23 February 12 | Chad W. Post | Comments

I’ve been predicting this for a while, and still think a Spotify for ebooks would be a $1million idea. (Or a $1million bankruptcy. Whatever.) Anyway, from today’s Publishing Perspectives:

Everything you can read in a month for just €9.99 sounds like a good deal, doesn’t it? That is what Booquo, the new digital venture of Circulo de Lectores — the book club owned by publishing giants Planeta and Bertelsmann — is offering, making them among the few brave enough to tread the forbidden path of access vs. ownership that frightens so many print publishers in this digital age. [. . .]

Booquo has two business models — conventional and subscription. The first allows you to rent movies (from a selection of 1,000) and buy e-books (some 10,000 titles are on offer) that is open to anybody who visits the site. This shop, which functions like any other e-retailer, has a partnership with Filmin for the movie rentals and uses the e-distributor Libranda (of which Planeta and Bertelsmann are main shareholders) for downloadable e-books, which are sold at the same fixed price that anybody will find at Amazon Spain or Casa del Libro. The second is the “club,” which offers a one month trial subscription of € 0,99 in an opt-out system that will charge your credit card €9,99 per month thereafter till the account is cancelled.

Rambling Jack
Rambling Jack by Micheál Ó Conghaile
Reviewed by Vincent Francone

“Rambling Jack—what’s that?”
“A novel. Novella, I guess.”
“Yeah, it looks short. What is it, a hundred pages?”
“Sorta. It’s a duel language book, so really, only about… 50 pages total.”
“50 pages?”
“Including illustrations.”
“And this—what. . .

Read More >

The Things We Don't Do
The Things We Don't Do by Andrés Neuman
Reviewed by Tiffany Nichols

Many authors are compared to Roberto Bolaño. However, very few authors have the privilege of having a Roberto Bolaño quote on the cover of their work; and at that, one which states, “Good readers will find something that can be. . .

Read More >

Private Life
Private Life by Josep Maria de Sagarra
Reviewed by Christopher Iacono

In Josep Maria de Sagarra’s Private Life, a man harangues his friend about literature while walking through Barcelona at night:

When a novel states a fact that ties into another fact and another and another, as the chain goes on. . .

Read More >

Dinner by César Aira
Reviewed by Lori Feathers

César Aira dishes up an imaginative parable on how identity shapes our sense of belonging with Dinner, his latest release in English. Aira’s narrator (who, appropriately, remains nameless) is a self-pitying, bitter man—in his late fifties, living again with. . .

Read More >

We're Not Here to Disappear
We're Not Here to Disappear by Olivia Rosenthal
Reviewed by Megan C. Ferguson

Originally published in French in 2007, We’re Not Here to Disappear (On n’est pas là pour disparaître) won the Prix Wepler-Fondation La Poste and the Prix Pierre Simon Ethique et Réflexion. The work has been recently translated by Béatrice Mousli. . .

Read More >

The Queen's Caprice
The Queen's Caprice by Jean Echenoz
Reviewed by Christopher Iacono

Even though the latest from Jean Echenoz is only a thin volume containing seven of what he calls “little literary objects,” it is packed with surprises. In these pieces, things happen below the surface, sometimes both literally and figuratively. As. . .

Read More >

French Concession
French Concession by Xiao Bai
Reviewed by Emily Goedde

Who is this woman? This is the question that opens Xiao Bai’s French Concession, a novel of colonial-era Shanghai’s spies and revolutionaries, police and smugglers, who scoot between doorways, walk nonchalantly down avenues, smoke cigars in police bureaus, and lounge. . .

Read More >