Archive for December, 2011

Saturday Morning LitLinks

Saturday, December 31st, 2011

The New York Times profiles imprisoned Chinese dissident, writer, and Nobel Prize-winner, Liu Xiaobo. (The New York Times)

Research indicates that reading is a human need, not a pastime. (The Guardian)

Highbrow literary monsters? You’d better believe it. (The Sydney Morning Herald)

The never-ending edit: Nicholas Carr examines the mutability of electronic literature. (The Wall Street Journal)

Meet The Telegraph’s Novel of the Year author, Vanessa Gebbie. (The Telegraph)

We have Kirkus to thank for directing us to Julie Danielson‘s truly delightful book blog, Seven Impossible Things Before Breakfast. (Seven Impossible Things)

Newt Gingrich has decided to omit the planned chapter on climate change from his upcoming book. (CBS)

There’s an app for that? There’s probably a book, too. How-to crafting on tap today… (The Chicago Sun Times) makes a helpful chart to compare a few Best of 2011 book lists. (

“‘New Year’s Eve,’ by D. H. Lawrence, is a love poem from a collection titled, Look! We Have Come Through!, published when Lawrence was in his early thirties. The collection tells a connected ‘story, or history, or confession,’ Lawrence says in his Foreword, “of a man during the crisis of manhood, when he marries and comes into himself.” Autobiographically, the ‘crisis’ was provoked by the emotional tumult of Lawrence’s recent past…” (Today In Literature)

Friday Quote of the Night

Friday, December 30th, 2011

“Doing something does not require discipline.  It creates its own discipline – with a little help from caffeine.”

- Annie Dillard




Friday Evening Book Reviews

Friday, December 30th, 2011

In Joseph Epstein’s Gossip: The Untrivial Pursuit, Holly Bruback finds a worthy addition to the author’s “entertaining and idiosyncratic catalog of human nature.” (NYTimes)

Christopher Hirst takes a literary roller coaster ride through PG Wodehouse: A Life in Letters, edited by Sophie Ratcliffe. (The Independent)

Jacob Silverman recommends some”great weekend reads.” (The Daily Beast)

Chloe Joan Lopez applauds Belarusian poet Valzhyna Mort’s second book pf poetry, Collected Body. (The Rumpus)

Friday Morning LitLinks

Friday, December 30th, 2011

Court rules that Ghost Rider, the character, belongs to Marvel Comics, not its author. (Reuters)

Galley Cat opens a discussion on gender’s influence on literary media coverage. (GalleyCat)

Family returns overdue library book. Yeah, it’s news. It’s a story 123 years in the making. (The Guardian)

DIARY OF A WIMPY KID author, Jeff Kinney, wins a restraining order against DIARY OF A ZOMBIE KID. (

Check in with a crop of book people who shared their literary resolutions for 2011. How’d they do? (The LA Times)

George R.R. Martin posts the first chapter of his latest and highly anticipated novel, THE WINDS OF WINTER. (

DC Comics is hinting at a new WATCHMEN sequel film. (

Flavorwire continues its coverage of visual and performing art inspired by literature. (Flavorwire)

DNA India recaps its take on the literary scene in 2011. (

“On this day in 1869, the Canadian humorist Stephen Leacock was born. Twenty-five of Leacock’s forty-odd books are in his comic mode, Sunshine Sketches of a Little Town and Arcadian Adventures of the Idle Rich being most well-known; the others, mostly history and politics, arise from Leacock taking Canada and his PhD in Economics seriously…” (Today In Literature)

Thursday Quote of the Night

Thursday, December 29th, 2011

“The moment a man begins to talk about technique, that’s proof he is fresh out of ideas.”

