paper trail

Nov 30, 2010 @ 9:00:00 am

Rowan Somerville

We were rooting for Tony Blair's former spin-doctor, Alastair Campbell, to win the prize most writers try to avoid like the Clap: The Literary Review’s Bad Sex award. However, Campbell was outdone in the contest for supreme raunchy ridiculousness by Rowan Somerville, whose book The Shape of Her won the dubious honor. Somerville has joined elite company—including Norman Mailer, John Updike, and Tom Wolfe—in part for a passage that compared an act of copulation to "a lepidopterist mounting a tough-skinned insect with a too blunt pin." is looking for a possible buyer to help slow the site’s escalating financial problems; the Wall Street Journal’s Deal Journal blog profiles some possible suitors.

Tonight at the Broadway Barnes and Noble in Manhattan, eminent historian Edmund Morris will read from Colonel Roosevelt, the new third volume of his lauded Theodore Roosevelt trilogy.

Colin Robinson chats with GalleyCat about his publishing venture, OR Books, whose distribution motto—“No book printed until it’s sold”—could turn the Strand’s remainder tables into a ghost town. He acknowledges advertising’s sway, but asserts that what really sells books online is a variation of the brick-and-mortar bookseller’s greatest skill, "handselling".