Archive for April, 2011

Saturday Quote of the Night

Saturday, April 30th, 2011

“Literature has been the salvation of the damned, literature has inspired and guided lovers, routed despair and can perhaps in this case save the world.”

-John Cheever




Saturday Evening Book Reviews

Saturday, April 30th, 2011


Publishers Weekly share its web-exclusive reviews.

SIXKILL, the last ‘Spenser’ novel released posthumously by the estate of author Robert B. Parker, is given the nostalgic once-over at The Chicago Sun Times.


Saturday Morning LitLinks

Saturday, April 30th, 2011

“The Doll,” a story by Daphne du Maurier lost for 70 years, is revealed. (The Guardian)

Harper Lee releases a (rare) public statement, stating that she is not cooperation with, nor has she authorized, the biography being written by Marja Mills. (Chicago Tribune)

Carolyn Kellogg spotlights the Los Angeles Times 2010 Book Prize winners. (Jacket Copy)

M.A. Orthofer updates us on the 2011 Best Translated Book Award winners. (The Literary Saloon)

Northwestern State University English professor Julie Kane named Louisiana poet laureate. (The Republic)

Tony Perrottet examines the challenges of writers building the brand. (NYTimes)

Boyd Tonkin reports on a “bookish boom in Buenos Aires.” (The Independent)

Marlow Stern goes between the covers of Rob Lowe’s new memoir. (The Daily Beast)

“On this day in 1642, courtier, soldier, and gentleman-poet Richard Lovelace presented the Kentish Petition to Parliament, and was promptly imprisoned for it. His confinement produced “To Althea, From Prison”; this has become one of the most anthologized of 17th century poems, known especially for the poster-famous lines in the last stanza….” (Today in Literature)

Friday Quote of the Night

Friday, April 29th, 2011

“Literature is the question minus the answer.”

-Roland Barthes




Friday Evening Book Reviews

Friday, April 29th, 2011

The National Post grants an endorsement of sorts to THE MANY REVENGES OF KIP FLYNN, by Sean Dixon.

We check in with The Seattle Post Intelligencer for some news on a new comic book release.

IN THE PLEX: HOW GOOGLE THINKS, WORKS, AND SHAPES OUR LIVES, by Steven Levy, is reviewed at Bloomberg Business Week.

Siri Hustvedt’s, THE SUMMER WITHOUT MEN, gets a shiny review at The New York Times.

Friday Morning LitLinks

Friday, April 29th, 2011

Lauren Beukes wins the 2011 Arthur C. Clarke award for her novel Zoo City. (The Guardian)

Sam Jordison discusses why Beukes deserved it. (Guardian Books Blog)

Michael Bourne examines the challenges of the novel in the era of the Millennials. (The Millions)

George R R Martin says his readers are to blame for the delay in the publication of his newest book, A Dance with Dragons. (The Independent)

Check out an excerpt from a new collection of essays by the late Chilean novelist Roberto Bolaño. (The Daily Beast)

Catherine Humble looks at the royal wedding poem penned by UK poet laureate Carol Ann Duffy. (The Telegraph)

M.A. Orhtofer previews the new issues of World Literature Today. (The Literary Saloon)

Author Shiloh Walker has set up a fundraiser to aid the communities affected by the recent spate of tornadoes. (GalleyCat)

Vince Chadwick takes a new look at the legacy of Polish journalist Ryszard Kapuscinski. (The Rumpus)

“On this day in 1980 Alfred Hitchcock died. Hitchcock borrowed from a long list of 20th century novelists, but in one of his last public appearances he showed a wider range by borrowing from Thomas de Quincey’s 1827 essay, “On Considering Murder as One of the Fine Arts.” He then bid the gala crowd farewell: “They tell me that murder is committed every minute, so I don’t want to waste any more of your time. I know you want to get to work. Thank You.”" (Today in Literature)

Thursday Quote of the Night

Thursday, April 28th, 2011

“A writer is somebody for whom writing is more difficult than it is for other people.”

