What is JacketFlap

  • JacketFlap connects you to the work of more than 200,000 authors, illustrators, publishers and other creators of books for Children and Young Adults. The site is updated daily with information about every book, author, illustrator, and publisher in the children's / young adult book industry. Members include published authors and illustrators, librarians, agents, editors, publicists, booksellers, publishers and fans.
    Join now (it's free).

Sort Blog Posts

Sort Posts by:

  • in

Suggest a Blog

Enter a Blog's Feed URL below and click Submit:

Most Commented Posts

In the past 7 days

Recent Posts

(from all 1552 Blogs)

Recent Comments

JacketFlap Sponsors

Spread the word about books.
Put this Widget on your blog!
  • Powered by JacketFlap.com

Are you a book Publisher?
Learn about Widgets now!

Advertise on JacketFlap

MyJacketFlap Blogs

  • Login or Register for free to create your own customized page of blog posts from your favorite blogs. You can also add blogs by clicking the "Add to MyJacketFlap" links next to the blog name in each post.

Blog Posts by Date

Click days in this calendar to see posts by day or month
new posts in all blogs
Viewing: Blog Posts from All 1552 Blogs, since 1/28/2008 [Help]
Results 42,176 - 42,200 of 512,644
42176. Young Adult Books with Emmy Laybourne Author of Monument 14

Emmy Laybourne is the author of MONUMENT 14, SKY ON FIRE and SAVAGE DRIFT (out May 6th). Both her first two books were YALSA Teens Top Ten Nominees. Here are her picks for 5 YA titles to watch for.

Add a Comment
42177. Guinea Pig

Recently we had the opportunity to babysit our neighbor's guinea pig named Shadow.

He was a little shy at first, but once he got used to us, he let us hold him and pat him behind his ears.

It's hard to believe he's related to the extinct 1500-pound giant rodent that I painted called Josephoartigasia, a rodent the size of a rhinoceros.

0 Comments on Guinea Pig as of 4/30/2014 4:39:00 AM
Add a Comment
42178. Why do frogs slough their skin?

By Rebecca Cramp

In recent decades, the extraordinarily rapid disappearance of frogs, toads, and salamanders has grabbed the attention of both the scientific community and concerned citizens the world over. Although the causes of some of these losses remain unresolved, the novel disease chytridiomycosis caused by the skin-based fungus Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis (Bd), has been identified as the causative agent in many of the declines and extinctions worldwide. Bd is now regarded as being responsible for the greatest disease-driven loss of vertebrate biodiversity in recorded history.  Like other entirely cutaneous microbes, interactions with the skin of its host determine how and under what conditions the fungus can induce disease.

The skin plays an important role in immune defence. In the first instance, skin acts as a physical barrier against microbes and pathogens. It also produces anti-microbial skin secretions and supports a large microbial community made up of good (commensal), bad (pathogenic) and indifferent (neither good nor bad; having no discernable effect) microbes. Like most animals, the outer skin layer of amphibians is shed (sloughed) on a regular basis—as often as daily to every couple of weeks. However, unlike mammals, amphibians shed (and often eat) the entire outer skin layer in one piece.  Therefore, anything adhering to or within that outer layer would be lost from the body every time the animal sloughs it skin. As such, regular sloughing could play a role in regulating the abundance and persistence of microbes (including Bd) at the body’s surface. To date, however, the potential for regular skin sloughing to serve as an immune defense strategy in amphibians has been largely overlooked.

A green tree frog. Photo by Ed Meyer.

A green tree frog. Photo by Ed Meyer.

To test the hypothesis that sloughing in plays a role in the management of cutaneous microbe abundance, we investigated changes in the number of cultivable cutaneous bacteria on the ventral and dorsal body surfaces of the Green tree frog (Litoria caerulea) with sloughing. Effects of temperature on sloughing periodicity were also investigated in order to determine how the efficacy of sloughing in regulating microbial infection might vary with climate and season. Our study showed that sloughing massively reduced the overall abundance of bacteria, in some cases by as much as 100%. In addition, temperature had a marked effect on sloughing periodicity, with animals in cooler temperatures having a much longer time between sloughs compared with animals at held higher temperatures.

Most importantly however, we found that the extended time between sloughs in animals in the cold treatments allowed skin microbe numbers to increase to levels in excess of those seen in animals in the warm treatment. These data suggest that for pathogens that like relatively cooler conditions (like Bd), the effect of temperature on host sloughing frequency may allow pathogen numbers to build up to such a degree that fatal disease occurs.

What does it all mean, though? Firstly, the epidemiology of skin based diseases like Bd could be in part attributed to the effects of temperature on host sloughing periodicity particularly when disease outbreaks occur in cool habitats and/or at cooler times of year. Secondly, differences between species in the frequency of sloughing could influence pathogen establishment and go some way to explaining why some amphibian species are more resistant to cutaneous pathogens than others. Thirdly, the ability of commensal (good) bacteria to protect against pathogens may be reduced in frog species which slough frequently as commensal bacteria would also be lost from the skin with sloughing, unless they are able to recolonise the skin rapidly.

Understanding the role the skin plays as the first bastion of defense against external pathogens is vitally important as the rate of emergence of both novel and pre-existing infectious diseases is predicted to skyrocket in the future as a result of anthropogenic climate change.

Dr Rebecca Cramp is a Research Officer at The University of Queensland in the laboratory of Professor Craig Franklin. Rebecca has diverse research interests and is currently working on several projects including a study of disease susceptibility in frogs, the control of ion regulation in acid-tolerant amphibian larvae and the effects of environmental stressors on immune function in amphibian larvae. She is a co-author of the paper ‘First line of defence: the role of sloughing in the regulation of cutaneous microbes in frogs‘, which appears in the journal Conservation Physiology.

Conservation Physiology is an online only, fully open access journal published on behalf of the Society for Experimental Biology. Biodiversity across the globe faces a growing number of threats associated with human activities. Conservation Physiology publishes research on all taxa (microbes, plants and animals) focused on understanding and predicting how organisms, populations, ecosystems and natural resources respond to environmental change and stressors. Physiology is considered in the broadest possible terms to include functional and mechanistic responses at all scales.

Subscribe to the OUPblog via email or RSS.
Subscribe to only earth and life sciences articles on the OUPblog via email or RSS.
Image credit: A green tree frog. Photo by Ed Meyer. Do not reproduce without permission.

The post Why do frogs slough their skin? appeared first on OUPblog.

0 Comments on Why do frogs slough their skin? as of 4/30/2014 5:41:00 AM
Add a Comment
42179. 2014 April PAD Challenge: Day 30

Ack! Today is the final day of the challenge! For people catching up, I’m giving a 5-day buffer between each day’s prompt–so the cut-off will be 11:59 p.m. on May 5 (Atlanta, GA time). Also, I’m going to post on “Next Steps” regarding this challenge tomorrow afternoon that will outline what to expect as far as judging, results, etc.

For today’s prompt, write a “calling it a day” poem. Some people might call this “Miller time,” others may refer to it as “closing time.” Just remember: Don’t call it a day until you put it in a poem.


national_poetry_monthGet the National Poetry Month Kit!

Yes, this has been another great National Poetry Month, and here’s a great kit to celebrate: The Writer’s Digest National Poetry Month Kit, which includes a digital version of The Poetry Dictionary, a couple paperbacks (Creating Poetry and Writing the Life Poetic), a tutorial on building an audience for your poetry, the 2014 Poet’s Market, and more!

Click to continue.


