Monday, January 08, 2007

For Devoted Readers

For all the 60,000 books published each year in this country, it seems like the pool of books that enters the public sphere is very small. There's a reason for that - the gatekeepers.

Used to be every metropolitan daily in this country worth its low-rub ink had a book review section each Sunday. Those ranks have dwindled down to an elite few - including The New York Times Book Review, The New York Review of Books, The New Yorker, The Atlantic Monthly, and perhaps the LA Times Book Review. Therefore, it gets harder and harder for great books to catch on, and easier for mediocre books to get outsized influence.

Alternatives exist. Here's two:

Maud Newton's literary blog: http://maudnewton.com/blog/index.php

She referees a rousing roundtable of and about writing and writers, including signings, events, parsing reviews, book club notes, etcetera. An excellent clearing house for all things in the book world.

And my new favorite - Foxed Quarterly: http://www.foxedquarterly.com/

From its mission statement:
Slightly Foxed aims to strike a blow for lasting quality – for the small and individual against the corporate and the mass produced. Why not join us, and enjoy some excellent company too?

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