Wednesday, May 5, 2010

American Gods and Grading Moose

My apologies to both of my loyal readers. I have been covering a murder trial this week and that leaves little time for book blogging.

Allow me to catch up. The One Book, One Twitter experiment kicked off today. It’s a worldwide book club that uses Twitter. Readers voted on the inaugural novel and selected Neil Gaiman’s American Gods.

Gaiman had mixed feelings about the honor. He wrote on his blog:

As an author, I'm half-pleased and half-not, mostly because American Gods is such a divisive sort of book. Some people love it, some sort of like it, and some people hate it. (As contrasted with, say, The Graveyard Book, which some people love, some like, and a statistically insignificant number of people hate.) It's not a book I'd hand out to everyone, because the people who don't know anything about what I've written and who hate it -- who might have loved Stardust, or Neverwhere, or The Graveyard Book or Sandman -- probably won't go and look any further.

The #1b1t people have already run into an early problem with spoilers. I also suspect it will be difficult to have any meaningful conversation when all comments are limited to 140 characters and thousands of people are participating.

Still, though, it’s a noble idea.

The Animal Review guys got a book deal; and I suspect it will be my favorite blog-turned-book since Stuff White People Like. If you don’t know the Animal Review’s shtick, Jacob Lentz and Steve Nash — no, not that Steve Nash — grade animals on ridiculous, arbitrary criteria.

Here’s an excerpt from their entry on moose (which Lentz/Nash gave a “B”):

The main thing to know about moose is that they are enormous. More pointedly, owning one as a pet is a decision almost bound to bring a lifetime of regret. It will most certainly cause family conflict, and in all likelihood your friends will stop coming over. Plus your neighbors will gossip. You may end up on the news. And there are at least even odds that your chandelier will need frequent repairing.

Finally, Daniel Nester gives you 13 mistakes to avoid while writing, editing and promoting your book. (Suggestion #8: Don’t take reviews too seriously, good or bad. This especially applies to all the depressed or neurotic people out there; which, if you’re a writer, you most likely are.)

-Jason Lea,

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