Here’s my attempt at a Calling It a Day poem:


i love you
have always loved you

i’m tired of this cat & mouse
this cleaning house

if you knew
what i wanted to do

& other stuff

w/o you in it
no other way to say
i <3 u

& i’m done cleaning house
be the cat
i’m your mouse


Today’s guest judge is…

Jillian Weise

Jillian Weise

Jillian Weise

Jillian is the author of The Amputee’s Guide to Sex, the novel The Colony, and The Book of Goodbyes, which won the 2013 James Laughlin Award from the Academy of American Poets. Her work has appeared in Narrative Inquiry in Bioethics, The New York Times and Tin House.

After fellowships from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro, the Fine Arts Work Center and the Fulbright Program, she joined the faculty at Clemson University.

She identifies as a cyborg.

Learn more here: https://www.boaeditions.org/bookstore/the-book-of-goodbyes.html


PYHO_Small_200x200Poem Your Heart Out

Poems, Prompts & Room to Add Your Own for the 2014 April PAD Challenge!

Words Dance Publishing is offering 20% off pre-orders for the Poem Your Heart Out anthology until May 1st! If you’d like to learn a bit more about our vision for the book, when it will be published, among other details.

Click to continue.


Robert Lee Brewer is Senior Content Editor of the Writer’s Digest Writing Community and author of Solving the World’s Problems. His favorite Marquez story is “A Very Old Man with Enormous Wings,” though he also loves the short novel Chronicle of a Death Foretold. Learn more about Robert here: http://www.robertleebrewer.com/.


Don’t call it a day without reading these posts:

Add a Comment
42180. 30 Poets/Day 30 - Pat Mora and Walter Dean Myers

What a month! And today's poems by Pat Mora and Walter Dean Myers seem like a perfect way to close, at least to me. It has been a thrill for me to share poetry this month by soooooo many poets who I admire so much (59 to be exact!). And thanks for hanging out with us!

Books & Me
Pat Mora

We belong
books and me,
like toast and jelly
o queso y tortillas.
Delicious! ¡Delicioso!

Like flowers and bees,
birds and trees,
books and me.

©2009 Pat Mora. All rights reserved.

Walter Dean Myers

How come my feet know how to meet
The sidewalk as I walk?
          “Because of your brain, my love.”
How come my lips don’t ever slip
As I begin to talk?
          “Your lovely brain, my pet”
How come my knees fly through the breeze
As I race along?
          “Did I mention your B-R-A-I-N?”
How come my ears know what to hear
When I listen to a song?
          “They’re connected to your brain!”
How come my eyes can judge the size
Of everything they see?
          “Your brain, dummy!”
How come my wrists know how to twist
A knob or turn a key?
          “BRAIN! BRAIN! BRAIN! Use it!”
And how come my belly button just sits there in the middle of my stomach without doing one little bit of work, gets these little lint things in it, and feels funny if I touch it?

          “Err…beats me.”

© Walter Dean Myers. All rights reserved.
(click here to see the original post and comments)

Yesterday we had poetry from Douglas Florian and Liz Garton Scanlon. Today wraps up 30 Poets/30 Days for 2014! Tomorrow, please check out my feature on Andrew Huang, composer of the theme song for my middle grade novel, The 14 Fibs of Gregory K. And while there's poetry all year round here at GottaBook, make sure you come back this Friday for a wrap up of this year's poetic festivities!

Please click here for more information about this year's edition of 30 Poets/30 Days, including how to follow along all the future such events here at GottaBook.

0 Comments on 30 Poets/Day 30 - Pat Mora and Walter Dean Myers as of 4/30/2014 5:09:00 AM
Add a Comment
42181. International Prize for Arabic Fiction

       They've announced that Frankenstein in Baghdad by Ahmed Saadawi wins 2014 International Prize for Arabic Fiction as فرانكشتاين في بغداد by أحمد سعداوي took the prize.
       Gotta like the premise and plot (I think):

Set in the spring of 2005, Frankenstein in Baghdad tells the story of Hadi al-Attag, a rag-and-bone man who lives in a populous district of Baghdad. He takes the body parts of those killed in explosions and sews them together to create a new body. The body is entered by a displaced soul, bringing it to life. Hadi calls the being 'the-what's-its-name,' while the authorities name it 'Criminal X' and others refer to it as 'Frankenstein'. Frankenstein begins a campaign of revenge against those who killed him, or killed those whose parts make up his body.
       Sounds like something even a US/UK publisher could be sold on, so I look forward to seeing it English in a couple of years.

Add a Comment
42182. Welcome to the Faerie Court!

I’m super geeked to read The Girl Who Never Was, so I’m stoked to be part of the Faerie Court.  Welcome to my little chunk of the palace, where I will share tidbits and teasers about Skylar Dorset’s The Girl Who Never Was, which releases on June 3rd.  Today I have some deets about the Otherworld and Travelers.

Background Information on the Otherworld:

The Otherworld is a world inhabited by supernatural creatures. Not as geographically solid as the human world, its regions are flexible and fluid and sometimes the links between them can be terminated in the face of outside threats. This became common in the years just before the Seelies took over, when border control measures attempting to keep the Seelies out of certain regions, the Otherworld growing more segregated in its protectionism. The Seelies were strong and talented enough to overcome the measures, and they now control, for the most part, the geography of the Otherworld.

Faeries, gnomes, ogres, and goblins all used to live exclusively in the Otherworld. Eventually, a special group of faeries (called “travelers”) realized that they could jump from the Otherworld into a totally different world, inhabited entirely by another species with considerably shorter lifespans and very different types of talents as well as very different types of vulnerabilities. Up until the time when the worlds began to cross over, there had been no need to name either world. Once travel between the two worlds became increasingly popular, both supernatural creatures and humans alike began referring to the human world as the Thisworld and the supernatural world as the Otherworld. (The supernatural beings liked being the “others.” They had always been used to finding value in “otherness,” in a way humans weren’t used to.)

This all happened millennia ago. Or just the other day. It depends on what kind of time you keep.

Once upon a time, the Otherworld and the Thisworld got along very well. Goblins migrated to the Thisworld fairly early on, drawn by the vast jewelry reserves. Faeries also flitted over frequently, growing increasingly more cavalier about being seen (this coincided with the historical frequency of faerie sightings, which died down as Otherworld-Thisworld relations deteriorated). Gnomes and ogres also traveled over, but they were naturally more averse to being seen and tried to blend in undetected. In the meantime, schools of sorcery started up in the Thisworld, training the most talented humans to interact on a supernatural level. They serve, primarily, as diplomatic posts, encouraging their students to “study abroad” in the Otherworld for a little while.

When the Seelies began to take over the Otherworld, the Otherworld found itself embroiled in a civil war. Many supernatural creatures actually returned to the Otherworld at that point, in an attempt to protect their homeworld. As the Seelies began to win, the remaining witches and wizards in the Thisworld offered various havens to those Otherworld creatures who sought it. These havens then reacted to the collapse of the Otherworld by shutting out all faeries, who had by then developed a Seelie-driven reputation for preying on human children.

I took my inspiration for the Otherworld from Celtic mythology.


Faeries, much like wizards and witches, tend to carry particular talents through their genetic lines. The Seelies are nothing but genetically honed super-faeries, in effect, who happen to be unusually strong in naming power. Travelers are faeries who are especially good at the art of travel: they are never lost, possessing unerring senses of direction; they can get into and out of almost any room; and they have the unique ability to “jump” between physical spaces and between worlds, switching locations in the blink of an eye. Doors cannot be locked against them, and they can call for trains at will. Human folklore calls them “will o’ the wisps,” which humans understood to be luring them to their deaths. In reality, travelers are generally caught up in their own activities and seldom notice if they catch a human eye.

