Buzz Worthy News
In this week’s Buzz Worthy News: e-book subscriptions, Jennifer Lawrence and Taylor Swift’s battle royale, David Gilmour has a problem speaking, and a stunning new self-help book will make you want to toss your cookies.
Buzz Worthy News is Cuddlebuggery’s weekly news post bringing you all the best information about the book and blogging world, particularly for the venn diagram of people who overlap between the two. For new releases and cover reveals of all the best Young Adult fiction, check out our Sunday post: Hot New Titles.
Oyster Is The Netflix of E-books
If you’re like me and you don’t have an unending supply of money raining down on you from the heavens (gosh, wouldn’t that be lovely, though? I’d put on my rain boots and hold my umbrella upside down to catch all that cash!), you might consider signing up for Oyster. Oyster is one of those handy pay-per-month subscription based services, like Netflix, only it’s offering up all the e-books you can read for about $9.95 a month.
How is that flipping possible? Have you looked at e-book prices lately? Are you telling me that I’ll be able to read AS MANY E-BOOKS AS I WANT for the cost of one freaking e-book? But let’s be clear. According to founder Willem Van Lancker, “It’s access not ownership.” So it might be best if you think of it like a library that you pay for.
Oh, except that it’s more like your own library, that doesn’t have access to all the e-books. That’s right, guys. Some publishers—namely Penguin Random House, Hachette, Simon & Schuster and Macmillan—are still not allowing their books to be listed. And until they do, this service is going to be severely limited. Still, it’s fun to think about, isn’t it, my fellow readers? Like an all you can eat buffet of books. Yum.
There Will Be Penguins In A Library Near You
In a surprise reversal of their two year absence on Overdrive, Penguin decided to once again list books for sale to public libraries. Nearly 17,000 titles will be available and soon on a library website near you.
Penguin’s eBooks are available for public and college libraries, including consortium, in the U.S. in the one copy/one user lending model for a one year term. Availability of the Penguin eBooks to libraries outside the U.S. is coming soon. In the Penguin catalog libraries will find titles from numerous best-selling authors including: Tom Clancy, Lee Child, Nora Roberts, Charlaine Harris, Ken Follett, Junot Diaz, Khaled Hosseini, Maya Banks, Harlen Coben, W.E. B. Griffin and many others.
Is everyone else doing the happy dance, or is that just me? Oh, okay then. *sits down* Seriously, why don’t more publishers get on board with e-books in libraries? Yes, I read a lot of books in libraries, but all of my favorites, I purchase. Letting libraries purchase e-books can end up making money for publishers in a multitude of ways, so they need to get with the program already! (And kudos to those publishers who already have!)
Simon & Schuster Throws E-books At Children
Publisher Simon & Schuster has jumped on the book train, destination present day, with the launch of their new test program, aimed at putting e-books in classrooms. The program, which I’ve nicknamed, AboutDangTime, will provide classrooms with 450 different titles. These e-books, which are now available for purchase by said classrooms, will be accessible after payment for one year and to a single student at a time. So, I guess they’re just like buying regular books for kids, except now the kids will need some kind of e-reader?
Some of the books in question: Click, Clack, Moo: Cows That Type by Doreen Cronin, Hatchet by Gary Paulsen, Out Of My Mind by Sharon Draper, Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury and For Whom The Bell Tolls by Ernest Hemingway.
Jennifer Lawrence and Taylor Swift Fight To The Death
In what many (okay, my sister and I) are calling the battle of the century, Taylor Swift and Jennifer Lawrence will battle, film-to-film to see whose film reigns supreme.
This week, it was announced that Lawrence will reunite with her director for The Hunger Games (Gary Ross) and star in the two-part adaptation of John Steinbeck’s AMAZING, MIND-BLOWING book East of Eden. She is slated to play Cathy Ames. Personally, I always pictured Cathy as a waify blonde, but Lawrence plays that bitter edge well enough that I think she’ll do fine as Cathy.
Set in the rich farmland of California’s Salinas Valley, this sprawling and often brutal novel follows the intertwined destinies of two families—the Trasks and the Hamiltons—whose generations helplessly reenact the fall of Adam and Eve and the poisonous rivalry of Cain and Abel.
Meanwhile, in the land of YA, Swift will be starring in the film adaptation of The Giver, in a deal that just closed earlier this week. She will play Rosemary, mentored by the Giver himself.
Even if you don’t think she’s got the acting chops to beat the socks off of Lawrence, Swift can always call in reinforcements in the form of her outstanding castmates: Meryl Streep, Jeff Bridges and Alexander Skarsgard.
