Archive for June, 2009

Tuesday Quote of the Night

Tuesday, June 30th, 2009

“Wait until you are hungry to say something, until there is an aching in you to speak.”

-Natalie Goldberg



Tuesday Evening Book Reviews

Tuesday, June 30th, 2009

Jim DeMint collects not unexpected endorsement from The Washington Times for SAVING FREEDOM: WE CAN STOP AMERICA’S SLIDE INTO SOCIALISM.

In Wausau, they like Jacqueline Kelly’s foray into historical fiction for children in THE EVOLUTION OF CALPURNIA TATE.

The history of British highways gets a good nod for author, Joe Moran, and his ON ROADS, A HIDDEN HISTORY.

And this could be interesting – THE INVISIBLE HOOK: THE HIDDEN ECONOMICS OF PIRATES by Peter T. Leeson.

Afternoon Viewing: Book of Hours (Use of Salisbury)

Tuesday, June 30th, 2009

From the YouTube description:

Jill Gage, Reference Librarian at the Newberry Library, shares a striking example of a medieval book of hours–a collection of prayers to be recited throughout the day. During Henry the VIII’s reign, the family that owned this book struck out and altered parts of it after a royal decree banned references to the saint, Thomas Becket. On the 500th anniversay of Henry’s coronation, this book poses interesting questions about royal authority and its reach into daily life:

Tuesday Morning LitLinks

Tuesday, June 30th, 2009

Alice Hoffman offers a “half-assed” apology for her Twitter ugliness, and Gawker reminds us of the time that one of Hoffman’s reviews sent Richard Ford into a fit of rage that drove him (and his wife!) to shoot up one of her books.

Salon’s Mary Elizabeth Williams puts Hoffman’s behavior into some historical context alongside other notable examples of authors coming unhinged over reviews.

Meanwhile, if you want to see a similar trainwreck unfolding before your very eyes, check out Alain de Botton gettin’ all up in Caleb Crain’s comments thread at Steamboats over Crain’s review of de Botton’s Pleasures and Sorrows of Work (“I will hate you till the day I die and wish you nothing but ill will in every career move you make.”).

Slate’s Kate Bolick examines Italy’s first wave of avant-garde as the Futurist movement celebrates its 100th anniversary.

PW reports that publishers are making moves to capitalize on Michael Jackson’s death—but with little luck so far.

Sometimes the headline says it all: Michael Bay Adapting New James Frey Book.

Kate Gosselin’s food book put “on the back burner” (get it?) as publisher fears it will take more than 15 minutes to get it to stores.

Nicholas Lezard (wryly) congratulates The Kindly One author Jonathan Littellfor shunning the public eye.

Poet and essayist Katha Pollott shares five of her poetry picks

…Also check out her essay “Poetry: Not Dead Yet”.

Congratulations to Karla Morton on being named the 2010 Texas poet laureate.

Michael Moorcock shares his memories of London.

Mark Gattis takes a trip back through time to celebrate the Dr. Who books.

Today in Literature: On this day in 1936, Margaret Mitchell’s Gone With the Wind was published.

Monday Quote of the Night

Monday, June 29th, 2009

“All my best thoughts were stolen by the ancients.

-Ralph Waldo Emerson




Monday Evening Book Reviews

Monday, June 29th, 2009

The Hill’s Lauren Conrad gets ‘dull’, ‘shoddy prose’ and ‘a decent book’ all in the same review for, L.A. CANDY.

Historian Patrick McCray’s KEEP WATCHING THE SKIES: THE STORY OF OPERATION MOONWATCH AND THE DAWN OF THE SPACE AGE takes us back to how it was before we knew everything.

Political current events keep the presses rolling with two new books recommended by The New York REview of Books.

USA Today features a great list of international books fit for hot summer reading.

Afternoon Viewing: A Poem for Neda

Monday, June 29th, 2009

By Dr. Rafey Habib:

Monday Morning LitLinks

Monday, June 29th, 2009

When Writers Attack: Alice Hoffman, (obviously) displeased by a negative review of her new novel, The Story Sisters, went ballistic on Twitter, going so far as to publish the reviewer’s phone number. Not unexpectedly, the Internet has turned on her with a vengeance: Galleycat, Reluctant Habits, Gawker , Still Life with Book Maven and The Literary Saloon react.

