Archive for June, 2010

Wednesday Quote of the Night

Wednesday, June 30th, 2010

“Books say: she did this because. Life says: she did this. Books are where things are explained to you, life where things aren’t.”

-Julian Barnes




Wednesday Evening Book Reviews

Wednesday, June 30th, 2010

The Wall Street Journal features an approving look at William Powers’ HAMLET’S BLACKBERRY: A PRACTICAL PHILOSOPHY FOR BUILDING A GOOD LIFE IN THE DIGITAL AGE.

JACK KEROUAC AND ALLEN GINSBERG: THE LETTERS, edited by Bill Morgan and David Stanford, is Kirkus’ current web exclusive review.

The Christian Science Monitor re-launches its 1982 review of James A. Michener’s SPACE.


Afternoon Viewing: Max Cryer

Wednesday, June 30th, 2010

From the CTV YouTube description:

Max Cryer joins Megan Banks live on the Good Living show to discuss his book ‘Who said that first? The curious origins of common words and phrases’.

Cryer has a love of the English language and has spent much of his career researching and discussing it. In this interview (and his book) he reveals the origins of commonly used words or phrases.

Famous lines or quotes are often not attributed to the actual author. Find out who wrote the famous line ‘go ahead make my day’ and who invented the name ‘Superman’.

Wednesday Morning LitLinks

Wednesday, June 30th, 2010

“Whitman freak-out jam by the waterfront” kicks off tomorrow in Brooklyn Bridge Park. (Wall Street Journal)

The Rumpus Book Club gangs up on Citrus County author, John Brandon. (The Rumpus)

“Punky Brewster” star Soliel Moon Frye sells her memoir to Penguin imprint Dutton. (CNN)

Christopher Hitchens cuts short his book tour for “personal reasons.” (The Huffington Post)

Seattle author Molly Ringle wins the 2010 Bulwer-Lytton Fiction Contest for bad writing. (National Post)

Google commemorates the 110th anniversary of the birth of Little Prince author Antoine de Saint-Exupéry. (The Guardian)

Jason Boog introduces the Morning Media Menu’s discussion with CBS News correspondent Barry Peterson. (GalleyCat)

Glenn Beck becomes a heavyweight force in publishing. (DailyFinance)

A new wave of Indian literature emerges from fading caste distinctions. (The Independent)

Novelist Julie Burchill scores a weekly column for The Independent. (The Guardian)

Jeff Bezos lays out his plan for the future of eReading. (Fortune)

“On this day in 1936, Margaret Mitchell’s Gone With the Wind was published. It had been extensively promoted, chosen as the July selection by the Book-of-the-Month Club, and so gushed about in pre-publication reviews — “Gone With the Wind is very possibly the greatest American novel,” said Publisher’s Weekly — that it was certain to sell, and to provoke parody.” (Today in Literature)

Tuesday Quote of the Night

Tuesday, June 29th, 2010

“We can never know for certain where our prayers are likely to go, nor from whom the answers will come. Just when we think we are at our nearest to God, we could be assisting the Devil.”

-Norman Mailer



Tuesday Evening Book Reviews

Tuesday, June 29th, 2010

The Wasau Daily Herald has a look at Phyllis Reynolds Naylor’s introspection-encouraging novel, FAITH, HOPE AND IVY JUNE.


Max Hastings earns praise for WINSTON’S WAR: CHURCHILL, 1940-1945.

Monsters & Critics likes GHOST OF A CHANCE, the first in a new series by Simon R. Green.

And The Trades gives a B+ to HERCULES, THE KNIVES OF KUSH, by Steve More, Chris Bolson, and Doug Sirois

Afternoon Viewing: Simon Rich

Tuesday, June 29th, 2010

From the profilebooks YouTube description:

Saturday Night Live sketch writer and all round genius Simon Rich has written a brilliant teen novel called Elliot Allagash, published in the UK by Serpent’s Tail:

Tuesday Morning LitLinks

Tuesday, June 29th, 2010

Rhoda Feng chats it up with Joyce Carol Oates. (The Oxonian Review)

Nick Bilton looks at how far eReaders have come and where they are likely to go. (NYTimes)

