Links! Funny and Irritating and Amazing Things to Read!

It's been awhile but I have All The Links, suitable for you to waste time with for hours and hours! 

Via Sarah Weinman, the New York Times' Pete Wells gives a truly majestic scathing review of Guy Fieri's “Guy's American” in Times Square. Highlights include what Jen Miller called a “near perfect” use of the second person, and the following paragraph:

How did nachos, one of the hardest dishes in the American canon to mess up, turn out so deeply unlovable? Why augment tortilla chips with fried lasagna noodles that taste like nothing except oil? Why not bury those chips under a properly hot and filling layer of melted cheese and jalapeños instead of dribbling them with thin needles of pepperoni and cold gray clots of ground turkey?

By the way, would you let our server know that when we asked for chai, he brought us a cup of hot water?

When you hung that sign by the entrance that says, WELCOME TO FLAVOR TOWN!, were you just messing with our heads?

I had to sit back and force myself to blink my eyes after reading that. 


I wasn't sure HOW I  missed this until I realized that I was in Australia and missed Limecello's email. I'm sorry! Blame time travel!

It's time for LimeCello's Social Media Social Good 2012 campaign. This year Lime is raising money for Charity:Water, aiming to provide clean drinking water for people around the world. For every comment left at this entry money will be donated to match and possibly exceed Limecello's pledge.

Via Jane at DearAuthor: Kansas State Library has started a Facebook campaign against the Big 6 and their library ebook policies. Entries feature books that aren't available to libraries as ebooks, or post the cost to libraries for each copy. For example:

Nate Silver's The Signal and the Noise, not available to libraries, published by Penguin Group

Danielle Steel's memoir The Gift of Hope  - a picture of a park bench in the snow, with a duffle bag tucked beneath it, and a teddy bear peeking out of the pocket of the bag The New York Times' “Inside the List” column discusses Steel's new book A Gift of Hope, which is a nonfiction memoir about her work to honor her son's memory after he committed suicide at 19. Her son was very aware during his life to the struggles faced by the homeless people, and Steel has worked anonymously for over ten years delivering aid to homeless communities in San Francisco. This memoir talks about her work and the people she's met.

The New York Times' coverage begins thusly:

Almost 20 years ago, in a New Yorker essay about the best-selling novels of the day, Anthony Lane made the unsurprising observation that popular taste and critical opinion don’t often walk hand in hand. “The editors of The Times Book Review would like to believe that they bring readers together beneath an umbrella of civilized discourse,” he wrote, “but outside it is raining Danielle Steel.” He wasn’t wrong about Steel, anyway, who scores not one but two hardcover hits this week — her latest novel, “The Sins of the Mother,” enters the fiction list at No. 2, and her memoir “A Gift of Hope” is new on the nonfiction list at No. 7.

So, anyway, Steel writes books we don't typically waste our critical opinion on, and the only reason the Times is mentioning it is because her memoir debuted at 7 on the nonfiction list.

Oh, NYT book folks, don't ever change. I wouldn't know what to do with myself if you weren't taking every easy opportunity to flaccidly smack at women who write.

I completely blanked on linking to this, but I was over at Kirkus as usual, this week talking about Things I Learned in Australia:

Several of the authors present talked about writing for the American market, and having to remove much of the Australian references and language from their books to sell to the US publishing market.

This is the part of the conference that's still bouncing around in my brain. I read a lot of romance (obviously) and I have read and enjoyed several set in Australia and New Zealand. The differences in language didn't bother me, but I have to wonder how much was taken out or changed for the American market. 

I'd like to think that American readers can understand variations in English, whether they're British or Australian or Kiwi. I know that a “sheep station” is not where sheep wait for the bus. I know that “boogies” are boogers. I might stumble on the word “yute” but within context I know that's a truck, or some sort of large vehicle.

But when I read all those words, I have a better understanding of the differences that hide within our common language, and I get a much better sense of the location and culture where that story takes place.

And finally, the best for last: Pamela Ribon wrote one of the first online journals I read before I started writing online, and she was the first person I knew of who wrote online and then wrote a book. The another book and some more books and this week she's written the most hilarious account of a truly disgusting massage.

I can't even grab a paragraph because each part builds until you're wheezelaughing and tears are streaming down your face and if you have cubicle mates, they've probably called 911. OR whatever the emergency number is in your world. Because it's that funny. Go read and enjoy.

Just go read it. Trust me. Have tissues handy if you're wearing mascara, because you won't be wearing it for long. 

Comments are Closed

  1. 1

    “I might stumble on the word “yute” but within context I know that’s a truck, or some sort of large vehicle.”

    Actually, I’d stumble too, since it’s spelled ‘ute’ :)

    That restaurant review is a thing of snarky wonder!

  2. 2
    SB Sarah says:

    LOLOL – see? Clearly my understanding is greater than my Australian spelling. Oops.

