Archive for August, 2009

Monday Evening Book Reviews

Monday, August 31st, 2009

It can’t be any surprise that books on healthcare and its reform are beginning to roll off the presses.  Look – here’s one now: T.R. Reid gives us a comparison overview on socialized medicine in THE HEALING OF AMERICA: A GLOBAL QUEST FOR BETTER, CHEAPER, AND FAIRER HEALTH CARE.

The Princeton Review makes a list of THE BEST 371 COLLEGES.

Publishers Weekly has a new crop of fiction reviews to make the week go faster (or slower, if you like.)

As academic hoaxes go, Jan Hendrik Schön’s is legendary.  His story is told full in Eugenie Samuel Reich’sPLASTIC FANTASTIC: HOW THE BIGGEST FRAUD IN PHYSICS SHOOK THE SCIENTIFIC WORLD.

Afternoon Viewing: David Ellis

Monday, August 31st, 2009

From the BN Studio description:

Steve talks with Edgar Award winner David Ellis about his highly anticipated new book, The Hidden Man:

Monday Morning LitLinks

Monday, August 31st, 2009

Bookslut’s Jessa Crispin gets a nice little write-up in The Age while working the Melbourne Writers Festival…

Meanwhile, Philip Hensher exposes the tooth and claw lurking beneath the surface of lit festivals.

Berkeley professor Geoffrey Nunberg has some fun with erroneous Google Book searches

Meanwhile, both sides of the Google Book debate sharpen their knives for the upcoming “fairness hearing” in US District Court.

The Chronicle’s Michelle Richmond parses the list of the 10 best Southern novels of all time.

Disney find something it hasn’t yet bought and acquires Marvel Comics for $4 billion.

Alan Bissett says that last week’s outburst by James Kelman extends far beyond the borders of Scotland.

GalleyCat shares the ups and downs on the publishing world: HarperCollins is hiring; Random House is taking a bath.

Today in Literature: On this day in 1946, The New Yorker devoted nearly all its issue’s text space to John Hersey’s “Hiroshima”.

Sunday Quote of the Night

Sunday, August 30th, 2009

“Great is the art of beginning, but greater is the art of ending.”

-Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

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Sunday Evening Book Reviews

Sunday, August 30th, 2009

I’M DYING UP HERE: HEARTBEAK AND HIGH TIMES IN STANDUP COMEDY’S GOLDEN ERA, by William Knoedelseder, brings an insider’s look to those who like a peek behind the curtain.

Love and romance as high crimes are delivered in lyricism by Sulaiman Addonia in THE CONSEQUENCES OF LOVE.

And on a lighter note, Nene Leakes, tell us to NEVER MAKE THE SAME MISTAKE TWICE: LESSONS ON LOVE AND LIFE LEARNED THE HARD WAY.

You have to eat, right?  Here are 1001 FOODS YOU MUST TASTE BEFORE YOU DIE.

Afternoon Viewing: “Dorian Gray” Trailer

Sunday, August 30th, 2009

The trailer for the upcoming feature adaptation of Oscar Wilde’s classic, starring Ben Barnes and Colin Firth:

Sunday Morning LitLinks

Sunday, August 30th, 2009

Sebastian Faulks changes the subject from Islam and takes on the Internet.

Alice Munro pulls her book from contention for the Giller Prize. M.A.Orthofer is not pleased.

Who knew? TS Eliot: champion of lesbian fiction?

Wuthering Heights reaches new heights, thanks to vampire endorsements.

The New York Times looks at one teacher’s unique method of getting her students to love what they read.

Chick lit is dead. Long live ‘recessionista lit’.

Times Online profiles Nick Hornby in a wide-ranging interview and examination of his work.

David Denby on his never-ending search for snark.

The Guardian Observer’s Lynn Barber chats it up with novelist Rachel Cusk.

Today in Literature: On this day in 30 BC, Cleopatra committed suicide, providing ample fodder for Shakespeare some sixteen centuries later.

Saturday Quote of the Night

Saturday, August 29th, 2009

“Little Red Riding Hood was my first love.  I felt that if I could have married Little Red Riding Hood I should have known perfect bliss.”

-Charles Dickens

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Saturday Evening Book Reviews

Saturday, August 29th, 2009

Ah, the Sunday NYTimes reviews on Saturday.  Never has being confused as to what day it is yielded so well…

In Tampa, they say George Dawes Green channels Elmore Leonard and Flannery O’Connor and brews a beautiful baby thriller in, RAVENS.

