Archive for March, 2011

Thursday Quote of the Night

Thursday, March 31st, 2011

“It’s a strange feeling to see one’s books come up at auction and also, to some extent, a sign of my miserable early failings as an author.”

-Ian Rankin




Thursday Evening Book Reviews

Thursday, March 31st, 2011

Hennig Mankell wraps up his Kurt Wallander series with, THE TROUBLED MAN.

William Lychack’s collection, THE ARCHITECT OF FLOWERS, is well-received in Boston.

CRAZY U: ONE DAD’S CRASH COURSE IN GETTING HIS KID INTO COLLEGE, by Andrew Ferguson, is timely reading for the grads and their families.

The New Yorker picks playwright, Michael Frayn’s, memoirish, MY FATHER’S FORTUNE: A LIFE to feature.

Afternoon Viewing: Hallie Ephron

Thursday, March 31st, 2011

SportCE talks to the acclaimed suspense novelist:

Thursday Morning LitLinks

Thursday, March 31st, 2011

Scott Hutchins chats it up with PEN/Faulkner nominee and Model Home author Eric Puchner. (The Rumpus)

Lincoln Michel previews David Foster Wallace’s The Pale King. (The Faster Times)

Bill James shares an excerpt of his Solid Fool’s Gold: Detours on the Way to Conventional Wisdom, in which he ponders why America is so good at developing athletes and “so lousy at developing writers”… (Slate)

…M.A. Orthofer offers up some commentary. (The Literary Saloon)

Rick Gekoski shares an inside view of what it’s like to be a Man Booker International judge. (Guardian Books Blog)

Ralph Steadman took no shit from Hunter S. Thompson. (Letters of Note)

It’s a good time to be a writer from Scandanavia. (USAToday)

Random House Children’s Books will publish seven Dr. Seuss stories that have never appeared in book form. (Publishers Weekly)

Jacqueline Howett’s 15 minutes of fame pain continues unabated. (Salon)

Jason Boog tips readers off to the ‘Best Book Editors on Twitter.’ (GalleyCat)

“On this day in 1809 Edward Fitzgerald was born, and on this day in 1859 his “free translation” of The Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyam was published. This became one of the most popular works of the 19th century and one of the best-selling books of poetry ever; some say that its impact on Victorian England was equal to that of The Origin of Species, also published in 1859.” (Today in Literature)

Wednesday Quote of the Night

Wednesday, March 30th, 2011

“The stories of childhood leave an indelible impression, and their author always has a niche in the temple of memory from which the image is never cast out to be thrown on the rubbish heap of things that are outgrown and outlived.”

-Howard Pyle



Wedneday Evening Book Reviews

Wednesday, March 30th, 2011


And in Chicago, LEE KRASNER: A BIOGRAPHY by Gail Levin, is called a compelling portrait of an artist overshadowed by her celebrated and troubled husband, Jackson Pollock. has a look at Geoff Dyer’s collection, OTHERWISE KNOWN AS THE HUMAN CONDITION.

Journalist Kim Barker finds a laugh where you might least expect it in THE TALIBAN SHUFFLE: STRANGE DAYS IN AFGHANISTAN AND PAKISTAN.

Afternoon Viewing: A Tribute to David Foster Wallace

Wednesday, March 30th, 2011

A excerpt from a panel moderated by “Bookwork” host Michael Silverblatt, and featuring readings of favorite Wallace passages by writers David Lipsky, Rick Moody, and Joanna Scott:

Visit Lannan Podcasts for the complete video.

Wednesday Morning LitLinks

Wednesday, March 30th, 2011

A love letter from John Keats to Fanny Brawne fetches £96,000 at auction. (The Independent)

Author-illustrator Shaun Tan takes this year’s Astrid Lindgren prize. (The Guardian)

The thirteen finalists for the Man Booker International prize have been announced… (Official)

…John le Carré says, “No, thanks.” (Official)

Australian novelist Yang Hengjun goes missing in China shortly after saying he was being followed. (Wall Street Journal)

Leland de la Durantaye examines the ethics of David Foster Wallace. (Boston Review)

Tom Payne talks to poet Wendy Cope “about her mother, the Curch and poetry snobs.” (The Telegraph)

Nathan Heller profiles historian Simon Winchester. (Slate)

David Barnett reports on Jacqueline Howett’s meltdown over her review at BigAl’s. (Guardian Books Blog)

Maryann Yin chats it up with YA author Cara Chow. (GalleyCat)

Billy Collins talks about the life of a poet laureate. (Speakeasy)

“On this day in 1880 Sean O’Casey was born, in the working-class ghettos of Dublin that he would later make famous in such plays as The Plough and the Stars. O’Casey’s six-volume autobiography is less-known, but Frank McCourt, who would cover the same sort of ground a half-century later, thought its realism a revelation and a welcome change to the Irish writers who “go on about farms and fairies and the mist that do be on the bog.”" (Today in Literature)

Tuesday Quote of the Night

Wednesday, March 30th, 2011

“Some books leave us free and some books make us free.”

-Ralph Waldo Emerson




Tuesday Evening Book Reviews

Tuesday, March 29th, 2011

The Atlantic raises and eyebrow at MY BEAUTIFUL MOMMY, a picture book to explain plastic surgery and mommy-makeovers to the short-pants set, by Dr. Michael Alexander Salzhauer.

ALL THINGS SHINING: READING THE WESTERN CLASSICS TO FIND MEANING IN A SECULAR AGE, by Hubert Dreyfus and Sean Dorrance Kelly, doesn’t find an enthusiastic champion at The New Republic.

EVERY DAY BY THE SUN: A MEMOIR OF THE FAULKNERS OF MISSISSIPPI, by Dean Faulkner Wells, is a hit at The Los Angeles Times.

