* An independent bookseller predicts the death of Amazon.
The Kindle masks the fact that selling shares and peddling bogus sales numbers to dodge billions of dollars in taxes always has the same ending in America, punishing the poorest of people, who never bought into the scheme in the first place. The argument has nothing to do with whether or not your Kindle is pretty or the technology great. We are at the very beginning of what will be the first major online retail extinction and there is nothing that can take us away from the wreckage they will leave behind.
* Sad news - LA Observed reports that the Novel Cafe is set to close.
* Boyd Tonkin on the incorporation of the banking crisis into literature.
In the artists' camp, leading British novelists have been rushing to incorporate recession-related business themes into their latest works. William Boyd and Sebastian Faulks release their post-crisis novels next month, with others in the pipeline. Even Ian Rankin's forthcoming thriller, The Complaints, has some sardonic nods in the direction of Edinburgh bankers and their woes. In the theatre, David Hare's new play The Power of Yes will tackle boom and slump in his peerless docu-drama style.
* Winnie the Pooh gets a bum rap.
* Jonathan Lethem and Michael Chabon are among those expressing privacy concerns surrounding Google Books.
Lethem wonders whether future readers will have the same kind of relationship with books that he had. "When I was on this very private, very eccentric, intense journey as a younger person, it was crucial that it be a solitary practice," he says. But if future readers have reason to think they're leaving a digital trail, he adds, it might deprive the reading experience of its intimacy.
* Daniel Olivas remembers the North Valley Jewish Community Center shooting. (His son was there that day.)
For almost four hours that hot, horrible day, my wife and I didn’t know if our son, Benjamin, had been a victim. We huddled together with my mother-in-law outside the camp waiting for word. Unfortunately, because the police were concerned that the shooter or shooters were still in the vicinity, the children who had not been wounded had been whisked off to a safe house. A rumor ran through the crowd that a boy named Benjamin had been shot and killed. But eventually, we were reunited with our son.
* The eye-catching and stimulating Hunger Mountain reprints George Saunders's first published short story.
* And, finally, if you were curious about the Literary Death Match, you can read about it here.