview post.

Caption competition fun:
Finally, a funny one. I came across this caption competition for the cover (see right) of Female body in Medicine and Literature. Some of the suggestions had me in stitches (pun intended). Enjoy!


  1. Not sure what I would think about having a spray that smells like old books. I mean, it's one thing to have that smell in your hands in a small way. But all over your house? Don't think I'm looking to have my house smell musty!

  2. Haha you're right! If I were to by one,of all of the book smells they had on offer this would be my choice. But, do I want my whole house to smell of musty books? Not so much!