-Thomas Mann




Thursday Evening Book Reviews

Thursday, April 28th, 2011


The Library Journal pads or purges your to-be-read list with news from the latest releases.

Kirkus gives a peek at Adam Chromy and Jill Morris’ compilation, PLEASE FIRE ME: POSTS FROM THE REVOLTING WORKPLACE.

And USA Today has the scoop on Dick Van Dyke’s new memoir, MY LUCKY LIFE IN AND OUT OF SHOW BUSINESS.

Thursday Morning LitLinks

Thursday, April 28th, 2011

An uncensored version of Oscar Wilde’s The Picture of Dorian Gray has been published at last. (The Telegraph)

Chelsey Johnson talks to the multi-talented Eileen Myles. (The Rumpus)

Robert McCrum examines the upside of writing in bed. (The Guardian)

Maryann Yin looks at Macmillan’s new crime fiction community site. (GalleyCat)

Marlow Stern goes between the covers of Natalie Portman’s father’s novel. (The Daily Beast)

Claire Young profiles 12 year-old novelist Owen O’Connor. (Calgary Herald)

How well do you know your literary revolutionaries? (The Guardian)

Robert B. Parker’s Spenser and Jesse Stone series will continue with crime novelist Ace Atkins and screenwriter Michael Brandman (respectively) taking over the franchises. (NYTimes)

On this day in 1926 Harper Lee was born in Monroeville, Alabama. After the immediate and overwhelming success of To Kill a Mockingbird (1960), and despite forecasting more, Lee is known to have published only three short magazine articles since, all in the 60s; nor has she broken the silence and anonymity into which she quickly retreated. (Today in Literature)

Wednesday Quote of the Night

Wednesday, April 27th, 2011

“Good literature substitutes for an experience which we have not oursleves lived through.”

-Alexander Solzhenitsyn




Wednesday Evening Book Reviews

Wednesday, April 27th, 2011

The Los Angeles Times absolutely loves SATORI, the authorized prequel to Trevanian’s SHIBUMI by Don Winslow.

The Harry Potter void could be ripe for the filling and THE EMERALD ATLAS, by John Stephens, fares well in its hopes to be a contender.

The Denver Post gets in a trio of poetry reviews for National Poetry Month.

And, it’s Happy Wednesday all around. THE PHYSICIAN, by Noah Gordon, is well-received in Seattle.

Wednesday Morning LitLinks

Wednesday, April 27th, 2011

Korean author Shin Kyung-sook talks about her stateside success. (INSIDE Korea)

Harper Lee (and her family and friends) played nice with the author’s biographer. (AP)

Share your favorite literary pseudonyms.  (Guardian Books Blog)

Take a trip back to 1947 with this remarkable transcript of William Faulkner’s Q&A with students at the University of Mississippi. (This Recording)

Matthew Siegel remembers poet Craig Arnold. (The Rumpus)

Christopher Hitchens’ memoir has been nominated for the 2011 Orwell Prize. (The Telegraph)

Levi Johnston (he of knocking up Sarah Palin’s daughter fame) has inked a book deal with Simon & Schuster’s Touchstone imprint. (GalleyCat)

“On this day in 1882 Ralph Waldo Emerson died at the age of seventy-eight. Although Emerson’s last decade was one of increasing debility it was also one of international accolade and local adulation. When the Sage of Concord returned from his last trip abroad he found the band playing, the schoolchildren singing and his burned home rebuilt by the community.” (Today in Literature)

Tuesday Quote of the Night

Tuesday, April 26th, 2011

“Sweet flowers are slow and weeds make haste.”

-William Shakespeare




Tuesday Evening Book Reviews

Tuesday, April 26th, 2011

Jim Shepard’s latest collection of stories, YOU THINK THAT’S BAD, fares well in Slate Magazine.