As the Seelies began to consolidate power, traveling became more valuable and, conversely, more dangerous to them. Travelers could spread word, quickly and easily, organizing rebellion and keeping others apprised of the Seelies’ movement. As a result, the Seelies began to hunt travelers in earnest. First they forbade the continuation of the line, and then, eventually, they imprisoned or named every traveler they could find. They left just one, for their own use, because the power of the travelers was too intense to eliminate altogether.

The immense talent of the travelers is balanced by immense weaknesses, which was why they never rose to the power of the Seelies. A traveler’s power can be disabled by the simple touch of a goblin, making them sworn enemies. Moreover, travelers are severely allergic to water, which dampens their abilities and can also weaken them to a point near death if they are kept too wet for too long. Finally, while travelers cannot be locked out of a room, they can be locked into one. The enchantment is a tricky one and requires much power but can be performed.

While traveling comes naturally to travelers, it is nevertheless exhausting, and they will often need rest after too much of it at once, especially if water is involved at any point. Some places are easier to travel to than others, and in times of great distress travelers will frequently focus on those. A traveler’s homeworld is always the simplest for him or her to return to. Cottingley is the easiest place for them to reach in the Thisworld. Even when the worlds were sealed into separation, the membrane between them has always been thinnest at Cottingley, making it the most ideal place to bridge the two. (Iceland is also heavy in faerie lore and also an easy place for a traveler to get to.)

What do you think? Are you going to add The Girl Who Never Was to your TBR?

The Girl Who Never Was (Otherworld)

This is not your average trip to Fairyland

In Selkie’s family, you don’t celebrate birthdays. You don’t talk about birthdays. And you never, ever reveal your birth date.

On her seventeenth birthday, Selkie finally understands why. All she wanted was a simple “Happy Birthday” from her secret crush, Ben. But the instant she blurts out the truth to him in the middle of Boston Common, her whole world shatters. Because the Boston that Selkie knows is only an elaborate enchantment constructed to conceal the truth: Selkie is a half-faerie princess. And her mother wants her dead. The faerie court believes Selkie is a child of prophecy-fated to destroy the court’s powerful grip on the supernatural world. And the only way for Selkie to survive…is to prove them right.

The post Welcome to the Faerie Court! appeared first on Manga Maniac Cafe.

Add a Comment
42183. Teaser: Amity

Amity by Micol Ostow. Egmont USA. Reviewed from ARC; publication date August 2014.

It's not yet August, but I can't wait to say how much I loved Amity.

Amity is about a haunted house; a house that is both haunted and that haunts its unfortunate inhabitants. It is told by two seventeen year olds, Connor and Gwen. Both have just moved into a new house. It is the same house, ten years apart. And both see what those around them cannot, or will not: that their is something wrong and dangerous about Amity.

Reader, it scared the hell out of me.

The title, Amity, refers to another story about a haunted house, The Amityville Horror. But rest assured: the reader doesn't have to know anything about that (maybe) true story. The setting has changed, from Long Island to New England. Amity is the name of the house itself, not the town. It's isolated, not in the middle of a town.

What hasn't changed? The house is haunted. There are things, some small, some less so, that those who have read about The Amityville Horror will recognize. Recognizing them may be fun -- if "fun" can be used about a house that drives its inhabitants to kill -- but not realizing that they are references to the (probably not) true story doesn't take away from the story. A reader can happily read Amity with no knowledge whatsoever about the Amityville Horror -- well, as "happily" one can be reading with growing dread and worry, knowing that something bad is going to happen to the inhabitants of Amity.

Yes, it's months away -- but trust me. Your lovers of horror will not be disappointed.

Now that Ostow has told modern versions of Charles Manson and the Amityville Horror, what next? Me, I'm hoping for her to turn her attentions to Jonestown. I still have nightmares about that one.

Amazon Affiliate. If you click from here to Amazon and buy something, I receive a percentage of the purchase price.

© Elizabeth Burns of A Chair, A Fireplace & A Tea Cozy

0 Comments on Teaser: Amity as of 1/1/1900
Add a Comment
42184. Spotlight and Cover Reveal–Fake It by Jennifer Chance

Jennifer Chance and Loveswept are thrilled to share the hot cover and first-look teaser of FAKE IT, the second book in the Rule Breakers series published by Loveswept!

In case you haven’t seen it, here’s the smokin’ hot cover for the first book in the series Rock It

And now, check out the cover for Fake It!  I have a teaser to share, too!

From Jenn: “This cover is perfect for Jake–right down to the biker-inspired smoky blue flame background behind the title. It really shows that Jake and Anna’s adventure will be quite a ride!”

Read on for more about FAKE IT and a super sexy teaser!


Jennifer Chance

Published by Loveswept

July 1, 2014

ISBN: 978-0-553-39228-9

Find FAKE IT on Goodreads


As her sizzling new series continues, Jennifer Chance sparks some serious combustion between a sexy biker and a corporate go-getter who’s ready to let her hair down.

New grad Anna Richardson works hard—so hard that she’s given up having a romantic life. Anna has even convinced her friends that she’s dating an amazing guy—who they’ve simply never met. But now Anna has a wedding to attend and needs to produce the hottie she’s been lying about for the past six months. Enter Jake Flynn, her infuriating, motorcycle-riding, jaw-droppingly gorgeous neighbor, who’s more than willing to fake it for a weekend. In fact, Jake won’t be satisfied until things get real.

Though Jake is only playing the role of adoring boyfriend, he’s starting to feel the heat, and judging by Anna’s sweet blush, so is she. Letting chemistry this intense go to waste would be a real shame. Soon, though, the thin line between fantasy and reality fades. Jake may not be what every buttoned-up fast-tracker wants, but he’s sure as hell what Anna needs. And if she takes a ride with him, their adventure never has to end.


“Jake, the wedding would completely suck for you,” Anna protested. “My ex is a nightmare and you would hate all of my friends. You would think the whole thing is ridiculous—because it is.” He just watched her, maddeningly, his smile curving as she tried to sputter out her refusals. “You don’t want to do this. Trust me.”

“I just said I did.”

“But . . . you can’t . . . you wouldn’t . . .” Anna stopped, flustered. What was happening here? Was she actually turning down a viable date? “There’s so much you would have to memorize about Dave. There’s no way you’re going to want to do that.”

Jake just lifted his brows. “You know, for someone who’s just met me, you seem to know a lot about what I would and wouldn’t want to do.”

“I don’t! I mean, I can guess. But I just . . . can’t.” Anna swallowed. “Look, I appreciate it. If I strike out tonight, I’ll call you. How about that?”

“That sounds good.” Jake signaled to the bartender. “So I guess I should make sure you have my number, then.”

“Oh, well yes. I guess. Or, you know, I could just—” Before Anna could complete the sentence, Jake had a pen in his fingers. They were both leaning on the bar, their faces inches apart. He tipped the pen to its side, sliding its base alongside her jaw. The cool metal on her flushed skin startled her, and Anna’s gaze jumped to his. The challenge in his eyes was unmistakable.

“Hold out your hand, Anna,” he said, as if they weren’t in the middle of a crowded bar, in front of everyone.

“That’s not necessary,” she said quickly. “I have other people’s cards—you can just use—just write on one of those.”

