Archive for July, 2012

AuthorScoop Goes Fishing

Sunday, July 15th, 2012

Mid-summer has brought some furious non-AuthorScoop obligations to the AuthorScoop team – most of them even good! So, we’re going to draw the shades for a few weeks for some housekeeping and maintenance and will resume our regular features on Monday, August 6th.

In the meantime, if you’re so inclined, here’s a few of our favorite links from our archives -

Midnight Poetry – Have a look. Have a think. Have a lyrical pause and enjoy.

Is Your Book Your Baby? AuthorScoop’s original invitational essay series. Hear from veteran bestsellers and first time authors whether or not they feel parental toward their literary creations.

Graeme Cameron’s Guest Pieces – Two wonderfully funny essays on the craft: Guided By Voices and You’re Only As Good As Your Last Prolonged Period of Self-Loathing

And have a ramble through our interview series ’5 Minutes Alone’ to get a glimpse into the clockworks of some of today’s writers.

Happy Summer and see you on August 6th!

Saturday Morning LitLinks

Saturday, July 14th, 2012

Carol Ann Duffy takes the Pen Pinter Prize. (The Telegraph)

San Fransisco’s oral storytelling venue, Porchlight, turns ten years old. (The San Fransisco Chronicle)

The big books of 2012, according to (The Guardian)

Author, Simon Conway, has a chat with (The Scotsman)

… and Dave Eggers talks about his reading habits with (The New York Times)

Gillian Flynn wonders, all the way to the bank, how Reese Witherspoon will handle the film adaptation of GONE GIRL. (The Huffington Post)

Should prisons have libraries? (Quill & Quire)

The Houston Chronicle shows you how to write a book review. (

Will Hungarian literature be the next mine for New York publishing houses? (The Guardian)

“On this day in 1881 Billy the Kid was killed by his nemesis, the Sheriff and bounty hunter Pat Garrett, at Fort Sumner, New Mexico. Near midnight, the Kid returned from an errand of love or hunger to find someone in his hideout; to his hushed ‘Quien es? Quien es?,’ Billy received a fatal shot above the heart. This was also the starting shot for a fiction marathon which shows no signs of being over, and without which, says bio-bibliographer Jon Tuska, the Kid ‘would have remained an obscure New Mexican horse thief,’…” (Today In Literature)

Friday Quote of the Night

Friday, July 13th, 2012

“In my writing I am acting as a map maker, an explorer of psychic areas, a cosmonaut of inner space, and I see no point in exploring areas that have already been thoroughly surveyed.”

-William S. Burroughs




Friday Evening Book Reviews

Friday, July 13th, 2012

Leslie Wright declares Charlie: A Love Story by Barbara Lampert “a wonderful book for those who love their animals, as well as those who find beauty in most things.” (Blogcritics)

Paul Barker calls Gillian Tindall a “tapestry maker” and say that, in Three Houses, Many Lives, “she interweaves the stories of three houses which marked crucial stages in her own life.” (The Independent)

Mike Rose delights in how Dream Team: How Michael, Magic, Larry, Charles and the Greatest Team of All Time Conquered the World and Changed the Game of Basketball Forever, by Jack McCallum, “takes readers behind the scenes to card games among the players; Barkley’s late-night excursions down Las Ramblas, a popular street in Barcelona, with fans tagging along; and to various golf courses where Jordan spent most of his time.” (Newsday)

Thomas Rid finds a mixed bag in William J. Dobson’s The Dictator’s Learning Curve: Inside the Global Battle for Democracy. (The Wilson Quarterly)

Friday Morning LitLinks

Friday, July 13th, 2012

Buzz starts for Kate Atkinson’s next release – March 2013. (The Bookseller)

Storytelling at ‘The Moth’ and the pitfalls of relating a tale of trauma. (The Millions)

Julia Donaldson does more work to get kids reading. (The Guardian)

… while Simon & Schuster bait the slightly older youngsters with a texting campaign. (GalleyCat)

Book designer, Brian McMullen, talks about THE MCSWEENEY’S BOOK OF POLITICS & MUSICALS. (The Huffington Post)

Author, Terry Goodkind, takes the fight to the ‘pirates’ on Twitter and Facebook. (The Guardian)

A ring once owned by Jane Austen fetches £150,000 at auction. (The Telegraph)

The Daily’s iPad issue gets a poor grade from (The Gawker)

Neil Gaiman’s SANDMAN will be getting prequel next year. (io9)

Book publicist, Lowell Farley, dies at age 81. RIP. (Publishers Weekly)

