Book Bulletins: some recent book related news of interest

October 8, 2012 at 10:15 pm (books)

Earlier this month, Sue Grafton’s home in Louisville, Kentucky, was broken into. The author of the famed and greatly loved alphabet mysteries featuring private investigator Kinsey Millhone reported the theft of  some cutlery and serving pieces.

Click here for the story, with video, provided by a local news outlet.

The folks at Fox 19 could not resist using the only logical title for this particular bit of news….


The finalists for this year’s National Book Award will be announced Wednesday morning October 10 on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe.” The show airs between six and nine ET.


I obtained the above information from  Zola Books, a new site  I found out about in an article that appeared in Sunday’s Washington Post. Author Kevin Nance describes Zola Books as:

…a venture whose strategy is to combine all three of the e-book world’s major market functions — retailing, curation and social-networking — in an ambitious bid to become a one-stop destination for book lovers on the Web.

Ah, yes…”curation.” That would be another term for “Readers’ Advisory,” a term I first heard when I went to work for the library in 1982. Here’s more on that:

Consumers will be guided by Zola’s trademarked “curation engine” that uses rating and purchase-based algorithms along with expert input from book critics, bloggers, authors, publishers and booksellers, whom they can “follow” a la Twitter.

And here I was, thinking that all it took was one passionate book lover urging a precious tome on another of the same persuasion. These thoughts caused my recollection to travel back, I don’t know how many years, to the time when a patron asked me to recommend a contemporary love story. I gave her A Spanish Lover by Joanna Trollope.

Some weeks later she came back and intercepted me on my way to do I know not what. She grasped my arm and looked into my face. Her eyes were shining. She said softly, “Thank you so, so much for that wonderful book!” 

Ah well…one must move with the times, I suppose….

Zola Books is currently in Beta testing mode and is planning a “soft launch” on Wednesday. Despite what I just wrote, I think the site has real possibilities and I wish them luck. They’ve asked for feedback and I plan to give  them some (after which they may wish that they had NOT asked). My main hope is that they can streamline the site and make it easier to use than Goodreads, which has so much delightful content but which I find very difficult to navigate.

One last item: the winner of the 2012 Man Booker Prize will be announced on October 16.


  1. Marianne Wheelaghan (@MWheelaghan) said,

    look forward to hearing how you get on with Zola Books 🙂

  2. Marianne Wheelaghan (@MWheelaghan) said,

    pa – just had a quick look at Zola, It’s a bit overwhelming, I am an author but from my brief peek, it looks like they offer 60% royalties, which is less than amazon. But amazon have such a twisted hold on promotion and sales maybe a smaller royalty is worth it for more author/publisher control? I need to investigate further. So, at the risk of repeating myself, I’m very much looking forward to your opinion 🙂

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