Archive for May, 2012

Thursday Morning LitLinks

Thursday, May 31st, 2012

Madeline Miller takes The Orange Prize for her debut novel, THE SONG OF ACHILLES. (Orange Prize)

…and The Guardian has more on the book, the author, and what it all means. (The Guardian)

Have a look at  the Typewriter Room in the New Main San Fransisco Public Library. (The New York Times)

Author, Erin Morgenstern, has a chat with (USA Today)

You don’t know what you’ve got til it’s gone – stolen first edition of THE BOOK OF MORMON is valued at $100,000. (

Wanna wish you were somewhere you’re probably not? Have a look at the Hay Festival supplement in (The Telegraph)

Salon asks the depressing question: Are literary classics obsolete? (Salon)

So, now that Borders is out of business, what happens to your Borders gift cards? (The Huffington Post)

Lauren Weisberger is reported to be working on a sequel to her big hit, THE DEVIL WEARS PRADA. (Entertainment Weekly)

“On this day in 1669, Samuel Pepys regretfully made the final entry in his nine-and-a-half-year diary, citing his deteriorating eyes as cause. Begun when he was a struggling young civil servant, Pepys’s diary covers the beginnings of his rise to wealth and influence in Restoration England. It is praised not just as a priceless historical document but for a range of character, anecdote and detail that is Dickensian in scope, and just as readable…” (Today In Literature)

Wednesday Quote of the Night

Wednesday, May 30th, 2012

“I’m either going to be a writer or a bum.”

― Carl Sandburg




Wednesday Evening Book Reviews

Wednesday, May 30th, 2012

Nigel Jones says Guy Walters’ The Real Great Escape sets the record straight on the story that “was travestied by the film.” (The Guardian)

Oline H. Cogdill discovers “a superb mystery set in a late 18th century Shaker community” in Eleanor Kuhns’ A Simple Murder. (Seattle Times)

Michael Lindgren calls David Vann’s Dirt a “searing depiction of a young man’s descent into insanity and violence.” (Washington Post)

Carmela Ciuraru awards Nell Freudenberger’s The Newlyweds three out of four stars, noting that it is “funny, gracefully written and full of loneliness and yearning.” (USAToday)

Wednesday Morning LitLinks

Wednesday, May 30th, 2012

Stephen King gives a boost to Hard Case Crime, a line of pulp novels for Titan Books, by launching his next work, JOYLAND, with them. (Publishers Weekly)

…but you won’t be able to buy it for your Nook or Kindle. (At least not at first) (GalleyCat)

Arthur Conan Doyle’s historic home is saved from turning into something else. (The New York Times)

Colson Whitehead loves B-movie sci-fis. (The New Yorker)

THE UNOFFICIAL GAME OF THRONES COOKBOOK? Yup. Courtesy of Alan Kistler. (January Magazine)

The Guardian takes a look at terrifying books for kids from France. (The Guardian)

The ALA presents its 2012 summer reading list. (Library Journal)

The New York Times posts their obituary of Kathi Kamen Goldmark. (The New York Times)

“On this day in 1960 Boris Pasternak died, at the age of seventy. Pasternak’s last years were dominated by the publicity and persecution which attended the publication of Doctor Zhivago (1958 in the U.S., 1988 in the Soviet Union), and the announcement that he had won the 1958 Nobel Prize…” (Today In Literature)

Tuesday Quote of the Night

Tuesday, May 29th, 2012

“It is the test of a novel writer’s art that he conceal his snake-in-the-grass; but the reader may be sure that it is always there.”

- Anthony Trollope




Tuesday Evening Book Reviews

Tuesday, May 29th, 2012

Christine Cremen discovers “a sort of meta-fairy story, offering a fanciful account of how one particular tale (Rapunzel) came to be” in Bitter Greens by Kate Forsyth. (Sydney Morning Herald)

Caling it “(P)art science fiction, part political thriller,” Lucy Popescu says that Juli Zeh’s The Method “gives an impressively plausible account of a conformist society disguised as a utopia.” (The Independent)

Alan Cheuse seems oddly fixated on the book that Mark Harril Saunders’ Ministers of Fire isn’t. (San Francisco Chronicle)

Katie Haegele reviews a healthy batch of new Young Adult titles. (

Tuesday Morning LitLinks

Tuesday, May 29th, 2012

Saddam Hussein’s daughter peddles his memoirs. (Al Arabiya)

The University of Missouri pulls funding for the school’s press. (Publishers Weekly)

50 SHADES OF GRAY triumphs over the censors (if not the critics) and returns to Florida’s libraries. (USA Today)

Pan Macmillan (Australia) follows Tor and looks to drop DRM restrictions on their ebook releases. (Momentum Books)

THE ORIGINS OF BRUNISTS will get its sequel – after 45 years. (GalleyCat)

Children’s author, Peter D. Sieruta, dies. RIP. (educating alice)

Agent and publisher, Hilary Rubinstein, dies at age 86. (The Independent)

“On this day in 1914 the first installment of Edgar Lee Masters’s Spoon River Anthology was published in Marion Reedy’s weekly magazine, The Mirror. Over the next six months Masters would write the remainder of his 244 ‘epitaphs,’ publishing them in book form in 1916. Both the magazine and book publications carried the pseudonym of “Webster Ford” as protection…” (Today In Literature)

Monday Quote of the Night

Monday, May 28th, 2012

“Do you know what would hold me together on a battlefield? The sense that I was perpetuating the language in which Keats and the rest of them wrote!”

