Archive for April, 2010

Friday Quote of the Night

Friday, April 30th, 2010

“If a man has talent and can’t use it, he’s failed. If he uses only half of it, he has partly failed. If he uses the whole of it, he has succeeded, and won a satisfaction and triumph few men ever know.”

-Thomas Wolfe



Friday Evening Book Reviews

Friday, April 30th, 2010

Doug Glanville dishes clean on baseball in his memoir, THE GAME FROM WHERE I STAND: A BALLPLAYER’S INSIDE VIEW.

The New York Times’ travel section profiles GROUNDED: A DOWN TO EARTH JOURNEY AROUND THE WORLD, by Seth Stevenson.

Who wouldn’t love THE COMPLETE PEANUTS: 1975 TO 1976, by Charles Schultz?

IF YOU KNEW SUZY: A MOTHER, A DAUGHTER, A REPORTER’S NOTEBOOK, by Katherine Rosman, chronicles her mother’s battle with cancer.

Afternoon Viewing: Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl

Friday, April 30th, 2010

Author magazine talks to Beautiful Creatures authors Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl:

Friday Morning LitLinks

Friday, April 30th, 2010

Philip K. Dick’s journals of “religious visions” to be published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. (NYTimes)

JK Evanczuk compiles some quotes from angry writers. (Lit Drift)

Dave Rosenthal teases a longer upcoming Q&A with author Wes Moore. (Read Street)

“Emily Dickinson’s Garden: The Poetry of Flowers” opens Friday at the New York Botanical Garden in the Bronx. (NYTimes)

Need some quick money? Write a story for a quarter (hint: click “Info”). (quarter stories)

An excellent slide show of “20 books every ‘tween and teen should read before they’re 16.” (Canadian Family)

Meanwhile, a suburban Indianapolis school has pulled Toni Morrison’s Song of Solomon after a parent complained it was “inappropriate.” (WISHTV)

Beat poet, musician and lit magazine publisher Michael Horovitz jumps into the Oxford poetry professorship fray. (The Guardian)

Colin McCoy, lead vocalist and songwriter of the indy rock act The Decemberists, has signed a three-book children’s series deal with HarperCollins. (GalleyCat)

R.I.P. Herbert Christian Merillat, author. (Washington Post)

“On this day in 1642, courtier, soldier, and gentleman-poet Richard Lovelace presented the Kentish Petition to Parliament, and was promptly imprisoned for it. His confinement produced “To Althea, From Prison”; this has become one of the most anthologized of 17th century poems, known especially for the poster-famous lines in the last stanza….” (Today in Literature)

Thursday Quote of the Night

Thursday, April 29th, 2010

“Until I feared I would lose it, I never loved to read. One does not love breathing.”

-Harper Lee




Thursday Evening Book Reviews

Thursday, April 29th, 2010

It was a worthy trip for The Los Angeles Times to take the ride with poet and essayist Ander Monson in VANISHING POINT: NOT A MEMOIR.  Buckle your seatbelts.

Publishers Lunch recaps early impressions of First Lady Laura Bush’s memoir, SPOKEN FROM THE HEART.

NOX, Anne Carson’s unconventional eulogy for her brother, Michael, moves and impresses Michael Dirda in The Washington Post.

And The Washington Times is inflamed by Eva Figes’ lack of objectivity in JOURNEY TO NOWHERE: ONE WOMAN LOOKS FOR THE PROMISED LAND, a recounting of her personal history with the Nazis and her take on Zionism.

Afternoon Viewing: Virginia’s New iPad

Thursday, April 29th, 2010

99 year old poet Virginia Campbell tries out the iPad:

Her poem:

To this technology-ninny it’s clear
In my compromised 100th year,
That to read and to write
Are again within sight
Of this Apple iPad pioneer.

