Archive for October, 2008

Thursday Evening Book Reviews

Thursday, October 30th, 2008

Here’s a closer look at this year’s Booker Prize winner, THE WHITE TIGER, by Aravind Adiga.

Could be just what we need; could be a disaster – DUMBOCRACY: ADVENTURES WITH THE LOONEY LEFT, THE RABID RIGHT, AND OTHER AMERICAN IDIOTS, by Marty Beckerman.  The Voyager out of The University of West Florida liked it, at any rate.

The Muncie, Indiana Star Press made its review page into a time machine and dissected Jane Austen’s, SENSE AND SENSIBILITY, for their readers.

Some people don’t futz around with cryptic titles.  Sports Illustrated is, collectively, one of those somebodies. THE COLLEGE FOOTBALL BOOK ought to make its slot on your holiday shopping list fairly obvious.

Afternoon Viewing: Mayakovsky

Thursday, October 30th, 2008

From the YouTube description:

As a poet, Vladimir Mayakovsky changed the context of Russian and Soviet literature both before and after the revolution. His controversial suicide to this day is a subject of debate. This is an extract from a larger documentary by Copernicus Films and the Director, Michael Craig, about Mayakovsky and part of a series of six films about the Russian avant-garde and futurism. More details can be found on

Thursday Morning LitLinks

Thursday, October 30th, 2008

Literary Halloween costumes catch on.

A blast from the past, courtesy of Saul Bellow.

No longer content to crank out three novels a day, Danielle Steel turns to blogging.

Socialite sisters spar over allegations of chicklit theft.

Love hurts: Huffington Post writer stabs lover 222 times with a screwdriver.

Gawker takes Toni Morrison’s side in her literary feud with John Updike.

Midnight Poetry: “Baby Lazarus”

Wednesday, October 29th, 2008
Baby Lazarus
(Jackie Kay)
When I got home
I went out into the garden
Liking it when the frost bit
My old brown boots
And dug a hole the size of a baby
And buried the clothes
I’d bought anyway, just in case.

A week later I stood at my window
And saw the ground move
And swell the promise of a crop;
That’s when she started crying.

I gave her a service then
Sang Ye Banks And Braes
Planted a bush of roses
Read from the Bible, the book of Job
Cursed myself digging a pit for my baby
Sprinkling ash from the grate.

Late that same night
She came in by the window
My baby Lazarus
And suckled at my breast.

(Read more of Jackie Kay’s poetry here)

Editor’s note: ‘Midnight Poetry’ is a showcase for work by poets across the spectrum—from the pantheon of literary giants to contemporary, underground and new voices.

If you would like to submit your work for consideration, please see our Submission Guidelines.

Wednesday Quote of the Night

Wednesday, October 29th, 2008

“I want to write books that unlock the traffic jam in everybody’s head.”

- John Updike



Wednesday Evening Book Reviews

Wednesday, October 29th, 2008

Dave Wood in Hastings, Minnesota has been reading a lot lately.  Check it out.

Monsters & Critics features a how-to: WRAPPED IN CROCHET: SCARVES, WRAPS & SHAWLS.

Business.  Economics.  Things with numbers, fiddly theoretical constructs, and bank balance implications.  You might be interested – COMPETITION DEMYSTIFIED.

Did you know Prince wrote a book?  Neither did I.  CNN reviews 21 NIGHTS by that guy who was a squiggly in between times he was Prince.

Afternoon Viewing: Philip Larkin

Wednesday, October 29th, 2008

The poet reads “Toads”:

Wednesday Morning LitLinks

Wednesday, October 29th, 2008

A deletion today may rob the world of a treasure tomorrow.

Students raise cash by dressing up as their favorite literary characters.

The Washington Post presents a Halloween literary “Tour of Terror”.

When Leonard Cohen and Phil Spector crossed paths

MacWorld catches NaNoWriMo fever.

Tuesday Evening Book Reviews

Tuesday, October 28th, 2008

The Internation Herald Tribune likes Otto Cappellani’s new novel, SICILIAN TRAGEDEE. startled me a bit as a site-title, but then there’s this: CRITICAL CONDITIONS: THE ESSENTIAL HOSPITAL GUIDE TO GET YOUR LOVED ONE OUT ALIVE.

Oh boy, if this book didn’t sound so engaging, I’d really have something to say about this title – ALEX & ME: HOW A SCIENTIST AND A PARROT UNCOVERED A HIDDEN WORLD OF ANIMAL INTELLIGENCE AND FORMED A DEEP BOND IN THE PROCESS.

Gregory Maguire swivels Oz to a new vantage point and gives us, A LION AMONG MEN.

Afternoon Viewing: Somaly Mam

Tuesday, October 28th, 2008 interviews Cambodian author and human rights activist Somaly Mam:

New York Prosecutor’s Book Launched

Tuesday, October 28th, 2008

Just an update on an article posted back in September here at AuthorScoop – New York District Attorney, Jill Starishevsky’s book has launched after an uphill battle to speak clearly and plainly on child abuse.  You can read more about it and order directly from the book’s launch site,

Thanks to our friend, Kim Michele Richardson, over at Writer in Waiting for the heads up.

The Orwell Diaries – Day 60

Tuesday, October 28th, 2008

Note: Each day that one was written, The Orwell Prize will be posting an entry from Orwell’s Diaries on the 70th anniversary of its composition. You can read the AuthorScoop preview here.


Today’s entry:

October 28, 1938:

One egg. Many black beetles squashed in the road. Inside they are brilliant vermillion. Men ploughing with teams of oxen after the rain. Wretched ploughs, with no wheel, which only stir the soil.

Read all entries.

Tuesday Morning Litinks

Tuesday, October 28th, 2008

NYT Book Review presents a post-mortem on the cottage industry of anti-Bush books.