His gaze grew hotter, more intense. “That’s no good,” he said. “You might lose it.”

Anna hesitated, then something was triggered deep inside her, and she felt a dangerous flicker of pleasure. She knew that flicker, remembered it from somewhere, even as life and work and responsibility had taught her to keep it doused, out of commission. It had been a long time since she’d let that fire burn.

But now Jake Flynn was positioned in front of her with gasoline and a blowtorch.

Someone cleared his throat beside them, and a disgruntled voice rang out. “Excuse me, I’m Gary, and your friend Lacey—”

“Take off, Gary,” Jake said without turning around. His gaze held hers. “Anna?”

Anna held out her hand, and Jake held her arm steady, cradling it with his fingers. Sensation rocketed through her at the intimate touch, intensifying sharply as she felt the smooth slide of ink on her skin. He wrote slowly, sensually, the pen tracing wickedly silken lines on the hypersensitive skin on the inside of her wrist, all the way down until he reached her palm. By the time he was finished, Anna was amazed she was still conscious. Then he glanced at her.

“Think it’s dry? Or should I blow on it?”

PRE-ORDER YOUR COPY OF FAKE IT – Want more of the Rule Breakers? ROCK IT, the first book in the series, is on sale now!


[Author Photo] Jennifer Chance is the award-winning author of the New Adult series Rule Breakers. A lover of books, romance, and happily-ever-afters, she lives and writes in Ohio. Visit her website and find her on Twitter.

Connect with Jennifer Chance

Website | Facebook | Twitter

Connect with Loveswept

Website | Facebook | Twitter

The post Spotlight and Cover Reveal–Fake It by Jennifer Chance appeared first on Manga Maniac Cafe.

Add a Comment
42185. BTBA ... 2015 ?

       So, with the Best Translated Book Awards for books published in the US in 2013 behind us (see my previous mention) we can look ahead to this year's crop and the 2015 prize !
       My early guesses for the favorites for this year's prize weren't too bad -- of the four finalists I projected I picked the winner, another shortlisted title, and one that made the longlist (as to Where Tigers are at Home, I still don't understand what happened ...). I don't know that I can repeat that performance: so far, this year's batch looks decidedly weaker than the 2013 titles, and I don't feel nearly as (positively) strongly about many titles. A lot of the likely candidates also tend to be small and smaller books this year, with very few of the hefty titles we were considering for this year's prize; selecting from those seems more of a hit-and-miss exercise.
       So who are my early favorites this year ? There are a few obvious standouts, and I could see these five all making the shortlist (reviews of all these should be up in the next month or two):

  • The Light and the Dark by Mikhail Shishkin: I had this as a premature longlist contender last year, but the US publication date was pushed to 2014 so it's up for next year's prize; given what I've seen so far it's hard to see this failing to make the shortlist

  • The Symmetry Teacher by Andrei Bitov: my most-anticipated translation of the year, and the long overdue return of Bitov to English. And it has to do (sort of) with translation, too. I see this as a finalist.

  • Stealth by Sonallah Ibrahim: this came out a few years ago from much-missed Aflame in the UK, but they were already on the verge of collapse then and it never got the attention it deserved. Now New Directions have picked it up for publication in the US, and it looks like a strong contender.

  • The Man Who Loved Dogs by Leonardo Padura: a more ambitious work from Padura, who has been best-known for his mystery novels, I like the looks of this, and it's a neat story (Trotsky's assassin !); I think it stands a good chance.

  • With My Dog Eyes by Hilda Hilst: Hilst has been getting a lot of buzz, and this might be the break-out volume for her. One drawback: she's her own competition, as her Letters from a Seducer also has a 2014 publication date.
       As far as longlist contenders go, quite a few books look like the have a good chance to fill one of the twenty-five open spots. There are four I haven't seen or heard much about but which I think look like likely candidates:
  • Thirst by Mahmoud Dowlatabadi: I'm a big fan, and I'm pretty confident this one won't disappoint

  • A Man: Klaus Klump by Gonçalo M. Tavares: the first in his 'O Reino'-tetralogy, but the last to make it into English. I've been very impressed by the other three, so I figure this should be worthwhile.

  • Writers by Antoine Volodine: looks intriguing, and his books have usually gotten good attention from the BTBA judges, so this might be one to look out for.

  • The End of Days by Jenny Erpenbeck: another author (and translator and publisher) held in high regard by the BTBA judges, so chances seem pretty good for the new one.
       In addition, if Open Letter do publish Georgi Gospodinov's The Physics of Sorrow this year I would expect that to be a likely longlist candidate.

       Among the books I have seen or heard more about, I suspect these will at least be in the longlist-discussions:
  • Severina by Rodrigo Rey Rosa: The African Shore was a runner-up this year and I liked this one better, so I figure this more bookish tale stands a good chance

  • 1914 by Jean Echenoz: another slim title, but it punches considerably above its weight. And it's Echenoz.

  • The Good Life Elsewhere by Vladimir Lorchenkov: tinged with bleakness, but the rare comic novel that I could see making the longlist.

  • Karate Chop by Dorthe Nors: a hell of an impressive voice -- but a very thin (less than ninety-page) collection of stories. Is that substantial enough ?

  • Conversations by César Aira: Aira always catches the judges' eyes, so this one will at least be strongly considered.

  • Colorless Tsukuru Tazaki and His Years of Pilgrimage by Murakami Haruki: the biggest-name translation of the year ? It'll certainly at least get a closer look.
       Two works that will probably fall by the eligibility-wayside but otherwise would be longlist-contenders are:
  • Works by Edouard Levé
  • The Gray Notebook by Josep Pla
       Finally, there are a couple of notable books that have/will get decent attention but which I think (wishfully ?) might fall short of making the longlist:
  • My Struggle III by Karl Ove Knausgaard: I suspect this might be the one where Knausgaard-fatigue sets in; my guess is that his best chance comes in a couple of years, with the final volume (VI) -- if that's solid (and it sounds like it's a hell of a lot of fun) that should see him through to the shortlist and is his best shot to take the prize. But volumes three through five probably really need to stand out to get their due.

  • Talking to Ourselves by Andrés Neuman: yeah, this might just be me, but I just don't think this is good enough. I suspect we'll see a Neuman in the BTBA-prize-mix soon enough, but I hope it's a stronger work.

  • Viviane by Julia Deck: intriguing, but not strong enough, in my mind.
       Finally, in the continuing search for a genre title that can play with the big titles, I think Pascal Garnier (The Panda Theory, etc.) is the odds-on favorite; certainly the author-discovery of the year for me so far in 2014. The big issue there: which title (it looks like he'll have four eligible titles this year). The fall-back: The Mad and the Bad by Jean-Patrick Manchette.
       I'm sure I'm missing some notable, obvious titles, and I'm sure some other Archipelago and Seagull Books (among others) will figure strongly in the mix, but from this early vantage point this is how I see the race shaping up for now.
       As to my early favorite: in the absence of much of the competition, which I haven't seen/read yet, it's got to be: the Bitov.

       Impressively/entertainingly, there's already a BTBA 2015: Speculation-thread at The Mookse and the Gripes Forum -- check it out, and play along !

Add a Comment
42186. The Comparison Game: What will help you improve and what will drive you insane

A friend of mine was asking his runner friends what their favorite training tracker or log was. Apps, watches, etc. were all thrown out there. Personally I don’t use any of the online training upload apps or sites, not that I have anything against them, I just have a love/hate relationship and here’s why.

1) What are you comparing?

