JOURNEY TO THE END OF TASTE

As the series nears the end of its first decade, curious patterns have emerged. Books about James Brown and Led Zeppelin have been widely adopted in college classrooms, as has Carl Wilson's sociological dissection of Celine Dion, Let's Talk About Love: A Journey to the End of Taste. In fact, the latter was championed by James Franco, became the series's second-most popular book, and may have been responsible for the recent popularity of deceased French academic Pierre Bourdieu. Meanwhile, a Japanese publisher brought out Haruki Murakami's translation of Jim Fusilli's book about the Beach Boys' Pet Sounds, which became a runaway best seller in Japan.

Barker keeps a copy of the Murakami in a bookshelf near his desk. He took it out to show me. "You can tell it was expensive to print," he said, running his hand along the sturdy binding and showing off the built-in marker ribbon. "Ours are cheaply made, but we like them that way."

Eugenia Williamson can be reached at ewilliamson@phx.com.

< prev  1  |  2  |  3  | 
  Topics: Books , Book Publishing, 33 1/3, lifestyle features
| More


Most Popular
ARTICLES BY EUGENIA WILLIAMSON
Share this entry with Delicious
  •   IS BOSTON RIGHT FOR WRITERS?  |  March 05, 2013
    Boston, the birthplace of American literature, boasts three MFA programs, an independent creative-writing center, and more than a dozen colleges offering creative-writing classes.
  •   INCREMENTALLY MORE KIND: GEORGE SAUNDERS CHANGES THE WORLD  |  March 05, 2013
    George Saunders: satirist, humanist, and — after 20 years, four magisterial short story collections, a novella, and a book of essays — now a bestselling author.
  •   INTERVIEW: THE PASSION OF MIKE DAISEY  |  February 14, 2013
    Last January, storyteller Mike Daisey achieved a level of celebrity rarely attained among the off-Broadway set when the public radio program This American Life aired portions of his monologue The Agony and the Ecstasy of Steve Jobs .
  •   GETTING BOOKED: WINTER READS  |  December 21, 2012
    Who cares about the fiscal cliff when we'll have authors talking about Scientology, the space-time continuum, and Joy Division?
  •   BRILLIANT FRIENDS: GREAT READS OF 2012  |  December 17, 2012
    You already know Chis Ware's Building Stories is the achievement of the decade (thanks, New York Times!), but some other people wrote some pretty great books this year too.

 See all articles by: EUGENIA WILLIAMSON