Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Cover contest and other things

A few things...

Thing #1: HTMLGIANT is soliciting blurbs for books that don’t exist.

That sounds more confusing than it is. Let me try to explain.

Ben Segal and Erinrose Mager are compiling a book. The book will be a series of blurbs describing other books that don’t exist. If I’m understanding correctly (never a safe bet), it’s pretty similar to what Steve Hely did for The Believer.

Deadline for the submissions are July 15. Follow the link for details.

Thing #2: I love me some Ralph Ellison, but I’m siding with Troy Patterson. There is no way I’m reading Three Days Before the Shooting.

First, I have a fairly strict 600-page cap on novels I read. I’ve broken it once or twice, usually for a Russian author; but I lack the attention span to harpoon Ellison’s 1,100-page leviathan. (I just checked. My copy of Invisible Man is 608 pages, so I guess I snapped my cap for Ellison once already.)

Second, if I’m understanding correctly (see above), this is basically Juneteenth: The Extended Edition. I don’t know about you, but I didn’t wish Juneteenth had another 700 pages.

Thing #3: The Guardian has a piece on how publishers change a book’s cover in different countries. The article piqued my interest on the subject without satiating it.

I wanted to know how US covers differ from their European counterparts. This quote is as close as I got to an explanation:

“The US, meanwhile, tends to signpost its literary fiction more than the UK.”

New game — I want to see which of our two readers can find the most wildly inappropriate book cover. Not “inappropriate” as in pornographic or violent, but inappropriate as in the cover has nothing to do with the book’s contents.

Winner can negotiate his or her own prize. (I have shelves filled with books I’ll never read again, and I’m willing to pay shipping.) E-mail submissions to me.

-Jason Lea,

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