When Writers Attack, Part 2: Novelist Loo Oi-soo says he will file complaints with police against people posting malicious comments about him online.

British Prime Minister Gordon Brown turns to former poet laureate Andrew Motion for advice.

Richard Hell’s 1973 “novelina” The Voidoid gets a fresh edition with fresh illustrations by Kier Cooke Sandvik. Both author and artist will be a Printed Matter in NYC this Saturday for a signing and a “short reading by Hell”.

Leave it to James Joyce to use the word “blog” 60+ years before anyone else thought (or had a need) to…

Coming soon to a bookstore near you? The Espresso Book Machine.

Damien G. Walter confesses to being a fantasy junkie and implores his readers for some direction on where to turn for his next fix.

17-year-old wins Scholastic’s The Hunger Games essay contest. Read it here.

Today in Literature: On this day in 1613, The Globe playhouse caught fire from cannon sparks during a performance of ‘Henry the Eighth’ and burned down.

Sunday Quote of the Night

Sunday, June 28th, 2009

“An incurable itch for scribbling takes possession of many, and grows inveterate in their insane breasts.”





Sunday Evening Book Reviews

Sunday, June 28th, 2009

Katherine Howe gets more good words, this time in her native Texas, for THE PHYSICK BOOK OF DELIVERANCE DANE.

But they crowed even more for native-girl, Attica Locke, for BLACK WATER RISING.

Our knick-knacks as our touchstones is the premise for Stafford Cliff and Gilles De Chabaneix’s photo book, THE WAY WE LIVE.

The Christian Science Monitor republishes its glowing review of one of my favorites, Sena Jeter Naslund’s, AHAB’S WIFE.

Afternoon Viewing: Simin Behbahani

Sunday, June 28th, 2009

From the YouTube description:

Simin Behbahani, Iran’s national poet, spoke with NPR’s Davar Iran Ardalan from Tehran on Friday June 26th. She recites two poems inspired by the protests — one dedicated to the people of Iran and the other dedicated to Neda Agha-Soltan, the young woman mourned around the world because her death during last Saturday’s protests was viewed by millions on the Web and TV:

Sunday Morning LitLinks

Sunday, June 28th, 2009

Swiss author Jens Peterson takes the €25,000 ($32,600) Bachmann Prize for his novel Bis dass der Tod (Until Death).

Forget top 10 lists: Times Online offers up their hundred recommendations for summer reading.

Spain celebrates the 100th anniversary of Bulgarian novelist Dimitar Dimov’s birth.

Santa Barbara poet laureate David Starkey offers a more modest list of poetry recommends.

NPR’s Davar Iran Ardalan looks at the poetry coming out of Iran, 140 characters at a time.

AP writer Martha Waggoner documents Kaye Gibbons’ turmoil as she continues to battle her “inner demons”.

Martin Jarvis presents a survivor’s guide to literary festivals.

The Boston Globe looks at the emerging literary sub-genre of the Ultimate Fighter memoir.

The Guardian’s Oliver Marre profiles George Weidenfeld to mark his 60th year in publishing.

Today in Literature: On this day in 1915, Henry James petitioned the British Prime Minister, Herbert Asquith, for naturalization in England.

Saturday Quote of the Night

Saturday, June 27th, 2009

“Writing is a struggle against silence.”

-Carlos Fuentes




Saturday Evening Book Reviews

Saturday, June 27th, 2009

Sometimes it’s good to have a password.  In this case, it means I can come in here and specifically post a review of the book I’m reading, Dave Sedaris’, WHEN YOU ARE ENGULFED IN FLAMES.  I have honestly laughed until I cried and I’m only halfway through.

Here’s a look at this week’s NY Times list for this week.

You may have had to have watched some professional poker to fully understand my groaning reaction upon finding out that Mike ‘The Mouth’ Matesow has put out a book – CHECK-RAISING THE DEVIL.

