Archive for July, 2011

Sunday Quote of the Night

Sunday, July 31st, 2011

“It is always during a passing state of mind that we make lasting resolutions.”

-Marcel Proust




Sunday Evening Book Reviews

Sunday, July 31st, 2011

Kirkus Reviews rolls out a page of what you can expect to see brand new on the non-fiction shelves for the month of August.

Amor Towles’, RULES OF CIVILITY, is a decently well-received debut in New Jersey.

In Arizona, they cull a few from the Spy Thriller herd for a feature on what to read for the rest of the summer.

And The New Republic has a look at Anthony Thwaite’s compilation of, PHILIP LARKIN: LETTERS TO MONICA.

Sunday Morning LitLinks

Sunday, July 31st, 2011

Vendela Vida shares an excerpt from her new novel, The Lovers. (The Guardian)

Booker-longlisted author Sebastian Barry discusses his cultural heritage and how it has inspired his work. (The Independent)

Philip Hensher explores why we flee into thrillers in difficult times. (The Telegraph)

Thomas Jones recalls how today’s Murdoch media scandal was prophesied in Evelyn Waugh’s 1938 novel, Scoop. (NYTimes)

A selection of top writers say “so long” to Borders. (Salon)

Nitsuh Abebe examines pop culture’s obsession with all things retro. (New York Magazine)

David Robinson chats it up with author Hari Kunzru. (The Scotsman)

R.I.P. Henry Carlisle, author and translator. (LATimes)

“On this day in 1485, William Caxton printed Sir Thomas Malory’s Morte Darthur. England’s first printer was more than a printer: in his preface to The Order of Chivalry, a practical book on knight-errantry to go with Malory’s Romance, Caxton complains that the knights of his day are altogether too un-Arthurian, spending far too much time at brothels, dice and “taking ease.”" (Today in Literature)

Saturday Quote of the Night

Saturday, July 30th, 2011

“Children should learn that reading is pleasure, not just something that teachers make you do in school.”

-Beverly Cleary




Saturday Evening Book Reviews

Saturday, July 30th, 2011

Douglas Edwards’, I’M FEELING LUCKY: THE CONFESSIONS OF GOOGLE EMPLOYEE NUMBER 59, gets a chickle out of The Telegraph.

The Louisville Courier-Journal credits author, Glen Duncan, with a worthy stirring of of a legendary monster in, THE LAST WEREWOLF.

STONE ARABIA, a new novel by Dana Spiotta, makes a favorable impression on a Salon reviewer.

And The San Fransisco Chronicle hosts a look at a pair of new releases that delve into Mexican drug strife.

Saturday Morning LitLinks

Saturday, July 30th, 2011

R.I.P. Sakyo Komatsu, pioneering Japanese science fiction author. (The Japan Times Online)

Gabe Habash shares 12 of the weirdest stories of writers’ deaths. (Publishers Weekly)

Tracy Clark-Flory makes the case for “raunchy teen lit.” (Salon)

Boyd Tonkin looks at Macmillan’s questionable business practices. (The Independent)

Agatha Christie: surfer? (The Guardian)

Carolyn Kellogg goes in for a closer look at Rosa Parks’ “rape essay.” (Jacket Copy)

The Book Bench rounds up some reviews of the Booker longlist. (The New Yorker)

What makes for a children’s classic? (Lemuria Bookstore Blog)

Booker judge Dame Stella Rimington says Twitter stops children reading. (The Telegraph)

“On this day in 1818, Emily Bronte was born in Thornton, Yorkshire. Most accounts portray Emily as the brightest, most intense, and most difficult of the three sisters — “not a person of demonstrative character,” wrote Charlotte, “nor one, on the recesses of whose mind and feelings, even those nearest and dearest to her could, without impunity, intrude unlicensed.”" (Today in Literature)

Friday Quote of the Night

Friday, July 29th, 2011

“I write for no other purpose than to add to the beauty that now belongs to me. I write a book for no other reason than to add three or four hundred acres to my magnificent estate.”

-Jack London



Friday Evening Book Reviews

Friday, July 29th, 2011

Slate Magazine features an interesting look at what ends up looking like an interesting book: A MOST DANGEROUS BOOK: TACITUS’S GERMANIA – FROM THE FALL OF THE ROMAN EMPIRE TO THE THIRD REICH, by Christopher Krebs.

