Richard Powers Gets the Katie Couric Treatment

1. See the slender volume in this New York Times ad?

We may have to sic the Katie Couric police on Farrar Straus Giroux, because the book in this ad is at least 200 pages thinner than the actual book, which I took a quick snapshot of here:

A scandal? Hardly. The most likely explanation is a lazy temp in the FSG art department who pasted the cover and spine on a stock photo and took an early lunch. But, shouldn’t an advertised image look like the object it is representing? And could there possibly be a marketing strategy behind the not-so-subtle transformation?

The Echo Maker is a hefty 451-page book about brain injury, spoilation of nature and sibling bonds. It’s a great book, but it doesn’t have “blockbuster” written all over it, and the National Book Award nomination probably won’t help. But it does have a bird on the cover, and maybe somebody in sales was reminiscing about a slender little 128-pager called Jonathan Livingston Seagull that once sold four gazillion copies. This has been your conspiracy theory of the day; thank you for tuning in.

2. I haven’t read much by William Styron, who has passed away, though I was impressed with the film version of Sophie’s Choice and I’ve always wanted to read Darkness Visible. Some good William Styron links can be found at The Elegant Variation.

3. The Elegant Variation also offers a fascinating personal glance at the literature of the Hungarian revolution exactly fifty years ago.

4. Edges, a novel by Leora Skolkin-Smith about a teenage girl growing up on the borders between Jewish and Arab communities in Israel and Palestine, will be the basis of an audio performance by acclaimed actress Tovah Feldshuh. She should be a good match for this intriguing material.

5. I love this video, a massive group interpretive dance of protein synthesis (via Boing Boing). Ahh, the 70’s, when people did stuff like this.

2 Responses

  1. Science = interpretive
    Science = interpretive dance?

    I almost fell off my chair seeing Initiator Factor One.

    Thank you so much.

    The narrator helped as well:

    “Bound they were in the glorious sun by initiator factor one”

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Litkicks will turn 30 years old in the summer of 2024! We can’t believe it ourselves. We don’t run as many blog posts about books and writers as we used to, but founder Marc Eliot Stein aka Levi Asher is busy running two podcasts. Please check out our latest work!