Thursday, August 22, 2013

Fictional Libraries and Amazon's Bubbles, plus Someday, Someday Maybe becomes a TV show

 I have always wanted to visit the Cemetery of Forgotten Books in Carlos Ruiz Zafon's "The Shadow of the Wind" because it sounds like my kind of library...endless shelves of books.
Still, there are other fictional libraries that would also be great places to sit down and read, and Paste features some of them in the following list, from Shelf Awarness:

Calling the library a "perfect reading spot," Paste featured its choices
for the "12 best fictional libraries
noting that while there are "certainly some impressive real-life
libraries, few match the ambiance of these incredible and iconic
fictional ones."
 They forgot the library in the movie "Funny Face" with Audrey Hepburn that I fancied because it had a spiral staircase, but still, it's a pretty interesting list.
Robert Gray's essay on shopkeeping and bookselling as noble professions is, as usual for him, profound and fascinating:
I've spent much of my life as a shopkeeper, and I always bristled at the
idea that the term was a pejorative. This may come from watching too
many westerns, where shopkeepers are traditionally portrayed as either
obsequious, sleeve garter-wearing cowards or the widows of obsequious,
sleeve garter-wearing cowards. The HBO series Deadwood struck a less
insulting shopkeeper chord with Timothy Olyphant's fierce portrayal of
Seth Bullock, a man who wants to trade his gunslinging past for a new
life as a hardware store shopkeeper, though choosing a lawless South
Dakota settlement for his venture complicates things a bit. Imagine an

Customers do not witness the complexity of a shopkeeper's day. Many
bookstore patrons, for example, see only an ideal job that involves
bookish conversations in a soothing environment, and good booksellers
sustain the myth by remaining calm and cordial, even as their work
day--an endless cycle of shelving, ordering, straightening, cash
register duty and other responsibilities--devolves into an
angst-inducing blur. Bookstore patrons don't need to know about any of
this, of course.

Shopkeepers play an essential role in fostering our sense of community.
As Noonan observed, in addition to "providing a retail service, these
shopkeepers make up your village." She also cited author David Malouf's
recent observation that "at the heart of a village is often a good

"Bookshops are havens. I reckon you are never too scruffy, hungover, or
bruised and bewildered to slouch into a bookshop," Noonan concluded.
"Books are the friends you don't have to dress up for. They are the
lovers that require no stroking of ego or anything else. They are the
teachers that set no exams. Bookshops aren't just bookshops. They are
ideas shops."

And shopkeepers? Let's just say that in these perilous bookselling
times, shopkeeping and community building are not for faint-hearted,
sleeve garter-wearing cowards. Maybe it was always so. A 1922 New York
Times article, headlined "Shopkeeper of Shakespeare and Company
described legendary Parisian bookseller Sylvia Beach as "efficient and
determined, but with her efficiency and determination there was
understanding besides." To me, these sound like the core elements of a
bookseller... and a shopkeeper... and a village. --Robert Gray

 I was utterly dejected when I read this the day after it happened! I could have gotten some free ARC copies of books! ARG! If only I had known that Shelf Awareness was staging a book fest in Fremont, the Center of the Universe!
On Friday, Shelf Awareness took over the iconic Waiting for the
Interurban statue in Seattle's Fremont neighborhood. Residents,
commuters and visitors were welcome to take some of the hundreds of new
fiction and nonfiction titles we placed at the location.

"We wanted to do something fun that promotes reading. One of our major
focuses is helping people discover books," said Jenn Risko, publisher of
Shelf Awareness. The books were ARCs, selected by Shelf Awareness's book
review editor, Marilyn Dahl. "We hope by offering a wide variety of free
books, anyone can find something they'll enjoy. For us, that's the
beauty of reading--discovering a new book or a new author," Dahl said.

This is a hilarious video, though I imagine it is less so for booksellers who have to have all that stuff near the register:
Bookstore Video of the Day: 'Less Stuff, More Books'
frontline bookseller who has worked a sidelines-laden checkout station
will appreciate "Less Stuff, More Books
the latest video from Common Good Books

Amazon is building a huge complex downtown in Seattle at South Lake Union, near the water, and they are hoping to build these weird transparent bubbles and a bike track all the way around the area. Bizarre:
An updated design proposal has been submitted by's architect
with a "different look for the bubble-like office building
that would be the visual focus of its three-block Denny Triangle
development," the Seattle Times reported. The revised plan "gives the
three intersecting spheres a more organic, cellular look instead of the
angular panels of the original proposal."

Amazon will also build a two-block cycle track
around its office towers on Seventh Avenue and "provide stalls for about
400 bikes in each of its towers," the Seattle Times wrote, noting that
the cycle track project emerged last year from discussions between the
city and Amazon, which "sought to acquire public alleys running through
each of its three blocks. In exchange for those, Amazon agreed to pay
for the Seventh Avenue cycle track on its blocks and to install bike
crossings across Westlake, among other things."

"Cyclists are part of the fabric of Seattle, and so we're thrilled to be
creating a new cycle track that will make the ride to and from downtown
safer and easier for all cyclists in the community," said John
Schoettler, Amazon director of global real estate and facilities.

 I read this book by Lauren Graham, of Gilmore Girls and Parenthood fame, and I found it frothy and fun, though it read more like a play or a screenplay than a book, so I was not surprised to read the following: 

The CW network has put in development Someday, Someday, Maybe
based on Lauren Graham's debut novel, reported. Graham will
write the script for the project and is executive producing with Very
Good Production's Ellen DeGeneres and Jeff Kleeman.

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