- Raymond Chandler




Thursday Evening Book Reviews

Thursday, December 29th, 2011

Andrew Ervin welcomes the posthumous publication of The Third Reich, a piece of Roberto Bolaño juvenilia, with a lukewarm review and a recommendation only for those with an abiding interest in the author’s body of work. (San Francisco Chronicle)

Boyd Tonkin gives Christie Watson’s Tiny Sunbirds Far Away a thumbs up for the “vigour of its characters and the pace of its prose.” (The Independent)

Tony Perry finds a powerful punch packed in Lewis Sorley’s Westmoreland: The General Who Lost Vietnam. (LATimes)

Jonathan Rée savors the provocative nature of Roger Scruton’s Green Philosophy: How to Think Seriously About the Planet. (The Guardian)

Win a Sneak-Peek of WHITE HORSE, by Alex Adams

Thursday, December 29th, 2011

On April 17th, Simon & Schuster, Atria and its imprint, Emily Bestler Books, will roll out a major release, Alex Adams’ WHITE HORSE.

But right now, there’s a little window of opportunity to win an Advanced Review Copy of the book, by heading over to her blog and weighing in on one question:

In White Horse, one of the few possessions Zoe carries with her is a toy monkey—a favorite from her childhood. If the world was ending, and you were on the run, what one thing (not a person or a pet) would you take with you?


If the hero in your head loves to ponder apocalyptic what-ifs delivered in zipping style, then WHITE HORSE is for you. Why not have it sooner than later?

Thursday Morning LitLinks

Thursday, December 29th, 2011

Acedia, the noonday demon, and the ancient diagnosis for all forms of distraction has plagued writers for centuries. (The New York Times)

Think you’ve been paying attention to the book world this year? Let’s find out. (The Telegraph)

This woman was unhappy, to the point of tears, with a book she got for Christmas. (GalleyCat)

THE HUNGER GAMES finally takes the top slot on USA Today’s bestseller list. (USA Today)

10 rare books fetch nearly a quarter of a million dollars for bookseller. (MediaBistro)

Leslie McDowell looks at family dynamics in Christmas scenes in literature. (The Scotsman)

Comics by and for females look to balance the male-dominated genre. (The Guardian)

Kirkus sits down with author, Henry Alford, to talk about his book on modern manners. (Kirkus Reviews)

Author, David Guterson, tackles his own version of Oedipus Rex. (The San Fransisco Chronicle)

Comedy writer, Joe Bodelai, dies at age 63. RIP. (The Hollywood Reporter)

“On this day in 1937 Don Marquis died. He wrote a handful of plays, a dozen books, and a lot of stories and poems, but his fame came mostly from “Archy and Mehitabel,” the cockroach-cat relationship he created in vers libre for his New York Sun newspaper column. This began in 1916, Marquis having come into his office unusually early one morning to find a gigantic cockroach furiously hunt-and-pecking away: “He would climb painfully upon the framework of the machine and cast himself with all his force upon a key, head downward, and his weight and the impact of the blow were just sufficient to operate the machine…” (Today In Literature)

Wednesday Quote of the Night

Wednesday, December 28th, 2011

“For a true writer each book should be a new beginning where he tries again for something that is beyond attainment. He should always try for something that has never been done or that others have tried and failed. Then sometimes, with great luck, he will succeed.”

-Ernest Hemingway



Wednesday Evening Book Reviews

Wednesday, December 28th, 2011

Elizabeth Hand sees some fresh moments in an oft-used fiction trope in Alma Katsu’s The Taker. (Washington Post)

Blogcritics’ El Bicho surveys the “grand collection” of pieces in Fear and Loathing at Rolling Stone: The Essential Writing of Hunter S. Thompson. (

Nick Owchar finds “a pleasing introduction for lay readers to a fascinating, murky topic” in Caroline Alexander’s Lost Gold of the Dark Ages: War, Treasure, and the Mystery of the Saxons. (LATimes)

Michael Berry reviews the “best science fiction and fantasy books” of the year. (San Francisco Chronicle)

Wednesday Morning LitLinks

Wednesday, December 28th, 2011

Harper Collins UK tips its hat to a roughly 600% increase of downloaded books at Christmas. (The Bookseller)