“On this day William Wordsworth finished writing ‘Lines Composed a Few Miles Above Tintern Abbey, on Revisiting the Banks of the Wye During a Tour, July 13, 1798.’ Wordsworth worked on the poem during a 4-day walking tour of the region, composing as he walked by way of a singsong,’ booing and hawing’ method he had developed, but ‘not any part of it was written down till I reached Bristol” on the 13th…’ (Today In Literature)

Thursday Morning LitLinks

Thursday, July 12th, 2012

Stephen Harrigan gives us a peek inside the life of a screenwriter and the kind of angst that comes in the mail. (Slate)

1,000 years of Russian literature to be published, or re-published as it were. (

HarperCollins buys Christian and inspirational press, Thomas Nelson. (HarperCollins)

Orange Prize winner, Helen Dunmore, is profiled at (The Telegraph)

Worlds collide – have Shakespear’s sonnets on your iPad. (The New York Daily News)

Attention parents: buying presents with your child’s favorite storybook characters on it just got a lot easier via CafePress’ deal with Penguin Publishing Group. (Yahoo! News)

Graphic novels and Kickstarter seems to be a profitable partnership. (The Guardian)

…and explores comics as literature. (Wired)

Author, Linda Fairstein, does a Q&A with (USA Today)

S&M might be all the rage in upcoming books, fiction and non. (GalleyCat)

Marion Cunningham, cookbook author, dies at age 90. RIP. (The New York Times)

“On this day in 1904, Pablo Neruda was born in Parral, Chile, as Neftali Ricardo Reyes Basoalto. When he began to publish poetry in his teens, Neruda chose a new name in order to hide his authorship from his father; he liked “Pablo,” and saw the name of Jan Neruda, the 19th century Czech writer, while glancing through a literary journal…” (Today In Literature)

Wednesday Quote of the Night

Wednesday, July 11th, 2012

“Words have no power to impress the mind without the exquisite horror of their reality.”

? Edgar Allan Poe




Wednesday Evening Book Reviews

Wednesday, July 11th, 2012

Patt Morrison writes that Anna Quindlen’s memoir, Lots of Candles, Plenty of Cake, “is a cozy feedback loop, the perfect comfort food for its enormous demographic — the kind of communal comfort food that, as long as we’re on the subject of aging and death, people bring over after a death in the house.” (LATimes)

Michele Ross calls The Playdate “taut, page-turning and surprising” and Louise Millar “a new writer to watch.” (

Anthony Bukoski declares Gregory Blake Smith’s story collection, The Law of Miracles, “a fine collection of stories that explore the junction of reality and fantasy.” (Minneapolis Star-Tribune)

Michelle Wiener says that Ami McKay’s The Virgin Cure is “as unnerving as it is powerful.” (San Jose Mercury News)

Wednesday Morning LitLinks

Wednesday, July 11th, 2012

NEA’s ‘The Big Read’ grant funds a massive community bookclub project. (The Los Angeles Times)

Bruce Handy and his boring book collection. It’s more interesting that you think. (The New York Times)

It turns out that mostly no one cares who John Edwards slept with or why he did it. Publisher pulls Rielle Hunter’s book tour over poor sales. (The New York Post)

Electronic reading gains a following, albeit slowly, in Germany. (Publishing Perspectives)

Have a look at a map of England as you’ve never seen it before. (

Neil Gaiman’s got steady work for the foreseeable future after inking a multi-novel and picture book deal with HarperCollins. (Publishers Weekly)

Novelist, Carlos Ruiz Zafón, posts a list of his recommended books on (Goodreads)

GalleyCat hosts a discussion on the wisdom of parley with pirates. (GalleyCat)

“On this day in 1818, John Keats visited the first home of Robert Burns in Alloway and composed his sonnet, ‘Written in the Cottage Where Burns Was Born.’ Keats was twenty-two years old, barely published, and on a summer-long walking tour of the North Country — twenty or thirty rugged miles a day and ‘No supper but Eggs and Oat cake,’ which corrects the wan-and-weary side of the Keats myth. Virtually all his best poems would come in a nine-month burst beginning the next January; he would cough blood for the first time on February 3 of the following year…” (Today In Literature)

Tuesday Evening Book Reviews

Tuesday, July 10th, 2012

Leyla Sanai notes a “a magnetic insouciance and irreverence to many characters” in Ryan O’Neill’s The Weight of a Human Heart. (The Independent)

Charles Finch writes that Stephen L. Carter’s The Impeachment of Abraham Lincoln is “a dreary, endless book, without momentum, intrigue or a character to linger in the mind beyond the last page.” (USAToday)

Melissa Maerz gives Cheryl Strayed’s advice compilation, Tiny Beautiful Things, an A, calling it a “beautifully written book.” (

David Rollins’ new Vin Cooper thriller, War Lord, “lags at times as a result of over-plotting and over-peopling,” according to Ross Southernwood. (Sydney Morning Herald)

