Archive for December, 2009

Thursday Quote of the Night

Thursday, December 31st, 2009

“So are you still working, or just doing the books?”

-An old friend to Jack Higgins




Thursday Evening Book Reviews

Thursday, December 31st, 2009

Ah, reading about talking… No, really.  It does make sense.  The Washington Post looks at Daniel Menaker’s A GOOD TALK: THE STORY AND SKILL OF CONVERSATION.

Tami Hoag is well-liked in South Florida for her latest suspenseful tale, DEEPER THAN DEATH.

WHEN THE GAME WAS OURS, by basketball legends Larry Bird and Earvin ‘Magic’ Johnson, pleases the powers that be over at The Bleacher Report.

And we’ll end the year in reviews with a look at a decade’s worth of big titles according to The Huffington Post.

Afternoon Viewing: Free Liu Xiaobo

Thursday, December 31st, 2009

From the GalleyCat description:

“On this snowy New Year’s Eve morning, a team of famous PEN America members gathered on the steps of the New York Public Library to protest the 11-year sentence of Chinese writer Liu Xiaobo for the crime of subversion.

As you can see by this exclusive GalleyCat video, the list of speakers at this dramatic event included: E.L. Doctorow, Don DeLillo, A.M. Homes, and Edward Albee.”

Thursday Morning LitLinks

Thursday, December 31st, 2009

Scottish poet Don Paterson has been awarded the Queen’s Gold Medal for Poetry. (BBC)

Scholastic looks to bounce back from its post-Potter slump with an infusion of government stimulus money from schools buying educational software. (BusinessWeek)

And if that doesn’t do the trick, maybe the resurrection of “The Baby-Sitters Club” series will. (NYTimes)

Craig Wilson and Carol Memmott serve up the final installment of “Book buzz” for 2009. (USAToday)

Publishers are “quietly disposing” of around 77 million books a year. (Mail Online)

Publishers looking for ways to get a slice of the eBook pie. (BusinessWeek)

After a 2009 dominated by women writers, Claire Armitstead sees 2010 as a year for the boys. (The Guardian)

Author and Assistant Professor at Indiana University Don Belton found murdered in his home. (IndyStar)

Michelle Pauli serves up an excellent recap of 2009 in books. (The Guardian)

Seth Godin prognosticates on the state of publishing in 10 years. (GalleyCat)

Wednesday Quote of the Night

Wednesday, December 30th, 2009

“Writing is a strange synthesis between the two parts of your mind: the analytical side and the side that knows nothing at all, and you have to allow the dreaming side free rein.”

-Rose Tremain


Wednesday Evening Book Reviews

Wednesday, December 30th, 2009

Candy as metaphor and scene-setting for Katharine Weber’s well-received TRUE CONFECTIONS.

James Atlas edits a collection of international essays pointed at the U.S. called HOW THEY SEE US: MEDITATIONS ON AMERICA.

Former policewoman Stacy Dittrich profiles killer cops in MURDER BEHIND THE BADGE: TRUE STORIES OF COPS WHO KILL.

Monsters & Critics discovers the wonders of Spike Bucklow’s treatise on color, THE ALCHEMY OF PAINT.

Afternoon Viewing: Orhan Pamuk

Wednesday, December 30th, 2009

Charlie Rose interviews Nobel Prize-winning author Orhan Pamuk:

Wednesday Morning LitLinks

Wednesday, December 30th, 2009

The birthplace of George Orwell to receive a makeover. (Telegraph)

Trevor Butterworth sets forth his manifesto for a “slow-word movement.” (Forbes)

Yet another feature on how eBooks will change reading and writing. (NPR)

Annabel Wynne compares and contrasts the “end of the decade” book lists with those from a century ago. (Guardian Books Blog)

Jason Boog looks back at the big publishing stories of January 2009. (GalleyCat)

John Preston chats it up with Dave Eggers. (Telegraph)

R.I.P. David Levine, New York Times Review of Books caricaturist. (Canadian Press)

On this day in 1869, Canadian humorist Stephen Leacock was born.(Today in Literature)

Tuesday Quote of the Night

Tuesday, December 29th, 2009

“The most essential gift for a good writer is a built-in, shock-proof shit detector.”

-Ernest Hemingway




Tuesday Evening Book Reviews

Tuesday, December 29th, 2009

Comic-book journalism is a new term for me, but not for Joe Sacco.  FOOTNOTES IN GAZA isn’t a sequel to his successful PALESTINE, but it sits comfortably on the same shelf.

RealVail’s got a list for 2009.

Yasmin Nair’s, GRINGA: A CONTRADICTORY CHILDHOOD, gets a thorough work-up in The Windy City Times.

Poker guru, Doyle Brunson, is back (for a couple of years, now, if I’m honest) with SUPER SYSTEM 2: A COURSE IN POWER POKER.

