Archive for March, 2009

Tuesday Quote of the Night

Tuesday, March 31st, 2009

“How do I know what I think until I see what I say?”

-E. M. Forster

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Tuesday Evening Book Reviews

Tuesday, March 31st, 2009

WONDER WOMAN NO. 30 is a good ‘un according to CreativeLoafing.com.

WallstreetWatch has put out a booklet that one Examiner reviewer has redubbed his bible – SOLD OUT: HOW WALL STREET AND WASHINGTON BETRAYED AMERICA.

Poet, Alessandra Gelmi’s, new release, RING OF FIRE, is well-received at the Epoch Times.

Phillip Kerr is reported to get all the suspense elements right in, THE ONE FROM THE OTHER.

Afternoon Viewing: Jason Canning & Natalie Gray

Tuesday, March 31st, 2009

From the YouTube description:

Brit comics Jason Canning & Natalie Gray are fast becoming a hot ticket on the writing circuit in Hollywood. Both hardworking to the extreme they perform stand-up nightly and are in development with numerous projects including their own comedy TV series No Talent Required which also has the writer / producer of Arrested Development on board as Consulting Producer.

Tuesday Morning LitLinks

Tuesday, March 31st, 2009

The Sunday Times’ Richard Brooks digs back into the fascinating story of how T.S. Eliot, while director at Faber and Faber, rejected George Orwell’s Animal Farm. Also featured: an archival copy of Valerie Eliot’s 1969 letter to the editor, which includes her husband’s 1944 letter to Orwell.

Bradbury talks about Fahrenheit 451 and his reasons for writing it.

I guess it was inevitable that Microsoft would surface in the Google Book Settlement drama.

Cory Doctorow says authors are missing the point in the Kindle 2 text-to-speech dustup.

Today in Literature: On this day in 1809, Edward Fitzgerald was born; on this day in 1859, he published his “free translation” of The Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyam.

Monday Quote of the Night

Monday, March 30th, 2009

“A good novel tells us the truth about its hero, but a bad novel tells us the truth about its author.”

-G. K. Chesterton

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Monday Evening Book Reviews

Monday, March 30th, 2009

The craft of the grape is lovingly extolled, with a few typos, in Neal I. Rosenthal’s, REFLECTIONS OF A WINE MERCHANT: ON A LIFETIME IN THE VINEYARDS AND CELLARS OF FRANCE AND ITALY.

Some messy people just need a little help and apparently you can get it in DETOX YOUR DESK, by Theo Theobald and Gary Cooper.  And yes, I also am left wondering about that pair of names.

AMERICAN BABYLON: NOTES OF A CHRISTIAN EXILE, by Richard John Neuhaus, bolsters Christians adrift in debauched times.

Rachel Keener gets good marks from Monsters and Critics for her debut novel, THE KILLING TREE.

Afternoon Viewing: Melissa Marr

Monday, March 30th, 2009

Author Melissa Marr discusses the world of faeries and her books Wicked Lovely and Ink Exchange:

Monday Morning LitLinks

Monday, March 30th, 2009

HeraldTribune.com examines the faster metabolism of the digital age and the speed with which books are rushed to market.

The BBC profiles the top five contenders for UK Poet Laureate, a position that will be willingly vacated—for the first time in centuries— later this year.

Saeed Kamali Dehghan, writing for the Guardian Book Blog, muses on why Iranians, depite their love for Sherlock Holmes, Poirot and Maigret, have no fictional detectives of their own.

Andrew Sullivan shares some vintage Lorca and points to a New Yorker piece on Ian Gibson’s new book, Lorca and the Gay World.

Today in Literature: On this day in 1880, Irish playwright Sean O’Casey was born.

Sunday Quote of the Night

Sunday, March 29th, 2009

“Asking a writer what he thinks about criticism is like asking a lamppost what it feels about dogs.”

-John Osborne

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Sunday Evening Book Reviews

Sunday, March 29th, 2009

The Christian Science Monitor thinks some old wounds are worth a fresh gouge every now and again, for the good of us all.  Today, they revive their 1988 review of Neil Sheehan’s, A BRIGHT SHINING LIE.

Down in Jacksonville, they’ve found two debut thrillers that made them happy.

Ex-Army Intelligence specialist-turned-author, JJ Cooper, gets lauded in advance for his soon to be released debut thriller, THE INTERROGATOR.

THE UNFORGIVING MINUTE: A SOLDIER’S EDUCATION, by Craig M. Mullaney is said to represent our soldiers admirably.

