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Callie Miller
Digital marketing consultant & writer living in Los Angeles.
Recent Activity
Kindred spirits! :)
Toggle Commented Mar 24, 2012 on Reader-Writer Moment #511 at Counterbalance
Tom - A quick scan through the first several pages of LARB has not revealed the Jane post you reference. Can you share a link? Would love to read her piece.
Toggle Commented Dec 10, 2011 on Book Reviewing, The State Of... at Counterbalance
Terry - I'm glad you like my tweets! Thank you. I ultimately liked After Dark but it took me awhile. Perhaps I also knew that it was my last novel before 1Q84 and with that came trepidation. I plan to re-read 1984 this week but after all the hype surrounding 1Q84 I will hold off for a bit. Must savor it as it is all the Murakami I'll get for who knows how long.
It is odd, actually, as I tend to like much of what Maud writes and I do agree with some elements of her piece in full. What I'm most pleased about though, is that her writing that piece connected us. Much to my total embarrassment, I've been ignorant about your blog until this moment and it has been a pleasure to peruse. Thanks for commenting and I look forward to future dialogue. (Also - were you at BlogHer in San Diego? I felt very much as if I was the only litblogger in the Western Hemisphere at that event...would have been infinitely more manageable had I known another book lover was in town.)
Toggle Commented Aug 26, 2011 on A Bit About Lingo at Counterbalance
Right? Ah, such delicious challenges. I'm still no closer to making a decision. Stay tuned!
Toggle Commented Aug 26, 2011 on Lit Bits and A Bit About Lingo at Counterbalance
Ed - You've captured well something I've been unable to put to words - this idea of imperfect writing being a jumping off point, a conversation starter. Truth be told, if I (and many interesting people I know) waited to post something until I felt it was perfect, I'd never post a thing. I'm a fan of imperfect fiction and imperfect story arcs and so on and the inner critic can be harsh. A safe place to formulate one's thoughts is needed, as you point out. I agree shame shouldn't be part of it. That is my own self-flogging for what I do think is spot-on about Maud's piece (for me, I recognize it's not for others): that intellectual rigor can be hampered by a fear of what others think about your argument or how well you've argued it. As I've never fancied myself a critic, I'm pretty OK with the way I've done things to date. As you know and as I've always made clear: I'm passionate about books and I think that less snobbery about them will get others to enjoy them as well. I quite like the idea of this blog as a skeletal place that I can add flesh to over time. Thank you. :)
Toggle Commented Aug 23, 2011 on A Bit About Lingo at Counterbalance
It's an odd feeling, isn't it? I'm in the flow of whatever Murakami created and however I'm reacting to it (which is also very much a flow) so I'm loathe to have it end. Yet in not writing very much about it while in it, I've very little to show for my effort. Perhaps I'm afraid this delicious flow will disintegrate into vapor as soon as I read the last page of After Dark. Ah, well. I'd say I'm very eager to hear all about your long-book project reading adventures (I am!), but I know too well the pressure that comes with it.
Toggle Commented Aug 23, 2011 on Lit Bits and A Bit About Lingo at Counterbalance
I'd recommend a roundtable but I think our track record speaks for itself.
Toggle Commented Jul 22, 2011 on Bookstores Are My Prozac at Counterbalance
Antoine - Nice! I just ordered a copy. Thank you for pointing the way. For readers of this post/comments, here's where you can get your copy of deliciousness:
Helen - I added a "subscribe via email" option just below my photo at top right. Honored you'd like to subscribe via email. Please let me know if you have trouble with it!
Helen - Such a great point, which, without realizing it, I think is why I've never loved reading reviews of a book until after I've already finished it. You've nailed it precisely - who wants to read the book before they read the book? I think this is often why my own summaries of "you must read this" often lack detail - I don't want to spoil the experience for anyone else either. Thank you! You've helped clarify a long-standing conundrum for me. As for laughing at myself, well, thank you. I tend to take so many things so seriously, I realize something's got to give! :)
Dan - Are you saying my reviews are not well written? :) I agree with you - sometimes I obsess over a review and it never gets up, which means I never give props to a book that captured my mind share for a significant amount of time. Not fair to the author or readers. Thinking of launching a "two sentence review" rule to remedy this.
