One-Minute Book Reviews

October 30, 2009

Women Shut Out of Publishers Weekly List of 10 Best Books of 2009

Filed under: News — 1minutebookreviewswordpresscom @ 2:18 pm
Tags: , , , , , , , , , , ,

Poetry and books from small presses don’t make the grade, either

No books by female authors appear on the list of the 10 best books of the year just posted by Publishers Weekly, the leading industry trade journal. I focus on reviews on One-Minute Book Reviews but have reacted to the shutout in tweets at www.twitter.com/janiceharayda that mention a couple of titles by women that PW might have included.

If you look at the trade journal’s list, you may notice that apart from having no books by female authors, it has no poetry or books from small presses. And 70 percent of the titles come from Random House and its imprints (Knopf, Doubleday, Spiegel & Grau, Ballantine and Pantheon) with the rest coming from Norton and Penguin. Best-of-the-year lists are arbitrary and often inscrutable, so I won’t try to dissect PW‘s here. But if I see noteworthy patterns emerging in these lists, I may comment on them in “Late Night With Jan Harayda,” a series of occasional posts that appear after 10 p.m. Eastern Time and don’t include reviews.

September 20, 2007

Great Small Presses #5: Dalkey Archive

Fed up with the poor quality of so many books from major publishers? This is the fifth and last in a series of posts this week on great small or independent presses that have maintained high literary standards despite the Mitch Albom-ization of America.

Who might publish James Joyce’s Ulysses today if the major firms rejected it?

By Janice Harayda

Suppose that James Joyce were trying to find a American publisher for Ulysses today and the major publishers had turned it down. Who might publish it?

One answer is: Dalkey Archive Press www.dalkeyarchive.com. Critics have used words like “experimental” and “avant-garde” to describe the firm, based in Normal, Ill. But director John O’Brien prefers “subversive” because so many of its titles go against the literary or artistic grain.

An outgrowth of the Review of Contemporary Fiction, Dalkey Archive publishes many translations of books by authors who might not otherwise find an American audience. Its noteworthy titles include Everyday Life by Lydie Salvayre, the daughter of refufees from the Spanish Civil War, who was raised in southern France www.oneminutebookreviews.wordpress.com/2007/09/12/. And it has just published a new edition of Philip Wylie’s Generation of Vipers, a scathing critique of the American way of life that was one of the defining books of the postwar era.

One-Minute Book Reviews was the seventh-ranked book review site on Google www.google.com/Top/Arts/Literature/Reviews_and_Criticism/as of Sept. 6, 2007. It does not accept books, galleys, catalogs, print or electronic press releases or other promotional materials from publishers.

Tomorrow: A review of and Totally Unauthorized Reading Group Guide to Sara Gruen’s No. 1 bestseller, Water for Elephants.

(c) 2007 Janice Harayda. All rights reserved.

http://www.janiceharayda.com

Great Small Presses #4: CavanKerry Press

Fed up with the quality of so many books from major publishers? This is the fourth in a series of posts, appearing each day this week, on small or independent presses that have shown consistently high standards. The series will continue after this week on an occasional basis.

Publishing “gifted though unrecognized” poets and others in attractive books

By Janice Harayda

CavanKerry Press www.cavankerry.com is a not-for-profit literary press that specializes in attractively designed books by “gifted through unrecognized poets,” though it also issues anthologies, essay collections and other works. Based in New Jersey, it has a network of outreach programs that bring art to “underserved communities,” such as prisons, public schools, underfunded libraries and homeless shelters. These efforts include donating a portion of each print run to groups or individuals who might otherwise lack access to books. Noteworthy CavanKerry books include the poetry collection Common Life www.oneminutebookreviews.wordpress.com/2007/04/05/, by Robert Cording, whose work has appeared in The New Yorker and many other magazines.

One-Minute Book Reviews was the seventh-ranked book review site on Google www.google.com/Top/Arts/Literature/Reviews_and_Criticism/as of Sept. 6, 2007. It does not accept free books from publishers.

