Archive for October, 2010

Sunday Quote of the Night

Sunday, October 31st, 2010

“. . . the moon gazed on my midnight labours, while, with unrelaxed and breathless eagerness, I pursued nature to her hiding-places.

-Mary Shelley, Frankenstein




Sunday Evening Book Reviews

Sunday, October 31st, 2010

The Dallas Morning News seems to have enjoyed Bruce DeSilva’s debut, ROGUE ISLAND.

And then The LA Times smiles on DRIVING ON THE RIM, by Thomas McGuane.

THE LITTLE BOOK OF ECONOMICS: HOW THE ECONOMY WORKS IN THE REAL WORLD, by Grag Ip, gets a high grade from The Christian Science Monitor.

Just for Halloween, here’s a recommended read – THE SMALL HAND: A GHOST STORY, by Susan Hill.

Afternoon Viewing: “The Tell-Tale Heart”

Sunday, October 31st, 2010

Vincent Price’s deliciously melodramatic performance of the classic Poe short story, “The Tell-Tale Heart”:

Part One:

Edgar Allan Poe & Vincent Price: The Tell-Tale Heart (I)Watch more amazing videos here

Part Two:

Edgar Allan Poe & Vincent Price: The Tell-Tale Heart (II)Click here for more free videos

Sunday Morning LitLinks

Sunday, October 31st, 2010

Novelist Naomi Alderman and children’s author Frank Cottrell debate whether or not JK Rowling should write another Harry Potter book. (The Guardian)

Roya Nikkhah reveals, through unpublished letters, what some of the Britain’s greatest writers thought of Lady Chatterley’s Lover. (Telegraph)

National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo) kicks off tomorrow. (CultureMap Houston)

Andrew Johnson looks at classics that were banged out in a very NaNoWriMo time period. (The Independent)

Mark Sanderson returns with another week’s worth of literary tidbits. (Telegraph)

Small publishers are picking up the slack to keep readers supplied with horror stories. (Chicago Tribune)

R.I.P. Harry Mulisch, Dutch author. (Bloomberg)

R.I.P. Takeshi Shudo, Pokemon writer. (Contact Music)

“On this day in 1611 The Maid’s Tragedy, by Francis Beaumont (left) and John Fletcher, was entered in the Stationers’ Register. Beaumont and Fletcher dominated English theater throughout the 17th century; many of their plays were the sex-murder “stews” so popular at the time, but they were produced and praised at four or five times the rate of Shakespeare’s plays, and contemporaries placed Fletcher in a “triumvirate of wit” with Shakespeare and Ben Jonson.” (Today in Literature)

Saturday Quote of the Night

Saturday, October 30th, 2010

“Great literature should do some good to the reader: must quicken his perception though dull, and sharpen his discrimination though blunt, and mellow the rawness of his personal opinions.”

-A. E. Housman




Saturday Evening Book Reviews

Saturday, October 30th, 2010

The New York Times has a look at some new comics and graphic novels.

Sandy Coughlin expands on her suggestions for cultivating the art of hostessing in, THE RELUCTANT ENTERTAINER: EVERY WOMAN’S GUIDE TO SIMPLE AND GRACIOUS HOSPITALITY.

The LA Times is not bowled over by this year’s Booker winner, THE FINKLER QUESTION, by Howard Jacobson.

Poet Matthew Lippman’s latest collection, MONKEY BARS, is worked up by the Louisville Courier-Journal.

Afternoon Viewing: “The Raven”

Saturday, October 30th, 2010

Shatner channels Poe…

Saturday Morning LitLinks

Saturday, October 30th, 2010

John Walsh presents an excellent profile of Amanda Foreman. (The Independent)

Alaa Al-Aswany is pissed (and rightfully so) about the intellectual theft of his novel, The Yacoubian Building… (Arablit)

…M.A. Orthofer comments. (The Literary Saloon)

Sarah Churchwell measures the iconic presence of Mark Twain in the American psyche. (The Guardian)

Helen Brown talks to big-name writers about the stories that scared them the most… (Telegraph)

…and here’s a chance to win a ghost story contest. (Telegraph)

Jason Boog recommends some spooky horror novel adaptations to add to your Netflix list. (GalleyCat)

If you enjoyed “Howl” (the film), Scarecrow Video has some other suggested viewing about the Beats. (Seattle Times)

“On this day in 1811 Jane Austen’s first novel, Sense and Sensibility, was published. Early reviewers found it to be “a genteel, well-written novel” as far as “domestic literature” went, and “just long enough to interest without fatiguing.” Virginia Woolf would take a different view: “Sometimes it seems as if her creatures were born merely to give Jane Austen the supreme delight of slicing their heads off.”" (Today in Literature)

Friday Quote of the Night

Friday, October 29th, 2010

“In literature as in love, we are astonished at what is chosen by others.”