Honestly, I’m pretty excited about both movies. Those books are awesome. And now I must reread them!
David Gilmour Tosses Off Some Remarks (And Potential Readers)
It’s so tough to live in an age where people might actually pay attention to and write down the crazypants, off-hand remarks you make in casual conversation. Especially when those comments could be heard by “a young woman who kind of wanted to make a little name for herself, or something”. Oh, those women. Always wanting to make a name for themselves by reporting what they actually hear.
What did Emily M. Keeler—the aforementioned young woman—do, you might ask? She wrote a piece for her weekly feature, Shelf Esteem, with guest author David Gilmour, who had some rather interesting things to say about women authors. But we’ll come to that in a second.
Because let me just preface this whole thing by saying, you are certainly entitled to like the books you like. If you want to read only clown books, or mysteries, or books written by authors with first names starting with M, then go for it! The books in question here, however, are books that Gilmour teaches. To students. At his university job. Now, let us continue.
This man, Glimour, who calls himself “a natural teacher”, doesn’t use women authors. Well, mostly, anyway. Boldness is mine, for emphasis.
I’m not interested in teaching books by women. Virginia Woolf is the only writer that interests me as a woman writer, so I do teach one of her short stories. But once again, when I was given this job I said I would only teach the people that I truly, truly love.
Unfortunately, none of those happen to be Chinese, or women. Except for Virginia Woolf. And when I tried to teach Virginia Woolf, she’s too sophisticated, even for a third-year class. Usually at the beginning of the semester a hand shoots up and someone asks why there aren’t any women writers in the course. I say I don’t love women writers enough to teach them, if you want women writers go down the hall. What I teach is guys. Serious heterosexual guys. F. Scott Fitzgerald, Chekhov, Tolstoy. Real guy-guys. Henry Miller. Philip Roth.
Okay, so you know that teachers aren’t supposed to just teach what they love, right? I mean, my son’s kindergarten teacher loves card games and walking her dogs in the park, but I think a lot of parents would be kind of pissed if that was all she talked about in class. Just like I’m certain that while the University of Toronto’s 69% female enrollment (fine arts program) is so happy to know that what you love is “real guy-guys”, they don’t necessarily want only ”guy-guys” to be taught in your course.
I mean, David—can I call you David?—you can’t honestly believe that a class that must be mostly made up of women (or who knows, maybe they’ve dropped out already because of your attitude) would want only men to be taught in a class about modern short fiction. Especially when that topic encompasses so many female (or Chinese) authors of worth, beloved by you or not.
What is perhaps most laughable about this whole story is Gilmour’s reaction to the news that a lot of women (and men) are angry about his views on teaching his class.
I’m absolutely surprised, but I’m also extremely sorry to hear that there are people who are really offended by it. I’ve been getting some letters this morning from people who are deeply, racially, ethnically, and intellectually offended by this. This was an interview I gave sort of over the shoulder. I was having a conversation, in French, with a colleague while this young woman was doing this interview. So these were very much tossed-off remarks. They weren’t written down. It wasn’t a formal sit-down interview or anything like that. She said, “Gee, there aren’t a lot of women here.”
You’re surprised??? You said that you’re “not interested in teaching books by women” and you’re surprised that a lot of people found that offensive?
When asked if he would perhaps reconsider changing his course, the answer was an unequivocal no. When asked about his publisher’s feelings, he admitted that one of the only reasons he was speaking out was because they were worried about sales.
I talked to Patrick Crean. He was concerned that this was going to affect the general climate around the book, that some women might not like the book if they think that that’s my policy. And that’s one of the reasons that I’m apologizing. Normally I actually wouldn’t. But I think that there’s enough people here that there’s something in the tone of these quotes, these over-the-shoulder quotes, that has seriously offended people and just made them think that look, the only guys we’re teaching here are just big hard-on guys, and the rest of the stuff is featherweight.
And to wrap things up, here is Gilmour with one final quote:
There’s an even dirtier one that I teach, by Philip Roth, called The Dying Animal. I save it ’til the very end of the year because by that point they’ve got fairly strong stomachs, and they’re far more sophisticated than they are in the beginning. So they can understand the differences between pornography and great literature. There are men eating menstrual pads, and by the time my students get to that they’re ready.
I teach only the best.
So, books with men eating menstrual pads are “the best”, but women, you have no love for teaching. Okay, then.