Tuesday Morning LitLinks

Tuesday, July 10th, 2012

Johnny Depp teams up with Douglas Brinkley to edit Woodie Guthrie’s, HOUSE OF EARTH. (The New York Times)

The dust settles and the dust gets kicked up again. The Pulitzer Fiction Jury maps out what went wrong this year. (The New Yorker)

JK Rowling didn’t run to a tax haven when she got paid (and paid, and paid.) She thought it unpatriotic. Something to think about… (The Independent)

Terry Pratchett and Stephen Baxter chat about their latest sci-fi venture with (The Guardian)

A California school district wrangles some book-banning issues. Specifically, Dorothy Allison’s BASTARD OUT OF CAROLINA. (The San Jose Mercury News)

Malcom Gladwell will take on the topic of underdogs in his next book. (Entertainment Weekly)

Jason Bourne is on his way back in Eric Van Lustbader’s, THE BOURNE IMPERATIVE. (GalleyCat)

Here are ten fictional alphabets that you can learn and even use, if ya like. (Flavorwire)

David Lee King clears up some information (or misinformation, as the case may be) about the American Library Association. (

Michael Connelly’s famous literary detective, Harry Bosch, heads to the small screen. (MarketWatch)

“On this day in 1873 Paul Verlaine (pictured) shot Arthur Rimbaud in a Brussels hotel, wounding him in the wrist. Although not yet two years old, their relationship was in such sexual, emotional, financial and absinthe confusion that no specific motive seems relevant, but the Belgian courts were determined to convict Verlaine of assault, and gave him the maximum two-year sentence. Rimbaud’s attempts to testify on Verlaine’s behalf, and then to withdraw charges, were ignored…” (Today In Literature)

Monday Quote of the Night

Monday, July 9th, 2012

“Occasionally, there arises a writing situation where you see an alternative to what you are doing, a mad, wild gamble of a way for handling something, which may leave you looking stupid, ridiculous or brilliant -you just don’t know which. You can play it safe there, too, and proceed along the route you’d mapped out for yourself. Or you can trust your personal demon who delivered that crazy idea in the first place. Trust your demon.”

- Roger Zelazny


Monday Evening Book Reviews

Monday, July 9th, 2012

Nicholas Shakespeare goes between the covers of Peruvian Nobel laureate Mario Vargas Llosa’s new novel, Dream of the Celt. (The Telegraph)

Richard Santos says People Who Eat Darkness “represents (Richard) Lloyd Parry’s attempt to immerse the reader in the puzzling chaos of what happens when a young British girl disappears in Japan.” (The Rumpus)

Anna Mundow discovers an “engrossing new murder mystery” in Zoe Ferraris’ Kingdom of Strangers. (Washington Post)

Jay Jennings notes that there is “too little … lovely quiet coasting and too much furious pedaling” in Chris Cleave’s Gold. (San Francisco Chronicle)

Monday Morning LitLinks

Monday, July 9th, 2012

Nathan Englander wins the Frank O’Connor Short Story Prize for WHAT WE TALK ABOUT WHEN WE TALK ABOUT ANNE FRANK. (The Guardian)

Erotica sales have been boosted by fifty shades or thereabouts, so Plume has decided to rerelease Anne Rice’s Sleeping Beauty novels, penned under the name A. N. Roquelaure. (The New York Times)

Two of the best science writers breathing tell us why we won’t understand breaking news in physics. (The Atlantic)

Flavorwire can’t stop making us happy. Here’s some vintage photos of kids reading. Enjoy! (Flavorwire)

Have a sneak peek at the first lines of NW, the first novel from Zadie Smith in seven years. (The Millions)

Author, Nicholas Evans (best known for THE HORSE WHISPERER) talks about his life-saving kidney transplant. (The Telegraph)

Comic company, Valiant, looks to make a Marvel-style comeback. (The New York Times)

…and speaking of comics, Gene Simmons relaunches his own line of graphic shorts at ComicCon. (USA Today)

The London Review of Books revives a 1981 article by Ian McEwan on his television writing. (LRB)

Christopher Nolan reveals his literary inspiration for The Dark Knight Rises. (io9)

The Ingeborg Bachmann Prize’s colorful past, illuminated at (Deutsche Welle)

“On this day in 1904 Anton Chekhov was interred, some 4000 escorting the casket on a four-mile procession across Moscow. Chekhov had died in a German spa town, his short stay there, like his longer stays in the Crimean resort of Yalta throughout his last years, part of a lifelong battle with the tuberculosis that killed him at the age of forty-four. Most accounts of Chekhov’s last months portray him as maintaining his customary wit, work ethic and self-deprecation throughout a swirl of last ditch treatments…” (Today In Literature)

Sunday Quote of the Night

Sunday, July 8th, 2012

“Given that external reality is a fiction, the writer’s role is almost superfluous. He does not need to invent the fiction because it is already there.”

