Archive for August, 2010

Tuesday Quote of the Night

Tuesday, August 31st, 2010

“Heresies are experiments in man’s unsatisfied search for truth.”

-H.G. Wells




Tuesday Evening Book Reviews

Tuesday, August 31st, 2010

Author Henry Kisor’s memoir asks, WHAT’S THAT PIG OUTDOORS?, the answer to which goes a ways towards bridging the hearing and deaf communities – and all in good humor.

Juliet Fortier reaches to take a new angle on the angst-template for heroines, JULIET.

YOU LOST ME THERE, by Rosecrans Baldwin, is reviewed by The Canadian Press.

And Library Journal keeps us all up to date on what new in non-fiction.

Afternoon Viewing: “Hunting for Hemingway” Trailer

Tuesday, August 31st, 2010

From the cosproductions YouTube description:

When Hemingway’s lost works, stolen in 1922 from his first wife Hadley Richardson, are recovered, they’re worth millions. The womanizing academic who found them is murdered, and Chicago Insurance Investigator DD McGil, aided by her antiquarian book dealer friend Tom Joyce, must recover them, if genuine, or prove they are fakes:

Tuesday Morning LitLinks

Tuesday, August 31st, 2010

Okay. Finally, a literary mash-up that amuses me. (GalleyCat)

Regina Brett looks at the handwriting over a house where Langston Hughes once lived and wonders if it might be more important to instead preserve an appreciation for the author’s works. (

The Kurt Vonnegut Memorial Library will open soon. (Official site)

John Cusack to play Edgar Allen Poe in a new thriller film. (CBC News)

Luke Sampson chats it up with author and poet Ismail Kadare. (Financial Times)

JK Rowling donates £10 million to set up a multiple sclerosis research center in the name of her mother, who died from complications of the disease. (Telegraph)

Jonathan Jones sings the praises of eReading in the dark. (Guardian Books Blog)

Pynchon’s 2006 letter defending Ian McEwan against charges of plagiarism. (Letters of Note)

Bo Emerson talks to Jonathan Franzen. (accessAtlanta)

Tom Bissell defends Virginia Quarterly Review editor Ted Genoways in the aftermath of Kevin Morrissey’s suicide. (The New York Observer)

“On this day in 1946 John Hersey’s “Hiroshima” was published in The New Yorker. The article took up almost all sixty-eight pages of text space, an unprecedented and unannounced step for the magazine, taken so “that everyone might well take time to consider.” When Hersey died in 1993, one obituary called “Hiroshima” the “most famous magazine article ever published.”" (Today in Literature)

Monday Quote of the Night

Monday, August 30th, 2010

“I like to see life with its teeth out.”

-Janet Frame




Monday Evening Book Reviews

Monday, August 30th, 2010

A pair of business books get the once over at The Dallas Morning News.

The Seattle Post Intelligencer checks out a new comic, AFTER DARK #1, by Fuqua, Snipes, and Nentra.

Author Craig Silvey is going to be pleased with this glowing review of his latest effort, JASPER JONES.

Kevin Guilfoile adds his work to the the high-tension puzzler novel shelf with a heavily-loaded mix-mash of legal thriller, superhero adventure, and mystical gauntlet in his book, THE THOUSAND.

Afternoon Viewing: Daniel Ducrou

Monday, August 30th, 2010

Monday Morning LitLinks

Monday, August 30th, 2010

Sari Botton chats it up with author and essayist Shalom Auslander. (The Rumpus)

Peter Stothard rounds up a new batch of the best in British literature. (The Daily Beast)

Rachel Cooke profiles Israeli author David Grossman. (The Observer)

Might eBooks be a good fit in a correctional setting? (

A woman has crashed her car into Stephen King’s security gate. (WMTW)

Alison Flood details some of the best modern literary book tours. (The Guardian)

Judith Rosen highlights some sleepers of the fall season. (Publishers Weekly)

Gary Dexter explains how Hugh MacDiarmid’s “A Drunk Man Looks at the Thistle” got its title. (Telegraph)

Carol Rumens is back with a new poem of the week, Vona Groarke’s “Pier”. (Guardian Books Blog)

“On this day in 30 BC Cleopatra committed suicide. Death by self-inflicted asp was no whim: Cleopatra’s search for a painless exit caused more than one unfortunate to be experimentally force-fed this or that drug or snake. The dress-rehearsing done, came the final act: “Give me my robe, put on my crown; I have / Immortal longings in me. . . .”" (Today in Literature)

Sunday quote of the Night

Sunday, August 29th, 2010

“In the name of God, stop a moment, cease your work, look around you.”

-Leo Tolstoy




Sunday Evening Book Reviews

Sunday, August 29th, 2010

All of author Barbara Trapido’s editorial pacing and shouting seems to pay off in SEX AND STRAVINSKY.

Kathy Reichs is back with the next installment of her Dr. Temperance Brennan series (the one that inspired the hit TV show, Bones) and New has a look at SPIDER BONES.

My local paper makes a thorough case for a new children’s book, THE QUIET BOOK, by Deborah Underwood, illustrated by Renata Liwska.

THE CROSS OF REDEMPTION, by James Baldwin, is a powerful collection of previously unpublished essays, edited by Randall Kenan.