Real Housewife Melissa Gorga Writes An
Advice Awful Book
You know, I’m always worried that my performance as a wife isn’t measuring up to my husband’s expectations, and that’s why I’m so relieved that Real Housewives of New Jersey star, Melissa Gorga has written her noteworthy book, Love Italian Style. Let’s just take a looksy, shall we? Here is Melissa on the subject of her hubby’s instruction:
His style was to make corrections and to teach me from the beginning days of our marriage exactly how he envisioned our life together. Joe always says, “You got to teach someone to walk straight on the knife. If you slip, you’re going to get cut.” Even if something didn’t bother him that badly, he’d bring it up. He wanted to make sure that I knew, for example, if I ran out to CVS and he came home from work to an empty house, he didn’t like it. He’d call me and say, “I don’t care if you’re out all day long. But I don’t want to come home to an empty house.”
Thank goodness she had his guidance from the very beginning of her marriage! And to think, most of us just assume our husbands like us enough to get married in the first place! Here is Melissa resigning herself to keeping silent on the things in her marriage that irk her:
Someone might look at Joe and think, “Chauvinist pig.” He sounds like one sometimes! They might look at me and think, “Throwback.” The way I see it, Joe is cleaning up messes at work all day long—things you can’t wipe up with a sponge. That’s his job. It’s my job to clean up spilled milk. I just do it. There is simply no point to arguing about something that requires all of five seconds of my time and next to zero energy.
Here is Melissa commenting on how women should pretend they aren’t human:
Girls don’t poop. Me, never have. Never will. It just doesn’t happen. Or, that’s what Joe thinks! We’ve been married for nine years, and he has never once seen or smelled my business. How have I pulled this off? I don’t do it when he’s around or awake. In an emergency, I have my ways of pooping so he won’t hear, smell, or see. It’s a challenge.
Here is Melissa explaining how helpful it is when her husband is an asshat:
Honesty can be flattering or instructive. It can also be brutal. When a man asks his wife to dress better or lose a few pounds, it can seem rude. I don’t take comments like that as insults. Honesty is always a compliment. When Joe speaks his truth, he’s giving me credit that I’m secure enough in myself to take constructive criticism.
Listen, guys, I can’t take any more of this. The thing that’s shocking to me is not that this poor woman wrote a book that really only makes me pity her, it’s that the publishers knew what was in the book and have absolutely promoted it, because they knew people would talk about it. A publisher will market the hell out of anything if it will shock, and make people talk, and get them running to book stores to read it for themselves. Pathetic, Macmillan, absolutely pathetic.
For The Summer Faces Allegations Of Plagiarism
Yet another outcry of plagiarism, this time over “author” Shey Stahl regarding her book, For The Summer. Stories have been popping up all over the internet about this one, from Dear Author to Snarky Cake.
The gist of it is that Shey Stahl has lifted whole sections from the story Dusty, a Twilight fan fiction piece by the coauthor team YellowBella. Stahl herself got her start as a writer penning fan fiction of the same type. The fact that Stahl and the other two authors were both active on fan-fiction.net during the same period hasn’t escaped anyone’s notice, either.
Here are some of the passages in question (from Goodreads reviewer Lucia, underlined to show the similarity between the two):
For the Summer, Loc 460:
“What’s your name?”
You looked at me for a second before one of those boys yelled your name. “Well, umm, I have to go.”
“Bye,” I said, trying to hide my face in my hair I had pulled free from my ponytail.
You hesitated before walking away. Pushing your fingers through your wet hair, you said, “I like the color.”
I smiled and looked up at you, clueless. “Of what?”
You offered a crooked smile, eyes lighting up. “Your eyes. I like the color of your eyes. It’s different.”
“Oh,” I said, feeling a burn to my cheeks that wasn’t from the sun. “I think they’re gray, or blue, or something like that.” I didn’t know why I told you that, and judging by the grin on your face, I assumed you were wondering why as well.
I thought my eye color was odd. My parents and sisters all had brown eyes. I had gray-blue eyes. It made me think I was adopted or something, but they told me my mom’s dad had blue eyes. I must have gotten them from Red. That was what we called him, Red, short for Redding.
You laughed easy. “It seems that way.” You were walking backward, slowly, watching me.
I didn’t say anything else, stuck in place, confused by our interaction.
“Well, see ya.”
“Bye.” I waved.
You turned around and began to run toward your friends, but then stopped and faced me again. “I really do like them.” You smiled. “The color, I mean.”
