The Book Beast

Not so sure how I feel about this . . . Sure, Tina Brown gave lipservice to the importance of covering books:

“It’s really important to support books and I am so distressed by what is happening to the publishing world,” she told us over the phone yesterday. “Book sections are closing everywhere and as an author, and an editor, and even for a time a publisher with Talk Miramax Books, I just care very much about writers and what’s happening to them and how they spend their time writing all these fabulous books that can never even really get an airing.”

But at first glance, the “book coverage” seems more obsessed with celebrity “ooklets” (you know, things that look like books, but that aren’t quite books) than actual literature. (Case in point, the news about the Joe Torre book. Even writing the words “Joe Torre book” has cheapened both Book Beast and Three Percent.)

That said, there’s also a Book Buzz section that has picks by famous people, including Christopher Hitchens (who recommended Northanger Abbey) and Maud Newton (who recommended Kate Christensen’s latest, Trouble).

This may not be the sort of book coverage I’m likely to read, but like Oprah, it’s probably good that a site like this exists to highlight new books in a very slick, glossy-mag sort of way.

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