Archive for April, 2009

Thursday Quote of the Night

Thursday, April 30th, 2009

“God sells us all things at the price of the labor.”


-Leonardo da Vinci

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Thursday Evening Book Reviews

Thursday, April 30th, 2009

Joanna Smith Rakoff gets taken to task in Newsday for reworking an older novel, THE GROUP, with her debut, A FORTUNATE AGE.

The Windy City Media Group grumbles at Jenny Block’s memoir of an OPEN marriage.

But a young woman at The Andover Townsman breaks the grim cycle by heaping praise on Joan Didion’s collection of essays, THE WHITE ALBUM.

The Atlantic reprints it 1896 review of THE WORKS OF EDGAR ALLEN POE.

Afternoon Viewing: Moxy Fruvous

Thursday, April 30th, 2009

A musical interlude with the always funny Moxy Fruvous and the video for “My Baby Loves a Bunch of Authors”:

Thursday Morning LitLinks

Thursday, April 30th, 2009

Free speech groups band together to condemn the dismissal of four members of a library board in West Bend, Wisconsin for refusing to remove controversial books from the library’s young adult section.

Is that a poem in your pocket… National Poetry Month closes out with ‘Poem in Your Pocket Day’.

PC World offers up 5 pros and 5 cons of the Google Book Search deal.

Sam Jordison recaps his night at the Arthur C. Clarke awards ceremony.

The Columbus Dispatch profiles Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet author Jamie Ford (see AuthorScoop’s interview with Ford here).

Why some of your favorite works won’t be released as e-books.

How Toy Styles built a business around “street literature”.

Obama grows “sick of briefing books” and settles into Joseph O’Neill’s Netherland.

Today in Literature: On this day in 1642, Richard Lovelace presented the Kentish Petition to Parliament and was imprisoned, resulting in the composition of his famous poem, “To Althea, From Prison”.

Wednesday Quote of the Night

Wednesday, April 29th, 2009

“To avoid criticism, do nothing, say nothing, be nothing.”


-Elbert Hubbard

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Wednesday Evening Book Reviews

Wednesday, April 29th, 2009

The RW Activist is impressed with Charles Bock’s unflinching debut novel of Sin City, BEAUTIFUL CHILDREN.

Jeff Pearlman takes to peeling the onion that he finds Roger Clemens to be in, THE ROCKET THAT FELL TO EARTH.

SUNNYSIDE earns author, Glen David Gold, a coveted (and terrific) feature review over at Library Journal.

Optimistic and and inspired young teachers can get knocked sideways in a hurry these days.  Sophia Pappas looks to preserve the dew in GOOD MORNING, CHILDREN: MY FIRST YEARS IN EARLY CHILDHOOD EDUCATION.

Afternoon Viewing: JG Ballard Part 6

Wednesday, April 29th, 2009

In remembrance of the celebrated author, part 6 of a six-part documentary produced by the BBC in 1991.

From the YouTube description:

Following J.G. Ballard from Shepperton to Shanghai and back, looking at the scenes of his life which inspired his autobiographical novels. This is a BBC original production which aired in 1991, directed by James Runcie. It chronicles J.G. Ballard’s first trip to Shanghai after he first left it in 1946. He discusses his life and his work, especially his two autobiographical novels, Empire of the Sun and The Kindness of Women. There are also bits there about Crash and Vermilion Sands. A must for any J.G. Ballard fan.

Wednesday Morning LitLinks

Wednesday, April 29th, 2009

French author Marc Levy goes to bat for Turkish novelist charged with “insulting religious values”.

Principal placed on “indefinite leave” for marketing her steamy book on school campus.

The Post presents a slideshow of New York City’s ‘Poetry Whores’.

Kafka is back… as a puppet.

The Guardian Book Blog’s Adam O’Riordan muses on poets’ obsession with birds.

A group of authors has succeeded in gaining a four-month extension of the deadline to “opt out or object to” the Google Book Search settlement.

Today in Literature: On this day in 1980, Alfred Hitchcock died.

Tuesday Quote of the Night

Tuesday, April 28th, 2009

“I write plays because dialogue is the most respectable way of contradicting myself.”


-Tom Stoppard

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Tuesday Evening Book Reviews

Tuesday, April 28th, 2009

The green movement driving you nuts?  You’re not alone.  Author Steve Malloy is tortured in GREEN HELL: HOW ENVIRONMENTALISTS PLAN TO RUIN YOUR LIFE AND WHAT YOU CAN DO TO STOP THEM.

Jean Hatzfeld points his journalist’s focus on THE ANTELOPE’S STRATEGY: LIVING IN RWANDA AFTER THE GENOCIDE.

Library Journal posts commentary on a pair of books that focus on the glories of the land of the US, not the Country.

Always doomed to repetition, here’s an engaging look at the history of a Wall Street scoundrel – Frank Partnoy’s, THE MATCH KING: IVAR KREUGER, THE FINANCIAL GENIUS BEHIND A CENTURY OF WALL STREET SCANDALS.

Afternoon Viewing: JG Ballard Part 5

Tuesday, April 28th, 2009

In remembrance of the celebrated author, part 5 of a six-part documentary produced by the BBC in 1991.

From the YouTube description:

Following J.G. Ballard from Shepperton to Shanghai and back, looking at the scenes of his life which inspired his autobiographical novels. This is a BBC original production which aired in 1991, directed by James Runcie. It chronicles J.G. Ballard’s first trip to Shanghai after he first left it in 1946. He discusses his life and his work, especially his two autobiographical novels, Empire of the Sun and The Kindness of Women. There are also bits there about Crash and Vermilion Sands. A must for any J.G. Ballard fan.