Thursday Morning LitLinks

Thursday, April 29th, 2010

Darragh McManus  examines the enduring relevance of Oscar Wilde. (Guardian Books Blog)

Ang Lee angling for Life of Pi adaptation. (indieWIRE)

Jessica Seinfeld wins an appeals court ruling in cookbook plagiarism case. (Washington Post)

Chelsea Emery chats it up with Girl in Translation author Jean Kwok. (Reuters)

Author Tayari Jones cancels Tucson festival appearance over Arizona’s new immigration law. (Guardian)

Howard Stern producer Gary Dell’Abate, aka Baba Booey, snags a mid-6 figure book deal with Random House. (

Morning Media Menu talks to Nancy Drew expert Jennifer Fisher on the occasion of the famed character’s 80th birthday. (GalleyCat)

“On this day in 1980 Alfred Hitchcock died. Hitchcock borrowed from a long list of 20th century novelists, but in one of his last public appearances he showed a wider range by borrowing from Thomas de Quincey’s 1827 essay, “On Considering Murder as One of the Fine Arts.” He then bid the gala crowd farewell: “They tell me that murder is committed every minute, so I don’t want to waste any more of your time. I know you want to get to work. Thank You.”" (Today in Literature)

Wednesday Quote of the Night

Wednesday, April 28th, 2010

“Homo sapiens is the species that invents symbols in which to invest passion and authority, then forgets that symbols are inventions.”

-Joyce Carol Oates




Wednesday Evening Book Reviews

Wednesday, April 28th, 2010

The Los Angeles Times offers a mixed report on Philip Pullman’s THE GOOD MAN JESUS AND THE SCOUNDREL CHRIST.

MY BROTHER CHARLIE, by Holly Robinson Peete, moved a Monsters & Critics reviewer to tears.

Comic books on display over at Robot6.

And Publishers Weekly has fiction – a whole page of fiction!

5 Minutes Alone… with Andrew Grant

Wednesday, April 28th, 2010

Author Andrew Grant is back with his second David Trevellyan thriller, DIE TWICE.  His plots and his audience span the Atlantic from the U.S. to his native England, and Grant’s background hints at a catalog of experience and intrigue to draw upon.  Not a bad well to draw from for inspiration when you write page-turners, it seems.

We’d like to thank him for taking the time to be part of our “5 Minutes Alone” interview series.

AuthorScoop: What was your very first publication credit?

Andrew: EVEN, my first novel, was also my first publication credit.

AuthorScoop: Tell us about your latest release.

Andrew: My latest release – DIE TWICE – will be launched on May 11th.  Obliged to leave New York City in the aftermath of his previous mission, David Trevellyan is summoned to the British Consulate in Chicago.  To the same office where just a week before his new handler was attacked and shot by a Royal Navy Intelligence operative gone bad.  Assigned the job of finding the rogue agent and putting an end to his treacherous scheme, Trevellyan soon finds that once again, his only hopes of saving countless innocent lives lie not within the system, but in his instinctive belief – you’re bound to do what’s right, whatever the personal cost may be.

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

Andrew: Writing is often thought of as a solitary profession, but the truth is that to be successful, a large team of people is always involved.  For me, that would include my agent, Janet Reid.  My editors – Pete Wolverton in New York and Trisha Jackson in London.  Everyone at St Martin’s Press and Macmillan who worked on the artwork, production, marketing and promotion of my books.  The booksellers, who put them in the hands of readers.  And in the case of DIE TWICE, my mother-in-law, Anastasia Friel Gutting.

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

Andrew: I’m a night person, so I work best between 11.00pm and 3.00am.

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

Andrew: My only advice would be – take no advice.  Writing is an individual process and you just have to figure out what works for you.  There are no right or wrong answers, and the only thing that matters is turning in the best manuscript you can possibly produce.

DIE TWICE, from Minotaur Books and St.Martin’s Press, is due in bookstores next month and available at online retailers, and Barnes & for  pre-order right now.  Get yours!

Afternoon Viewing: Judson Roberts

Wednesday, April 28th, 2010

Girls in the Stacks‘ interview with Young Adult author Judson Roberts, author of the Strongbow Saga series – Viking Warrior, Dragons from the Sea and The Road to Vengeance:

Wednesday Morning LitLinks

Wednesday, April 28th, 2010

Writings by Marilyn Monroe to be published thus fall by Farrar, Straus & Giroux. (ABCNews)

Sean O’Brien recounts his trip to interview Peter Porter, just a few weeks before the poet’s death. (Guardian Books Blog)

UK bookstores get a bump from sales of the three main parties’ manifestos as election season heats up. (Telegraph)

Shara Lessley chats it up with poet Nick Lantz. (The Rumpus)

Lincoln Michel ranks literary magazines. (The Faster Times)