Eleanor Moran’s, BREAKFAST IN BED, is a hit at The Fleetwood Weekly News.

A couple of new thrillers by Canadian writers are on tap at The National Post.

And biographer, Paul Trynka, tracks the life of DAVID BOWIE.

Friday Morning LitLinks

Friday, July 29th, 2011

Nick Duerdon presents a (too brief) profile of Sonai Faleiro, author of the upcoming exposé on Mumbai’s sex trade, Beautiful Thing. (The Independent)

Diana Dilworth tries to unravel the mystery of Little, Brown’s upcoming book, Untitled by Anonymous. (GalleyCat)

Take a closer look at the turbulence over funding, the resignations and the general chaos at the Poetry Society. (The Guardian)

Louise Doughty calls this year’s Booker longlist the “bravest… of all time.” (The Telegraph)

Lisa Monroy goes between the covers of two graphic novel adaptations of Bradbury works. (The Faster Times)

Levi Asher introduces a new collection of essays drawn from the Literary Kicks archives, Beats in Time. (Literary Kicks)

Happy 50th birthday, IBM Selectric typewriter. (The Atlantic)

R.I.P. Agota Kristof, Hungarian-born Swiss writer. (

“On this day in 1909 Chester Himes was born. Until recently, Himes was known primarily for his contributions to the noir-hardboiled genre — Cotton Comes to Harlem, and his other “Harlem Domestic” detective novels. Recent, restored editions of some of his other books and several recent biographies make the case for regarding Himes, rather than such contemporaries as Wright and Baldwin, as “America’s central black writer.”" (Today in Literature)

Thursday Quote of the Night

Thursday, July 28th, 2011

“This effort to recognize is an effort to connect ourselves with the reality of our own lives. It is painful, but if we are to become human, we cannot abandon it.”

-Paula Fox



Thursday Evening Book Reviews

Thursday, July 28th, 2011

The New York Times compiles a list of new mystery and crime fiction to consider for your to-be-read lists.

The Los Angeles Times isn’t bowled over by Sheila Kohler’s latest novel, LOVE CHILD.

Library Journal’s Xpress Reviews is a quick look at what’s new and, of that, what’s earned their stars.

And author Michael Lister fares well at Publishers Weekly with a starred review of THE BIG GOODBYE.

Thursday Morning LitLinks

Thursday, July 28th, 2011

Dave Eggers profiles the great Maurice Sendak about Bumble-Ardy, the first book both written and illustrated by him in three decades. (Vanity Fair)

A UK judge has ordered The Telegraph to pay £65,000 to the author Sarah Thornton, ruling that she had been libeled in a review of her book, Seven Days in the Art World.  (The Telegraph)

M.A. Orthofer looks at what effect the ruling might have on book reviewing. (The Literary Saloon)

Samuel Muston selects his top 10 music memoirs. (The Independent)

Jane Ciabattari talks to debut novelist Alice LaPlante about her Alzheimer’s-stricken detective. (The Daily Beast)

Gabe Habash looks at the signature authors from each state of the union. (Publishers Weekly)

The Los Angeles Times has gutted its book coverage. (GalleyCat)

With the Booker longlist now announced, nominations open for the 2011 ‘Not the Booker.’ (The Guardian)

“On this day in 1655 Hercule Savinien Cyrano de Bergerac died at the age of thirty-six. He was the model for the hero in Edmond Rostand’s 1897 hit play, and a writer himself — several plays, and two science-fantasy novels. The real de Bergerac wasn’t the swordsman of legend, but he had a big nose, and a belief that “A large nose is the mark of a witty, courteous, affable, generous, and liberal man.”" (Today in Literature)

Wednesday Quote of the Night

Wednesday, July 27th, 2011

“Guard your roving thoughts with a jealous care, for speech is but the dialer of thoughts, and every fool can plainly read in your words what is the hour of your thoughts.”

-Alfred Lord Tennyson




Wednesday Evening Book Reviews

Wednesday, July 27th, 2011

GODS WITHOUT MEN, by Hari Kunzru, is up for review, to good result, at The Telegraph.

Hyphen Magazine has a look at THE DISTANCE, by Saborna Roychowdhury.


