Suggested reading for Sandy

Mon 29 Oct 2012 - Filed under: Not a Journal., , | Leave a Comment | Posted by: Gavin

Here’s a scary comparison pic on the WSJ of Hurricane Irene (2011, $15bn damage) and Hurricane Sandy (2012, flooding NYC and surrounds already; picture below from the NYT live update feed).

How big is Sandy? It’s bigger than the Random Penguin merger. Boo merger! Wonder who HarperCollins will merge with now? They were thinking $1.6bn in cash for Penguin and you know how it is when you go shopping but they don’t have the publisher you wanted in stock, might as well see who else is up for sale . . .

I love Penguin books and all the tat that they sell: we have the mugs and cards and tea towel and are quite happy to keep stacking the shelves with those old and new classics. And, they published Kelly’s YA collection, Pretty Monsters. But! I also love the name Random House. It was (was? erk.) one of the best names for a publishing house. What’s coming next? A cookbook? A collection of poetry? A science fiction novel? Yes to all of the above! And, one of their imprints published The Best of Lady Churchill’s Rosebud Wristlet. RHP? Meh. And, only 1 letter away from RIP. (Hmm, that’s a bit too much reading the bones, methinks.)

While Random Penguin is a publishing behemoth in the making (they’ll be awaiting government approval: Obama says, “Hmm, maybe.” Romney says, “Merger? Assets stripped, jobs outsourced, big dividend to stockholders? Do it!”) they’re fleas on the back of the other players in publishing, as someone tweeted today:

Charlie King@charlietheking

Interesting context RT @arhomberg Market value of Apple $567 billion, Google $221 billion, Amazon $108 billion, Random Penguin ~ $3 billion

Anyway.

Recommended reading for the next few days: Kim Stanley Robinson’s Forty Signs of Rain wherein Washington DC is flooded and the politicians (and the taxed-but-not-represented locals) are the ones who have to deal with the Katrina-like events. I reviewed it tho those many years ago for BookPage:

There are flood warnings throughout (beginning with the Biblical reference in the title) but the blinkered D.C. politicians won’t pay attention until the rising water is lapping at their doorways. Robinson skips between the domestic, scientific and political spheres without missing a beat and delivers a hot-topic page-turner that leaves the reader gasping and stranded at high tide, eager for the next book from this science fiction master.

Once you’ve read that you’re going to want the sequel, Fifty Degrees Below, (“an intensely positive book, brimming with ideas and hope for the future real or imagined.” Review), and the final one: Sixty Days and Counting. (“Every senator, especially the ones with presidential aspirations, should read Kim Stanley Robinson’s Sixty Days and Counting.” Review).

These books should be on the must-read list for all politicians, but then again I think Robinson’s books should be on everyone’s to-be-read stack.

Be safe.

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