Now I’m OCD and I know that about myself. I abstained from buying a Garmin for so long because I can easily turn it into an ugly thing with knowing too many numbers. I know that about myself. But I also know the watch can be a great tool to use. So I bought it and learned how I can ‘safely and sanely’ use it. And yea, I flipping love it.
But I don’t upload stats and pour over the elevation charts, I don’t wear a heart rate monitor I go off of effort, I don’t want to feel like a scientist about my runs. But that’s just ME. Of course hard workout splits I do care much more about, but I don’t look at the splits on my easy days.

But some people LOVE all the stats…that’s cool beans, that’s why they make all those things! I just caution you to compare what matters and what can actually be destructive.

* Fast Hard Workout Splits Matter.
* Fast Easy Run Splits Work Against you.

Make sure you’re able to recover on your easy days so you can NAIL those hard days. Those are what count.

2) Competition for the sake of competition?

Lots of runners are Type-A, a bit OCD, and of course competitive. Now there are things to be competitive about: races, PR’s, etc…but then there are other things that are just dumb and destructive.

If you’re trying to do XXX amount of miles because you want to beat Joe Moe’s total miles at MilesTrackerMadness.com (just pulled that outta my head, not a real site??) then you could wind up injured or overtrained.

They don’t give PR’s or medals to people in training, what matters should be race day. If you’re feeling sucked into wanting to do more for the sake of just doing more stop and ask yourself this:

“What’s in the best interest of my long term running goals?”

Btw…who knows if Joe Moe is even being truthful?
running to win text
3) Motivation versus Pessimistic attitude

Most runners are motivated when they see incredible feats like Meb winning the Boston Marathon!! Hurrah!! But thinking on a more logical scale, seeing what people are doing who are closer to your fitness level, running pace, or age can be just as motivating. If you’ve run with someone and trained frequently with them, if you know you can keep pace with them in a workout and you see they raced XXX you should be feeling quite confident that you, yourself have the ability to race XXX.

The problem is when runners come down with the wrong perspective…namely a pessimistic one. “What the heck, Meb can run a whole marathon faster than I can run a half! Why am I even bothering?!” That’s really just an excuse your brain has for wanting to be lazy and not try at all. ;)

You will probably never beat Meb…yo, honesty policy. But you shouldn’t be comparing yourself to Meb unless you’re on ‘that level’. The motivation of elite runners should come in the way of:
* Running hurts for everyone. The test is pushing YOUR limits.
* Running is fun. If you’re not keeping it that way then that’s sad and find something you are passionate about.
* Compete agains yourself. PR’s are called PERSONAL Records. You set a new one and THAT is something to be proud as heck about.

Keep things in perspective and realize what you SHOULD be comparing your running to and what you shouldn’t. Use any App or community training forum as the positive it can be: a motivating space for people to stay on track and dedicated to their goals.

Emphasis on THEIR…ahem…YOUR GOALS. ;)

Add a Comment
42187. Meet Lane Donaldson from Kathie DeNosky’s Your Ranch or Mine?

Please give a warm welcome to Lane Donaldson from Kathie DeNosky’s latest release, Your Ranch…or Mine?

[Manga Maniac Cafe] Describe yourself in five words or less.

[Lane Donaldson] A professional poker playing, psychologist.

[Manga Maniac Cafe] Can you share a typical day in your life?

[Lane Donaldson] When I’m not sitting at a poker table in a high stakes tournament, you can usually find me on the back of my horse, Blue, herding  cattle or doing any number of other chores on the Lucky Ace Ranch.

[Manga Maniac Cafe] What three words come to mind when you think of Taylor?

[Lane Donaldson] Beautiful, stubborn, passionate.

[Manga Maniac Cafe] What irritates you the most about her?

[Lane Donaldson] Her stubbornness. When she makes her mind up about something, hell will freeze over before she changes it.

[Manga Maniac Cafe] If you could change one thing you’ve done in your life, what would it be?

[Lane Donaldson] I can’t think of anything I would change–not even the trouble I got into when I was in my early teens and ended up at the Last Chance Ranch. That’s where my life took a miraculous turn for the better and I met my foster brothers. I couldn’t think more of those five men if we had the same blood running through our veins.

[Manga Maniac Cafe] How do you relax after a hard day working on the ranch?

[Lane Donaldson] I usually read or watch television and on occasion meet one of my brothers at The Broken Spoke Roadhouse over in Beaver Dam for a drink and a few laughs.

[Manga Maniac Cafe] What’s one thing you won’t leave home without?

[Lane Donaldson] That’s a tough question. It would have to be my cell phone or a deck of cards. It’s essential for my brothers to be able to reach me. (Grinning.) And I never know when someone will want to pit their poker playing skills against mine. I wouldn’t want to disappoint them.

[Manga Maniac Cafe] Can you share your dreams for the future in five words or less.

[Lane Donaldson] Taylor and a family.

[Manga Maniac Cafe] Thank you!

About the book:

Know when to hold ‘em… 

One winning hand of poker and the Lucky Ace ranch was his—half his, at least. The only thing standing in the way of Lane Donaldson making it his permanent home is the ranch’s other owner.  

Taylor Scott sure is something fine to look at, but she’s adamant about running the ranch herself. And then she moves in—with him! So Lane challenges Taylor to another game of poker for the ultimate prize—winner takes all.  

But who’s to say they can’t have a little fun while they wait for fate to deal their hand….

The post Meet Lane Donaldson from Kathie DeNosky’s Your Ranch or Mine? appeared first on Manga Maniac Cafe.

Add a Comment
42188. NEW WORK - gabriela larios

Designer Gabriela Larios wanted to showcases some of her latests projects, publications and licensing partnerships with international fabric, homeware and accessories companies. Gabriela has been busy developing a collection of unique originally hand painted silk scarves, textiles for children’s rooms and collaged hand decorated ceramic pieces (below) which will be officially launched at the 

0 Comments on NEW WORK - gabriela larios as of 4/30/2014 4:21:00 AM
Add a Comment
42189. Spotlight and Giveaway–Laugh by Mary Ann Rivers

Laugh: The Burnside Series by Mary Ann Rivers

May 6th, 2014


Mary Ann Rivers continues her Burnside family series—perfect for readers of Kristan Higgins, Jill Shalvis, and Ruthie Knox—as two people try to share their hearts without losing their cool.

Dr. Sam Burnside is convinced that volunteering at an urban green-space farm in Lakefield, Ohio, is a waste of time—especially with his new health clinic about to open. He only goes to mollify his partner, suspecting she wants him to lighten up. Then Sam catches sight of Nina Paz, a woman who gives off more heat than a scorcher in July. Her easy smile and flirty, sizzling wit has him forgetting his infamous need for control.

Widowed when her husband was killed in Afghanistan, Nina has learned that life exists to take chances. As the daughter of migrant workers turned organic farmers, she’s built an exciting and successful business by valuing new opportunities and working hard to take care of her own. But when Sam pushes for a relationship that goes beyond their hotter-than-fire escapades, Nina ignores her own hard-won wisdom. She isn’t ready for a man who needs saving—even if her heart compels her to take the greatest risk of all: love.


Excerpt from Chapter One of LAUGH by Mary Ann Rivers

She stepped forward and stuck out her hand, streaked with dirt. “Nina Paz.”

He took her hand, surprising himself by not caring about the dirt. “Sam Burnside.”

“I know.” She didn’t let go of his hand, which suited him. “Lacey told me she was sending me an uptight ginger doctor and not to go easy on you.”