Yes - you've hit it on the head for me completely. That often, the most highlighted passages are the "most cheesy" or at least, represent the most general, crowd-pleasing passages. Since we aren't choosing our "crowd" it's a mixed bag and will rarely (if ever) reflect our own preferences. I'm still on the fence about this feature. As someone interested in group reading and how it alters our experience of a book, I'm interested. As someone who often wants to read a book in silence, without any input from anyone else, I'm less a fan of the feature.
Ed - Late comment replies are better than no comment replies! Thank you for the recommendations for SHOCK VALUE and CRACKPOT. That Leslie Van Houten essay, which I'd saved to the very end, was excellent. I think I could happily spend several hours in conversation with Waters and learn much. I was sad to miss you as well in NY, I didn't pace myself and got sick. If it's any consolation, I'm STILL sick and have not fully recovered since that trip. I'll be out your way a few more times this year, so we'll make it happen.
Toggle Commented Mar 18, 2011 on Reader-Writer Moment #492 at Counterbalance
Mark - Vroman's carrying flip-flops (and candles and tons of other "stuff") has always annoyed me...but I do recognize the need for stores to supplement their book profits with other "stuff" if it means the doors stay open. I find most often, though, I'm drawn to indies that don't sell yoga mats & flip flops. Skylight books is a great example of this. Good books and nothing but good books.
Agreed - indies it is. I'm actually working on a little something re: indie bookstores so stay tuned!
Toggle Commented Feb 23, 2011 on Borders Hoarders and My Indie Haul at Counterbalance
Right? Dangerous stuff for those of us with multiple TBR piles piling ever higher!
Toggle Commented Feb 2, 2011 on Lit Bits and A Bit About Singles at Counterbalance
Darby & Jenn - I agree with you both and I'll kick off discussions tomorrow with that in mind. Thank you!
Toggle Commented Jan 31, 2011 on Roundtabling The Instructions at Counterbalance
I'm revisiting your reply far later than has afforded us an interesting example with the Mark Twain autobiography that is selling out completely in hardcover. Even though Kindle sales are brisk, there is an interesting demand for the hardcover and even though it is sold out in many locations, folks are waiting for hardcover instead of purchasing on Kindle and getting it right away. Is the weightiness of Twain that requires the heft of the 700+ page book? Hmmm.. Here's a Jacket Copy quick look at the #s:
Toggle Commented Nov 27, 2010 on A More Measured Look at eBooks? at Counterbalance
Ed - So glad you agree. It's a book I can't really even describe to anyone because although it is a book that explores some excellent ideas and interesting concepts, the plot is, as you say...not very good. I love it anyway. It made me very happy as well.
Toggle Commented Nov 27, 2010 on Reader-Writer Moment #487 at Counterbalance
Love it - it is exactly what I need and soon if I'm ever to get more writing (and timely commenting!) done.
Toggle Commented Nov 27, 2010 on Writing Whilst Buying Shoes at Counterbalance
Keith - Would you be interested in keeping your own highlights and not seeing anyone else's if you were ever to read a book on a Kindle? You can turn off the "see other highlight" options.
Bowerbird - OK, I'll bite. From cursory research, it's clear you've been on the eBook scene for a very long time. Care to share with us your experience, who you actually are and how you'd solve this problem?
Ed - Thank you for your insightful comment. Great Billy Collins link! I agree with you and other commenters as well as many others who have recently written on this topic - the fundamental problem here is that publishers don't yet care about eBooks and the quality of the output makes that painfully clear. I'd like to think that the more attention brought to this issue, the more urgent it will become for publishers...but I'm skeptical. I've spent some time with various eBook formatting tools this weekend and will be spending much more time in coming weeks to experience, first-hand, what's challenging and what's crazy-easy (there are both sides) about the process. Will share what I find. Thank you!
Bowerbird - My reply to India that I "was not aware that HTML and CSS standards are not supported on e-reading software" was my way of being polite. I know that CSS is supported in ePub. You failed to mention in your comment that immediately after I say that, I note that several formatting books disagree with her position. Unlike you, I was attempting to open to her perspective, rather than being rude by assuming mine was the only right one, though I know her comment on that point is not entirely accurate. Support of HTML and CSS is not ideal in e-reading software, but it is not entirely nonexistent. As for your comment that I'm not smart enough to know what irks me - I'm not even sure what to do with that. Very rude comment, something you would have no way of actually knowing, and I find it surprising that such ire has been stirred up over such a small post. Makes me wonder how closely you work with eBooks and what you have at stake in this. Especially since you've commented anonymously, which is very silly and which does - much to your chagrin, I'm sure - irk me.