-Andre Maurois




Friday Evening Book Reviews

Friday, October 29th, 2010


Duff Hart-Davis does a good job rekindling a name and the art recorded under it in PHILIP DE LASZLO: HIS LIFE AND ART.

Author Donald Sturrock is the man who drew the nod to write STORYTELLER: THE AUTHORIZED BIOGRAPHY OF ROALD DAHL.


Afternoon Viewing: Susane Colasanti

Friday, October 29th, 2010

From the girlsinthestacks YouTube description:

Our teen reviewer Riyanna talks with YA author Susane Colasanti at the Austin Teen Book Festival.

Susane is crazy fun, chronicles her adventures on her blog (which you MUST read), oh, and writes some super fresh (cool) novels.

Watch and hear all about her encounter with her famous neighbor, coughKieferSutherlandcough.

Friday Morning LitLinks

Friday, October 29th, 2010

Claire Howorth looks between the covers of “wild literary heiress” Ivana Lowell’s new memoir. (The Daily Beast)

Nearly a hundred years after the death of Tolstoy, here is a list of 6 essential books on his life and work. (Huffington Post)

Halloween gives Imogen Russell Williams a reason to dust off some good classic haunted house fiction. (Guardian Books Blog)

Craig Fehrman marvels at the “brilliant brand management” behind the handling of Mark Twain’s newly released autobiography. (Slate)

Stephen King tells Jeffrey A. Trachtenberg about his eBook success and his thoughts on the format. (Wall Street Journal)

Take the Publishers Weekly eReader poll. (Publishers Weekly)

Dorchester Publishing has been de-listed by the Mystery Writers of America. (GalleyCat)

Poet Fiona Sampson looks at 21st century war poetry. (The Independent)

Anita Singh reports on Telegraph Media Group’s sponsorship of the Hay Festival. (Telegraph)

“On this day in 1933 Dylan Thomas’s “The force that through the green fuse” was published. It is one of his most anthologized poems, and its publication in a London newspaper just two days after Thomas’s nineteenth birthday would cause the scholar William Empson to mark the calendar: “what hit the town of London was the child Dylan publishing ‘The force that through the green fuse’ … and from that day he was a famous poet.”" (Today in Literature)

Thursday Quote of the Night

Thursday, October 28th, 2010

“It takes a great deal of history to produce a little literature.”

-Henry James




Thursday Evening Book Reviews

Thursday, October 28th, 2010

OUR PATCHWORK NATION: THE SURPRISING TRUTH ABOUT THE ‘REAL’ AMERICA, by Dante Chinni and James Gimpel, is the conclusion of a research project that tried (and mostly managed) to categorize the 300 million people hunkering down in tough times under one government.


Richard Francis is the latest author to dissect the famed failed project in Massachusetts in his new release, FRUITLANDS: THE ALCOTT FAMILY AND THEIR SEARCH FOR UTOPIA.

Greg Kot at The Chicago Tribune seemed to enjoy Keith Richards’ autobiography, LIFE.

Afternoon Viewing: Seth Godin

Thursday, October 28th, 2010

From the YouTube description:

Bryan Elliott of Behind the Brand interviews Seth Godin, author of the book “Linchpin” in Orange County, CA.

Dr. Johnson Strikes Again

Thursday, October 28th, 2010

As much as I like to read and write, I rarely feel like writing about reading.  So, I’m always pleased to feel moved to write a book review. Friend to AuthorScoop, Dr. Christopher Johnson, has already turned out two excellent books on children’s health that I’ve enjoyed both as a parent and as a person utterly fascinated by the clockworks of the human body.

With his latest book, though, he’s outdone himself.  HOW YOUR CHILD HEALS takes a clever format and uses visual, sensory language to strip away the mystery, but not the majesty, from one of the most complex processes in our bodies – healing.

Dr. Johnson’s expertise as a pediatric intensivist shines through, and his years of talking with parents about their sick children has honed his ability to explain, without condescension, what’s happening and why.

A find for both its depth and clarity, the real surprise is its readability. I thoroughly enjoyed it.

This book will appeal not only to pro-active parents, but to anyone with a fascination for the universe within.