Melville House now taking nominations for the year’s best (and worst) book trailers as they prepare for the first annual Moby Awards. (GalleyCat)

Jonathan Brown pays tribute to the late Alan Sillitoe. (The Independent)

Jennifer B. McDonald recaps the recent London Review of Books‘ panel discussion on “The Author in the Age of the Internet.” (NYTimes)

R.I.P. Alice Miller, psychoanalyst and author. (Washington Post)

“On this day in 1926 Harper Lee was born in Monroeville, Alabama. After the immediate and overwhelming success of To Kill a Mockingbird (1960), and despite forecasting more, Lee is known to have published only three short magazine articles since, all in the 60s; nor has she broken the silence and anonymity into which she quickly retreated.” (Today in Literature)

Tuesday Quote of the Night

Tuesday, April 27th, 2010

“Even in literature and art, no man who bothers about originality will ever be original: whereas if you simply try to tell the truth (without caring twopence how often it has been told before) you will, nine times out of ten, become original without ever having noticed it.”

-C.S. Lewis



Tuesday Evening Book Reviews

Tuesday, April 27th, 2010

Hindsight doesn’t make it useless, says The New York Times of 13 BANKERS: THE WALL STREET TAKEOVER AND THE NEXT FINANCIAL MELTDOWN by Simon Johnson and James Kwak.

Charles Bowden profiles the Mexican crime crisis in MURDER CITY: CIUDAD JUAREZ AND THE GLOBAL ECONOMY’S NEW KILLING FIELDS.

The New Republic features a different view of the gays-in-the-military debate, James Lord’s MY QUEER WAR.

And my local paper loves a new craze – reverso poetry – one story top to bottom, an entirely different read bottom to top.  In this case, a book for children, MIRROR MIRROR, by Marilyn Singer and illustrated by Josee Masse.

Afternoon Viewing: David Foster Wallace, Part 10

Tuesday, April 27th, 2010

The tenth, and final, segment from a recently released 2003 interview:

Part 1 here.
Part 2 here.
Part 3 here.
Part 4 here.
Part 5 here.
Part 6 here.
Part 7 here.
Part 8 here.
Part 9 here.

Tuesday Morning LitLinks

Tuesday, April 27th, 2010

Paulann Petersen appointed poet laureate of Oregon. (Gazette Times)

Sven Birkerts explores the reading of novels in the age of the Internet. (The American Scholar)

Random House spokesperson comments on the William Styron eBook situation. (GalleyCat)

Ella Allfrey explores what it means to be an African writer in the light of the Caine prize shortlist announcement. (Guardian Books Blog)

Tom Wolfe goes after Mark Twain… (NYTimes)

…Snarky people confused by snark. (Gawker)

George W. Bush memoir to be published in November. (NYTimes)

M.A. Orthofer rounds up the latest in the “why-translation-matters rampaging.” (The Literary Saloon)

Riffing off of a similar list at Flashlight Worthy, Jason Boog shares some other reader choices of books that helped them learn to write. (GalleyCat)

“On this day in 1882 Ralph Waldo Emerson died at the age of seventy-eight. Although Emerson’s last decade was one of increasing debility it was also one of international accolade and local adulation. When the Sage of Concord returned from his last trip abroad he found the band playing, the schoolchildren singing and his burned home rebuilt by the community.” (Today in Literature)

Monday Quote of the Night

Monday, April 26th, 2010

“If you’re going to be crazy, you have to get paid for it or else you’re going to be locked up.”

-Hunter S. Thompson




Monday Evening Book Reviews

Monday, April 26th, 2010

Sue Miller ups her game in her latest novel, THE LAKE SHORE LIMITED, and earns a good word from The New York Times.

Then the left coast weighs in a mite cooler on Anchee Min’s PEARL OF CHINA.

The Haitian Revolution sets the stage for Isabel Allende’s ISLAND BENEATH THE SEA.

And The Wall Street Journal endorses Robert Love’s THE GREAT OOM: THE IMPROBABLE BIRTH OF YOGA IN AMERICA.

Afternoon Viewing: David Foster Wallace, Part 9

Monday, April 26th, 2010

The ninth of ten segments from a recently released 2003 interview:

Part 1 here.
Part 2 here.
Part 3 here.
Part 4 here.
Part 5 here.
Part 6 here.
Part 7 here.
Part 8 here.