Jul 24, 2013
A listener asks us about the Kobo; we discuss the J.K. Rowling pseudonym controversy; and we recommend William Shakespeare's Star Wars and A Marker to Measure Drift.
Tina H. sent in a question about my recent mention of the Kobo. I've only used the Kobo app on my iPad, and have enjoyed the experience. It was very easy for me to order an e-book from my local independent book store. (Kobo is the only e-reader/e-book that you can purchase through independent book stores - though not all carry it.) Ann recently got a Kobo Aura HD, one of the newer, e-ink devices that features a reading light around the screen, rather than being backlit. She loves it for many reasons which she discusses on the podcast.
The literary world was all abuzz when it was leaked that bestselling author J. K. Rowling wrote a book called The Cuckoo's Calling under the pseudonym Robert Galbraith. People claimed that this was the perfect example of the difficulty for unknown authors to get any attention. Some folks were convinced it was a publicity stunt. Regardless of the reasons it happened or the larger problems it may be indicative of, this situation raises some interesting questions: how much does the name of the author matter? can we ever come to a book without any preconceived notions? and would doing so change the read?
The literary nerd and sci-fi geek in me was thrilled by William Shakespeare's Star Wars by Ian Doescher. Yup, it's the entire first Star Wars movie, re-told in iambic pentameter, complete with in-jokes, an R2-D2 who soliloquies as asides to the audience, and wonderful illustrations throughout.
Ann was spellbound by A Marker to Measure Drift by Alexander Maksik (on sale in the US July 30). It's the story of Jacqueline, living in a cave on an island in the Aegean Sea. Over the course of a dinner, she relates her story to a woman she barely knows. This is a book filled with beautiful writing, but not one can say too much about ahead of time.