He squeezed her hand and tugged it two millimeters toward him, which was proof of his showing just a little restraint, for once.

She was pretty close now, and there were little beads of sweat along her upper lip.

She was pretty close and she was also pretty. It felt like the two of them were caught in slow, thick seconds, the air actually green and live, something growing.

He felt good, on the verge of laughter and a little helpless.

He didn’t really know Nina Paz, he reminded himself. He didn’t know her, and if her eyes seemed knowing, he didn’t have to keep holding her hand and looking her over, just to find out what she knew.

He just wanted to do a good job, here, and go home. Charge his phone. Check in with Lacey, his brother and sisters. Do his laundry.

He could feel the sweat slide down his own spine, under the waistband of his shorts. Looking right into her shiny eyes, the lashes winged and dark, he had a flash of slick bodies bent over convenient sawhorses, muscles moving along his.

He gripped her hand tighter.

She pressed her thumb, just a little into his hand, to tell him she noticed.

What did she notice?

He lowered his eyes from hers, shy, suddenly, of her seeing either his crass or tender thoughts.

“I’m surprised she gave me such a glowing recommendation, actually.”

“She also said you were bossy, rude, a control freak, would probably bring the wrong thing and to not let you come back to the office today or borrow my phone. Then she promised to take me out to that new barrel bar downtown and buy me a twenty-dollar Scotch.”

“I would’ve held out for bottle service.”

“The day’s young, Dr. Burnside.”

“I look forward to it, Farmer Paz.” He was surprised to realize that he was: looking forward it. Her eyes had softened at the corners. Her skin was golden and flushed. Her hair was dark and curled up in the sweat all along her forehead and cheeks.

“You have freckles, too,” he heard himself say, helpless again. They were the smallest nevi across the bridge of her nose, just a shade deeper than her skin.


“Yeah.” He smiled, feeling something give way in his shoulders, his neck. Warmth filled in where all the tight places unsnapped.

He loosened his grip to turn her hand into a different kind of hold. To search out her wrist, her arm, with his fingers. Her eyelids drifted, just a little bit, and he watched his fingertips start a first stroke along her inner wrist with his thumb.

Then he suddenly lost her gaze to the ground, and she stepped back, pulling her hand with her.

He watched her look over into her plants, and he fisted his hands to keep from fidgeting, from finding something to worry on his clothes, from patting his pocket for his phone.

She looked back at him.

“You ready to work? How’s your back? Or are those shoulders just for show?”

He studied her face, and it was serene. But there was color, up high, under those big brown eyes, and he didn’t think it was from the sun.

“I’m sorry,” he said.

“No you’re not.” She grinned, but with no laugher behind the grin.

“No.” He wasn’t sorry. Being sorry didn’t work.

“Don’t ever say you are, if you aren’t.”

“It seems like the thing to do, when I’m a jackass. What people need to hear.”

“You should have it printed on a card.”

“Maybe I should. One of my sisters works at a letterpress. I could get a deal.”

“If I was your sister, I’d charge you double for I’m Sorry cards.”

He laughed, and Nina Paz smirked at him—dirt on her forehead, sweat in a V between her beautiful breasts, the sun glossed in her braids. “You’re right, she should. Her, most of all.”

She looked down at the ground again. But he could see her smile. “You ever picked tomatoes before, Opie?”

“Nope. City boy, through and through.”

“Grab a crate and one of those bales of straw. Watch and learn.”

He kicked his flowers to the side and followed her to the stack of crates, enjoying the view of her Thoroughbred legs bending and lifting and crouching.

A fine way to spend the morning—sun at your back and by the side of a beautiful woman who really knew how to laugh.

He closed his eyes.

Thought, Nina.

Buy Links

Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00GL3RLXY?ie=UTF8&tag=randohouseinc-20&linkCode=xm2&camp=1789&creativeASIN=B00GL3RLXY

B&N: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/laugh-mary-ann-rivers/1117366887?ean=9780804178228

iTunes: https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/laugh-the-burnside-series/id770285885?mt=11

Author Info

Mary Ann Rivers was an English and music major and went on to earn her MFA in creative writing, publishing poetry in journals and leading creative-writing workshops for at-risk youth. While training for her day job as a nurse practitioner, she rediscovered romance on the bedside tables of her favorite patients. Now she writes smart and emotional contemporary romance, imagining stories featuring the heroes and heroines just ahead of her in the coffee line. Mary Ann Rivers lives in the Midwest with her handsome professor husband and their imaginative school-aged son.

Connect with Mary Ann Rivers: Facebook | Twitter | Website

Link to Follow Tour: http://tastybooktours.blogspot.com/2014/02/now-booking-tasty-virtual-tour-for_12.html

Rafflecopter Giveaway ($25.00 E-giftcard to Book Retailer of Choice, Loveswept Mug and Tote Gift Pack, or Copy of THE STORY GUY and LIVE from Mary Ann Rivers)

a Rafflecopter giveaway

The post Spotlight and Giveaway–Laugh by Mary Ann Rivers appeared first on Manga Maniac Cafe.

Add a Comment
42190. NEW COLLECTION - munch

Sarah at Munch has created a new range of wooden wall art plates and tiles. The designs are divided into five categories covering everything from animals and insects, to vegetables, pebbles and birds. Each piece is individually hand painted and numbered and cost around £15 to £18 each. Here are some of my favourites but there are lots more to see online here at Munch.

0 Comments on NEW COLLECTION - munch as of 4/30/2014 4:21:00 AM
Add a Comment
42191. Our Wonderful World.30

Details of my Poetry Month Project can be found here.
30. People

Carol Wilcox at the Denver Botanic Gardens

Kevin Hodgson

Our Wonderful World

are absolute and true.

But none of it would matter much
without the likes of you.

©Mary Lee Hahn, 2014

WHEW! We made it! A month of wandering the world, wondering about wonders, and writing poetry. 

Awards for collaboration, commitment, camaraderie and creativity go to Carol Wilcox and Kevin Hodgson. We stayed together through thick and thin, through narrative and haiku, through rhyme and free verse. Thank you, thank you, thank you for coming on this journey with me! 

There are wonders to be found everywhere we look in our world. The ordinary variety can be found close to home. Scattered throughout the world are ancient, modern, engineering, and natural wonders amazing enough to make "The Lists." 

But none of the wonders experienced on their own are nearly as wonderful as they are when you can ooh and ahh with a fellow wonderer. It's this realization I tried to capture in my Hallmarkian poem today.

Thank you Carol and Kevin for writing with me EVERY single day (and also to Carol V., Catherine, Collette, Margaret, and Jone for joining in occasionally).

Kevin has a sound poem, "The Wonder of People," with which to end our month.

Happy National Poetry Month 2014!

0 Comments on Our Wonderful World.30 as of 4/30/2014 7:51:00 AM
Add a Comment
42192. Would You Read It #131 - You're A Pest, Betsy Thumbslurp! (Early Ch.)

For all the links to the fantastic entries in the Illustration Contest, please go HERE!  Really!  Please go!

So here's the thing.

As you well know, if you spend any time at all around this blog, I am prone to the occasional hare-brained scheme.

Sometimes these schemes get planned a bit in advance.  Other times they are done completely on the fly.  And still other times I THINK they're planned and then I realize I've omitted a petite detail.

My current hare-brained scheme is the First Ever Pretty Much World Famous Illustration Contest and it falls into category #3:  I THOUGHT it was planned, but oops! there was that darned detail! - the detail being that WYRI is scheduled so far in advance that I already had people lined up through June when I thought up this particular harebrained scheme, so we're having to take a little break from the contest today.

