11 February 11 | Chad W. Post | Comments

As I mentioned some time ago, I was invited to participate in this year’s Non-Fiction Conference sponsored and organized by the Dutch Foundation for Literature. This year’s focus was on “Quality Non-Fiction in the Digital Era,” so there were a number of presentations about new developments, the future of publishing and reading, etc.

Unlike some of the other digitally-focused conferences I’ve attended (such as TOC Frankfurt), this was less about “what’s possible” and more about “what this means.” Which was refreshing and very interesting.

The foundation did record all of the talks, and has made most (soon to be all?) available on YouTube. (I personally love all the stills . . . We all look a bit over-enthused with our hand gestures and what not.)

All of the speeches were great, and to make this even easier, here are links and quick summaries to the speeches that are available:

Sara Lloyd of Pan Macmillan gave a great overview of where we are in terms of ebooks and the digital market.

Peter Collinridge talked about Enhanced Editions and the need to connect with your audience.

Richard Nash’s speech isn’t online (yet), but he talked about the coming Age of Abundance and how economic theory provides a basis for arguing that this abundance will force prices to zero.

Jos de Mul talked about the impact of technology on human imagination from a philosophical perspective.

Harry Blom’s speech isn’t up yet either, but he talked about Springer and publishing edatabase versions of journals.

Marcus Chown discussed The Solar System his book/iPad app.

Henry Volans from Faber and Faber talked about this as well, but from a publisher’s perspective.

Ramy Habeeb gave the funniest, most entertaining speech (Ramy’s a born public speaker of the best variety) about publishing in Arabic and his company Kotoarabia.

Nicky Harman discussed the role of translators in this digital age.

Finally, I talked about reading and discovery in the Age of Screens. But I’ll talk more about that in a separate post . . . For now, I just want to encourage you to check out some of these videos. I think you’ll find them very interesting and enjoyable. (And we were all limited to 10 minutes, so they’re short.)

18 November 09 | Chad W. Post | Comments

Not sure how long this has been available online, but you can now download a lot of the presentations from the inaugural Tools of Change Frankfurt conference.

Lot of interesting ones, including:

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 >