Karan Mahajan combs through Kurt Cobain’s journals. (NPR)

AL Kennedy takes a break from the “Middle Bit” of her latest novel to examine how the modern author has to cultivate an image. (Guardian Books Blog)

Middle American poets duke it out in a public email war. (The Courier-Journal)

Stephen Hawking’s latest book, co-authored with physicist Leonard Mlodinow, due out in September. (San Jose Mercury News)

Hannibal’s annual Tom Sawyer Days festival forced to move due to flood waters. (Hannibal Courier-Post)

Jeff Rivera talks to veteran publishing attorney Lloyd Jassin about how best to avoid being sued for copyright infringement. (GalleyCat)

R.I.P. Andreas Okopenko, avant-garde author. (Austrian Independent Online News)

“On this day in 1613 The Globe playhouse, of which Shakespeare was part-owner, burned down, the fire ignited by cannon sparks during a performance of Shakespeare’s Henry the Eighth. Today’s Globe was reconstructed 200 yards from the 1613 Globe, and is as close in design and materials as scholars and building codes could manage – though some want it re-reconstructed based on new research.” (Today in Literature)

Monday Quote of the Night

Monday, June 28th, 2010

“Words are, of course, the most powerful drug used by mankind.”

-Rudyard Kipling




Monday Evening Book Reviews

Monday, June 28th, 2010

I don’t know if I can stand that it’s illustrated, but then again, maybe it had to be to be bludgeoning enough: Sebastian Mallaby’s MORE MONEY THAN GOD: HEDGE FUNDS AND THE MAKING OF A NEW ELITE.

The LA Times give a byline to a handful of gradeschoolers weighing in on their recent reads.

RETIREMENTOLOGY: RETHINKING THE AMERICAN DREAM IN A NEW ECONOMY, by Gregory Salsbury, Ph.D. gets called more or less redundant by USA Today.

Basil & Spice has good things to say about Barry Eisler’s mashup of current events, a little insider knowledge, social commentary, and swashbuckling in his newest novel, INSIDE OUT.

Afternoon Viewing: Pam Ehrenberg

Monday, June 28th, 2010

From the American Library Association YouTube description:

We caught up with Pam Ehrenberg in the hot sun working on one of her latest YA books. She tells us about her two upcoming books:

Monday Morning LitLinks

Monday, June 28th, 2010

Michelle Richmond chats it up with novelist Vendela Vida. (The Rumpus)

Craig Lambert profiles lit agent Andrew Wylie… (Harvard Magazine)

…M.A. Othofer is not impressed. (The Literary Saloon)

82-year-old grandmother gets her debut book deal. (Telegraph)

James Woods (glowingly) profiles novelist David Mitchell. (The New Yorker)

Will eBooks make for more bestsellers? (The Economic Times)

Xing Daiqi previews the Beijing International Book Fair. (GlobalTimes)

Carol Rumens is back with the text and some excellent commentary on a new ‘poem of the week,’ Peter Didsbury’s “A Fire Shared.” (Guardian Books Blog)

Janice Kaplan recommends a dozen summer reads. (The Daily Beast)

Dick Donahue and Skip Skwarek preview 2010′s Fall hardcover listings. (Publishers Weekly)

“On this day in 1915 Henry James wrote to the British Prime Minister, Herbert Asquith, to inform him of a “desire to offer myself for naturalisation in this country.” James was 72 years old, and 40 years a resident in England; this grand gesture in the early days of WWI was his way of “throwing into the scale of [England's] fortune my all but imponderable moral weight — ‘a poor thing but mine own.”” (Today in Literature)

Sunday Quote of the Night

Sunday, June 27th, 2010

“Life is divided into three terms – that which was, which is, and which will be. Let us learn from the past to profit by the present, and from the present to live better in the future.”

-William Wordsworth




Sunday Evening Book Reviews

Sunday, June 27th, 2010

Julie Orringer reaps more praise for THE INVISIBLE BRIDGE, this time in Dallas.

THE ART DETECTIVE: FAKES, FRAUDS, AND FINDS AND THE SEARCH FOR LOST TREASURES, by Philip Moulds, gets good marks in New Jersey for intrigue and expertise.