And on that same track, IDC analyzes ereader sales and projections. (

The New York observer celebrates its first ever in-the-black year. (MediaBistro)

Fundraising has never been so naked. Behold ‘Men of the Stacks‘, a calendar of cute librarians (some of them wearing not very much at all) to benefit the It Gets Better Project. (January Magazine)

How libraries can help in these tough economic times. (The Twin Cities Daily Planet)

GalleyCat’s Year in Review adds a look back at the Big Stories, month-by-month. (GalleyCat)

The Guardian posts their picks for 2011′s Best Short Stories. (The Guardian)

And here’s a bit more on the upcoming TRACK CHANGES: A LITERARY HISTORY OF WORD PROCESSING, by Matthew G. Kirschenbaum. (The New York Times)

The Telegraph Book Club closes up shop and reflects on the project. (The Telegraph)

“On this day in 1917, H. L. Mencken’s “A Neglected Anniversary,” his hoax article on the American invention of the bathtub, was published in the New York Evening Mail. Mencken’s lifelong campaign to deride and derail Main Street America — the “booboisie” — had a number of easy victories, but this joke succeeded beyond his wildest dreams and in Swiftian proportions…” (Today In Literature)

Tuesday Quote of the Night

Tuesday, December 27th, 2011

The existence of the writer is an argument against the existence of the soul, for the soul has obviously taken flight from the real ego, but not improved itself, only become a writer.”

- Franz Kafka



Tuesday Evening Book Reviews

Tuesday, December 27th, 2011

Patt Morrison comes away unimpressed with Amy Ephron’s memoir Loose Diamonds… and Other Things I’ve Lost (and Found) Along the Way. (LATimes)

Michael Eaude discovers a “fine first novel” in Matías Néspolo’s Seven Ways to Kill a Cat. (The Independent)

Barbara Berman swoons over W.S. Di Piero’s poetry collection, Nitro Nights. (The Rumpus)

Colin Burrow finds “a flawed but dazzling study of the origins of the renaissance”in The Swerve by Stephen Greenblatt. (The Guardian)

Tuesday Morning LitLinks

Tuesday, December 27th, 2011

In Ethiopia, Swedish journalists, Johan Persson and Martin Schibbye, are sentenced to 11 years in prison for serving as “accomplices to terrorism”. (CNN)

A long, busy life of hard work steered Jim Henry away from learning to read and write. Now, at age 98, he’s an author. (USA Today)

Don’t you know who I am? Have a look at the history of anonymity in literature. (The Los Angeles Times)

Actor, Simon Callow, reflects on his love for Dickens. (The Telegraph)

Arlen Specter’s upcoming memoir will be of interest to students of American politics. (The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette)

Have a think on how the word processor has changed writers and writing. (The Verge)

Four authors look back on their favorite books of 2011. (The National)

Fiction, prescience, and running for President: Newt Gingrich and his writing partner, Bill Forstchen. (The Boston Herald)

Stanley Fish has a look at (and a sigh over) what’s become of formal literature studies. (The New York Times)

“On this day in 1904 Dublin’s Abbey Theatre opened, premiering W. B. Yeats‘s ‘On Baile’s Strand’ and Lady Gregory’s ‘Spreading the News.’ Growing out of the general Irish literary renaissance of the time, the Abbey quickly rose to international fame for both the quality of its productions and the controversies which often surrounded them…” (Today In Literature)

Monday Evening Book Reviews

Monday, December 26th, 2011

David L. Ulin revisits the reissue of Patti Smith’s “fluid, visionary, risky” prose poems, Woolgathering. (LATimes)

Peter Parker doubles down with a two-in-one review of Ronald Blythe’s At the Yeoman’s House and At Helpston. (The Telegraph)

Louis Bayard offers a review about a reviewer (and a heavyweight one, at that) in his examination of Brian Kellow’s Pauline Kael: A Life in the Dark. (Washington Post)