And THE PEACH KEEPER, by Sarah Addison Allen, weaves through the genres on some liquid prose, says The Denver Post.

Afternoon Viewing: Mary Burton

Tuesday, March 29th, 2011

The romantic suspense author talks about her techniques and inspiration:

Tuesday Morning LitLinks

Tuesday, March 29th, 2011

Alison Flood remembers Diana Wynne Jones. (Guardian Books Blog)

Joseph Lelyveld’s Great Soul: Mahatma Gandhi And His Struggle With India may face a ban in India. (Hindustan Times)

Michael Stein chats it up with Slovak writer Michal Hvorecký. (Czech Position)

Matthew Zapruder presents “Poem for Wisconsin.” (

Samuel Muston offers up a gallery of ‘The Ten Best Photobooks.’ (The Independent)

The Guardian’s world literature tour lands in Spain. (Guardian Books Blog)

The boycott of Dorchester (Leisure) is heating up. (Brian Keene Official)

As Borders stores continue to shut down, the company still hopes to pay out more than $8 million in executive bonuses. (GalleyCat)

Jacqueline Howett provides quite the object lesson, not only in making sure your self-published book is error-free, but also in how not to respond when others notice it’s not. (BigAl’s Books and Pals)

R.I.P. HRF Keating, author and journalist. (The Telegraph)

“On this day in 1815, Jane Austen completed Emma, the last of her novels to appear in her lifetime. That it appeared with a dedication to the Prince Regent, a person whose debauched lifestyle Austen had condemned, and a type she would normally satirize, is a story that might itself have stepped from one of her books — all of them written by “laughing at myself or other people.”" (Today in Literature)

Monday Quote of the Night

Monday, March 28th, 2011

“Let us be grateful to people who make us happy, they are the charming gardeners who make our souls blossom.”

-Marcel Proust




Monday Evening Book Reviews

Monday, March 28th, 2011

Library Journal’s XPress Reviews are always a pretty good way to kick off the week.

WAIT FOR ME! a memoir by Deborah Mitford, Duchess of Devonshire, is put through its paces at

The San Fransisco Chronicle smiles upon Susie Bright’s BIG SEX LITTLE DEATH: A MEMOIR.

And in New Zealand, Ron Chernow’s WASHINGTON: A LIFE opens up a bit of American history for the interested Kiwi.

Monday Morning LitLinks

Monday, March 28th, 2011

Emma Woolf traces the steps of her great-aunt Virginia through London’s parks. (The Independent)

Star Jones or Anton Chekhov: can you tell their dialogue apart? (The Daily Beast)

As part of its ‘world literature tour,’ The Guardian shares its reader responses to a call for favorite books and authors from France. (The Guardian)

In light of the recent Google Settlement rejection, Andrew Albanese asks, “What’s next?” (Publishers Weekly)

Mary Ann Gwinn looks at poetry publisher Wave Books on the occasion of its fifth birthday. (Seattle Times)

Is the collapse of Borders spurring eBook sales in Australia? (Sydney Morning Herald)

M.A. Orthofer examines the Orhan Pamuk’s ongoing legal battle to speak his mind. (The Literary Saloon)

Test your knowledge of Tennessee Williams. (Guardian Books Blog)

R.I.P. Dianna Wynne Jones, British fantasy author. (Allvoices)

“On this day in 1970, James Dickey’s Deliverance was published. Although praised primarily as a poet — thirty collections by the time of his death in 1997 — Dickey’s tale of four suburb-dwellers on a manly descent into camping nightmare is described as “an allegory of fear and survival” and “a Heart of Darkness for our time” by the critics; son Christopher describes it as the beginning of the end for Dickey himself.” (Today in Literature)

Sunday Quote of the Night

Sunday, March 27th, 2011

“Books are never finished they are merely abandoned.”

-Oscar Wilde




Sunday Evening Book Reviews

Sunday, March 27th, 2011

LOSING GRACELAND, by Micah Nathan, has its moments, but doesn’t pull off everything it attempts.

USA Today seems a bit noncommittal on Alice Hoffman’s latest, RED GARDEN.

The Baltimore Sun selects a pair of book, a YA novel and a teen memoir, that should resonate with adults as well.

And sex isn’t quite sexy enough or erudition erudite to the satisfaction of Slate Magazine in Deborah Lutz’s PLEASURE BOUND: VICTORIAN SEX REBELS AND THE NEW EROTICISM.

Afternoon Viewing: Jodi Picoult

Sunday, March 27th, 2011

From the BNStudio description:

The beloved author of bestselling novels including Sing You Home answers questions posed by B&N Facebook fans.

Sunday Morning LitLinks

Sunday, March 27th, 2011

Lorna Scott Fox presents an engaging profile of the great Argentine writer, Juan José Saer. (The Nation)

Tom Vitale celebrates Tennessee Williams at 100. (NPR)

David Orr wrestles with America’s poetry culture, as seen through the prism of Oprah Winfrey. (NYTimes)

Ian Hollingshead’s 50 books you must not read before you die. (The Telegraph)

James Kidd gets the lowdown on caveman sex from Jean M. Auel. (The Independent)

Nobel Prize winner Orhan Pamuk slapped with a fine for “insulting Turkishness” by mentioning the Armenian genocide. (Bloomberg)

“On this day in 1802 William Wordsworth began writing “Intimations of Immortality from Recollections of Early Childhood.” The poem contains some of his most well-known lines and ideas — that “the child is father of the man,” that “birth is but a sleep and a forgetting,” that “trailing clouds of glory do we come,” however these must fade.” (Today in Literature)

Saturday Quote of the Night

Saturday, March 26th, 2011

“I can shake off everything as I write; my sorrows disappear, my courage is reborn.”

-Anne Frank