- Wilfred Owen





Monday Evening Book Reviews

Monday, May 28th, 2012

Sarah Marshall says that Leni Zumas’ The Listeners “imparts on us a new vocabulary with which to describe the experience of loss, grief, renewal, and the simple experience of everyday life.” (The Rumpus)

Janet Maslin shares her views on a bunch of summer reads. (NYTimes)

Simon Schama contends that Simon Mawer’s The Girl Who Fell From the Sky “does what it sets out to do economically, elegantly, smartly, often beautifully, and what it means to do, mostly, is entertain.” (Financial Times)

David Langford offers a round-up of the “best recent sci-fi.” (The Telegraph)

Monday Morning LitLinks

Monday, May 28th, 2012

The University of Texas in Austin prepares an exhibit of letters from WWI heroes. (The Daily Beast)

Salon details how the Paris Review was a tool for the CIA in the Cold War. (Salon)

The authors of a military-inspired romance anthology, FOR LOVE AND HONOR, speak with (USA Today)

Dame Daphne Sheldrick recalls the elephant attack that inspired her to write. (The Huffington Post)

PHOTOGRAPHS NOT TAKEN is an account by world-famous photographers on the shot that got away. (The New York Times)

Have a look at the alter egos of a few famous writers. (Flavorwire)

… they’ve also lined up some wonderful photos of the notebooks of some notables. (Flavorwire)

Author, Richard Ford, has a chat with William Porter of (The Denver Post)

Actress, Garcelle Beauvais, plans a series of books for children. (The Chicago Sun-Times)

“On this day in 1849 Anne Bronte died of tuberculosis, at age twenty-nine. This was the third death in eight months among the Bronte siblings, Emily‘s and Branwell’s coming earlier. A total of six Bronte children were born in a six-year period, 1814-1820: the two eldest died of tuberculosis at age eleven and ten, and within six weeks of each other…” (Today In Literature)

Sunday Morning LitLinks

Sunday, May 27th, 2012

The Telegraph profiles the short story work of John Cheever. (The Telegraph)

Joyce Meskis, owner of the Tattered Cover bookstores, sits down with (The Denver Post)

Writers beware! Sitting down can kill you. Better type standing up. (

Deborah Copaken Kogan reexamines Erich Segal’s novel, THE CLASS. (The New York Times)

Self-published nutritionist lands a big book deal with Grand Central. (GalleyCat)

Book marketing goes to the data dogs. (publishersweekly)

The Globe & Mail explores the sorry state of ebook marketing. (The Globe & Mail)

Waterstones and Amazon make for unlikely BFFs. (The Guardian)

“On this day in 1907 Rachel Carson was born in Springdale, Pennsylvania. Her homestead is now a museum and educational center, though it includes only one of the sixty-five acres upon which Carson grew up and learned the life-lesson that she would teach the world…” (Today In Literature)

Saturday Quote of the Night

Saturday, May 26th, 2012

“Of all fatiguing, futile, empty trades, the worst, I suppose, is writing about writing.”

- Hilaire Belloc




Saturday Evening Book Reviews

Saturday, May 26th, 2012

The Book Beast offers up a quintet of reviews from their ‘best of the week’ selections. (The Daily Beast)

Daljit Nagra examines the collection, Poetry of the Taliban, concluding “(T)hat these poems put us in this uncomfortable place is the most impressive achievement of the anthology. (The Guardian)

Benjamin Cheever revels in Adharanand Finn’s Running With the Kenyans: Passion, Adventure, and the Secrets of the Fastest People on Earth. (Washington Post)

Andrew Roberts offers a careful, but generally favorable, analysis of Mr Churchill’s Profession: The Statesman as Author and the Book that Defined the ‘Special Relationship’ by Peter Clarke. (Financial Times)

Saturday Morning LitLinks

Saturday, May 26th, 2012

If you’re thinking toward soldiers this weekend, a) good and b) have you thought of sending them books? (GalleyCat)

Pulitzer-winner, Jennifer Egan, launches a new story, 140 characters at a time. (The New York Times)

Did you hear the one about the taxi driver who asked his passengers for life-changing quotes, then wrote a book about it? (The Huffington Post)

At Page-Turner, The New Yorker staff tell us what they’re reading. (The New Yorker)

The Economist examines the habits and motives of book collectors. (The Economist)

Have a peek at the clockworks of the Nebula Awards, courtesy of (The Huffington Post)

THE WIZARD OF OZ, in a rare pop-up book incarnation, is on the auction block. (Booktryst)

Jonathan Franzen has a chat with (The Guardian)

“On this day in 1891, Edith Wharton’s first published story, ‘Mrs. Manstey’s View,’ was accepted by Scribner’s Magazine. Wharton was twenty-nine years old, brought up in wealth and high society, and recently married to a prominent banker; she was as opposite to her destitute heroine as she was to being a struggling young writer, and her first story throws the write-about-what-you-know rule out the window…” (Today In Literature)

Friday Quote of the Night

Friday, May 25th, 2012

“The unread story is not a story; it is little black marks on wood pulp. The reader, reading it, makes it live: a live thing, a story.”