Zadie smith earns raves from Kirkus for her collection, CHANGING MY MIND – OCCASIONAL ESSAYS.

Author Tony Geraghty asks us to check our preconceived notions at the front cover of SOLDIERS OF FORTUNE: A HISTORY OF THE MERCENARY IN MODERN WARFARE.

Afternoon Viewing: “Totally Killer”

Saturday, August 29th, 2009

The official trailer for Greg Olear’s October 2009 release, Totally Killer (HarperCollins):

Saturday Morning LitLinks

Saturday, August 29th, 2009

The Daily Mail takes a walk on the wild side with Somerset Maugham.

Tim Martin praises Faber & Faber’s re-issue of Samuel Beckett’s plays and prose.

“Characters of size”? I don’t mean to sound insensitive, but when did I miss the coining of this new jewel? Anyway, teen literature seems to be trending towards positive depictions of them.

Frank Mundo offers up a primer for those ready to dip a toe into the dangerous Bukowski waters.

Lev Grossman says the 21st century novel is going to be about “the ongoing exoneration and rehabilitation of plot”.

The “commercial arm” of the BBC is looking to sell its majority stake in BBC Audiobooks.

GalleyCat continues to relish the imaginary literary career of Martin Eisenstadt.

This week’s Poet’s Choice at the WaPo: “Content is King” by Rebecca Wolff.

Asus throws its hat into the eBook reader ring.

Today in Literature: On this day in 1833, the Mills and Factory Act was passed in England, book-ended by the conscious-raising literary careers of William Blake and Charles Dickens.

Friday Quote of the Night

Friday, August 28th, 2009

“Love the writing, love the writing, love the writing… the rest will follow.”

-Jane Yolen

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Friday Evening Book Reviews

Friday, August 28th, 2009

I’m not quite sure how Carolyn See found the cover of Erica Eisdorfer’s THE WET NURSE’S TALE to have “lots of breasts and steamy sex and way too much romping”, but that’s a grump for another time.  She liked the book, by the way.

Barry Ritholtz looks to make sense (and a few dollars) from BAILOUT NATION: HOW GREED AND EASY MONEY CORRUPTED WALL STREET AND SHOOK THE WORLD ECONOMY, but Ocala.com says it’s worth the bile-laden read.

Steve House tackles a subject which baffles me – climbing irrational heights.  Of course, MountEverest.net thinks he makes perfect sense in BEYOND THE MOUNTAIN.

The Economist calls it provocative and that’s likely good enough for Christopher Caldwell for his latest, REFLECTIONS ON THE REVOLUTION IN EUROPE: IMMIGRATION, ISLAM AND THE WEST.

Afternoon Viewing: The Making of “Hush, Hush”

Friday, August 28th, 2009

Simon and Schuster editor Emily Meehan discusses the process of taking Becca Fitzpatrick‘s Hush, Hush from acquisition to the market:

Friday Morning LitLinks

Friday, August 28th, 2009

James Kelman goes off on Scotland’s literary culture, saying if the country were in charge of handing out the Nobel prize, it would go to “a writer of fucking detective fiction” or a book about “some upper middle-class young magician”.

Kunati Books folds after two years in business, most of which was plagued by controversy.

Joe Quirk says to turn down that big advance.

Kelly Jane Torrance, writing for the Washington Times, chronicles the recent successes of dead authors.

26 year old former fact checker Amelia Lester is now the new managing editor of The New Yorker.

Sam Jordison examines the first book on the Guardian’s ‘Not the Booker’ prize shortlist,  A Kind of Intimacy by Jenn Ashworth. More about the Not the Booker prize here.

Google announces a million public domain books for download in open EPUB format. First person to read them all wins a candy bar.

U.S. District Court clears the way for BookLocker’s antitrust lawsuit against Amazon by denying a motion to dismiss.

Stephanie Giancola chats it up with erotic romance novelist Debra Glass.

Today in Literature: On this day in 430, Saint Augustine died at the age of seventy-five.

Thursday Quote of the Night

Thursday, August 27th, 2009

“I can’t write five words but that I can change seven.”

-Dorothy Parker

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Thursday Evening Book Reviews

Thursday, August 27th, 2009

Motown fans should be pleased to see Mark Ribowsky’s THE SUPREMES: A SAGA OF MOTOWN DREAMS, SUCCESS, AND BETRAYAL.