Tuesday Morning LitLinks

Tuesday, April 28th, 2009

Publishers are sniffing around trying to figure out how to make a buck off of Susan Boyle’s 15 minutes of fame.

Bookslut is heading off to Berlin.

Children’s laureates tap into the actual tastes of readers to get recommendations free of industry politics.

First-ever Christian Book Expo flops and won’t be back.

Indigo Books & Music’s e-reading platform, Shortcovers, is starting to gain some traction. Meanwhile, Amazon is gobbling up such competitors.

Today in Literature: On this day in 1926, Harper Lee was born.

Monday Quote of the Night

Monday, April 27th, 2009

“Writing wasn’t easy to start. After I finally did it, I realized it was the most direct contact possible with the part of myself I thought I had lost, and which I constantly find new things from. Writing also includes the possibility of living many lives as well as living in any time or world possible. I can satisfy my enthusiasm for research, but jump like a calf outside the strict boundaries of science. I can speak about things that are important to me and somebody listens. It’s wonderful!”

-Virpi Hämeen-Anttila

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Monday Evening Book Reviews

Monday, April 27th, 2009

Bloomberg knows a bit about the money game, so they had some things to say about Jill Kargman’s new novel, THE EX-MRS. HEDGEFUND.

Parenting manuals abound, but here’s a guide for the next tier, SUPER GRANNY, by Sally Wendkos Olds.

There are memoirs and memoirs (and for good measure, you’ll find a few more memoirs without trying) but here’s a story that will linger for the perspective it gives: WAR CHILD: A SUDANESE LOST BOY LOOKS BACK, by Emmanuel Jal with Megan Lloyd Davies.

Sam Bowring lightens it up for young readers with THE ZOO OF MAGICAL AND MYTHOLOGICAL CREATURES.

Afternoon Viewing: JG Ballard Part 4

Monday, April 27th, 2009

In remembrance of the celebrated author, part 4 of a six-part documentary produced by the BBC in 1991.

From the YouTube description:

Following J.G. Ballard from Shepperton to Shanghai and back, looking at the scenes of his life which inspired his autobiographical novels. This is a BBC original production which aired in 1991, directed by James Runcie. It chronicles J.G. Ballard’s first trip to Shanghai after he first left it in 1946. He discusses his life and his work, especially his two autobiographical novels, Empire of the Sun and The Kindness of Women. There are also bits there about Crash and Vermilion Sands. A must for any J.G. Ballard fan.

Monday Morning LitLinks

Monday, April 27th, 2009

The L.A. Times recaps the the weekend at the Los Angeles Times Festival of Books.

Peter Conrad, writing for The New Yorker, profiles Portugese novelist António Lobo Antunes.

TimesOnline presents an extract from comedian Arthur Smith’s autobiography, My Name is Daphne Fairfax: A Memoir, detailing his battle with the bottle.

The Guardian’s Decca Aitkenhead chats it up with Kazuo Ishiguro.

Poet Michael Tyrell will be fielding questions about Brooklyn’s literary landscape this week in the NYT. Ask your question here.

R.I.P. Deborah Digges

Today in Literature: On this day in 1882, Ralph Waldo Emerson died.

Sunday Quote of the Night

Sunday, April 26th, 2009

“Every word written is a victory against death.”


-Michel Butor

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Sunday Evening Book Reviews

Sunday, April 26th, 2009

Lucinda Roy, from a uniquely qualified position, diagrams a ragedy in, NO RIGHT TO REMAIN SILENT, THE TRAGEDY AT VIRGINIA TECH.

THE SHE APOSTLE: THE EXTRAORDINARY LIFE AND DEATH OF LUISA DE CARVAJAL, by Glyn Redworth, proves a riveting read, so says Monsters & Critics.

Dumpster-diving gets its face-time (page-time?) in THE SCAVENGER’S MANIFESTO, by Kristan Lawson and Anneli Rufus.

Abraham Lincoln’s maritime savvy is chronicled in, LINCOLN AND HIS ADMIRALS, by Craig L. Symonds, a book heaped with no small amount of praise in The Washington Times.

Afternoon Viewing: JG Ballard Part 3

Sunday, April 26th, 2009

In remembrance of the celebrated author, part 3 of a six-part documentary produced by the BBC in 1991.

From the YouTube description:

Following J.G. Ballard from Shepperton to Shanghai and back, looking at the scenes of his life which inspired his autobiographical novels. This is a BBC original production which aired in 1991, directed by James Runcie. It chronicles J.G. Ballard’s first trip to Shanghai after he first left it in 1946. He discusses his life and his work, especially his two autobiographical novels, Empire of the Sun and The Kindness of Women. There are also bits there about Crash and Vermilion Sands. A must for any J.G. Ballard fan.

Sunday Morning LitLinks

Sunday, April 26th, 2009

GalleyCat explores whether or not using a Kindle means you’re a true connoisseur of literature.

Hilary Mantel discusses feminism, mortality and Henry VIII with Times Online.

Claire Walsh discusses her 40 year relationship with the late JG Ballard.

Mercury News looks at the 2009 Caldecott Medal, Newbery Medal and and the National Book Award for Young People’s Literature winners.

Today in Literature: On this day in 1893, Gentlement Prefer Blondes author Anita Loos was born.