Apparently, this Miami Herald reviewer doesn’t get Bret Easton Ellis either and pans his latest novel, IMPERIAL BEDROOMS.

And The LA Times features the scoop on three new health and fitness releases.

Afternoon Viewing: Salman Rushdie

Sunday, June 27th, 2010

An interview with the author at the American Library Association’s 2010 conference:

Sunday Morning LitLinks

Sunday, June 27th, 2010

Can a new book by Philip Larkin’s longtime partner Monica Jones rehabilitate his reputation as a misogynist? (The Guardian)

Kare Springen examines whether kids’ book publishers are killing the rainforests. (Publishers Weekly)

Sharon Churcher scores a rare visit with Harper Lee — on the condition that she not mention ‘The Book.’ (Daily Mail)

Jim Dwyer looks at the struggles of poet Marie Ponsot after her recent stroke. (NYTimes)

Levi Asher chats it up in an entertaining interview with Bad Marie author, Marcy Dermansky. (LitKicks)

Rivka Galchen traces the path to understanding Borges straight through the works of Robert Louis Stevenson. (NYTimes)

Mark Sanderson rounds up some new writerly items in his latest installment of ‘Literary Life.’ (Telegraph)

Carolyn Kellogg welcomes the age of the book blogger. (LATimes)

When did vampires become such a serious topic of conversation? (Telegraph)

“On this day in 1928 Sylvia Beach hosted a dinner party in order that F. Scott Fitzgerald, who “worshipped James Joyce, but was afraid to approach him,” might do so. Out of nervousness or champagne, Fitzgerald greeted his hero by dropping down on one knee, kissing his hand, and declaring, “How does it feel to be a great genius, Sir? I am so excited at seeing you, Sir, that I could weep.” “(Today in Literature)

Saturday Quote of the Night

Saturday, June 26th, 2010

“Good books don’t give up all their secrets at once.”

-Stephen King




Afternoon Viewing: Sloane Crosley

Saturday, June 26th, 2010

From the GalleyCat description:

What does Sloane Crosley think of the term “chick-lit?” We talk about the term and some publishing industry trends — such as whether publishers should hold back the release of e-books to spur hard copy sales…:

Saturday Evening Book Reviews

Saturday, June 26th, 2010

Publishers Weekly has a page of non-fiction reviews for your education and enlightenment.

The Boston Globe applauds Carolyn Parkhurst’s third novel, THE NOBODIES ALBUM.

There were bound to be some truths in UNDATEABLE: 311 THINGS GUYS DO THAT GUARANTEE THEY WON’T BE DATING OR HAVING SEX, by Anne Coyle and Ellen Rakieten. The Chicago Tribune hails this more as a novelty item than any strong social commentary, but it sounds good for a giggle.

And USA Today has a new Book Buzz column out with recommendations to run or stroll- either towards or away.  Ahhh, summer reading choices…

Saturday Morning LitLinks

Saturday, June 26th, 2010

Emily Backus chats it up with “playwright of the people,” Dario Fo. (Financial Times)

Bret Easton Ellis continues his “no one understands me” comeback tour. (NBC New York)

Ellen Degeneres chalks up a new book deal for a 2011 memoir, to be published by Grand Central. (GalleyCat)

Glasgow psychiatrist Dr. Iain Smith declares the notion that drugs and alcohol fuel creativity a “myth.” (The Independent)

Alison Flood wonders if a detective novel might one day take the Booker prize. (The Guardian)

Pulitzer Prize winner and former US poet laureate Ted Kooser takes the inaugural Hall-Kenyon Prize in American Poetry. (WBZTV)

Happy 613th birthday to poet and saint Kabir Das. (

Now even publishers are cranking out their variations of the (obviously influential) “20 Under 40″ list. (Publishers Weekly)

On this day in 1284 the Pied Piper lured the children away from Hamelin, to something better or worse, depending on which legend, poem, play, film, song, scholar or physician you consult — the documents ranging in date and format from a stained glass window made shortly after the event to Jethro Tull’s Too Old to Rock ‘n Roll, Too Young to Die album. (Today in Literature)