Two articles of interest to book lovers

December 25, 2008 at 11:35 pm (Book clubs, books)

“Fought Over Any Good Books Lately?” (New York Times December 7) is about book group strife and what to do about it. Personally,  I’m relieved to have been spared (at least, for the most part) the ” inane critical commentary, political maneuvering, hurt feelings, bad chick lit and even worse chardonnay” rather gleefully enumerated by author Joanne Kaufman.

1207 STL Clubs.jpg

This rather entertaining graphic accompanies the article.

One remedy resorted to by some groups involves the hiring of a professional facilitator – someone like Edith Bushell. Bushell states flatly that book clubs seek her help most often “because there’s an ayatollah.” She charges between $250 and $300 per member for her services. (Yep – you read that right!)


“Making Books,” which appeared in the December 21 issue of the Washington Post Book World, is more of a cri de coeur. In fact, where the status of publishing in this country is concerned, author Andre Bernard seems near despair. He begins with the funeral of  “the last lion of publishing,”  Robert Giroux. Fewer than fifty people attended the service, Bernard notes with ill-concealed anger. Things proceed down hill from there.

In recent years, I’ve read many articles about the death of reading and of the book. “Making Books” may be the most depressing of all of them, more because of the bitterness of the author’s tone than the actual content – although that’s dispiriting enough, to be sure.

1 Comment

  1. Kerrie said,

    Thanks for the link and discussion Roberta. My response is at

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