Archive for August, 2012

Friday Morning LitLinks

Friday, August 31st, 2012

The Pentagon asserts that NO EASY DAY violates a non-disclosure agreement by Navy Seal, Mark Owens (pseudonym.) (Yahoo! News)

JK Rowling is building Hogwarts-as-a-Treehouse in her yard. (The New York Daily News)

Jospeh Bathanti becomes North Carolina’s poet laureate. (WRAL)

With Fall only three weeks away, clear a spot on your to-be-read list. (The Chicago Sun Times)

“Literatures Most Desperate Housewives” presented by (Flavorwire)

The Guardian’s First Book Awards tip their longlist. (The Guardian)

The Norwich Bulletin features a look at author, Cathy Lamb. (The Norwich Bulletin)

Renowned book critic, David Ulin, maps the art of criticism. (The Los Angeles Times)

Have a peek at Amazon’s newest Kindle. (The Verge)

Zadie Smith stumps for public libraries. (The Guardian)

“On this day in 1946, John Hersey’s ‘Hiroshima’ was published in The New Yorker. The article took up all sixty-eight pages of text space (everything except for the ‘Goings On’ calendar), an unprecedented and unannounced event for the magazine. Nor did the cover picture of a summery park scene give any indication, though there was a white band on the outside warning readers of the departure, and an editorial note on page one expressing the magazine’s conviction that the nuclear explosion was an event ‘that everyone might well take time to consider.’…” (Today In Literature)

Thursday Evening Book Reviews

Thursday, August 30th, 2012

Eric Banks writes that Witold Gombrowicz “proposes an antiphilosophical philosophy” in his “shape-shifting” Diary. (

Kevin Nance calls Selden Edwards’ Lost Prince a “royal disappointment” (see what he did there?), lamenting its “nearly complete lack of suspense and surprise.” (USAToday)

Tim McNulty discovers “a moving tale of tolerance, self-discovery and forgiveness in which a child comes to terms with his own origins and in the process opens a new door to his future” in Ivan Doig’s The Bartender’s Tale. (Seattle Times)

Ron Charles says of NW: “(Y)ou either submit to (Zadie) Smith’s eclectic style or you set this book aside in frustration.” (Washington Post)

Afternoon Viewing: An Interview With Debbit Macomber

Thursday, August 30th, 2012

Thursday Morning LitLinks

Thursday, August 30th, 2012

Benjamin Percy extols the virtues of slow reading. (The Rumpus)

Poet, Laurie Lambeth, on multiple sclerosis and how illness influences her work. (The Atlantic)

Google wants more time to prepare for its showdown with opponents of its book-scanning program, but the judge says no. (The Washington Post)

$69 million is the bill for ebook price fixing. Ouch. (The Bookseller)

The enduring lure of Fleming’s James Bond, diagrammed at (The Telegraph)

Junot Díaz sits down for a chat with (The New York Times)

The 2012 PEN/ESPN Awards for Literary Sports Writing have been announced. (

Donna Tartt’s next novel delayed. (GalleyCat)

A Manhattan court hosts the representatives of Mario Puzo’s estate and the Paramount executives who claim the rights to future GODFATHER sequels. (Yahoo! News)

Amazon runs out of fire. Kindle Fire, that is. (Business Insider)

Julia Child lives on in children’s books. (The San Fransisco Chronicle)

“On this day in 30 BC Cleopatra committed suicide. Cleopatra’s response to losing Antony and Egypt to Rome was apparently well-researched: hoping for a painless death, she caused more than one unfortunate to be force-fed this or that drug or snake while she watched. As told in Shakespeare’s Antony and Cleopatra, it was the Roman idea of entertainment that was to blame in the first place…” (Today In Literature)

Wednesday Quote of the Night

Wednesday, August 29th, 2012

“When well told, a story captured the subtle movement of change. If a novel was a map of a country, a story was the bright silver pin that marked the crossroads.”

? Ann Patchett




Wednesday Evening Book Reviews

Wednesday, August 29th, 2012

Leslie Wright goes into Carlos Ruiz Zafon’s “world of Barcelona in the 1950s” in The Prisoner of Heaven, calling it “a deep and mysterious novel full of people that feel real.” (Blogcritics)

Carmen Gimenez Smith declares Ivan Doig’s The Bartender’s Tale “thoroughly engaging,” noting that “the book’s soft focus of nostalgia is in itself a kind of pleasure.” (NPR)

J. Robert Lennon unloads on Paul Auster’s “terrible” memoir, Winter Journal. (The Guardian)

Stephen Cave reviews a trio of books on our evolutionary past. (Financial Times)

Wednesday Morning LitLinks

Wednesday, August 29th, 2012

With Lance Armstrong stripped of his titles and under a life-ban from cycling, teammate Tyler Hamilton’s book leapfrogs its publication date and will arrive two weeks early. (The San Fransisco Chronicle)

And speaking of books hitting shelves sooner than expected, controversial Bin Laden-raid book abandons its 9-11 tear-jerker plan in favor of a September 4th release date. Weird. (The New York Times)

