paper trail

Elif Shafak on reading to understand Turkey; Why the e-book revolution never happened

Elif Shafak. Photo: Zeynel Abidin

10 Minutes 38 Seconds in This Strange World author Elif Shafak talks to the New York Times’s “By the Book” column about surveillance capitalism, books she wishes had never been written, and what to read to understand modern-day Turkey. “Read women writers, women journalists, women poets, women academics,” she said. “Turkey is a country of collective amnesia. Read those writers who bear witness to the silences and to the silenced.”

The Guardian looks at books that defined the last decade, including Michael Lewis’s The Big Short, Gillian Flynn’s Gone Girl, and Sally Rooney’s Normal People.

At Vox, Constance Grady wonders why “the apparently inevitable ebook revolution” never happened. Grady traces the ebook struggle back to a 2012 price-fixing lawsuit brought by the Department of Justice against Apple and five publishers. “The case of US v. Apple encapsulates the dysfunction of the last decade of publishing. It’s a story about what we’re willing to pay for books — and about an industry that is growing ever more consolidated, with fewer and fewer companies taking up more and more market share,” she writes. “What happened to the ebook in the 2010s is the story of the contraction of American publishing.”

Suzanne Daley reflects on the evolution of the front-page meeting at the Times over the years.

Readers weigh in on the Times’s notable book picks for 2019. One was pleased that Jennifer Berry Hawes’s Grace Will Lead Us Home had been included, while another was surprised that Edward Snowden’s Permanent Record had been omitted. “Somebody at the Book Review is napping,” he wrote.