And Michael Crichton fails posthumously in Columbus with, PIRATE LATITUDES.

Afternoon Viewing: Carolyn Mackler

Tuesday, December 29th, 2009

From the harperteen YouTube description:

Watch the interview with author Carolyn Mackler where she tells how the idea for Tangled came to her and how the characters lives become “tangled” together:

Tuesday Morning LitLinks

Tuesday, December 29th, 2009

Chinese novelist Mian Mian sues Google for scanning her book, Acid House. (BBC)

Kirkus Reviews may find a lifeline in prospective buyers. (GalleyCat)

Chris Power declares ’09 the ‘year of the short story,’ and with good reason. (Guardian Books Blog)

Six authors read excerpts from books they would never throw away. (NYTimes)

John Walsh unveils a new Sherlock Holmes story for the holidays. (The Independent)

Jane Boursaw presents the ‘Top 10 Film Adaptations of 2009.’ (Inside Movies)

Memorial services set for industry heavyweight Paul Nathan, who died earlier this month. (Publishers Weekly)

Carolyn Kellogg weighs in on the eBook “free bestseller” phenomenon. (Jacket Copy)

David Barnett rediscovers the joy (and the history) of the chapbook. (Guardian Books Blog)

On this day in 1937, playwright and novelist Don Marquis died. (Today in Literature)

Monday Quote of the Night

Monday, December 28th, 2009

“Masterpieces are no more than the shipwrecked flotsam of great minds.”

-Marcel Proust




Monday Evening Book Reviews

Monday, December 28th, 2009

No touchy-feely self help book, this.  Daniel H. Pink gives us the scientific lowdown on motivation in, DRIVE: THE SURPRISING TRUTH ABOUT WHAT MOTIVATES US.

IN CHEAP WE TRUST: THE STORY OF A MISUNDERSTOOD AMERICAN VIRTUE, by Lauren Weber, might make you feel better if you found a lot of crap under the Christmas tree.

The Telegraph features a few travel books for stoking the wanderlust.

Author Susan Hill must like what she sees in The Washington Post about her new mystery, VOWS OF SILENCE.

Afternoon Viewing: Margot Berwin

Monday, December 28th, 2009

From the YouTube description:

Irene Michaels talks with Margot Berwin, author of Hot House Flower and the Nine Plants of Desire: A Novel:

Monday Morning LitLinks

Monday, December 28th, 2009

Author Sue Townsend gets a second chance at life after receiving her son’s kidney. (Thaindian News)

Shaeen Buneri profiles poet Pashtun poet and writer Abdurrahman Roghani. (Radio Free Europe)

Leonce Gaiter goes after ‘the Publishing Ghetto.’ (Huffington Post)

Literary notables share their advice for reorganizing your personal library. (Room for Debate Blog)

Will Apple’s rumored tablet be called iSlate? (MacRumors)

A friendly reminder that money should flow to the writer. (Robert Swartwood)

Marion Maneker reports (presumably from the trenches) on the publishing industry’s “battle” over eBooks. (Washington Post)

Carol Rumens returns with a new poem of the week: Thomas Hardy’s “The Darkling Thrush.” (Guardian Books Blog)

Nearly two-thirds of the 100 eBooks currently atop the Kindle bestseller list are free. (GalleyCat)

On this day in 1917 H. L. Mencken’s “A Neglected Anniversary,” his hoax article on the American invention of the bathtub, was published in the New York Evening Mail. (Today in Literature)

Midnight Poetry: Christmas Tree

Sunday, December 27th, 2009

Christmas Tree

(Michael O’Mahony)

This year I’ll buy a Christmas tree -
stand it by the window.
I’ll hang nothing on it,
and blow smoke through the needles.
But above it will be the ceiling
and below it, the floor
and that will keep us.

(Get to know more of Michael O’Mahony 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.

Sunday Quote of the Night

Sunday, December 27th, 2009

“Three hours a day will produce as much as a man ought to write.”

-Anthony Trollope




Sunday Evening Book Reviews

Sunday, December 27th, 2009

With some perspective and much devotion, Terry Teachout gives us, POPS: A LIFE OF LOUIS ARMSTRONG.

No matter all the articles decrying best-of lists, they’re here to stay and The Dallas Morning News has, in my opinion, earned the right to as many column inches of lists as they’d like for their support of the publishing industry through printing and reprinting book reviews.  Oh look!  Here’s one now.

Brotherly love in Philadelphia for brother Malcolm Gladwell and his latest collection, WHAT THE DOG SAW.

Author, Alice Even Cohen, chronicles her misdiagnosed pregnancy and its galloping adventures over her ‘settled’ life in her memoir, WHAT I THOUGHT I KNEW.

Afternoon Viewing: Dennis Brutus

Sunday, December 27th, 2009

The late author spoke earlier this year about receiving the War Resisters League award: