Archive for February, 2012

Wednesday Quote of the Night

Wednesday, February 29th, 2012

“Nothing leads so straight to futility as literary ambitions without systematic knowledge.”

- H.G. Wells





Wednesday Evening Book Reviews

Wednesday, February 29th, 2012

Reeve Lindberg is moved by Doron Weber’s Immortal Bird: A Family Memoir. (Washington Post)

Leslie Granier finds Lonnie Beerman’s debut novel, Tears of the Phoenix, “incredible on so many levels.” (Blogcritics)

Despite “a certain babyishness in the telling” and “lots of exclamation marks and overheated analogies,” Mark Bowden weaves an intriguing bit of “thrillerish, journalistic non-fiction” in Worm: The First Digital World War. (The Guardian)

Charles McNulty discovers a “chatty delight” in Stephen Fry’s The Fry Chronicle: An Autobiography. (LATimes)

Wednesday Morning LitLinks

Wednesday, February 29th, 2012

Godrej & Boyce, India’s last typewriter manufacturer, ends production. (BeliefNet)

Comedy Central starts up its own publishing imprint with Running Press. (The Hollywood Reporter)

Stephen King will read the audiobook version of, THE WIND THROUGH THE KEYHOLE. (

Charlotte Brontë (yeah, that Charlotte Brontë) has a new short story out. (The Guardian)

Much twittering and buzzing for Zadie Smith’s cover art for, NW, her new novel. (tmblr)

… and speaking of Zadie Smith cover-art, you can compete to redesign WHITE TEETH (among others) in this contest at (

Literary fathers and their writerly sons are on tap at (The Telegraph)

Here are ten highly-acclaimed novels that disappointed in the final pages. (The Atlantic)

… and eight awful blurbs written by really good writers. (The Huffington Post)

Writing for literary journals seems to be largely a boy’s sport, still. (GalleyCat)

The final volume of THE DICTIONARY OF AMERICAN REGIONAL ENGLISH goes to print. (The New York Times)

“On this day in 1992 Ruth Pitter died. Although Pitter has fallen into the obscurity we might associate with leap year, she was a durable and prize-winning poet in her day — Hawthornden Prize in 1937, Heinemann Award in 1954, Queen’s Gold Medal in 1955, CBE in 1979, eighteen volumes of new and collected verse. The modern neglect may be attributable to her too-wide range, or her unmodern themes…” (Today In Literature)

Tuesday Quote of the Night

Tuesday, February 28th, 2012

“Writing is the best way to talk without being interrupted.”

- Jules Renard




Tuesday Evening Book Reviews

Tuesday, February 28th, 2012

Janet Maslin says that Amber Dermont’s debut novel, The Starboard Sea, “has the authority of a much bigger one, to the point of seeming artificially constricted.” (NYTimes)

Eric Herschthal offers up a triple-shot of “must reads.” (The Daily Beast)

David Perlman is fascinated by Scott Hubbard’s “absorbing story of how he did it” in Exploring Mars: Chronicles From a Decade of Discovery. (San Francisco Chronicle)

Jonathan Lopez admires Anne-Marie O’Connor’s “painstakingly researched history,” Lady in Gold: The Extraordinary Tale of Gustav Klimt’s Masterpiece, “Portrait of Adele Bloch-Bauer”. (Seattle Times)

Afternoon Viewing: Cormac McCarthy Pictionary

Tuesday, February 28th, 2012

Oh dear god…

Tuesday Morning LitLinks

Tuesday, February 28th, 2012

The Atlantic digs up Raymond Chandler’s opinion of the 1948 Oscars hubbub. (The Atlantic)

Bookstore inside libraries. Now that’s using your noodle. (The Boston Globe)

Microsoft peddles a new ereader Down Under with pre-loaded pirated content. Oh dear. (metafilter)

…but Cnet say the modern publishing industry is built on a platform of piracy. (Cnet)

Author, Donovan Hohn, sits down with (The Telegraph)

Might ebooks be supplanting the mass market paperback? (GalleyCat)

Here’s some coverage of the MangaNEXT convention. (Publishers Weekly)

Jan Berenstain, co-creator of The Berenstain Bears, has died at age 88. (The New York Times)

“On this day in 1749 Henry Fielding’s Tom Jones was announced in London’s “The General Advertiser”:

Mores hominum multorum vidit

It being impossible to get Sets bound fast enough to answer Demand for them, such Gentlemen and Ladies as please, may have them sew’d in Blue Paper and Boards, at the Price of 16s…” (Today In Literature)

Afternoon Viewing: Voluntary Gestures

Monday, February 27th, 2012

Voluntary Gestures trailer 1 from stefan morel on Vimeo.

5 Minutes Alone… With Laura Caldwell

Monday, February 27th, 2012

If there could be a pill-form extract of the energy Laura Caldwell generates in her work as a novelist, as an attorney, and as an advocate for the wrongly imprisoned, well, let’s just say the stocks would run quite pricey. Known most widely for her well-received Izzy McNeil novels, Ms. Caldwell is the also author of the riveting LONG WAY HOME, which profiles her involvement in the exoneration of Jovan Mosley in 2005.

But today, it’s all fun with fiction, as Izzy McNeil returns to the New Releases shelf.

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

AuthorScoop: What was your very first publication credit?

Laura: BURNING THE MAP, about a trip to Rome and Greece that changes a woman’s life.

AuthorScoop: Tell us about your latest release.

Laura: QUESTION OF TRUST is the 5th Izzy McNeil novel. Izzy is a sassy, redhead Chicago lawyer who moonlights as a private detective. In this case, her hot boyfriend is accused of being a young Madoff, arrested for white collar crime, leading her to wonder if she’s sleeping with the enemy. The best thing about the Izzy McNeil books, both to write and I hope to read, is the zipping around Chicago that Izzy does. This city is limitless in its character potential.

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

Laura: I’m the director of Life After Innocence, an organization that works with innocent people who were wrongfully convicted in order to start their lives over. The emotional tenacity and grace that the exonerees possess has inspired me to work harder.

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

Laura: Morning, morning, morning. Now that I have a new puppy, Shafer, (pic attached, I can’t resist), I like having her on my lap or at my feet.

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

Laura: Set short term goals. Don’t think about writing a whole book, except to know, generally where you’re going. In the short term, look at your week and ask yourself honestly, ‘What can I legitimately get done this week if I try?’ The answer might be writing one page, writing for a half an hour, doing research on a particular issue. Tell a friend who will check in with you and then get it done. If you don’t, no shame. Just look at your next week and make your next goal.


Hit a bookstore while you’re out today for QUESTION OF TRUST, or you can always tap and click to get your copy underway right now. Laura Caldwell is on the web at her own site and, of course, on Facebook and Twitter. So, stay sharp and find your next favorite writer at one or all of her links. You’ll be glad you did.

Monday Morning LitLinks

Monday, February 27th, 2012

The World Book Fair is still going strong in New Delhi and they dovetailed their discussion of books and cinema with Hollywood’s biggest night. (The Hindustan Times)

While screenwriter, Jim Rash, spoofs Angelina Jolie on accepting his Best Adapted Screenplay Oscar. (Entertainment Weekly)

90,000 4th Graders get a book for Read Across America Day. (MarketWatch)

Pulitzer-winner, Junot Díaz, hits shelves with his second novel in September. (The New York Times)

The multi-tasking of author, Drusilla Campbell, is detailed at (The North County Times)

Where Americans with literature degrees cluster and nest. (The Bay Citizen)

Harper Collins sells teen writing site, InkPop, to Figment. (The Wall Street Journal)

Canada’s Globe and Mail has a chat with Taylor Prize nominee, Charlotte Gill. (The Globe and Mail)

Is ‘crowdfunding’ the new Arts patronage? (Forbes)

An ereader convert shares his epiphany at (The Guardian)

Author, Kevin O’Hara, receives the 2012 John Fitzgerald Kennedy Award. (

“On this day in 1812 Lord Byron spoke for the first time in the House of Lords, choosing for his topic the recent Luddite rioting. Byron was twenty-four, recently returned from the obligatory Grand Tour of Europe, and ready for a career; had his speech been the success he hoped for, there is every chance that the career might have been in politics, rather than in poetry and persecution…” (Today In Literature)

Sunday Quote of the Night

Sunday, February 26th, 2012

“One must be drenched in words, literally soaked in them, to have the right ones form themselves into the proper pattern at the right moment.”

- Hart Crane




Sunday Evening Book Reviews

Sunday, February 26th, 2012

David Knox waxes nostalgic withTony Edwards’ Captain Goodvibes: My Life as a Pork Chop. (Sydney Morning Herald)

Bruce Ramsey finds some compelling historical insights about precedents in presidential power in David C. Unger’s The Emergency State: America’s Pursuit of Absolute National Security at All Costs. (Seattle Times)

Chris Barton appreciates Geoff Dyer’s fixation on Andrei Tarkovsky’s 1979 film “Stalker” in Zona: A Book About a Film About a Journey to a Room. (LATimes)

Lucy Popescu is riveted by Moscow-based journalist and author Masha Gessen’s “courageous, enlightening account” of Vladimir Putin’s rise to power, The Man Without a Face: The Unlikely Rise of Vladimir. (The Independent)

Sunday Morning LitLinks

Sunday, February 26th, 2012

I’ve read ME TALK PRETTY ONE DAY, but the news would have me believe that Dave Sedaris wouldn’t go over well in Iran. Still, they’re translating it… (Iran Book News Agency)

Syrian poet, Adonis, sits down with (The Telegraph)

PayPal draws the line at stories of rape, bestiality, and incest. (TechCrunch)

AIGA and whatthebook host an unusual survey about our bookitudes. Take it! (

Free iTunes courses can bolster writers and readers. (GalleyCat)

Publishers Weekly rounds up a collection of newspaper book review section for appraisal. (Publishers Weekly)

Oscar night reminds us of the intersection of film and books. (The Huffington Post)

Here’s a preview of this week’s Bookfest 2012 in San Fransisco. (The San Fransisco Chronicle)

Amelia Atlas discusses Joseph Roth’s letters in (The New York Times)

THE BAKER’S DAUGHTER author, Sarah McCoy, has friends at USA Today, which doesn’t hurt a bit. (USA Today)

“On this day in 1956 Sylvia Plath described in her journal her first meeting with Ted Hughes. The morning of writing was ‘gray, most sober, with cold white puritanical eyes’; the evening before had started at a bar where ‘I drank steadily the goblets’ and endured ‘some ugly gat-toothed squat grinning guy named Meeson trying to be devastatingly clever.’… (Today In Literature)

Saturday Quote of the Night

Saturday, February 25th, 2012

“The important thing in writing is the capacity to astonish. Not shock – shock is a worn-out word – but astonish.”

- Terry Southern




Saturday Evening Book Reviews

Saturday, February 25th, 2012

Jodi Picoult’s Lone Wolf gets a B- from Melissa Maerz. (

Henry Hitchings credits Shalom Auslander with “a lot of nerve – or chutzpah, as he might prefer to call it” for the comic memoir, Hope: A Tragedy. (Financial Times)

Tessa Hadley finds a “masterly writer, working at the full stretch of his powers” in Colm Tóibín’s essay collection, New Ways to Kill Your Mother: Writers and Their Families. (The Guardian)

Philip Womack lauds Peter Hobbs’ latest novel, In the Orchard, the Swallows. (The Telegraph)

Saturday Morning LitLinks

Saturday, February 25th, 2012

NPR invites a poet into their newsroom for a day and then the poet takes to his craft to verse the experience. Cool. This episode features Craig Morgan Teicher. (NPR)

The history of our childrens’ first tales, the picture book, is sketched at (The Atlantic)

Author, P.M. Terrell, weighs the relationship between crime and illiteracy. (The Fayetteville Observer)

A librarian with superpowers? Yes indeedy. Walden Media to adapt REX LIBRIS. (

The New York Times reflects on gay characters and gay authors and the shift in cultural mindset as wrought by the pen and the keyboard. (The New York Times)

The Guardian chats with author, William Kennedy. (The Guardian)

Rhode Island’s library treasure, the Providence Athenaeum, is simply wonderful. (NPR)

Dmitri Nabokov, who infamously flew in the face of his father’s wishes and published the literary giant’s last unfinished work, has died in Switzerland. He was 77. (The Washington Post)

Novelist, William Gay, dies at age 68. (Chapter 16)

“On this day in 1830 Victor Hugo’s Hernani premiered in Paris. Though the play is rarely read or staged now, the opening night is regarded as one of the most momentous in French theater history, part of a larger and most theatrical conflict between the new-wave bohemians in Hugo’s ‘Romantic Army’ and the old-guard Classicists…” (Today In Literature)

Afternoon Viewing: So good, Morning LitLinks isn’t enough

Friday, February 24th, 2012

Friday Morning LitLinks

Friday, February 24th, 2012

There’s confirmed buzz over JK Rowling’s next book. What’s she been up to? (The Los Angeles Times)

… besides tidying up the reportedly acrimonious tangle that was her former agenting arrangement. (The Daily Mail)

A young man’s dying wish is to read a book that won’t be published until after he’s gone. (The Huffington Post)

The Diagram Prize for the Oddest Book Title of 2011 announces its shortlist. (The Bookseller)

If you haven’t got a story, you haven’t got a movie – the source material of film adaptations. (The Millions)

Random House and Macmillian put a little distance, for their bottom line’s sake, from their usual Hollywood partners. (The Hollywood Reporter)

Writers, Alan Hollinghurst and Daniel Mendelsohn, joust over anti-Semitic stereotypes. (Tablet Magazine)

Hatchette UK takes steps to protect their ebooks. (The Bookseller)

Do teens like ebooks? (Publishers Weekly)

Paul Bogaard takes to tumblr to post his list of Who’s Who right now in publishing. (The Observer)

Harper Collins organizes a Middle Grade book tour for this summer. (Publishers Weekly)

THE HUNGER GAMES book-and-film frenzy spawns a CafePress bonanza. (GalleyCat)

“On this day in 1809 London’s Drury Lane Theatre burned down; when those watching the spectacle from a nearby pub with theater owner-parliamentarian Richard Brinsley Sheridan remarked on his composure, he famously responded, ‘A man may surely take a glass of wine by his own fireside.’…” (Today In Literature)

Thursday Quote of the Night

Thursday, February 23rd, 2012

“To be a writer is to sit down at one’s desk in the chill portion of every day, and to write; not waiting for the little jet of the blue flame of genius to start from the breastbone – just plain going at it, in pain and delight. To be a writer is to throw away a great deal, not to be satisfied, to type again, and then again, and once more, and over and over…”

- John Hersey

Thursday Evening Book Reviews

Thursday, February 23rd, 2012

Jessica Garrison finds “dialogue… sharp, the satire of politics and media institutions downright biting, and the descriptions hilarious” in Sara Paretsky’s new V.I. Warshawski novel, Breakdown. (Chicago Tribune)

Tim Weiner’s Enemies: A History of the FBI “offers a scathing indictment of the FBI, before J. Edgar Hoover and since,” according to Bob Drogin. (LATimes)

Lisa Wells scratches below the surface of Jill Magi’s Slot and discovers “the poems inside are very much alive, and far more radical than their marketing suggests.” (The Rumpus)

Tyrone Beason gives some hometown love to Ryan Boudinot’s post-apocalyptic novel, Blueprints of the Afterlife. (Seattle Times)