Financially strapped, newspapers have been cutting
back, and book coverage has felt the pinch. Some book
editors who still have their jobs, like Star-Tribune book
editor Sally Williams, are feeling survivor's guilt:
Her newsroom, Williams told us, looks like the end of a Tim LaHaye novel -- with only
a few heads "left behind."
The Babes still have some favorite
newspaper book pages (the ones that run The Book
Babes, of course). We read The New York Times Book
Review (and, occasionally, when we have days to kill,
The New York Review of Books).
But the so-called new media has become a bibliophile's paradise, and the "old" media -- that is, print -- has a few special charms you ought to know about. So here's our top-10 list of places to find about books. Happy reading!
-- The Book Babes
1. Arts & Letters Daily, www.aldaily.com -- This is Ellen's home page and one of Margo's
favorite bookmarks. Aldaily gives you intelligent
commentary on lots of stuff from here and abroad. It
offers a good round-up of which books are contributing
to the discussion in the world of ideas.
2. Bookmarks Magazine, www.bookmarksmagazine.com -- This bimonthly magazine,
which bears the subhead "For Everyone Who Hasn't Read Everything,"
belongs in every library, if not every book lover's
home. It includes a review of the latest and best
books. It covers literary fiction, genre fiction and
non-fiction and feature articles about authors dead or
3. Critical Mass, www.bookcriticscircle.blogspot.com -- The blog of the National Book Critics Circle is
not just for reviewers. It includes interviews with
authors and commentary on the book publishing scene --
all good background material to inform your reading
and understanding of what makes literature.
4. The Book Sense Bestseller List, www.bookweb.org/booksense/bestsellers/ -- This list is compiled by independent bookstores
on the American Booksellers Association site and
reflects what is selling at dozens of great
independent bookstores across the country. These guys
really know good books.
5. Publisher's Weekly, www.publishersweekly.com -- A magazine that serves as the bible of the book industry, PW offers great capsule reviews of fiction, nonfiction and genre titles months before they appear in the bookstores. Be the first on your block to hear about an upcoming book!
6. Book Page, www.bookpage.com -- You can find copies of Book Page free at your
local library or bookstore. Or you can access it online. Started in Nashville in 1988, Book Page offers
monthly reviews of new books, including literary
fiction, romance, history, science fiction, and
cookbooks. This is not literary criticism, just
friendly suggestions on what to read next, aimed at
the general reader. We especially like to check out
Buzz Girl (can we make her an honorary Babe?). She sits down with publicists every spring
and fall to find out what they will be touting in
their next catalog.
7. Book List, www.booklist.com -- This is the official magazine of the American
Library Association. Although written for professionals, it's an interesting way to look over
the shoulder of your librarian to see what he or she
is reading that might end up on your library shelf.
8. January Magazine, www.januarymagazine.com -- January Magazine, surprisingly enough, was not
launched in January, but in November, 1997. For its
founders, the name signified a new beginning and new
ideas. Covering books, from fiction to cookbooks,
published in the English language for 10 years, the
site offers reviews and author interviews (some more than 40,000 words). A year ago, its crime
newsletter was spun off as its own blog, The Rap Sheet.
Its success led to a redesign of January, so it starts out blog-like itself now. By the way, to
celebrate its anniversary year, The Rap Sheet asked an
impressive list of mystery writers to name one crime,
mystery, or thriller novel they thought had been most
unjustly overlooked, criminally forgotten, or
underappreciated over the years? Look for answers from
Michael Connelly, Laura Lippman, Ian Rankin, Lee
Child, Sara Paretsky, Declan Hughes and
many more in the coming weeks.
9. Nancy Pearl's Book Lust Wiki, www.booklust.wetpaint.com --
It's hard to think of a librarian as a celebrity, but Seattle librarian Pearl is exactly that -- in sensible shoes, no less. Her popular books of recommendations (her latest is called "Book Crush" and focuses on good reads for young people) reflect a real love of reading. Now you can go online and check out the almost breath-taking range of her reading tastes, from highly literary types such as Iris Murdoch to popular page turners.
10. The Book Babes own guide to books -- We've each spilled plenty of ink talking about books in newspapers and magazines. Together we've been constants on the Internet since 2003. Now we're working on a book that distills our philosophy of reading for pleasure, profit and the needs of the soul. Stay tuned!