And the craft is admirable in Alina Bronsky’s THE HOTTEST DISHES OF THE TARTAR CUISINE.

Wednesday Morning LitLinks

Wednesday, July 27th, 2011

MaryAnn Spoto looks at the tragic reverberations of the fight for Belva Plain’s estate. (The Star-Ledger)

The Man Booker Prize 2011 longlist has been announced. (The Telegraph)

Rob Sharp looks at one of the competition’s dark horses. (The Independent)

M.A. Orthofer parses the longlist. (The Literary Saloon)

Now that Harry Potter is done, people are on the lookout for the “next Harry Potter.” Carol Memmott and Brian Truitt think they may have found it in Erin Morgenstern’s upcoming debut, The Night Circus. (USAToday)

Books-A-Million’s bid for 30 Borders stores has fallen apart. (GalleyCat)

Levi Asher continues to chronicle his adventures as an indie publisher. (Literary Kicks)

The winners of the 2011 Bulwer-Lytton Fiction Contest for really bad opening sentences have been annouonced. (Official)

Alison Flood is amused. (Guardian Books Blog)

“On this day in 1890 Vincent Van Gogh shot himself in a wheat field outside Auvers-sur-Oise, in France; he died two days later, at the age of thirty-seven. His last letters are fascinating reading, and full of mixed signals about his mood; one final note to his brother, found on his body, says, “Well, my own work, I am risking my life for it and my reason has half foundered because of it…”" (Today in Literature)

Tuesday Quote of the Night

Tuesday, July 26th, 2011

“Design in art, is a recognition of the relation between various things, various elements in the creative flux. You can’t invent a design. You recognize it, in the fourth dimension. That is, with your blood and your bones, as well as with your eyes.”

-D.H. Lawrence



Tuesday Evening Book Reviews

Tuesday, July 26th, 2011

Kirkus posts a page on books about dogs.

Brenda Cullerton’s novel, THE CRAIGSLIST MURDERS, echoes a few well-known satires and draws three and a half stars from The California Literary Review.

The Wausau Daily Herald has a look at a new mid-grade reader, COSMIC, by Frank Cottrell Boyce.

And Lisa See’s latest, DREAMS OF JOY, gets all the stars on offer over at USA Today.

Tuesday Morning LitLinks

Tuesday, July 26th, 2011

Stephen King discusses the influence that William Golding’s Lord of the Flies had on his life and work. (The Telegraph)

Erin Keane talks to author and critic Lev Grossman about the pitfalls of being both a writer and a reviewer. (Salon)

Alison Flood rejoices at the thousands of out-of-print sci-fi classics getting new lives as eBooks. (Guardian Books Blog)

Ned Vizzini ponders the future of the “white outsider” in literature. (The Daily Beast)

M.A. Orthofer rounds up the speculation in advance of the announcement of the Booker longlist. (The Literary Saloon)

Norwegian scumbag murderer Anders Behring Breivik targeted writers and literary professors in his manifesto. (GalleyCat)

Arifa Akbar takes a stand against ageism in the literary world. (The Independent)

Andy Wright examines the growing trend of micro-libraries. (The Bay Citizen)

“On this day in 1602 printer James Robertes entered in the Stationers’ Register, “A booke called the Revenge of Hamlett Prince Denmarke as yt was latelie Acted by the Lord Chamberleyne his servants.” Sources for Shakespeare’s plot go back to an 11th century text entitled “Amleth”; going the other way, one web site lists 150 book titles based on lines from the “To be or not to be” soliloquy.” (Today in Literature)

Monday Quote of the Night

Monday, July 25th, 2011

“A fanatic is a man who consciously over compensates a secret doubt.”

-Aldous Huxley




Monday Evening Book Reviews

Monday, July 25th, 2011

The Columbus Dispatch steers readers to Asti Hustvedt’s MEDICAL MUSES: HYSTERIA IN NINETEENTH-CENTURY PARIS.


A GOOD HARD LOOK, by Ann Napolitano, overcomes a few hiccups to engage The Washington Post.

It’s been done before, but there’s a little more to be wrung from the story, so Phil Pepe wrote 1961: THE INSIDE STORY OF THE MARIS-MANTLE HOME RUN CHASE.