5 Minutes Alone… With Tasha Alexander

Thursday, October 28th, 2010

Tasha Alexander is becoming a staple on the bookstore shelves and bestseller lists for top-tier historical suspense.  Her well-researched catalog is refreshed this month with her latest, DANGEROUS TO KNOW, and Ms. Alexander is back from globe-trotting for research just in time to go globe-trotting for readings and signings.

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

AuthorScoop: What was your very first publication credit?


AuthorScoop: Tell us about your latest release.

Tasha: DANGEROUS TO KNOW is the fifth book in my Lady Emily series. Emily has come to the lush Norman countryside in search of respite. Instead, she finds a brutally murdered woman, a ghostly child, and a family being destroyed by hereditary madness. Not to mention a disapproving mother-in-law…

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

Tasha: My parents brought me up to love books, and without them, I could never have become a novelist. Writing is an isolating endeavor, and it’s also a consuming one. If my husband weren’t so fantastic, it would be much harder to do. He’s also an author, so understands what the job requires and couldn’t be more supportive. He even provides an endless supply of tea and cheese sandwiches when I’m working…

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

Tasha: I go for extremes—early in the morning or else late into the night. It tends to switch from book to book. DANGEROUS TO KNOW was middle-of-the-night, but the manuscript I just finished was early morning (due partly to excessive jet lag!). The main thing for me is to work every single day. You can’t sit around waiting for a muse if you want to be a writer–muses are notoriously unreliable.

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

Tasha: READ! There is no better way to hone your craft than to read widely, across genres.


DANGEROUS TO KNOW is in bookstores now and you can find an electronic copy for your eReader (or order a hardcopy for delivery) by following the links from Macmillan to your favorite online retailer. Find Tasha Alexander on Facebook and Twitter to stay in the know about what’s cool in historical fiction.

Thursday Morning LitLinks

Thursday, October 28th, 2010

Prolific genre-hopping author Kate Mosse shares her top 10 favorite ghost stories. (The Guardian)

Three fiction writers, three non-fiction writers, three poets and one playwright receive the 2010 Whiting Writers’ Awards. (New York Times)

Knopf will roll out a $99 boxed set of Stieg Larsson’s Millennium trilogy, just in time for the holidays. (Publishers Weekly)

Turkish publisher Irfan Sanci is on trial for obscenity charges over a translation of Apollinaire’s erotic novel, The Exploits of a Young Don Juan. (GalleyCat)

M.A. Orthofer weighs in on the Read Japan Project. (The Literary Saloon)

Harlem’s Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture will become the permanent home to Maya Angelou’s archives. (Washington Post)

A Philadelphia writer is suing Oprah Winfrey over alleged unauthorized use of his work. (Philadelphia Inquirer)

James Patterson becomes the second author to cross the million Kindle eBooks mark. (Daemon’s Books)

Harvard Japanese literature professor and translator Jay Rubin talks about the experience of translating Haruki Murakami, including his most recent, 1Q84. (

Economist Raghuram Rajan takes the 2010 Financial Times and Goldman Sachs Business Book of the Year award. (Financial Times)

Roya Nikkhah takes a peek between the covers of the updated Kama Sutra. (Telegraph)

Like a Rolling Stone: have a look at the dozen “juiciest bits” from Keith Richards’ new memoir. (The Daily Beast)

“On this day in 1853, Henry David Thoreau received back from his publisher the 706 unsold copies (out of 1000 printed) of his first book, A Week on the Concord and Merrimack Rivers, published four years earlier at his own expense. In his journal later the same day, the ever-resilient Thoreau described his “purchase” as “a library of nearly nine hundred volumes, over seven hundred of which I wrote myself.”" (Today in Literature)

Wednesday Quote of the Night

Wednesday, October 27th, 2010

“Many writers who choose to be active in the world lose not virtue but time, and that stillness without which literature cannot be made.”

-Gore Vidal




Wednesday Evening Book Reviews

Wednesday, October 27th, 2010

I’ll bet you can guess what sorts of reviews you’ll find at  They’ve currently got some seasonal EERIE TALES to enjoy.

THE LITTLE BLACK BOOK OF SUCCESS: LAWS OF LEADERSHIP FOR BLACK WOMEN, by Elaine Meryl Brown, Marsha Haygood, Rhonda Joy McLean, and Angela Burt-Murray reads like its authors know what they’re talking about.

The Columbus Dispatch likes Linda Gerber’s YA suspense novel, TRANCE.

Columnist, Lawrence Martin, is given credit where it’s due for his investigative achievement in HARPERLAND.