Dylan Thomas’s refurbished childhood Swansea home opened to the public on what would have been his 94th birthday.

The Gawker looks at how fiction has fared in finding solutions to economic crises.

Bloomberg book put on hold indefinitely as he plots his lifetime reign over Gotham.

R.I.P. Es’kia Mphahlele

Midnight Poetry: “The Place of the Damned”

Monday, October 27th, 2008
The Place of the Damned
(Jonathan Swift, 1731)
All folks who pretend to religion and grace,
Allow there’s a HELL, but dispute of the place:
But, if HELL may by logical rules be defined
The place of the damned -I’ll tell you my mind.
Wherever the damned do chiefly abound,
Most certainly there is HELL to be found:
Damned poets, damned critics, damned blockheads, damned knaves,
Damned senators bribed, damned prostitute slaves;
Damned lawyers and judges, damned lords and damned squires;
Damned spies and informers, damned friends and damned liars;
Damned villains, corrupted in every station;
Damned time-serving priests all over the nation;
And into the bargain I’ll readily give you
Damned ignorant prelates, and counsellors privy.
Then let us no longer by parsons be flammed,
For we know by these marks the place of the damned:
And HELL to be sure is at Paris or Rome.
How happy for us that it is not at home!

(Read more of Jonathan Swift’s poetry here)

Editor’s note: ‘Midnight Poetry’ is a showcase for work by poets across the spectrum—from the pantheon of literary giants to contemporary, underground and new voices.

If you would like to submit your work for consideration, please see our Submission Guidelines.

Monday Quote of the Night

Monday, October 27th, 2008

“Every writer I know has trouble writing.

- Joseph Heller



Monday Evening Book Reviews

Monday, October 27th, 2008

Novelist James Swain takes on pedophiliacs in chat rooms, child abduction, and drug dealers in THE NIGHT STALKER and The Wall Street Journal says he handles it with the grit it calls for.

Can’t we all just get along?  Maybe, but it’s gonna take some reading.  Here’s one for the stack – MODERN JEWS ENGAGE THE NEW TESTAMENT: ENHANCING JEWISH WELL-BEING IN A CHRISTIAN ENVIRONMENT.

Molly Farmer novelizes a true account of a family rattled by a husband’s pornography compulsion in TORN APART and The Mormon Times endorses her efforts.

And The Christian Science Monitor mines the archives for a review of John Updike’s THE WITCHES OF EASTIWICK.

Afternoon Viewing: Swann Galleries and The Lost Generation Part 2

Monday, October 27th, 2008

Part 1 here.

The Orwell Diaries – Days 53 – 59

Monday, October 27th, 2008

Note: Each day that one was written, The Orwell Prize will be posting an entry from Orwell’s Diaries on the 70th anniversary of its composition. You can read the AuthorScoop preview here.


Excerpts from the past 7 days’ entries:

October 27, 1938:

Large numbers of black beetles, about 1” long, crawling everywhere, evidently brought out by the rain. Have sowed sunflowers, sweet peas & marigolds. The other seeds not up yet, as it has been much cooler (we are having fires every evening.) The ground here is lumpy & unpleasant to work, but at present not many weeds – more when this rain has taken effect, perhaps.

October 25, 1938:

Much cooler. Yesterday overcast & cool all day, with occasional sharp showers. Violent wind & storms of rain in the night. Fire last night & this morning, not absolutely necessary but acceptable.

October 23, 1938:

Soil here is extremely deep, at least 4’ without any change of substance. Rather light & reddish, though it dries into a kind of brick, & said to need a lot of manure.

October 21, 1938:

Still very hot. Last night unbearably so till quite late at night.

October 20, 1938:

The charcoal braziers generally used here are quite satisfactory for cooking. They are generally about 1’ across by 8” deep & either have very many holes in sides or a double bottom with holes in the top one. The charcoal can be started with very little paper & wood & smoulders for hours. A few strokes with the bellows gets it into a fierce heat. A small tin oven is placed on top & bakes fairly satisfactorily.

October 18, 1938:

Saw a lizard this morning, walking up the window pane. About 4” long, rather stumpy, resembling an alligator, prickly tail. The first lizard seen in Morocco.

October 16, 1938:

This morning a disaster. One hen dead, another evidently dying. Forget the name of the disease, which has something to do with the throat. The hen is unable to stand & head droops forward. The dead one had evidently perched for the night & then fallen off the perch. May have something to do with perching in the rain, as they all did so, though I put up another perch for them under cover.

Read all entries.

Monday Morning LitLinks

Monday, October 27th, 2008

Tony Hillerman

Tony Hillerman, novelist, dies at 83 (International Herald Tribune)
Obituary: Novelist Tony Hillerman (Hartford Courant)
Tony Hillerman, mystery novelist, dies at 83 (
Acclaimed author Tony Hillerman dies at 83 (AP)

Other News:

Osama bin Laden working on his memoirs?

Sex addict seeks female co-writer.

Lifetime Network to adapt four Nora Roberts novels.

Judge rules that Trump biographer doesn’t have to reveal sources.


Sunday Evening Book Reviews

Sunday, October 26th, 2008

‘Tis  the season for THE NEW ANNOTATED DRACULA, and it is, by the account of The Detroit Free Press, spectacular.

And it only makes sense for them (and us) to follow it up with Anne Rice’s CALLED OUT OF DARKNESS: A SPIRITUAL CONFESSION.

Via The Calgary Herald, we can peek at The New York Times bestsellers.

The LA Times isn’t sompletely out of the book reviewing business and here’s a look at Attila Bartis’ TRANQUILITY, translated from the Hungarian by Imre Goldstein, to prove it.