Archive for May, 2010

Monday Quote of the Night

Monday, May 31st, 2010

“I’ll be more enthusiastic about encouraging thinking outside the box when there’s evidence of any thinking going on inside it.”

-Terry Prachett

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Monday Evening Book Reviews

Monday, May 31st, 2010

Biographer, Hilary Spurling, brings back to us one of the most celebrated writers of her time in, PEARL BUCK IN CHINA: JOURNEY TO THE GOOD EARTH.

Lance Armstrong shares in his memoirs, but Daniel Coyle digs a little deeper for, LANCE ARMSTRONG’S WAR: ONE MAN’S BATTLE AGAINST FATE, FAME, LOVE.

The LA Times turns loose a page of their opinions on a recent crop of books for children.

The staff at Publishers Weekly compiles a list of their picks for good summer reads.

Happy Memorial Day

Monday, May 31st, 2010

Had some technical issues this morning, so we’ll be back tomorrow with another set of LitLinks.

Sunday Quote of the Night

Sunday, May 30th, 2010

“All we need is a meteorologist who has once been soaked to the skin without ill effect. No one can write knowingly of the weather who walks bent over on wet days.”

-E.B. White

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Sunday Evening Book Reviews

Sunday, May 30th, 2010

The Dallas Morning News posts a pair of business books on review.

Sarah Ellison chronicles shake-ups and gamebook changes in, WAR AT THE WALL STREET JOURNAL.

The Huffington Post features a page full of poetry books.

THE AWAKENER: A MEMOIR OF KEROUAC AND THE FIFTIES, author Helen Weaver grants a short interview with this review at The Start-Ledger.

And The New York Times looks at the latest English translation of Simone de Beauvoir’s, THE SECOND SEX.

Afternoon Viewing: Siobhan Cunningham

Sunday, May 30th, 2010

From thebookchanneltv YouTube description:

Book Channel Author Interview with Siobhan Cunningham about her book, The Penance List.

A thriller based in Chelsea, London and the stunning Amalfi Coast, Italy, involving modern fun loving glamorous women and the not so glamorous world of models, footballers, paedophiles, prostitutes and the media.

Sunday Morning LitLinks

Sunday, May 30th, 2010

R.I.P. Dennis Hopper: actor, writer and director. (Telegraph)

Sarah Crown falls for Roddy Doyle. (Guardian Books Blog)

Louisa Ermelino recounts the “highlights and lowlights” of the BEA Authors Lunch. (Publishers Weekly)

Dave Eggers’ “radical child literacy move” to make its way to Britain. (The Guardian)

Peaches Geldof invokes Bret Easton Ellis (?) as inspiration for her upcoming book of short stories for children. (Telegraph)

Katy Guest serves up a dispatch from a rainy Hay Festival. (The Independent)

Anne Rice’s estate hits the market. (The Desert Sun)

Tymon Smith highlights the longlists for the 2010 Alan Paton Award. (The Sunday Times – South Africa)

Teresa Budasi shares some summer reading recommendations. (Chicago Sun-Times)

On this day in 1431 Joan of Arc was burned at the stake. The first of dozens of plays about Joan’s life appeared just a few years after her burning; the most famous modern treatment appeared just a few years after her canonization. This was George Bernard Shaw’s Saint Joan, premiering in New York in 1923, in London in 1924, and finally bringing Shaw his Nobel Prize in 1925. (Today in Literature)

Saturday Quote of the Night

Saturday, May 29th, 2010

“I haven’t got the slightest idea how to change people, but still I keep a long list of prospective candidates just in case I should ever figure it out.”

-Dave Sedaris

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Saturday Evening Book Reviews

Saturday, May 29th, 2010

There are things you think you kind of know about because they are familiar enough and that’s when you should probably read a book – like Aldona Jonaitis and Aaron Glass’ THE TOTEM POLE: AN INTERCULTURAL HISTORY.

Jeff Brown and Mark Fenske strive to make it a science with THE WINNER’S BRAIN: 8 STRATEGIES GREAT MINDS USE TO ACHIEVE SUCCESS.

Dominic Lieven has much to offer fans of military histories with RUSSIA AGAINST NAPOLEAN: THE TRUE STORY OF THE CAMPAIGNS WAR AND PEACE.

THE ANGEL’S GAME, by Carlos Ruiz Zafón, earns its paperback accolades at January Magazine.