  3. 3
    2paw says:

    I was about to say ‘ute’ too, it’s short for utility. I wonder that publishers dumb down books for the American market. Australian audiences are assumed to be fluent in American-ese and UK-ese. I think it was so sad when one book even had Rancher in the title instead of Cattleman or Station owner. I think the special Australian words and phrases and our place names and culture make our books even more interesting to overseas readers. Well said!!

  4. 4
    klhoughton says:

    “I know that a “sheep station” is not where sheep wait for the bus.”

    That’s kind of sad. How will they look up John Brunner without bus access?

    “I might stumble on the word “yute” but within context I know that’s a truck, or some sort of large vehicle.”

    I would say, “What’s a ute?” but that line has already been taken by Fred Gwynne.  Somehow, the idea of “The Three Tender Trucks” also makes me sad.

  5. 5
    Vicky Dreiling says:

    I could not stop laughing at the truly disgusting massage story – OMG! Thanks for sharing,  Sarah!

  6. 6
    Ilana Smith says:

    I’ve been glomming Sarah Mayberry recently, and as an Australian living in America, reading a book by an Australian republished for an American audience, I’ve had a wonderful time with the language and changes.  Lots of obvious changes made (I think I recall things like “sweater” being used), but lots and lots of subtler Australianisms left in.  Some _very_ Australian phrasing, as well as words like hessian and letterbox.

    One of her books is set in the US with American protagonists, and I was amused to note that they occasionally phrased things like they were from Sydney.

  7. 7
    Jules says:

    I cant even. That massage story was just … wut. And then I couldn’t stop laughing. Wow.

  8. 8
    bjvl says:

    Oh, NYT book folks, don’t ever change. I wouldn’t know what to do with myself if you weren’t taking every easy opportunity to flaccidly smack at women who write.

    I’m not sure they smack women who write, so much as they smack women who write (insert appropriate sneer) “genre fiction.” Because remember how they changed their rules so JK Rowling wouldn’t dominate their lists? All that “real literature” crowded out by “kids books” or “fantasy.” Intolerable!


  9. 9

    My outrage at the Americanization of non-US books began (and still burns white hot) with the Harry Potter books. It makes me absolutely furious that, because I live in the US, I’m not allowed to buy the originals—only the versions where British kids wear sweaters and call their mothers “Mom”—in e-book format.

    How are American children supposed to learn what a fortnight is if some publisher carefully shields them from exposure to the word?

    And imagine, for a moment, if publishers took the liberty of performing the same sort of cosmetic surgery on American fiction bound for export.  Gooseberry Finn, by Mark Twain.

  10. 10
    Lostshadows says:

    I’m still annoyed about the title change on the first HP book. I had no idea what a “Sorcerer’s Stone” was either until the book explained it.

    I’ve run into the word fortnight in America, so I’m not sure why anyone would change it for US audiences. (I’ll back them on changing public schools to private ones, because that would be confusing to most Americans.)

  11. 11

    From the restaurant review:

    “And when we hear the words Donkey Sauce, which part of the donkey are we supposed to think about?”

    Ha! I really should know better than to follow your links while I’m at work. I’m glad I finished my lunch before I read that review.

  12. 12

    “flaccidly smack at women who write” – I just love me some SBTB!

    Ok, going to massage post now.


  13. 13
    Kim in Hawaii says:

    I thought “ute” came from the movie, MY COUSIN VINNY, as the judge refers to the defendants!

  14. 14
    Shawny Jean says:

    I’ve read the Guy Fieri review a couple times. We were in California last month and at at Guy’s Johnny Garlick in Santa Rosa. The food was fine, and I know a celebrity chef doesn’t mean it has to be fine dining or that he’s going to be in the kitchen of any restaurant at any given time, but the dinner at JG kept me thinking that I could have been eating at any number of chain restaurants and probably would have had a similar meal and enjoyed it more because they didn’t have the eye-bleeding inducing decor of faux-biker and flames.

  15. 15
    cleo says:

    You weren’t kidding about the massage story.  I’m sitting in my local coffee shop, tears of laughter streaming down my face, hoping they don’t kick me out for being a public disturbance.  Words to live by – “Life is gross.  Carry a flashlight.”

    My husband read me the restaurant review from his cell phone and it cracked us both up.  Funny how I feel kind of proprietary towards good old Guy.  I watched him compete on the Next Food Network Star show, back before he was famous, so I feel like I helped to discover him.

  16. 16
    librarygrrl64 says:

    I give Anthony Lane a bit of a pass here because he hates just about everything “low-brow” in the way that only a prissy British gentleman can. And his writing, while often scathing, is brilliant and often hilarious. His review of the 1995 Pride and Prejudice miniseries deserves to be framed, and I read his collected reviews and essays (which I own) with great enjoyment, even if we didn’t always agree.

    He’s also married to popular/“chick lit” writer Alison Pearson of I Don’t Know How She Does It and I Think I Love You fame, so I also suspect that some of his disdain is for effect, comic or otherwise. She comes off as really warm and down-to-earth and smart and funny in interviews, and I just can’t see her married to someone truly nasty.

    Speaking of scathing and hilarious, that restaurant review is effing brilliant. I howled!

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