I made a face. Why did you say that? What should I say back? I liked your eyes, too? Were you making fun of me?
Dusty, Chapter 2:Dry and Dusty:
“What’s your name?”
“Isabella Bliss.” I immediately palm my forehead. Only my parents call me that; it’s embarrassing.
Edward looks at me for three seconds before Alice rolls by and hits him as she goes. “Well, ummm, I have to go.”
“Bye, Edward,” I say, trying to hide my face behind my hair.
Alice is doing kick-flips and tricks on her skateboard behind me. The sound of her pink wheels hitting pavement is already oddly rewarding. It’s like I’ve heard the sound my entire life. Those noises are supposed to be with me. They will always be. I know it.
Edward hesitates before he walks away. He pushes his fingers through his hair, and says, “I like the color.”
I smile and look around. I’m clueless. “Of what?”
He crookedly smirks, and his eyes light up. “Your hair. I like the color of your hair.”
“Oh.” I touch my soft curls. “My mom says it’s called strawberry-blonde. I let her curl it for me this morning.” I don’t know why I told him that.
He laughs easy. “Your mom lets you to have sweets for breakfast and curls your hair for you in the morning? She sounds cool.” He’s walking backwards, slowly.
“She is,” I answer, stuck in place.
“Well, see ya.”
Edward turns around and begins to run toward his friends, but then he stops and faces me. “I really do like it.” He smiles. “Your hair color, I mean.”
I make a face. Why would he say that? What do I say back, I like your hair, too? Cause, I mean, he has cool hair; it’s like brown and red or gold…
Is he making fun of me?
The author originally made this statement in response to the allegations:
I’m very sickened by what’s going on over at Goodreads. Mentally and physically sickened by this. I’ve been made aware of the accusations on GR stating that I’ve taken another authors words from them and I stand by my stories always being 100% mine. Please know the facts before you accuse someone of something so wrongful.
In the subsequent days, however, Stahl took down her facebook page and her webpage. Then another accusation of plagiarism occurred, this time over her book Everything Changes which also appears to have passages taken from yet another fan fiction, this one The Art Teacher by Spanglemaker9 who quotes a section eerily close to her own and says:
Considering I posted the fic in 2010 when this author was active in our fandom as a reader and writer, this is far too close to be coincidence.
For now, we’ve heard nothing more from Stahl. Her books are no longer for sale on Amazon. Some of the commentators, such as Jane at Dear Author, have called for stronger checks on the part of Amazon before an indie book can be published, such as Turnitin or some other plagiarism checker. I would have no problems sending my work through some kind of quality check system, if that were required. However, I see a few problems with a turnitin type system.
- When authors edit and rewrite their own already existent fan fiction, will they get an error message if they try to publish said work in book form on KDP?
- What will happen if you try to republish work, such as a story you formerly had in a collection (Laini Taylor just did this)? Will you get an error message then?
- Self-published authors aren’t the only ones who plagiarize. So, is Amazon, iBookstore, etc. supposed to assume that publishers have done their due-diligence as well?
The problem is, trying to make an automated system won’t work, because there will be multiple exceptions to the rule. Believe me, self-published authors are just as worried about having their work stolen as readers are about reading plagiarized material. But unless Amazon hires a bunch of workers to go over turnitin type results, it won’t work the way we want and could perhaps block fan fiction authors from publishing. Instead maybe we, as a society, should make it our business to shame these content thieves to the point where they don’t try to do it again.
As several smart people have put it, a person would have to be dumb as a rock to plagiarize in the age of the internet. Maybe soon enough these thieves will figure out that they’ll be caught, time and again.
Unbreakable by Kami Garcia, Reviewed by Scott Reads It
The plot of Unbreakable is full of enough mysterious and creepy happenings to sate my macabre cravings. Garcia really knows how to weave a paranormal novel, making each encounter with a supernatural being exciting and intense. This book is insanely creepy, like leave your lights on at night kind of creepy and I appreciate all of the horror elements that went into this book. Garcia never truly holds back when it comes to the horror and Unbreakable isn’t for the faint at heart.
Confessions of a Hater by Caprice Crane, Reviewed by Geeky Reading
I’ve talked about how I don’t get the mean girl thing, right? Because those girls… there was not a single likeable thing about them. The main girl is given some hint of a back story, a “oh her family life is bad, she has her reasons” but none of that was fully developed, or explained, nor did we actually get to see any of it. And even if it was, that gives her a reason for it, but does not excuse her behavior, because there’s no excuse for being a bitch, okay?