As the Book World Turns….

The big news this week is of course BEA, where the book world is spinning on its axis like a globe in the hands of a bookseller who just did his fifth shot of espresso on the closing shift.  The whoosh sounds something like this:  TheNightCircus-WetheAnimals-StateofWonderGotheF*** toSleep-TheMarriagePlot. Here’s what happened outside the Javits Center this week (though probably in the Blackberries and smart phones inside the JC):

The Houston Chronicle published a letter by John Raney, owner of Texas Aggieland Bookstore in College Station, calling for Governor Perry to sign a bill that would put brick-and-mortars on a level playing field with online retailers like Amazon when it comes to collecing sales tax. If Amazon paid sales tax the way businesses with a physical presence do here in Texas, officials estimate they would owe the state $269 million.  Raney writes, “In the simplest sense, a sale is a sale is a sale, and ought to be treated as such whether the purchase is made in a store or online. By not addressing this issue, the government is allowing different rules for online-only retailers than the Texas-based employers whose tax dollars pay their wages.”

Google announced that over 250 independent booksellers are now selling Google ebooks. BookPeople is one of them! Support your local bookstore and download your ebooks at

The Awl has a piece about the discovery of a lost E. E. Cummings poem.

The Millions has the first paragraph from one of the highly anticipated books coming out of the BEA zone, Jeffrey Eugenides’ The Marriage Plot. This is Eugenides’ first novel since Middlesex. He’ll be here in October. Ooooh, we can’t wait for this one!

The Indie Booksellers Choice Awards, sponsored by Shelf Awareness and Melville House, one of our favorite indie publishers, were announced. Winners included The Instructions by Adam Levin and Matterhorn by Karl Marlantes (whose next book, What It Is Like to Go to War, was hyped at BEA this week.)

The winners of the 2011 Lambda Literary Awards were announced.

Gary Shteyngart became the first American to win the Wodehouse Prize for his novel, Super Sad True Love Story.

HarperCollins will publish a posthumous Michael Crichton novel, Micro. The book was finished by Richard Preston.

Musician and Precious actor Lenny Kravitz was added to the cast of The Hunger Games.

That’s what we’ve got this week. Now off to set up chairs for Robin Black at 7pm. But first going to finish listening to this Loud Reed song….It’s so cold in Alaska, but man oh man, not here this weekend – 100 degrees forecast for Saturday!  Stay cool, readers.

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