Therefore, even though we will all be intently focused on Janet's pitch today, I want to make sure everyone keeps visiting the fabulously talented illustrators and encouraging all their friends and relations to do so as well even though that post is no longer at the top of the blog, okay?!!  Because they worked so hard, and did such an amazing job, and everyone should go admire their talent and creativity!

And now you may have Something Chocolate!!!  (That is not bribery, it's just good sense.)

Recipe HERE at Rock Recipes

Today's pitch comes to us from Janet who says, "Hi. My name is Janet Pamela Noble. I’m 49 years young, have 1 husband (so far), 2 cats, 3 children and have spent the last 20 or so years promoting a love of books and reading as a children’s librarian. When I’m not blogging about my favourite children’s books I love to write my own."

Contact me at:
Twitter: @jampamnoble
Here is her pitch:

Working Title: You're A Pest, Betsy Thumbslurp!
Age/Genre: Early Chapter Book (ages 6-8)
The Pitch: Poor Coco. Her comfy world of cuddles and cake (all shapes, all sizes but preferably pink!) is turned upside down by the arrival of her thumb sucking, slurping, burping, pooing, shrieking, pampered baby sister, Betsy...

So what do you think?  Would You Read It?  YES, MAYBE or NO?

If your answer is YES, please feel free to tell us what you particularly liked and why the pitch piqued your interest.  If your answer is MAYBE or NO, please feel free to tell us what you think could be better in the spirit of helping Janet improve her pitch.  Helpful examples of possible alternate wordings are welcome.  (However, I must ask that comments be constructive and respectful.  I reserve the right not to publish comments that are mean because that is not what this is about.)

Please send YOUR pitches for the coming weeks!  For rules and where to submit, click on this link Would You Read It or on the Would You Read It tab in the bar above.  There are openings in August so you've got a little time to polish up your pitches and send yours for your chance to be read by editor Erin Molta!

Janet is looking forward to your thoughts on her pitch!  I am looking forward to telling you all who the finalists for the illustration contest are tomorrow!  I can't wait to spill the beans :)  And then you all will have the chance to vote for you favorite and we'll see who wins!  So exciting!!!

Have a wonderful Wednesday, everyone!

0 Comments on Would You Read It #131 - You're A Pest, Betsy Thumbslurp! (Early Ch.) as of 4/30/2014 3:33:00 AM
Add a Comment
42193. Miss Emily, by Burleigh Mutén, illustrated by Matt Phelan, 134 pp, RL 3

<!-- START INTERCHANGE - MISS EMILY -->if(!window.igic__){window.igic__={};var d=document;var s=d.createElement("script");s.src="http://iangilman.com/interchange/js/widget.js";d.body.appendChild(s);} <!-- END INTERCHANGE --> Burleigh Mutén, children's book author, member of the Emily Dickinson International Society and volunteer at the Dickinson Homestead, seems perfectly poised to bring

0 Comments on Miss Emily, by Burleigh Mutén, illustrated by Matt Phelan, 134 pp, RL 3 as of 4/30/2014 6:07:00 AM
Add a Comment
42194. The Wild Bunch

0 Comments on The Wild Bunch as of 4/30/2014 7:07:00 AM
Add a Comment
42195. STATIONERY - sparrow + wolf

Cherie Nute, owner and designer of sparrow + wolf creates stationery and soft

0 Comments on STATIONERY - sparrow + wolf as of 4/30/2014 4:21:00 AM
Add a Comment
42196. Why everyone does better when employees have a say in the workplace

By William Lazonick and Tony Huzzard

In manufacturing plants all over the world, both managers and workers have discovered that when employees are involved in workplace decision-making, productivity rises. So in the United States, it made national news when on 14 February 2014 workers at the Volkswagen auto plant in Chattanooga, Tennessee rejected representation by the United Automobile Workers by a vote 712 to 626.

Unfortunately, the Chattanooga workers said no to just the type of employee involvement in productivity improvement that will be necessary to sustain their jobs going forward. To compete on the world stage, a strong employee voice in the workplace matters.

The UAW’s Chattanooga campaign would have made Volkswagen the very first foreign car company to a have a unionized plant in the United States. More importantly, a victory for the UAW was a precondition for the creation of a works council at the Chattanooga plant — a form of worker-management plant-level collaboration for improving manufacturing productivity that is a fixture of German industrial relations, but virtually unknown in the United States. Through information-sharing and problem-solving, the managers and employees on a works council improve product quality, speed up production processes, and reduce materials waste. It’s a win-win.

If American workers want to ensure the competitiveness of their manufacturing jobs, they should jump at the chance of instituting this type of forward-looking arrangement, one that enables their voice to influence the productivity of the work that they do. A large body of evidence shows that the involvement of workers in enhancing productivity increases both the earnings of workers and the competitiveness of the products that they produce. There is fresh evidence of the importance of worker involvement in the productivity improvements that contribute to making their own jobs, and the companies for which they work, competitive on a global scale.

welding robots car manufacturing

In-depth case studies of automotive supply companies in Germany, Sweden, and the United States — comparing governance regimes and work organization at the plant level — have shown that the automotive supply industry requires creativity and learning from its workers to generate products that are competitive in terms of both quality and cost. The ability and incentive of workers to use their insights and intelligence to contribute to productivity improvements depends on the organization of work at the plant level. High-performance workplaces, characterized by “high road” jobs in which productivity improvements and pay increases go hand in hand, are critical to sustained competitive advantage.

Our research reveals the important role of employee voice mechanisms in high-road work designs, not just in German and Swedish automotive suppliers where worker involvement is formally recognized, but also in supplier firms in the United States where productivity is generally viewed as solely management’s concern. Employee representation in strategic decision-making substitutes a stakeholder approach for the one-sided emphasis on “maximizing shareholder value”—a flawed ideology embraced by business schools over the past 25 years in which all that matters is the company’ stock price. Our research confirms, and helps to explain, a larger body of industrial experience that shows that compromises between the financial interests of shareholders and the productive interests of employees have had considerable success in continental Europe. To succeed in global competition, the US automobile industry needs more, not less, employee voice.

Different nations favor different forms of employee voice. German firms have works councils at the plant level, and in companies with 2,000 or more employees, under the system known as co-determination, equal representation of workers and shareholders on the board of directors, plus one neutral seat. Whether at the plant level or the board level, change requires workers’ input and consent.

In Sweden, union representatives have the more prominent role. Since 1976, Swedish companies have been regulated by an act of parliament, the Co-determination Act, stipulating that company management must consult unions prior to taking decisions on major changes such as corporate reorganization, new work conditions, or the introduction of new technology. Although this requirement ultimately does not displace managerial prerogative, it does give time for unions to investigate the matters being decided and consult with members at central and plant levels prior to decisions being made. In practice, the co-determination regulations are codified in collective agreements across the companies concerned. Not only do these arrangements for employee voice allow for better road-tested decisions in firms; they also confer greater legitimacy on the management of change. For this reason, initial employer opposition to this form of employee voice has now given way to broad acceptance.

In the United States, in publicly listed companies, the ideology of maximizing shareholder value reigns supreme, even though, it is an ideology that enables top executives and corporate raiders to extract value from companies at the expense of value creation. Nevertheless, one of the US companies that we studied had a 100 percent Employee Owned Stock Plan (ESOP) in which the scope for self-dealing by top executives is much more constrained. And in two publicly listed US companies, plant managers had instituted programs for tapping workers’ knowledge, with UAW members involved in one of the cases. Indeed, the workers at the unionized plant had only recently elected to have the UAW represent them because of the protection that it afforded against their jobs being shipped overseas.