- Ursula Le Guin




Friday Evening Book Reviews

Friday, May 25th, 2012

Jeff Giles gives Gillian Flynn’s Gone Girl an A, calling it “an ingenious and viperish thriller.” (

Jane Jackman says that, in Master and God by Lindsey Davis, “the narrative is rapid and the story well told with much sharp-edged detail.” (The Independent)

Tim Robey goes between the covers of Will Ellsworth-Jones’ Banksy: The Man Behind the Wall and is “moved by an attempt to pin down street art’s most elusive character.” (The Telegraph)

Bob Minzesheimer gives Richard Ford’s Canada four stars, noting that it is “a mystery, but no simple whodunit.” (USAToday)

Friday Morning LitLinks

Friday, May 25th, 2012

Tana French’s BROKEN HARBOR is among the most-anticipated summer novels featured today in (The Wall Street Journal)

…and I was lucky enough to receive an advance copy of it and weighed in with my opinion a few days ago. (Because I Love To Hear Myself Type)

NPR puts up a must-read-this-summer list of their own, culled from Indie booksellers’ recommendations. (NPR)

Not to be outdone, here’s a summer preview from (The New York Times)

When Elmore Leonard sends you fanmail, it’s awesome. (The New York Observer)

There’s comfort food and comfort reading. Publishers Weekly talks the latter. (

The Commonwealth Short Story Prize winners are announced at (Granta)

Occupy Wall Street contends that the NYPD destroyed $47,000 worth of books. (New York Daily News)

Comedy writer, Al Gordon, dies at age 89. RIP. (The Daily Beast)

Author, Kathi Kamen Goldmark, dies at age 63. RIP. (The Los Angeles Times)

“On this day in 1938 Raymond Carver was born in Clatskanie, Oregon, the family moving three years later to Yakima, Washington, where Carver grew up. Carver’s biographical essay, ‘My Father’s Life,’ tells about his upbringing what his highly-acclaimed stories tell about others: the grind of poverty, the ruin of alcohol, the permanent worry of cave-in or break-up, the resolve and dignity of those who keep going when their only sure direction is down…” (Today In Literature)

Thursday Quote of the Night

Thursday, May 24th, 2012

“Novels are forged in passion, demand fidelity and commitment, often drive you to boredom or rage, sleep with you at night. They are the long haul. They are marriage. Stories, on the other hand, you can lose yourself in for a few weeks and then wrap up, or grow tired of and abandon and (maybe) return to later. They can cuddle you sweetly, or make you get on your knees and beg.”

? David Leavitt


Thursday Evening Book Reviews

Thursday, May 24th, 2012

Jessica Loudis says that Johanna Skibsrud’s story collection, This Will Be Difficult to Explain, is driven by “subtle mixture of melancholy and world-­historical resignation.” (NYTimes)

Chris Erskine calls Calico Joe “a bloop single for Grisham, a slugger capable of much more.” (LATimes)

Joanna Scuts says Crusoe: Daniel Defoe, Robert Knox, and the Creation of a Myth by Katherine Frank “an unconventional, surprising and thoughtful book.” (Washington Post)

Laura E. Davis declares Kristina Marie Darling’s poetry collection, Compendium, a “shadow box collection of antiques, each holding other worlds and histories.” (The Rumpus)

Thursday Morning LitLinks

Thursday, May 24th, 2012

Toby Harnden takes The Orwell Prize for DEAD MEN RISEN. (BBC)

Bob Woodward has a new book coming out in September, but he won’t tell anyone what it’s about. (The Washington Post)

Queen Victoria’s journal to be published online. (The Guardian)

BookRiot steers us toward Better Book Titles. (

Who Wants To Be A Millionaire — Author? (The Telegraph)

William Deresiewicz revisits Vonnegut with older and wiser eyes. “Some of them are worse than I remembered, but some of them are even better.” (The Nation)

The goal is one million ebooks to African students. The goal kicker? FC Barcelona. (

Amazon cleans Kindle’s house a little and throws out some of the apocalypse-sized stockpile of Spam. (

How ebooks could save libraries, on tap at (Culture WNYC)

A nine-year-old writes a restaurant review in (McSweeney’s)

Author, scholar, and critic, Paul Fussell, dies at age 88. (Associated Press)

“On this day in 1951 Carson McCullers’s The Ballad of the Sad Cafe and Other Works was published. Included in this omnibus edition were most of the pieces upon which her reputation now stands: The Heart is a Lonely Hunter, Reflections in a Golden Eye, The Member of the Wedding, and a handful of short stories…” (Today In Literature)