Afternoon Viewing: Giles Blunt

Saturday, May 29th, 2010

From the 5min.com description:

Giles Blunt, best known for his series of novels following detective John Cardinal, discusses his most recent effort, Breaking Lorca:


An Interview with Author Giles Blunt

Saturday Morning LitLinks

Saturday, May 29th, 2010

Pritish Nandy returns to poetry with Again. (Hindustan Times)

Scott Butki discusses The Imperfectionists with Tom Rachman. (Blogcritics Books)

Authors interviewing themselves… what could go wrong with that? (The Guardian)

Travis Kurowski navigates the ethical boundaries of historical fiction. (The Rumpus)

The Griffin Poetry Prize celebrates its 10th birthday. (Toronto Star)

Take an online tour through some of the summer’s biggest literary festivals. (The Daily Beast)

Sarah Crown examines the guilt pleasure of coveting thy neighbor’s book collection. (Guardian Books Blog)

Jason Boog offers a weekly wrap-up of literary coverage (GalleyCat)

R.I.P. Stephen Perry, former ‘Thundercats’ writer. (AP)

On this day in 1914 the first installment of Edgar Lee Masters’s Spoon River Anthology appeared, with the full 244 “epitaphs,” published in book form in 1916. Despite fears of a backlash due to his realistic and unflattering view of life in a Midwest village, the book was an instant hit, and the national praise so outdid the local anger that Masters was eventually able to give up legal practice and become a full time writer. (Today in Literature)

Friday Quote of the Night

Friday, May 28th, 2010

“Writing is not a job description.  A great deal of it is luck.  Don’t do it if you are not a gambler because a lot of people devote many years of their life to it.  I think people become writers because they are compulsive wordsmiths.”

-Margaret Atwood

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Friday Evening Book Reviews

Friday, May 28th, 2010

As the school year winds down with end-of-grade testing, Diane Ravitch’s THE DEATH AND LIFE OF THE GREAT AMERICAN SCHOOL SYSTEM, feels very relevant.

And for civics and government class, we turn to The Washington Times for a look at THE UPPER HOUSE: A JOURNEY BEHIND THE CLOSED DOORS OF THE U.S. SENATE, by Terence Samuel.

The Wall Street Journal reviews a pair of books on modern battlefield medicine, PARADISE GENERAL, by Dr. Dave Hnida, and THE NIGHTINGALE OF MOSUL, by Susan Luz.

And author, Neal Drinnan, gets mostly good marks on his latest novel, RARE BIRD OF TRUTH.

Afternoon Viewing: A.S. Byatt

Friday, May 28th, 2010

A.S. Byatt discusses her acclaimed novel, The Children’s Book:



An Interview with Author AS Byatt

Friday Morning LitLinks

Friday, May 28th, 2010

Andrew Sullivan offers up a fascinating post on Robert Frost’s relationship with The Atlantic. (The Daily Dish)

Just in time for Memorial Day weekend, Janet Maslin offers up some “guilt-free” reading recommendations. (NYTimes)

Crime writer Jeffery Deaver will write the next James Bond book. (ABCNews)

You can’t make this stuff up: ex-Duchess of York Sarah Ferguson escapes the firestorm of her money-grubbing scandal in the UK to promote a book called Helping Hands at BEA. (CSMonitor)

The Guardian wants your Hay festival photos. (Guardian Books Blog)

Jill Marcellus comes to terms with the fact that having studied Victorian literature is probably not considered a marketable skill in most job interviews. (Wall Street Journal)

Publishers embrace the iPad while harboring uncertainty about the effects of the agency model on digital pricing. (theBookseller.com)

Jennifer Belle pays actors $8 an hour to laugh at her book, The Seven Year Bitch. (NYPost)

Columbia University Press to publish David Foster Wallace’s undergrad thesis early next year. (CUP)

“On this day in 1849 Anne Bronte died of tuberculosis, the third death in eight months among the Bronte siblings. The standard view of Anne is that she had less talent than her sisters, and was cut from a plainer cloth: Charlotte was dominant and ambitious, Emily was odd and reclusive, Anne was meek and churchy. More recent biographers have challenged this group portrait.” (Today in Literature)

Thursday Quote of the Night

Thursday, May 27th, 2010

“I can imagine no more comfortable frame of mind for the conduct of life than a humorous resignation.”

-W. Somerset Maugham

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Thursday Evening Book Reviews

Thursday, May 27th, 2010

Doubly appropriate for AuthorScoop, The Wall Street Journal celebrates THE SECRET LIVES OF SOMERSET MAUGHAM, by Selina Hastings.

The ‘Working Moms’ column at about.com gives the pros and cons of Laura Vanderkam’s pep talk/how to, 168 HOURS: YOU HAVE MORE TIME THAN YOU THINK.