Anne Dayton and May Vanderbilt won’t be pleased by this review by one of her target readers of their latest , BREAKING UP IS HARD TO DO.  Oh dear.  Maybe they won’t see it.

Afternoon Viewing: Todd Strasser

Saturday, June 27th, 2009

From the YouTube description:

Jeff Rivera’s interview with young adult and middle grade author, Todd Strasser:

Saturday Morning LitLinks

Saturday, June 27th, 2009

Turkish novelist Nedim Gürsel cleared of charges of inciting religious hatred over the publication of his novel The Daughters of Islam.

Escapegrace blogger and LA Time book reviewer Chris Daley looks at the use—and abuse—of the term “postmodern”.

Authors Guild president Roy Blount, Jr addresses a controversial aspect of the Google Book Settlement: orphan works. PW has more.

Visual Thesaurus’s Ben Zimmer goes back in time in search of the origin of the abbreviation Ms.

Times Online’s Jean Moorcraft Wilson briefly profiles war poet Siegfried Sassoon.

Michael Chabon laments the loss of wilderness as a formative influence.

USA Today runs the numbers on Finger Lickin’ Fifteen author Janet Evanovich.

A.S. Maulucci says American poetry needs a “literary revival”—beginning with an infusion of quality.

Powell’s Books presents an entertaining interview with children’s author Lenore Look.

Speaking of entertaining interviews, check out Drew Total’s chat with God Says No author James Hannham over at Bookslut.

R.I.P. Don Coldsmith, western author.

Today in Literature: On this day in 1928, Sylvia Beach arranged a meeting between a very nervous (or very drunk, or both) F. Scott Fitzgerald and his literary hero, James Joyce.

Friday Quote of the Night

Friday, June 26th, 2009

“I’d rather be caught holding up a bank than stealing so much as a two-word phrase from another writer.”

-Jack Smith




Friday Evening Book Reviews

Friday, June 26th, 2009

Tracy Kidder visits Burundi with former refugee, Deogratias, to find STRENGTH IN WHAT REMAINS.

THE GROUP, by Joanna Rakoff, a novel of Generation Y (Generation Y?) gets a slightly better than half-hearted nod in Boston.


The Economist provides a recap of books about the current credit crunch.  Why does that sound like a hip breakfast cereal?  I’m gonna make a fortune…

Afternoon Viewing: Keith Ferrazzi

Friday, June 26th, 2009

From Barnes and Noble Studio—

Molly welcomes Keith Ferrazzi to the Studio to discuss his book Who’s Got Your Back, and tags more great books for the week:

Friday Morning LitLinks

Friday, June 26th, 2009

David Fickling remembers Siobhan Dowd, who yesterday posthumously won the Carnegie medal for her novel Bog Child, completed shortly before her 2007 death.

Words you rarely see together: “Poetry sales” have “rocketed” in the wake of BBC’s Poetry Season.

Only in Seattle could S.E. Hinton and David Cross share a stage.

Ray Bradbury calls the Internet “meaningless and not real”, and says it “depersonalizes relationships”.

Former manager of singer/songwriter Tom Waits sues biographer Barney Hoskyns for a million bucks over alleged untrue statements in his biography Lowside of the Road: A Life of Tom Waits.

Boyd Tonkin says “good riddance” to antiquated notions of a ‘Literary London’.

The New Yorker laments the slave wages of publishing’s lower ranks.

In remembrance of Michael Jackson, Galleycat reminds us of his three books: Moonwalk, Moonwalker: The Storybook and Dancing the Dream.

Albanian writer Ismail Kadare takes Spain’s Prince of Asturias literature prize “in recognition of the social commitment in his work.”

The Royal Society releases the shortlist for its science book prize.

PW reports that CAA’s Bob Bookman is making the Hollywood rounds, shopping the film rights to Thomas Pynchon’s upcoming Penguin release, Inherent Vice.

R.I.P. James Baker Hall, former Kentucky poet laureate.

R.I.P. Kaleem Omar, journalist and poet.

Today in Literature: On this day in 1284, the Pied Piper lured the children away from Hamelin, a legend that has spawned a wealth of works and myriad theories on the actual historical events that informed it.