THE TRAGEDY OF ARTHUR, by Arthur Phillips, sounds wonderful as reported by The San Fransisco Chronicle.

New thriller alert! Debut novelist, Paul McEuen, scores high marks from The LA Times for his smart plot in SPIRAL.

The Washington Post delivers a review that was sure to make author, Anuradha Roy, weep for joy. AN ATLAS OF IMPOSSIBLE LONGING, shines on the literary epic list.

Tuesday Morning LitLinks

Tuesday, April 26th, 2011

Nobel laureate Mario Vargas Llosa brings controversy to The Buenos Aires International Book Fair. (The Daily Beast)

What does Jennifer Egan’s Pulitzer win tell us about the direction of American literature? (The National)

Jilly Cooper threatens to hold back the good stuff. (The Guardian)

Check out the first chapter of John Sayles’ A Moment in the Sun. (McSweeney’s)

Mark Sanderson returns with a new installment of ‘Literary Life.’ (The Telegraph)

Novelist Diana Spechler tells us what we already secretly know: cats are awesome. (The Rumpus)

Jason Boog rounds up some free samples of 2011 Hugo Award nominees. (GalleyCat)

Lucy Vickery presents some bad—really bad—analogies. (The Spectator)

Take a peek at some interesting bookplates from yesteryear. (The Guardian)

R.I.P. Gonzalo Rojas, Chilean poet. (Monsters and Critics)

“On this day in 1893 Anita Loos was born. Loos started writing scenarios for D. W. Griffith while in her teens, and eventually worked on over sixty films, but her most enduring creation is the 1925 novel, Gentlemen Prefer Blondes, reviewed by the Times Literary Supplement as “a masterpiece of comic literature.”" (Today in Literature)

Monday Quote of the Night

Monday, April 25th, 2011

“Every man is a borrower and a mimic, life is theatrical and literature a quotation”

-Ralph Waldo Emerson




Monday Evening Book Reviews

Monday, April 25th, 2011

The Indianapolis Star has a lot of good things to say about THE COLOR OF NIGHT, by Madison Smartt Bell.

And Robert J. Sawyer also fares well, this time at The Globe and Mail, for his latest, the wrap-up to his popular trilogy, WWW: WONDER.

FIELD GRAY: A BERNIE GUNTHER NOVEL, by Philip Kerr, delivers the goods according The Washington Post.

The LA Times says WINGSHOOTERS, by Nina Revoyr is a shocker, but a good one.

Afternoon Viewing: Summer Wood

Monday, April 25th, 2011

Author magazine chats with novelist Summer Wood, author of Wrecker:

Monday Morning LitLinks

Monday, April 25th, 2011

Nancy Smith chats it up with author Aimee Bender. (The Rumpus)

Robert Louis Stevenson finally gets his way. (The Guardian)

Bill Morris picks through the bones of a Borders. (The Daily Beast)

David Biespiel offers inspiration to young poets. (

Howard Jacobson talks about being taught by notable literary critic, FR Leavis. (The Telegraph)

M.A. Orthofer gets a kick out of Amazon’s automated pricing. (The Literary Saloon)

Peter Parker reflects on the rich traditions of British nature writing. (The Telegraph)

Martin Amis on Christopher Hitchens. (The Guardian)

Andrew Boryga presents the third installment of his series on creating human characters. (Lit Drift)

The judges for the 2011 National Book Awards have been announced. (Publishers Weekly)

Maurice Sendak muses on mortality. (Philadelphia Inquirer)

“On this day in 1898 William S. Porter — the drug store clerk, cowboy, fugitive, bank teller, cartoonist and future “O. Henry” — began a five-year prison sentence for embezzlement. Porter had published several stories prior to his prison term, but the fourteen written behind bars represented a new style and quality, and began his rise to fame.” (Today in Literature)

Saturday Quote of the Night

Saturday, April 23rd, 2011

“Books choose their authors; the act of creation is not entirely a rational and conscious one.”

-Salman Rushdie