Saturday, February 16, 2008

Lawrence Panel on National Book Critics Circle "Good Reads"

Posted on Crtical Mass, blog for National Book Critics Circle, Feb. 8

Panelists and audience looked over the NBCC’s Good Reads Winter List and the 2007 NBCC Awards Finalists list, available as a handout, Feb. 10 as they dialogued about recommended books. They created their own list as they discussed the Kansas City-Lawrence book scene. The panel consisted of NBCC members John Mark Eberhart, Kathleen Johnson, and Denise Low, and independent bookstore owner Pat Kehde.The panel praised the NBCC lists for being driven by quality, noting that the best seller lists of the New York Times, Los Angeles Times, Washington Post, and Chicago Tribune are all driven by profit. The panel noted that 291,000 books are published every year, so these lists really are helpful for helping to sort them. Eberhart, the books page editor of the Kansas City Star, liked the idea of recommended readings rather than books that should get awards. The panel agreed that many of the books on the finalist list were accomplished but less accessible to the general reader. Independent bookstore veteran Kehde, who recently sold her store The Raven to another independent owner, described the New York Times bestseller list process (The Raven is a participating store) and noted that the Lawrence store’s best sellers more closely align with the San Francisco Chronicle list than that of the New York Times. ... (Go to Critical Mass for full article)