Michiko Kakutani has lobbed more than a couple of handfuls of really barbed book reviews. (The Huffington Post)

Peruse the shortlist for the 2012 Edna Staebler Award for Creative Non-fiction. (Quill & Quire)

In the wake of the paid-for book review dust up, here’s a helpful guide to interpreting Amazon’s book review graph. (GalleyCat)

TV and film need novelists as much as ever. (The Telegraph)

Here’s a primer on ten words that get misspelled too often. (The Oatmeal)

A bit of new Batman on the way from Marvel? (io9)

…and Michael Bay’s leaked TEENAGE MUTANT NINJA TURTLES manuscript is skewered at (io9)

“On this day in 1833, the Mills and Factory Act was passed in England. This was one of a series of Acts passed in the 19th century to improve the ‘Health and Morals’ of child laborers, but it was the first effective legislation in that it empowered national inspectors with unlimited, unannounced entry to the factories. The improved regulations — no one under 9 employed, a 48-hour week for children aged 9-12, a 68-hour week for teenagers, some minimum provisions for education and health, etc. — were largely the result of testimony given by young workers to a Parliamentary committee investigating violations of earlier Acts….” (Today In Literature)

Tuesday Morning LitLinks

Tuesday, August 28th, 2012

Have a look at the wonderful and tragic afterword to MORTALITY, written by Carol Blue, Christopher Hitchens’ widow. (Slate)

Here are some terrifically unusual bookends by Knob Creek Metal Art. (The Huffington Post)

When authors disavow their work, that leaves readers… where, exactly? (The Atlantic)

Nod sadly at the plight of the journalists stuck in Tampa. (The Gawker)

Beleaguered University of Missouri Press loses another editor. (Publishers Weekly)

The National Book Foundation hosts a sumptuous series: Eat, Drink & Be Literary. (

No love lost: Dorothy B. Hughes on Patricia Highsmith. (Sarah Weinman)

Javier Marías has a chat with (The Telegraph)

‘The Writer’ magazine heads back to Boston. (Publishers Weekly)

“On this day in 430, Saint Augustine died at the age of seventy-five. He had been Bishop of Hippo (now Annaba, Algeria) for thirty-four years, during which time he had become the patriarch of Christian Africa and one of the most influential leaders of the Latin Church. Much of Augustine’s extensive writing has survived, The City of God and the Confessions being the most widely known….” (Today In Literature)

Monday Quote of the Night

Monday, August 27th, 2012

“It is the storyteller’s task to elicit sympathy and a measure of understanding for those who lie outside the boundaries of State approval.”

― Graham Greene




Monday Evening Book Reviews

Monday, August 27th, 2012

Kerri Shadid writes The Death of Ivan Ilyich and Other Stories “gives us 11 of Leo Tolstoy’s poignant short stories by the two most renowned Russian translators today, Richard Pevear and Larissa Volokhonsky.” (Blogcritics)

The Daily Iowan staff says that Lauren Oliver’s Delirium is just the ticket for people hungry for more Hunger Games. (Daily Iowan)

Jane Ciabattari calls Amanda Coplin’s The Orchardist a “stunning accomplishment, hypnotic in its storytelling power, by turns lyrical and gritty, and filled with marvels.” (NPR)

Peter Sloterdijk’s Bubbles, the first in the his Spheres trilogy, arrives in English translation, and Joshua Mostafa goes deep into the mind of the provocative philosopher. (Los Angeles Review of Books)

Killer Nashville 2012 (also known as Always-Check-The-Bar-Before-Going-Up-To-Bed)

Monday, August 27th, 2012

I’m by no means any sort of authority on literary conference maximization. In fact, I’ve only ever attended one conference, but I have attended it five years running, so I’ve learned one thing that always applies: if you’ve any energy to spare at the end of the evening, stick your head into the hotel bar before turning in for the night. Sometimes nifty things happen.

For instance, this past Saturday, I’d had a hell of a day. And by “hell of a day” I mean an excellent day at Killer Nashville, but still, the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation’s Patrick Looney and his presentation of the frame by frame deconstruction of the most harrowing security camera footage I’ve ever seen, well, it drove me to drink. I joke quite a bit more about alcohol than I actually drink it, but I honestly had a Bloody Mary for lunch for medicinal purposes. It helped.

Throughout the day, I’d attended presentations and moderated a panel discussion. I’d collected business cards and bought a few books and shared a few laughs. Killer Nashville is invaluable for all of those things, as they have been consistently, all years running. That’s why I drive five hours west every August. Won’t miss it if I can help it.

So after a full day of conferencing, I went to dinner with two of my writerly friends, Carole Oldroyd and Terri Lynn Coop. We did the peek-in-the-bar-before-retiring thing. Who should be sitting there, all alone, but literary legend, Peter Straub? (Ghost Story, Shadowland, The Talisman series, etc) And there were two empty seats to one side of him and a single on the other. Four hours later, I had a great affection for Jefferson’s Straight Rye Whiskey and a wonderful memory of not only one of the most lyrical writers of our time, but a generous and funny gentlemen. It was, truly, the highlight of my weekend.

