Saturday Miscellany

Financial Times reviews the eerie cover of Don DeLillo‘s Underworld.

The Washington Post‘s book blog, Short Stack, attempts to come up with a master list of post-9/11 fiction. Here’s another vote for Ken KalfusA Disorder Peculiar to the Country, but I call shenanigans on that “deliberately” in the blurb on DeLillo’s Falling Man.

In the UK, the Guardian bemoans the death of the love story, while in the U.S. there’s some speculation that the Kindle isn’t the world-beating success that Amazon claims it is. (Valleywag asks the pertinent question: Have you actually seen somebody in public using one of these things?) I don’t mean to force a connection here, but is Amazon doing enough to push the Kindle into the hand of romance-novel readers? In some ways it seems like a perfect match: At the risk of generalizing, romance readers don’t especially committed to hanging on to copies of their books (why else would used book stores explicitly refuse to accept them?), and the Kindle embraces the disposability of books (a few weeks back I argued that I need more convincing that I can actually own a Kindle book). Also, those patterned slip-on book covers you see on the subway don’t exist for nothing–they’re meant to cloak the gaudiness of the romance novel you’re reading, and a big beige reading device does the job just fine. A device that’s anonymous and allows you to have a bunch of books handy and handily disposable might be a winner with romance readers. (Sony seemed willing to give the idea a whirl, though perhaps the hot-pink color scheme doesn’t provide the anonymity a reader might hope for.)

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