In Los Angeles, there’s good things to say about the terrificly-titled DARWIN’S BASTARDS: ASTOUNDING TALES FROM TOMORROW, a new sci-fi anthology, edited by Zsuzsi Gartner.

ANTHROPOLOGY OF AN AMERICAN GIRL, a rare creature indeed, a self-published-novel-scooped-up-by-a-major-publishing-house, earns author Hilary Thayer Hamann accolades in New York.

Kill Your Darling… Babies? Oh my. Eisler, Winslow & Craig Weigh In

Thursday, May 27th, 2010

Pregnancy, childbirth, and parental attachment metaphors abound in this business.  Strain at the plot arc and grind your teeth through the editing pains and you’ve given birth (or at least served as midwife) to a new thing, a wobbly creature you christen with a title, then swaddle in cover art.  Endure criticism and it stings like having your baby defamed as hard-on-the-eyes.  Ask many a writer and you’ll hear that the task of peddling a manuscript is nothing short of turning out your very flesh and blood into the cold, cruel world.

Life is hard, but literature is a nursery of horrors.

Or is it?

AuthorScoop has invited authors of every stripe to weigh in, three at a time on Thursdays, on one question:

Is your book your baby?

(view the entire essay collection here)

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“It’s true my books feel like my babies, but the metaphor only goes so far.  A parent is hardly the only force shaping and nurturing a child, and a child can survive the loss of a parent.  In this sense, the relationship of an author to his story is both more one-dimensional and more critical:  there are no other forces beyond the author to shape and nurture the story, and without the author, the story can’t possibly survive.

It’s a big responsibility.”

-bestselling author, Barry Eisler

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“Babies grow. Yes, I feed them. But the growing is magic. It happens on its own. And if I’m late with my part, the kids don’t let me forget. They protest. They demand. “Mom, I’m hungry!”

My books-in-progress on the other hand, are quiet. If I put them away in a drawer, they don’t make a peep. They demand nothing. If I slack off, they wait. They don’t gain height while they sleep. There’s no “my how you’ve grown!” or surprise that their sleeves are suddenly too short. Any growing they do is something I must consciously make happen, word by word.

Publishing a book is like seeing a child off to adulthood. You must let it have its own relationship with readers, and it may not tell the exact story you had in your mind when you wrote it.”

-Emily Winslow, author of the newly-released suspense, THE WHOLE WORLD

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“When nobody on planet earth wants to look at your baby, it’s a bit of a death knell to your soul. You look at him and you think, ‘but he’s beautiful…if only you would take a moment to look at his face—into his heart—you will see what I see’. And so it goes. Time and again you are being told, “No thank you. I’d rather not look at your baby if it’s all the same to you.” It happens so often that you begin to steal sideways glances at your child. ‘Well, maybe he’s not so pretty after all. Was that blemish there before? How did I not see that?’ You eat yourself up. You convince yourself that you have an ugly baby and you are ashamed that you’ve been too blinded by love to notice this fact. But then you remember the birth pains…and pleasures. You remember how he slipped through the birth canal, as though from nowhere. You remember those late nights that you spent slipping between pain and wonder. Then you remember watching him grow from but a kernel in your belly to this full-blown strapping child, complete. You ignore those voices in your head that tell you to notice the flaws, the scars, the dents. You tell yourself you’ll be okay. You have a beautiful baby. And you begin again. You ask another person, “Please…will you take a look at my baby? He’s really quite beautiful. All you have to do is ask…and he’s all yours. I trust him enough to send him out into the world. I raised him right. He’ll do me proud. Just look…that’s all I’m asking.”

-author, poet, playwright, Kevin Craig

Afternoon Viewing: Ky-Mani Marley at BEA

Thursday, May 27th, 2010

From the GalleyCat description:

At at the HCI Books booth at BookExpo America today, Bob Marley’s son Ky-Mani Marley played a set to support his upcoming book, Dear Dad: Where the Family in Our Family Today?

AuthorScoop on FaceBook

Thursday, May 27th, 2010

Never has it been more apparent why it’s called The Web.  AuthorScoop is getting quite tangled up in it all, and as far as I can tell, that’s good news.  But it’s early yet.

We’re already squawking Tweets about what we’re up to and just today, we’ve launched a page on FaceBook with updates on our articles and galleries of our staff and featured guests.  Of course, every bit of this is linked, for maximum tail-chasing, with our Twitterfeed.

So if you just can’t get enough AuthorScoop, click that button over there in the sidebar to the right of your screen, and then try getting this spider’s snare off your face.