By now everyone has heard of New York Knicks breakout star, Jeremy Lin — he even has seven books available on Amazon already. No, not as author, but as subject. In this brave new world of ebooks and instant publishing, Linsanity even reaches into the literary realm. That is, if we can call The Zen of Jeremy Lin: 17 Nuggets of Wisdom From Confucius to Jeremy Lin About Basketball and Life literature.
I don’t think I’ll be adding that one to the list. But Pulitzer Prize-winner Jim Yardley’s Brave Dragons, A Chinese Basketball Team, An American Coach, And Two Cultures Clashing is already added. While eating breakfast this morning and getting caught up on my blog reading and whatnot, I listened to the podcast of a short book review over on NPR’s Fresh Air on Brave Dragons.
[Jeremy Lin] has since proved to everybody that athletic prejudice against Asians is Lincredibly stupid. Except, as journalist Jim Yardley points out in his new book on basketball fever in China, Chinese players and coaches happen to endorse that prejudice. One Chinese coach tells Yardley: “We know we Chinese players are different than African-American players. They are more physically gifted.” As Yardley comments at the end of this long, politically incorrect conversation: “No country on Earth believe[s] in Darwin more than China.”
Having spent some time in China traveling, and having lived for sometime here in Southeast Asia, that non-politically correct forthrightness sounds familiar. NPR’s Maureen Corrigan continues with high praise in her book review of Brave Dragons. To wit: “Brave Dragons is to Chinese basketball what Laura Hillenbrand’s Seabiscuit was to Depression-era horse racing: Both books certainly do justice to their respective sports but also use them as tools to gain access to wholly different cultures.”
That is indeed high praise, as far as I’m concerned. I would have to say when push comes to shove that I’m ethically opposed to horse racing, but I would be lying if I said I didn’t love Seabiscuit. I picked it up in an airport bookstore — this was in the pre-Kindle era — when I found myself with a two-hour delay and no book to read. A quick perusal of the first chapter convinced me that there was much more there than “oooh, pretty horses! They love to run.” And tas Corrigan points out, indeed there is.
Paypal the Censor: Putting the Smackdown on Indie Erotic Book Sellers
Paypal — everyone seems to hate it, yet we all use it. But it sounds like some independent publishers and distributors of erotic fiction may have to stop using Paypal if they want to keep their titles. Noted erotic author and blogger Violet Blue — and former San Francisco Chronicle columnust — recently put the news out on her ZDNet blog, Pulp Tech:
On Saturday February 18, PayPal began threatening indie book publishers and distributors with immediate deactivation of the businesses’ accounts if they did not remove books containing certain sexual themes – namely, specific sexual fantasies that PayPal does not approve of.
PayPal told indie e-book publishers and retailers – such as AllRomance, Smashwords, Excessica and Bookstrand – that if they didn’t remove the offending literature from their catalogs within a few days of notification, PayPal would close their accounts.
Of course, the immediate termination of payment processing would devastate these businesses and all of their authors (not just the erotic writers) overnight.
In case you haven’t noticed, PayPal has a monopoly on the market of online payment processing. There are few alternatives, though none that are widely used by online shoppers.