Oh my goodness.  How fun.  John Henry Fleming invokes, explains, and invents FEARSOME CREATURES OF FLORIDA.

Skeptics unite!  Kendrick Frazier (editor, Science News & Skeptical Inquirer) brings it all into question in SCIENCE UNDER SIEGE: DEFENDING SCIENCE, EXPOSING PSEUDOSCIENCE.

The movie ain’t like the book, so it stands to reason that the author might be different than you might expect – Rebecca Loncraine gives us THE REAL WIZARD OF OZ: THE LIFE AND TIMES OF L. FRANK BAUM.

Afternoon Viewing: Dominick Dunne Obit

Thursday, August 27th, 2009

Hurwitz Gives Away His Shorts at Borders.com

Thursday, August 27th, 2009

He does.  Alls he gave AuthorScoop was an interview.  But the slight is quickly forgiven, if you’re a fan of zinging thriller fiction, once you get to read Gregg Hurwitz’s THE AWAKENING for free at Borders.com.  It does clever double-duty as a pleasing stand alone short story and as an exclusive sidecar to his latest novel, TRUST NO ONE.

Call me canny, but I think they’re baiting.  Once you can see what he can do, you might be tempted to buy the book.

Tricky devils.

5 Minutes Alone… With Hannah Moskowitz

Thursday, August 27th, 2009

Hannah Moskowitz‘s debut novel, BREAK, hit the shelves this week from Simon Pulse Books and is opening to some terrific reviews.

We’d like to thank her for taking time out of her first-week festivities to be part of our “5 Minutes Alone” interview series.

AuthorScoop: What was your very first publication credit?

Hannah: No short stories, no articles, no anything even in a school newspaper. My first publication credit was a YA novella with an e-book publisher when I was fourteen. It was hugely ridiculously exciting at the time, when I had decided, for some reason I don’t remember, that there was no place for me in mainstream publishing. I went through the deal and the release of that ebook without an agent. I got my first agent just before I turned seventeen, and BREAK sold a few months later.

AuthorScoop: Tell us about your latest release.

Hannah: BREAK is about a seventeen-year-old boy named Jonah who wants to break all his bones. It’s a self-injury novel for people who hate other self-injury novels. I think of it as a dark comedy. I came up with the premise first and then built up reasons why someone would conceivably try something this ridiculous. The book still isn’t completely plausible–it still is, at least partially, a satire–but my hope is that, when you see how much stuff is crushing Jonah, his plan makes some semblance of sense.

It’s also a book about siblings, because I feel like so much YA is more concerned with friends or romantic relationships. Jonah’s close with his best friend and his sort-of-girlfriend, but he’s much closer with his younger brother, who’s a major part of the story and Jonah’s motivation for breaking his bones. I think so much of what you see of YA siblings revolves around competitive relationships, anger at a sibling, etc. Jonah loves his brother.

AuthorScoop: Aside from your own hard work, who else do you feel has contributed to your success?

Hannah: Luck. It is hugely, hugely luck. I’ve written thirteen books, but this is the one that was right for the market this second, and it’s the one that found the right people at the right time. Writing a good book is incredibly important, but it’s impossible to deny that, yeah, luck is involved. I’ve written good books that haven’t sold. I’ve also written terrible books I’m thanking God didn’t sell back when I thought they were awesome. Luck is huge.

Those amazing people I mentioned are absolutely to blame for my success, as well. My editor at Simon Pulse is absolutely my hero, and the BREAK on bookshelves is miles better from the BREAK she took on and fixed.

AuthorScoop: At what time of day or night do you do your best writing?

Hannah: Late. Probably because I’m a procrastinator, I write best when I absolutely can’t put off writing for any longer. Generally I work best between midnight and two in the morning. After that I get too tired and just start googling things.

AuthorScoop: Finally, what advice would you give to new or unpublished writers?

Hannah: Anyone who’s read more than one interview with me is probably sick to death of hearing this advice, but I never get tired of giving it: Never think you are not good enough, and never think you can’t get better. You have to throw yourself into everything you do and make it so so good, because it’s just like I said–you never know which book is going to sell. So you have to give every single thing you write as much of you as you can. You have to advocate for it like it’s the second coming of Harry Potter and then you have to move on and write something better. And you have to keep doing that.

BREAK is available now in bookstores everywhere and available for order and Kindle download at Amazon.com.