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by Jen A. Miller
Oh that mine enemy were to write a book. It's a line, paraphrased from the Book of Job, that was uttered last Friday morning at BookExpo America by Christopher Hitchens—author of the recently published book God Is Not Great—as the motto from his earlier book reviewing days. It was an odd sentiment to be heard at a panel called "Ethics in Book Reviewing: The More Things Change…?" but it certainly made the crowd, which was packed in and spilling out of the conference room, laugh out loud. And it set the tone for the rest of the panelists' comments.
by Jane Ciabattari
Book review editors—those powerful yet inundated tastemakers who choose from the more than 130,000 new books published each year the mere shelfful that are reviewed—get used to (and bored with) having nasty motives ascribed to them. This second installment of a three-part series on book reviews examines the subject at hand from the perspective of the assigning editors, who would like to set the record straight.
by Steve Almond
Last April (the 22nd, to be exact), I received an advance copy of the New York Times review of my debut story collection. The piece, which appeared in the Sunday Book Review,
began as follows: "There's a postadolescent period many of us would
rather forget: that summer or decade when we have no idea what we're
doing. Days are measured in beer, TV and dead-end jobs. It is a dull
time to live through, and duller still to read about. "Which doesn't
stop young writers from writing about it."
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