What I should be doing this morning: writing reviews. What I've actually been doing: scanning blogs and online journals. Oh, well, it's Monday so I'm having a little trouble getting going.
First of all, Russian author and Nobel laureate Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn died Sunday evening at the age of 89, reportedly of heart failure. The Associated Press announcement noted that "Solzhenitsyn's unflinching accounts of torment and survival in the Soviet Union's slave labor camps riveted his countrymen, whose secret history he exposed. They earned him 20 years of bitter exile, but international renown. And they inspired millions, perhaps, with the knowledge that one person's courage and integrity could, in the end, defeat the totalitarian machinery of an empire."
Also in the bookish news: Amazon.com is acquiring AbeBooks.com. According to Publishers Weekly, AbeBooks' current president and CEO Hannes Blum said a bookseller roundtable will be held August 7 to answer bookseller questions about what the deal means for the future.
And in the who-woulda-thunk-it department, Costco has picked Brunonia Barry's novel The Lace Reader as their book pick of the month in their August online magazine The Costco Connection. I didn't know Costco had book picks or a magazine, or even that they sold books, for that matter. Costco's book buyer, Pennie Clark Ianniciello said "Barry's writing is detailed and vivid, and the characters are so real you'll lament that you can't call them up or pop by for a visit . . . ." Well, I don't know about that – the characters were certainly memorable, but I'm not sure I'd want to "pop by for a visit" unless I knew I'd be getting them on a good day. But I loved the novel anyway – you can read my review of it here.