NOTA BENE BOOKS BLOG

Musings on Place, Travel, Books, Literature, Poetry, Literary Criticism, Collecting, Media, Life and the Arts

Archive for July, 2006

July 31st, 2006 • Posted in Authors and Books

Defining a Librarian by what one isn’t: Archivist Wendy Duff Audio Interview with Nigel Beale.

Wendy Duff is Director of Graduate Studies and Associate Professor at the University of Toronto, Faculty of Information Studies. She received her PhD from the University of Pittsburgh. Her primary research interests are user studies, archival description, and electronic records. We talk here about the difference between Librarians and Archivisits, and ‘stuff’.

Copyright © 2006 by Nigel Beale

Play
July 31st, 2006 • Posted in Authors and Books

Publisher as Muse: IPG’s Curt Mathews Audio Interview with Nigel Beale

Image from here

Curt Mathews is CEO of the Independent Publishers Group, a book distributor for independent publishers throughout the USA and worldwide. IPG represents a stable of small publishers, providing them, for a fee, with the clout, presentation and sales force required to sell books to booksellers successfully. We talk here about the IPG business model, growth coming from outside bookstores, special interests and faceless mobs, concern about the brand of the book as a product of considered thought, the publisher as muse, wooden boats and commercializing the creative process.

Copyright © 2006 by Nigel Beale

Play
July 30th, 2006 • Posted in Authors and Books

Dark, Beautiful, Parallel Plots in the Stories of Author Ramona Dearing: Audio Interview by Nigel Beale

Photo from here

Ramona Dearing lives in St. John’s, Newfoundland, and is the latest member of the longstanding (and increasingly famous) fiction collective The Burning Rock to publish a collection of short fiction. Dearing works for CBC Radio where she is currently busy putting together a nationally broadcast program featuring young Canadian artists. So Beautiful was published in 2004 by The Porcupine’s Quill Press.

We talk here about her stories, my favourites, and hers, bodies in bags, judging one’s own work, doing the right thing, frustration, Christian brothers at Mount Cashel, dogs, Kafka at the CBC, the importance of radio and the weather to Newfoundlanders, Brad Pitt and parallel plot lines.

Copyright © 2006 by Nigel Beale

Play
July 30th, 2006 • Posted in Nigel Beale's Biblio File Interviews

The E-volution of Bookselling: Audio Interview with Bookseller Jim Roberts

 

Jim Roberts is the owner of Books End Bookstore in Syracuse, New York. We talk here among other things about salt, the AB Bookman’s weekly magazine, the emergence and evolution of book-selling on the Internet from Interloc, to Alibris, to Abebooks; collecting General Custer, war books and the histories of American military divisions.

Copyright © 2006 by Nigel Beale

Play
July 30th, 2006 • Posted in On Collecting

Niagara Falls for Rare Book Collectors

Here’s a pleasant article by Bruce McKinney detaling a trip he and his wife Jenny took recently through upstate New York in search of books and book people. Similar to what I did last summer in the maritimes.

Bruce has a website Americana Exchange full of useful information about book auction pricing, and produces a free online publication about rare/antiquarian/collectible books and old prints called AE Monthly, ‘A must read for the rare book collector, bookseller, rare books librarian, Historians and Scholars.’

July 30th, 2006 • Posted in Authors and Books

Stop Trusting Everything your Brain tells you and Start Trusting Others

So THIS is why they’re scratching eachothers’ eyes out in the Middle East.

July 29th, 2006 • Posted in Authors and Books

What Should I Listen To? 10 Classical Greats

Here from Michael Gelb’s rockin’ How to Think Like Leonardo Da Vinci are, by expert consensus, the ten greatest works in the classical canon:

1. Bach: Mass in B Minor
2. Beethoven: Symphony #9
3. Mozart: Requiem
4. Chopin: Nocturnes
5. Brahms: German Requiem
6. Mahler: Symphony #6
7. R. Strauss: Four Last Songs
8 Debussy: Preludes
9. Stravinsky: “The Rite of Spring”
10. (tie) Verdi: Aida and Puccini: La Boheme

And in case you need pointers on how to appreciate: Listen for patterns of tension and release. ‘By using such techniques as rhythmic variation, key change, rests, and harmonic movement, the composer leads the listener along a path of motion, stillness, and melodic highs and lows, all leading to the raising of musical expectations and fulfillment’.

And if this isn’t enough: try cataloging your favourite composers by dominant element: earth, fire, water, air…and wind of course…

July 29th, 2006 • Posted in Authors and Books

What Should I watch? Top Reviewed Movies of 2005

Rotten Tomatoes (www.rottentomatoes.com) compiles the reviews of dozens of different ‘respected’ print and online movie critics, puts them into one of two categories fresh (good) and rotten, and calculates the percent of reviews that fall into the former.

Here’s their top fifteen for 2005, and number of reviews .

1. 98% Twilight Samurai 65
2. 98% Moolaade 65
3. 98% Since Otar Left 54
4. 98% Kekexili 45
5. 97% The Incredibles 209
6. 97% Maria Full of Grace 127
7. 97% S21: The Khmer Rouge Killing Machine 29
8. 96% Sideways 197
9. 96% Control Room 104
10. 96% Born Into Brothels 99
11. 96% The Return 73
12. 96% Festival Express 72
13. 96% Howard Zinn: You Can’t Be Neutral on a Moving Train 28
14. 96% Watermarks 24
15. 95% The Story of the Weeping Camel 98

I’ve only seen three: all of which I’d recommend…so something’s working here.

July 29th, 2006 • Posted in Authors and Books

What Should I read? Somerset Maugham’s 10 Greatest Novels

Image from here

1 Leo Tolstoy War and Peace. 1866
2 Honore de Balzac Pere Goriot. 1834
3 Henry Fielding Tom Jones. 1749
4 Jane Austen Pride and Prejudice. 1813
5 Stendahl The Red and Black. 1831
6 Emily Bronte Wuthering Heights. 1848
7 Gustave Flaubert Madame Bovary. 1857
8 Charles Dickens David Copperfield. 1849-50
9 Fedor Dostoevsky The Brothers Karamazov. 1851
10 Herman Melville Moby Dick. 1851

I picked up Great Novelists and their Novels. Essays on the ten greatest novels of the world and the men and women who wrote them … Illustrated with pen and ink portraits of the authors by Robert W. Arnold. (Philadelphia, Toronto: John C. Winston Co, 1948), about 20 years ago and read these ten works. My top picks within Somerset’s? #s 1, 5 and 9.

Reading and re-reading them will enrichen your life immeasurably.

July 28th, 2006 • Posted in Authors and Books

Audio Interview with Tim Parks on the Nobel, the Booker and Salman Rushdie, by Nigel Beale


Born in Manchester in 1954, Tim Parks grew up in London and studied at Cambridge and Harvard. In 1981 he moved to Italy where he has lived ever since. He has written eleven novels including Europa, which was shortlisted for the Booker, Destiny, Rapids and, most recently, Cleaver. Tongues of Flame won the Somerset Maugham and Betty Trask prizes in 1985. Loving Roger won the John Llewellyn Rhys prize in 1986.

We talk here about literary prizes being ridiculous; very poor Nobel Prize winning authors and the stupidity of Swedish academics reading in translation; predictably politically correct Booker shortlists; J.M Coetzee’s Disgrace as the best novel written in the last 20 years; the dangers of criticizing famous authors, the conflicting nature of stories and cultures, and Islam.

Copyright © 2006 by Nigel Beale

Play