Issue of June 20, 2010

Prepare to take sides as we present a no-holds-barred argument summing up the long-running questions surrounding the identity of the “real” Shakespeare; an argument for why book trailers are a no-sale for some readers; a thoughtful essay on how a particular series is helped heal a major reading slump; and more.

Shakespeare the man or Shakespeare the Fraud? The debate is heating up, and Lev Raphael tackles the arguments for the latest “real Shakespeare,” as well as the supposed reasons why Shakespeare couldn’t possibly have written his plays in Anyone but Shakespeare.

Series, series, who wants a series? While many series and their writers often seem to burn out or die out (or should), one has kept going—for which Lauren Baratz-Logsted is thankful—for nearly three decades. What is it about this series that is so attractive? Find out in My Kingdom for a Series.

Nicki Leone’s review of a first novel takes an extraordinary approach, combining the author’s personal and professional lives, the protagonist’s story, the current oil disaster in the Gulf, and her personal daily wanderings in Defending the Small Places.

Lev Raphael and Lauren Roberts were recently surprised to find they not only shared a love of Lord Byron’s work but also two sets of his books, both issued in the first half of the nineteenth century and both highly treasured books in their lives. Join their joyfully shared reminiscences in To Walk in Beauty.

At the recent Book Expo America, Lindsay Champion had the opportunity to attend a presentation by Tony-award winning actress and singer, Patti LuPone who has a memoir on its way that, if the book is anything like what Lindsay found, is  likely to be “satisfying” even if not wholly agreeable, as she explains in Being LuPone.

The same technology that drives the special effects in films is turning its attention to selling books. But should it? Can video-enhanced advertising with special effects really sell a reading experience? This week, Lauren Roberts’s explores her thoughts on why video ads will never sell her—though they may sell other readers—a book in Books on My Mind.

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