Afternoon Viewing: Where the Wild Things Are

Sunday, March 29th, 2009

The official trailer for director Spike Jonze’s adaptation of the Maurice Sendak classic, set for release this October:

Sunday Morning LitLinks

Sunday, March 29th, 2009

The shortlist for the 2009 Orwell Prize takes on an international flavor: Fishing in Utopia by Andrew Brown, Reappraisals by Tony Judt, Stalin’s Children by Owen Matthews, Chinese Whispers by Hsiao-Hung Pai, Descent Into Chaos by Ahmed Rashid and The White War by Mark Thompson.

The Financial Times makes small talk with author Geoff Dyer.

The Guardian’s John Crace and Quin Parker go head-to-head on the debate as to whether video games are literature.

Today in Literature: On this day in 1815, Jane Austen finished Emma, her last novel to appear in her lifetime.

R.I.P. John Hope Franklin

Saturday Quote of the Night

Saturday, March 28th, 2009

“The most essential gift for a good writer is a built-in, shockproof shit detector.  This is the writer’s radar and all great writers have had it.”

-Ernest Hemingway

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Saturday Evening Book Reviews

Saturday, March 28th, 2009

Brendan Short’s debut novel, DREAM CITY, meets a critic with a very thorough eye over at The Oregonian.

The New York Times has a page of quick blurbs on their paperback list.

Horn Book Magazine has a page of reviews for several Epic Fantasy series.

January Magazine endorses Peter V. Brett’s, THE WARDED MAN.

Afternoon Viewing: “A Sense of Life” Part 14

Saturday, March 28th, 2009

Editor’s note: From March 15th to March 28th, Afternoon Viewing will present parts 1 through 14 of the Academy Award-nominated documentary “A Sense of Life”. Previous installments here.

From the YouTube description:

Director Michael Paxton profiles writer and thinker Ayn Rand, a Russian-born author who championed the ideals of capitalism, individualism and reason, and gained notoriety for Atlas Shrugged and The Fountainhead. Through a mix of interviews and movie clips, Paxton chronicles the popular writer’s life, not her controversial philosophies. Actress Sharon Gless narrates the film, which received an Oscar nomination for Best Documentary.

Saturday Morning LitLinks

Saturday, March 28th, 2009

An interesting profile of U.S. poet laueate Kay Ryan.

Allison Flood sees the selection of pop stars as literary contest judges as a vapid publicity play.

More and more students outsourcing academic papers.

Survey shows women are the page-turners.

Today in Literature: On this day in 1970, James Dickey’s Deliverance was published.

Friday Quote of the Night

Friday, March 27th, 2009

“It is worth mentioning, for future reference, that the creative power which bubbles so pleasantly in beginning a new book quiets down after a time, and one goes on more steadily. Doubts creep in. Then one becomes resigned. Determination not to give in, and the sense of an impending shape keep one at it more than anything.”

-Virginia Woolf

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Friday Evening Book Reviews

Friday, March 27th, 2009

The mysteries of domestication are teased clear through science in MADE FOR EACH OTHER: THE BIOLOGY OF THE HUMAN-ANIMAL BOND, by Meg Daley Olmert.

The International Herald Tribune takes exception to some grammar flauting in Michael Holroyd’s A STRANGE EVENTFUL HISTORY: THE DRAMATIC LIVES OF ELLEN TERRY, HENRY IRVING, AND THEIR REMARKABLE FAMILIES, but still reports it as a fascinating read.

Brian and Petrea Kelly make Mormonism into a coffeetable book with ILLUSTRATED HISTORY OF THE CHURCH.

It sounds like Robert Goolrick has written a gem of a debut novel in, A RELIABLE WIFE.

Afternoon Viewing: “A Sense of Life” Part 13

Friday, March 27th, 2009

Editor’s note: From March 15th to March 28th, Afternoon Viewing will present parts 1 through 14 of the Academy Award-nominated documentary “A Sense of Life”. Previous installments here.

From the YouTube description:

Director Michael Paxton profiles writer and thinker Ayn Rand, a Russian-born author who championed the ideals of capitalism, individualism and reason, and gained notoriety for Atlas Shrugged and The Fountainhead. Through a mix of interviews and movie clips, Paxton chronicles the popular writer’s life, not her controversial philosophies. Actress Sharon Gless narrates the film, which received an Oscar nomination for Best Documentary.

Friday Morning LitLinks

Friday, March 27th, 2009

Pulitzer Prize-winning book critic Gail Caldwell and publishing reporter David Mehegan among the layoffs at the Boston Globe.

Okie Reads reports on Powell Books and The Morning News’ Tournament of Books, fashioned on the NCAA tournament.

The BBC looks at 21st Century war poetry.

Film director Brett Ratner turns book publisher.

The 2009 Diagram Prize for Oddest Book Title of the Year goes to Icon Group International’s The 2009-2014 World Outlook for 60-miligram Containers of Fromage Frais.

Fujitsu launches a color eBook reader in Japan.