Chuck Leddy find a “masterful” chronicle of “the most difficult Christmas in American history” in Stanley Weintraub’s Pearl Harbor Christmas. (Minneapolis Star-Tribune)

Monday Morning LitLinks

Monday, December 26th, 2011

Happy Birthday to The King James Bible. It’s 400 years old and still going strong-ish. (The Austin Herald)

Poetry and medicine in tandem is on tap at The Journal of the American Academy of Physician Assistants. (

Author, Chen Xi, jailed in China for subversion. (The New York Times)

The San Fransisco Chronicle gets its Best Of list in under the wire.  (SFGate)

The New York Times weighs in on Harper Collins’ ebook library lending policies. (The New York Times)

A New York Ronald McDonald House benefits from a large book donation. (The Saratogian)

Children’s authors share their year’s favorites. (The Topeka Capital-Journal)

Kids’ books apps are ranked over at Kirkus. (Kirkus Reviews)

“On this day in 1936, Clare Boothe Luce’s The Women opened on Broadway, the first of its record-breaking 657 performances. Some reviewers (usually male) were more appalled than enthralled with the eye-scratching gossip of ‘best-bred hellcats and social filth mongers’ all dressed up in ‘ermined smut,’ but the play brought first-fame to Luce…” (Today In Literature)

Merry Christmas!

Saturday, December 24th, 2011

William and I are going to take a couple of days off to cozy up with our people, track Santa on Norad, eat too much, and enjoy what’s on offer for the season.

If you’re celebrating, whatever you’re celebrating, we sincerely wish you a wonderful time of it.

And we thank you for clicking into our efforts here at AuthorScoop. See you soon!

Friday Morning LitLinks

Friday, December 23rd, 2011

Julia Keller opines on the glory of the perfect reading chair. (The Chicago Tribune)

Liu Xiaobo, Chinese dissident poet and essayist, will have his work showcased for the West come 2012. (Voice of America)

The Christian Science Monitor compiles a baker’s dozen of the best author interviews of 2011. (The Christian Science Monitor)

Last-minute ideas for gifts. Really, it’s the zero hour, people. (The Houston Chronicle)

The Association of American Publishers numbers are out for 2011. Best viewed on an empty stomach. (GalleyCat)

Author, Jeff Kinney, isn’t impressed with the DIARY OF A ZOMBIE KID riff on his series. (The Boston Herald)

The Telegraph gives the boot to nostalgia and looks ahead to highly anticipated releases for 2012. (The Telegraph)

And Kirkus does the same for upcoming children’s books. (Kirkus Reviews)

Caroline Walsh, literary editor at The Irish Times, dies at age 59. RIP. (Irish Times)

“On this day in 1823 the Christmas classic, “A Visit From St. Nicholas” (commonly known as “‘Twas the Night Before Christmas”) was published anonymously in the Troy, New York Sentinel. Twenty years and much popularity later, Clement C. Moore claimed and was accorded authorship, but recent scholarship by forensic literary critic Don Foster — he’s the one who established the author of Primary Colors — has cast this very much in doubt…” (Today In Literature)

Thursday Quote of the Night

Thursday, December 22nd, 2011

If Galileo had said in verse that the world moved, the inquisition might have let him alone.”

- Thomas Hardy





Thursday Evening Book Reviews

Thursday, December 22nd, 2011

Shari Rosen gives a qualified thumbs-up to Mary Johnson’s An Unquenchable Thirst: Following Mother Teresa in Search of Love, Service, and an Authentic Life. (LATimes)

Jake Kerridge loves every minute of the long-lost crime novel by CS Forester, The Pursued. (The Telegraph)

Dwight Garner isn’t all that impressed with Clark Howard’s Living Large in Lean Times. (NYTimes)

Lynsey Hanley finds some interesting nuggets in Peter Doggett’s The Man Who Sold The World: David Bowie and the 1970s. (The Guardian)