This is a follow-up to my earlier review of Rebecca West‘s immense travel book about the former Yugoslavia, “Black Lamb and Grey Falcon,” which I left out for space reasons. The book is notoriously long, and as it happens, Rebecca West also included a lengthy aside on book size and portability that stands as a [...]

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As the year draws to a close, critics honor best-seller Ann Patchett, newcomer Téa Obreht, and the late David Foster Wallace Téa Obreht's debut novel, "The Tiger's Wife," is among the year's best, and follows a young doctor as she delivers medicine to orphans, while also dealing with the news of her grandfather's death. Photo: www.barnesandnoble.com SEE ALL 10 PHOTOS 1. The Tiger's Wife (Random House, $15) Téa Obreht's debut novel is "unusual in content, wise beyond its author's years, and completely engrossing," said Maya Muir in the Portland Oregonian. Set in an unspecified Balkan country in the aftermath

Book publishers are keeping their fingers crossed that 2005 will be the year the industry shakes off the period of stagnation that has coincided with the U.S. economic downturn. The domestic market continued to remain essentially flat in 2004, but industry insiders are hopeful that the market will soon show growth. The shift toward more flexible production schedules, and resurgence in educational and reference titles will likely be the engines that drive any industry upswing. Another trend in 2005 will be publishers aiming to enhance profitability by leveraging the cost benefits of digital printing and international sourcing. Setting the Stage for Growth

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