Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Spreading a Little Happiness

BBC NEWS | Science/Nature | Happiness wins science book prize:

"A scientific exploration of the various ways people attempt to make themselves happy has won the annual Royal Society Prize for Science Books.
Daniel Gilbert's Stumbling on Happiness had been tipped as the favourite to win the prestigious £10,000 award. "

Two years ago in The Best American Nonrequired Reading 2004, I read a piece by Jon Gertner on Affective Forecasting. It's not often that I can pinpoint a paradigm shift in my own thinking, but since reading that article, reading more on the topic, and blogging on it, I can be fairly exact. I'm delighted that Gilbert won the prize, and I'm very eager to read the book.

Monday, May 07, 2007

Castle Waiting: The Accessories

I don't recall having encountered this before: the author is offering a dust-jacket, color plates, a library card set, and a charm to go on the ribbon bound into the book.

The whole set is very appealing. I'm a sucker for all book-related stuff, and I adore library cards, particularly when they aren't kept in pockets in the designated books. (I like to use them as book marks, and if the library book is old enough, there's a bookmark storage pocket built right in.) Medley's having fun with Castle Waiting, like Jaspar Fforde in the Next books, with ads for toast, and his website with the Book Upgrade Centre. I'm looking forward to the next Next almost as much as I'm looking forward to the final Potter.

Not that every author should try doing jacket design or extensive web pages. For the vast majority of authors, all those who are not also visual artists, I would think that any time spent trying to come up with the clever ideas would be poorly spent. There are so many possibilities for doing these sorts of things badly, and even if they are done well, you're still going to annoy some people. Besides which, it all takes time away from the really important stuff: getting the books out.

What do y'all think?