(c) 2007 Janice Harayda. All rights reserved.

www.janiceharayda.com

September 19, 2007

Great Small Presses #3: Academy Chicago

Filed under: Great Small Presses — 1minutebookreviewswordpresscom @ 12:17 am
Tags: , , , , , , ,

Fed up with the poor quality of so many books from major publishers? This is the third in a series of posts on great small or independent presses that have had high standards for years and sometimes decades.

In addition to its usual reviews, One-Minute Book Reviews will post a short profile of a different publisher each day this week, including a link to its site, which you may want to visit for holiday gift ideas. The series will continue after this week on an occasional basis.

A firm with a diverse list that ranges from film and video guides to reprints of early novels by some of the leading English writers of the 20th century

By Janice Harayda

There’s nothing stuffy or academic about Academy Chicago www.academychicago.com, which bills itself as a publisher of “quality fiction and nonfiction.” This admirable firm publishes new and reissued books, mostly for adults, and has an especially strong line of reprints of 20th-century novels by well-known English writers. On its fiction list: Malcolm Bradbury’s first novel, Eating People Is Wrong, and Fay Weldon’s The Fat Woman’s Joke (a tale of what happens a husband and wife go on a diet together). Other specialties of this Chicago-based firm include murder mysteries, film and video guides, and books about Celtic and Arthurian legends. One of its showpieces: E.M. Delafield’s great Diary of a Provincial Lady and its four sequels, the subject a six-page feature in The New Yorker (“The Diarist,” by Cynthia Zarin, May 2005). The Academy Chicago Web site says it does not publish books with “explicit, gratuitous sex and violence.”

One-Minute Book Reviews was the seventh-ranked book review site on Google www.google.com/Top/Arts/Literature/Reviews_and_Criticism/as of Sept. 6, 2007. It does not accept free books from publishers.

(c) 2007 Janice Harayda. All rights reserved.

www.janiceharayda.com

September 18, 2007

A Small Press That Looks for ‘Gifted Though Unrecognized’ Poets — Coming Thursday

Filed under: Uncategorized — 1minutebookreviewswordpresscom @ 10:41 pm
Tags: , , , , ,

The “Great Small Presses” series on One-Minute Book Reviews through Friday, when the site will also have a review of and Totally Unauthorized Reading Group Guide to Sara Gruen’s novel Water for Elephants www.algonquin.com, a No. 1 bestseller. Coming this week:

Wednesday, 9/19, Great Small Presses #3: A small press with specialties that include murder mysteries and early novels by famous writers.

Thursday 9/20, Great Small Presses, #4: A publisher that looks for “gifted though unrecognized” poets and others.

Friday 9/21, Great Small Presses, #5: The press that James Joyce might turn to if he were alive today and couldn’t find a major publisher willing to take on Ulysses. Also on Friday: a review of and reading group guide for Water for Elephants.

Saturday Children’s Corner, 9/22: A review of The Summer of the Pike www.milkweed.org, a novel for ages 9-to-12 from Jutta Richter, one of Germany’s most admired children’s authors, who makes her American debut with the book.

Also coming soon: A review of Lloyd Jones’s Man Booker Prize finalist, Mister Pip, and a reconsideration of Agatha Christie.

To avoid missing these reviews, please bookmark this site or subscribe to the RSS feed. Thank you for visiting One-Minute Book Reviews.

(c) 2007 Janice Harayda. All rights reserved.

www.janiceharayda.com

September 16, 2007

Fed Up With the Poor Quality of Books From Major Publishers? A Series on Great Small Presses Begins Tomorrow

Filed under: Great Small Presses — 1minutebookreviewswordpresscom @ 8:41 pm
Tags: , , , , , , , ,

No, all publishers aren’t lowering their standards or dumbing-down their books. But it sometimes looks that way when you visit the front tables at bookstores.

Tomorrow One-Minute Book Reviews begins a series on great small or independent presses that have had high standards for years or even decades. In addition to its usual reviews, this blog will have a profile of a different publisher each day this week and a link to its site, which may help with your holiday shopping. After this week, the Great Small Presses series will continue on an occasional basis.

(c) 2007 Janice Harayda. All rights reserved.

The Rubric Theme. Blog at WordPress.com.

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 370 other followers

%d bloggers like this: