Saturday, May 19, 2007

New Book Section

Today is the day that the Chicago Tribune debuts their new book review section. There's been plenty of hand wringing and angst over the decline in the newspaper book department, but the Chicago Tribune's new version is much longer than their old Sunday review insert.

Not a lot has changed. They continue to list the Publishers Weekly best sellers, and there's still the top five sellers from a local bookstore, to show what Chicagoans are reading. And it doesn't match up completely with the Publishers Weekly version, either. Nice to see a flash of independence.

An interview with author Walter Mosley continues the tradition of a brief Q and A. Seems the man's gone and written a book on how to write a novel. There's something to watch for on the shelves of the book dealer's fine emporium.

Turn the pages, and there are book reviews. A lot of book reviews, full page reviews, and right there on page 5 is Tony Romano's debut novel. He's a teacher at Fremd High School in suburban Palatine, and look at that picture. He's not a twenty-something man-scaped specimen at all. Sure there's hope for us all, those who don't hail from New York and know their way around the island of Manhattan and don't have a wrinkle or a grey hair.

As promised, the Chicago Tribune is taking a look at books from local authors, home grown literary gems that may not get noticed on the coast. Isn't that what the town paper should do? It's not all about shopping at Bloomingdale's and affording to live in the trendiest part of town without losing one's soul. There are stories that are set in the Midwest, good stories that are worth the time to read, and the Tribune means to highlight some of them.

The debut edition of the Saturday book section is a winner. More reviews, with the same features that were part of the old Sunday version, make for a lovely part of the Saturday paper. Pity that more people don't buy the paper on Saturday. They'll be missing out on some news that's very much fit to print. Ah well, there's always the Internet.