Afternoon Viewing: Conn Iggulden’s “Empire of Silver”

Sunday, August 29th, 2010

Sunday Morning LitLinks

Sunday, August 29th, 2010

Peter Stanford profiles prolific historical fiction author Conn Iggulden. (The Independent)

The next edition of the Oxford English Dictionary will be the last. Thanks a lot, internet. (Telegraph)

Julie Bosman examines how Jonathan Franzen was chewed up and spit out of the pop culture machine in record time. (NYTimes)

Diane Leach looks between the covers of Monique Truong’s Bitter in the Mouth. (LATimes)

Simon Winder laments the end of Penguin’s ‘Great Ideas’ series. (The Guardian)

Mark Sanderson rounds up a new batch of interesting literary tidbits. (Telegraph)

Dean Kuipers explores the environmentalist side of US Poet Laureate WS Merwin. (LATimes)

R.I.P. Jules Edward Loh, journalist. (AP)

R.I.P. Jackson Gillis, TV drama writer. (NYTimes)

“On this day in 1833, the Mills and Factory Act was passed in England, one of a series of measures to improve the “Health and Morals” of child laborers. The Act allowed a forty-eight-hour work week for children aged nine to twelve, but it brought many changes which the younger Dickens and William Blake’s even younger “Chimney Sweeper” would have welcomed.” (Today in Literature)

Saturday Quote of the Night

Saturday, August 28th, 2010

“And the first rude sketch that the world had seen was joy to his mighty heart, till the Devil whispered behind the leaves ‘It’s pretty, but is it Art?’”

-Rudyard Kipling




Saturday Evening Book Reviews

Saturday, August 28th, 2010

Wine expert Libby Volgyes is more or less won over on the usefulness (in certain categories and situations) of Carolyn Evans Hammond’s GOOD, BETTER, BEST: A NO NONSENSE GUIDE TO POPULAR WINES.

The Louisville Courier has a look a a couple of books that give an look inside the operations over at Disney.

John Gross edits a comprehensive look at ‘the sincerest form of ridicule’ in THE OXFORD BOOK OF PARODIES.

Kirkus approves of Suzanne Collins giving her fans exactly what they’d be looking for in MOCKINGJAY.

Saturday Morning LitLinks

Saturday, August 28th, 2010

Andrew Anthony profiles James Ellroy through the prism of his lastest, Blood’s a Rover. (The Observer)

Richard Lea reports on the longlist for the 2010 Guardian first book award. (The Guardian)

Blogcritics’ Scott Butki chats it up with novelist Laura Lippman. (

Kelly Zhou rounds up a week of festivities in honor of Ray Bradbury’s 90th. (Daily Bruin)

Jodi Picoult and Jennifer Weiner talk to Jason Pinter about the whole “Franzen feud”… (Huffington Post) …more here and here.

And here: Lincoln Michel asks if the Times really does favor white male authors. (Faster Times)

Bloomsbury to relaunch the entire Harry Potter series to coincide with the upcoming film and then, presumably, roll around naked in piles of money. (The Independent)

Jacket Copy looks at some “non-book literary oddities” on eBay. (LATimes)

Author Amanda Craig says the UK government should ban poor people from  having more than two children. (Telegraph)

“On this day in 430, Saint Augustine died at the age of seventy-five. He was Bishop of Hippo (now Annaba, Algeria) for thirty-four years, during which time he became the patriarch of Christian Africa and one of the most influential leaders of the Latin Church; from a literary viewpoint, his Confessions is seen as one of the first major contributions to the genre of self-disclosure.” (Today in Literature)

Friday Quote of the Night

Friday, August 27th, 2010

“A journey is a person in itself; no two are alike. And all plans, safeguards, policing, and coercion are fruitless. We find that after years of struggle that we do not take a trip; a trip takes us.”

-John Steinbeck



Friday Evening Book Reviews

Friday, August 27th, 2010

Have a little fun with mathematics and get inspired with HERE’S LOOKING AT EUCLID: A SURPRISING EXCURSION THROUGH THE ASTONISHING WORLD OF MATH, by Alex Bellos.

Author Erich Rauchway takes Tom Buchanan (Fitzgerald’s Gatsby character) on a new adventure in BANANA REPUBLIC.

The Washington Times weighs in on Binka Le Breton’s lush memoir, WHERE THE ROAD ENDS: A HOME IN THE BRAZILIAN RAINFOREST.

To bring the scales to balance, here’s a chronicle of poetic inspiration drawn from falling bombs and ruined cities – Daniel Swift’s BOMBER COUNTY: THE POETRY OF A LOST PILOT’S WAR.

Afternoon Viewing: “Litany” by Billy Collins…

Friday, August 27th, 2010

…as recited by a 3 year-old:

Friday Morning LitLinks

Friday, August 27th, 2010

Bo Emerson profiles Mississippi poet Natasha Tretheway, whose new book tackles the lingering effects of Katrina. (accessAtlanta)

Greg Gerke chats it up with short story author Lydia Davis. (The Rumpus)

Michael Korda explains why he writes. (Publishers Weekly)

In celebration of Tanith Lee. (Guardian Books Blog)

Robert Richardson discusses why William James continues to matter. (The Daily Beast)

Michael Pollak traces Mark Twain’s New York footsteps. (NYTimes)

A rather hefty profile of David Mitchell. (The Independent)

6 year-old lands a 23 book deal? (Mirror)

UK authors join forces in protesting cuts to Public Lending Right, which pays authors each time one of their books is borrowed. (The Guardian)

“On this day in 1841, James Fenimore Cooper’s The Deerslayer was published. This covers the earliest phase of the Leatherstocking saga, wherein the twenty-three-year-old Natty Bumppo must pass his first tests in the wilderness, rise above the worst of paleface and redskin ethics, avoid being burned at the stake, return Chingachgook’s beloved Wah-ta!-Wah to him, and tell Judith that his heart belongs to the forest.” (Today in Literature)

Thursday Quote of the Night

Thursday, August 26th, 2010

Every artist makes himself born. It is very much harder than the other time, and longer.”

-Willa Cather