Thursday, November 27, 2014

2014 National Book Award by National Book Foundation

What is National Book Award?

It's an annual literary award from the U. S. It was established in the year 1936 by the American Booksellers Association which latter abandoned during World War II. And in the year 1988, National Book Foundation took over and hosts the said award.

One of the known winner of the National Book Award i know is a book titled "A Fable" by William Faulkner. I haven't read the book. I just heard it from my friend a long time ago and already diminished in my mind.

Here are the seal of National Book Award. Well if you happened to see a book in a bookstore with the following seal, that means it's worth buying and worth reading.

National Book Award Winner Seal
National Book Award Winner Seal | Image Source:

National Book Award Finalist Seal
National Book Award Finalist Seal | Image Source:

For more information on how National Book Awards Work, kindly visit their official page.

What makes me notice this award just now is because my favorite authors are hosting the said ceremony. It's mainly hosted by the author of "A Series of Unfortunate Events", Daniel Handler or also known by his pen name Lemony Snicket. Moreover, Neil Gaiman, which is one of my fave author too, hands the lifetime achievement award to Earthsea author Ursula LeGuin (watch their remarkable speech below):

As author Ursula Le Guin said on her speech:
   "Books aren’t just commodities; the profit motive is often in conflict with the aims of art."
I, too, agree with her. I think, her speech gives book publishers a cold sweat. I observed it's true. I observed the market of fiction novels seems to be re-inventing the wheel. The story itself is re-inventing. I will not named the titles here, perhaps on my later post. I understand the traditional marketing practice with this because i am once an online marketing specialist. Metaphorically, we read people's mind for your product to successfully market. Well, as Ursula Le Guin said "Books aren't just commodities".

As it works, publishing house are being dictated by people. From people to sales and marketing, and then from sales and marketing to the author. Authors are losing their freedom to express what they want to write.

The bottom line here is - we need more books with diversity. Re-inventing the wheel could be progressive for us but it would more progressive if we see new published books with a unique story.


Friday, November 14, 2014

Book Review: Metamorphosis by Franz Kafka (Translated by William Aaltonen)

This book review is more of Metamorphosis Kafka Analysis. If you're already an adult, you might reflect easier with this book because of your long experiences in life (do you?). Or if you're a student looking for an answers for your literature analysis work given to you by your teacher, you might find this post a good guide with your research (please don't forget to note my site as your reference).

The Metamorphosis Book Details:

Metamorphosis by Franz Kafka Front Cover
Metamorphosis by Franz Kafka Front Cover
Title: Metamorphosis (German: Die Verwandlung)
Original Language: German
Translated to: English
Translated by: William Aaltonen
ISBN: 9781848372023
Genre: Novella, Absurdist Fiction
Publisher: Arcturus Publishing Limited
Edition Published: 2008
Originally Published: 1915
Format: Hardcover
Page: 128

Metamorphosis Characters:
- Gregor Samsa (siblings)
- Grete Samsa (siblings)
- Mr. Samsa (father)
- Mrs. Samsa (mother)

Just a reminder, if this is your first time to read Metamorphosis, skip Mr. Aaltonen's Introduction because it will spoil some part of the story and you may not understand what he's discussing about. I recommend you read it last.