The UAW has been seeking to become more proactive in questions of labor’s voice in productivity improvement. UAW president Bob King assumed his position four years ago, coming off his work as UAW vice-president in structuring wage concessions to Ford Motor Company that helped to keep it solvent in the 2008-2010 automotive industry crisis, while General Motors and Chrysler went bankrupt and had to be bailed out by taxpayers. But as King made the cost-cutting bargains at Ford, he also placed worker-management productivity agreements on the agenda as a sustainable way to keep automobile plants competitive in the United States.

UAW rules hold that King, now age 67, cannot run for re-election as UAW president at the end of his term in June of this year. But the “high road” drive to improve the productivity of manufacturing jobs rather than pursue the “low-road” alternative of cutting workers’ wages needs to transcend his presidency. The evidence shows that to sustain high-road jobs while maintaining workers’ standards of living in advanced economies such as Germany, Sweden and the United States, workers’ voice in improving competitiveness needs to extend beyond the plant level to include restraints on corporate financial policies that enable rapacious company executives and Wall Street predators to appropriate corporate cash while leaving workers with low pay or out of work.

German-style works councils are by no means a complete solution to the problem of generating competitive products in high-wage nations. As a foundation for engaging workers in the process of productivity improvement, however, the “high road” alternative presented by the VW Chattanooga union election was a choice that American workers should have embraced.

A version of this article originally appeared on Alternet.

William Lazonick is professor of economics and director of the UMass Center for Industrial Competitiveness. He cofounded and is president of the Academic-Industry Research Network. His book, Sustainable Prosperity in the New Economy? Business Organization and High-Tech Employment in the United States (Upjohn Institute, 2009) won the 2010 Schumpeter Prize. Tony Huzzard is professor of organization studies at the Department of Business Administration, Lund University School of Economics and Management. Inge Lippert, Tony Huzzard, Ulrich Jürgens, and William Lazonick are the authors of Corporate Governance, Employee Voice, and Work Organization: Sustaining High-Road Jobs in the Automotive Supply Industry.

Subscribe to the OUPblog via email or RSS.
Subscribe to only business and economics articles on the OUPblog via email or RSS.
Image credit: welding robots in a car manufactory. © RainerPlendl via iStockphoto.

The post Why everyone does better when employees have a say in the workplace appeared first on OUPblog.

0 Comments on Why everyone does better when employees have a say in the workplace as of 4/30/2014 5:41:00 AM
Add a Comment
42197. Is It Important Who You Know?

helping handI’m blogging at Books & Such today. Here’s a preview:

Earlier this month at PubSmart, I co-taught a workshop on “setting yourself up for success” at the conference. I offered the idea that the participants’ most important connections would be with their fellow writers, not the agents, editors, or other professionals.

Other writers are your fellow pilgrims on the writing-and-publishing journey—the ones who can still be there for you five or ten years into your writing career. It’s impossible to overstate the importance of building genuine relationships with writers who are in a similar place as you on the writing path.

We in the publishing world spend a lot of time talking about things like:

• The best thing you can do for your platform is write a great book.

• Publishing isn’t about who you know, but what you write.

For the most part, these are true statements. Nevertheless, networking with other authors can be tremendously valuable.

CLICK HERE to read the complete post at Books & Such.


The post Is It Important Who You Know? appeared first on Rachelle Gardner.

0 Comments on Is It Important Who You Know? as of 1/1/1900
Add a Comment
42198. Announcing a New Challenge: Re-Potterfy Harry Potter!

HarryPotterGerman Announcing a New Challenge: Re Potterfy Harry Potter!

I’m just including the German Harry Potter cover here to show that he’s an easy guy to change, depending on your mood.

Well folks, we do this about once a year and so far it’s been nothing but delightful.  Now we ratchet it up a notch.  It’s a fan art challenge and one I hope you’ll enjoy.

As you may recall, in the past I’ve offered two odd little projects.  First there was the Re-Seussify Seuss Challenge.  The rules were simple.  Take a scene from a Dr. Seuss book and re-illustrate it in the style of a different artist.

The next year I went in a different direction.  Re-Sendakify Sendak did the same thing but this time with the wide oeuvre of Sendak.

This year, I want to expand a little.  Someone (and I apologize as I believe I’ve lost your email) had suggested to me a project where folks redid Mary Grand Pre’s Harry Potter art.  I like the idea but the interior art isn’t quite as iconic as the covers.  Plus with the release of the new covers by Kazu Kibuishi it’s not as though they haven’t been redone in some form.

No, I think the best thing for this challenge is for artists to re-interpret any scene from any Harry Potter book in the style of a children’s author.  Perhaps you’ll have Tomi Ungerer’s Crictor try to devour Harry.  Perhaps Bob Shea’s Unicorn from Unicorn Thinks He’s Pretty Great will meet an ill-end in the Forbidden Forest.  The possibilities are almost TOO vast!  I look forward to what you come up with.

As I’m due to give birth at some point here I’m going to give you two months with this one.  So please submit your pieces to me at Fusenumber8@gmail.com by June 30th at the latest.  And hey, if you want to do what Bernie Mount, a librarian at the St. Rita Catholic School, did with his 7th graders last time (assigned this as a project and sent me the truly fabulous results the kids came up with) feel free!  Best of all, have fun with it.

share save 171 16 Announcing a New Challenge: Re Potterfy Harry Potter!

2 Comments on Announcing a New Challenge: Re-Potterfy Harry Potter!, last added: 5/1/2014
Display Comments Add a Comment
42199. Port Harcourt takes over as World Book Capital

       Port Harcourt has taken over as World Book Capital for the next year; see the official site.
       Good to see the bookish attention there, and looks like things have gotten off to a decent start; see, for example, Chris Onuoha on Reverberating tales from Port Harcourt, World Book Capital 2014 in Vanguard.

Add a Comment
42200. Feliz Día del Niño/ Happy Children's Day

Celebrate El día de los niños / El día de los libros
with 8 diverse live author + illustrator readings

To sign out visit

April 30th Lineup

*  * *


Review by Ariadna Sánchez

¡Estas son las mañanitas

Que cantaba el Rey David

a todas las niñas y niños

Aquí en La Bloga te

Celebramos a ti!

In Many Latin American countries, but specifically Mexico, people celebrate El Día del Niño on April 30th (The day of the Child). Fun activities are held to honor the youngest members of the Mexican society since early morning until the moon appears with her bright light over the starry sky.

Children around the world deserve the very best education, opportunities, and services in order to develop their full potential. By linking books to El Día del Niño celebration, the children of México and other parts of the world are engaged with literacy while having fun.

Book Fiesta! is a bilingual picture book written by award-winning author Pat Mora and majestically illustrated by Rafael López. Pat Mora’s exquisite text invites families to read books and enjoy its benefits while riding aboard a train, floating in a hot-air balloon or sailing with a whale. Reading is a magical journey towards success! Mora is the founder of the family literacy initiative El día de los niños/ El día de los libros; Children’s Day/ Book Day, now housed by the American Library Association (ALA).

Book Fiesta! brings families together to embrace friendship, culture and literature. Reading one book at a time creates a strong community of readers.

¡Felicidades Niñas y Niños!

0 Comments on Feliz Día del Niño/ Happy Children's Day as of 4/30/2014 2:51:00 AM
Add a Comment

View Next 25 Posts