- J.G. Ballard



Sunday Evening Book Reviews

Sunday, July 8th, 2012

Ruth Scurr remarks that Francine du Plessix Gray “has written a hybrid book — part history, part fiction — rather than a well-­integrated historical novel” in The Queen’s Lover and that, “(I)n doing so, she lays bare the troublesome foundations of the genre.” (NYTimes)

Harmoine Lee discovers a “history of women’s reading, and those who opposed it” in Belinda Jack’s The Woman Reader. (The Guardian)

Jackie Wullschlager finds a tone “reverential to the point of hagiography” in Sheila Hale’s biography, Titian: His Life. (Financial Times)

Misha Berson delights in Jane Groth’s memoir of “21 years behind a receptionist’s desk at America’s most prestigious literary magazine,” The Receptionist: An Education at The New Yorker. (The Seattle Times)

Sunday Morning LitLinks

Sunday, July 8th, 2012

Brooklyn: it’s where the writers live. (The Guardian)

If Cormac McCarthy wrote a Seinfeld scene, it’d go something like this… (Thought Catalog)

THE GREAT GATSBY had 48 different endings! (Slate)

YA sci fi fairytale, SCARLET, is gettig the buzz and its author, Melissa Meyer, chats with (USA Today)

Here’s a look at The Hay Festival in Beirut. (The Telegraph)

The Christian Science Monitor honored Nathaniel Hawthorne on his birthday. (CSM)

Richard Russo jousts with ebooks. (The Chicago Sun-Times)

January Magazine reflects on the career of Stanley Ellin. (January Magazine)

“On this day in 1923, Virginia Woolf wrote to a friend that ‘I have just finished setting up the whole of Mr. Eliots [sic] poem with my own hands — you see how my hand trembles.’ Though referring to the typesetting of the first English edition of The Waste Land, Woolf’s trembling was due to exhaustion rather than any presage of the moment’s importance. The Woolfs’ Hogarth Press was in its sixth year, and what had begun as an afternoon hobby…” (Today In Literature)

Saturday Morning LitLinks

Saturday, July 7th, 2012

Jaime Garcia reveals his brother, Gabriel Garcia Marquez, now 85, suffers from dementia. (Times of India)

Robert Caro is working on a sort-of memoir, a how-it-came-to-be, these biographies of Lyndon Johnson and Robert Moses. (The New York Times)

The book origins of this weekend’s new film, Savages. (The Los Angeles Times)

… and a bit more with the author, Don Winslow, with (CNN)

The Guardian asks some big-name writers who they think writes the best sex in fiction. (The Guardian)

Don Lee talks about his latest, THE COLLECTIVE, with (Bookslut)

Faulkner’s Mississippi home still a tourist draw, even after 50 years. (The San Fransisco Chronicle)

The National Post delves into the components of book-marketing. (The National Post)

The Telegraph checks in with some people of note to find out what they’re reading this summer. (The Telegraph)

Sports-reporter, Michael J. Ybarra, dies at age 45. RIP. (The New York Times)

Watson Sims, journalist, dies at age 90. RIP. (The Asheville Citizen-Times)

“On this day the running of the bulls begins in Pamplona, on the first morning of the nine-day Feast of San Fermin. Hemingway first went as a twenty-three-year-old writer still a month away from his first, small book (Three Stories and Ten Poems), and so still filing stories for the Toronto Star: ‘Then they came in sight. Eight bulls galloping along, full tilt, heavy set, black, glistening, sinister, their horns bare, tossing their heads….’ His first wife, Hadley was with him; they had semi-joked that the bullfights would be a “stalwart” influence on the baby she was carrying…” (Today In Literature)

Friday Quote of the Night

Friday, July 6th, 2012

“Better that you should take the chance of trying something that is close to your heart, you think is what you want to write, and if they do not publish it, put it in your drawer. But maybe another day will come and you will find a place to put that.”

- Gay Talese


Friday Evening Book Reviews

Friday, July 6th, 2012

Ken Armstrong calls John Lanchester “a screamingly good writer” and his novel Capital “ever a joy to read.” (Seattle Times)

Sunil Badami declares Wild: A Journey From Lost To Found, by Cheryl Strayed, a “gripping, sometimes heartbreaking, often hilarious and always perceptive book.” (Sydney Morning Herald)

Cynthia Cruz offers measured and fascinating analysis of W.G. Sebald’s Across the Land and the Water. (The Rumpus)

David Annand doesn’t get the same thrill from Stuart Evers’ debut novel, If This is Home, as he does from “the brilliance of his short stories.” (The Telegraph)