(none of the pictures with me properly in the frame turned out well, so I’ll settle for looking like a goofy photobomber)













Monday Morning LitLinks

Monday, August 27th, 2012

Sigh over the buying and selling of book reviews. I did. I sighed, I mean, not bought or sold a review. (The New York Times)

A British domestic violence charity rallies for a book burning show, starring E.L. James’ 50 SHADES OF GREY. (The Los Angeles Times)

Consider the symbiotic link between novelists and scientists. (New Scientist)

Here’s an advance look-guess at the next Nobel Prize in Literature from (The Los Angeles Times)

Victoria Barnsley, CEO of HarperCollins, has a chat about the near future of publishing with (The Guardian)

Author, Joshilyn Jackson, doesn’t like the word ‘succulent’. (Faster Than Kudzu)

Hilary Mantel’s WOLF HALL heads to the small screen on the rails of the BBC. (The Telegraph)

Fox News outs the real name of the Navy Seal who published (with Dutton) an account of the raid that killed Osama bin Laden. (Yahoo! News)

Children’s literature is blooming into one of the biggest cogs in the publishing machine. (The Los Angeles Times)

Renowned Chicago bookseller, Florence Shay, has died at age 90. Rest in peace. (The Chicago Tribune)

DRUGSTORE COWBOY author, James Fogle, dies in prison at age 75. Rest in peace. (The Seattle Times)

“On this day in 1841 James Fenimore Cooper’s The Deerslayer was published. This was the last-written of the five Leatherstocking novels, though it covers the earliest phase of the saga, that part wherein the twenty-three-year-old Natty Bumppo must pass his first tests in the wilderness, rise above the worst of paleface and redskin ethics, avoid being burned at the stake…” (Today In Literature)

Thursday Quote of the Night

Thursday, August 23rd, 2012

“A poet must never make a statement simply because it is sounds poetically exciting; he must also believe it to be true.”

- W.H. Auden



Thursday Evening Book Reviews

Thursday, August 23rd, 2012

Greg Barbrick rediscovers Barry Sweet’s “incredible eye” and says that, in Split Seconds: Four Decades of News Photography from the Pacific Northwest and Beyond, “many of these images capture jaw-dropping moments.” (Blogcritics)

Calling Raina Telgemeier the “Horatio Alger of graphic novelists,” Ada Calhoun savors “up-by-their-book-bags characters who value hard work and seize a chance that has nothing to do with looks or even with love” in Drama. (NYTimes)

The AP says Terry Brooks “delivers another winning fantasy tale” with Wards of Faerie: The Dark Legacy of Shannara. (Washington Post)

Michael E. Young is intrigued by Robert Zorn’s “meticulous study of the Lindbergh kidnapping,” Cemetery John, and finds that it “offers a fascinating and compelling argument.” (The Columbus Dispatch)

In Lieu of Morning LitLinks – Killer Nashville 8/23 – 8/26

Thursday, August 23rd, 2012

Please bear with us as our Morning LitLinks feature will be interrupted Thursday, August 23rd thru Sunday, August 26th.

Killer Nashville 2012 beckons. Updates from the conference could happen, though. You never know…

Wednesday Quote of the Night

Wednesday, August 22nd, 2012

“The first four months of writing the book, my mental image is scratching with my hands through granite. My other image is pushing a train up the mountain, and it’s icy, and I’m in bare feet.”

-  Mary Higgins Clark



Wednesday Evening Book Reviews

Wednesday, August 22nd, 2012

Hector Tobar says that Reyna Grande’s memoir, The Distance Between Us, is “is in many ways a ground-breaking addition to the literature of the Latino immigrant experience” and “deserves to be celebrated for its candor and for the courage of the woman who overcame so many obstacles to write it.” (LATimes)

Thornton McCamish praises Paul Auster’s “second unconventional self-portrait – one that will be a kind of reckoning, of the past, and of the person he has been,” Winter Journal. (Sydney Morning Herald)

Brendan Rastetter writes that G. Willow Wilson’s Alif the Unseen “weaves issues of censorship, women’s rights, class conflict with Arabian fantasy.” (

Nina Lakhani finds that Alexander McCall Smith’s “charming, quirky and exasperating characters make you smile in spite of yourself” in Sunshine on Scotland Street. (The Independent)

Afternoon Viewing: Killer Nashville 2012

Wednesday, August 22nd, 2012

Don’t blink at the beginning! There’s a tidy bit of subliminal advertizing as the cover of THREE GRAVES FULL flashes on screen right at the beginning –

Wednesday Morning LitLinks

Wednesday, August 22nd, 2012

The much-anticipated film adaptation of Stephen King’s THE DARK TOWER is orphaned first at Universal, then at Warner Bros. (Yahoo! News)

The Flahery-Dunnan First Novel Prize has its list of nominees for 2012. (The Center for Fiction)

Author, Paul Auster, has opinions. Here’s a few of them detailed in a chat with (Salon)

Maeve Binchy’s final novel will hit shelves in November. (The Telegraph)

Three Nobel Prize winners to talk human rights and celebrate literature in Korea. (Korea Herald)

NO EASY DAY: THE FIRSTHAND ACCOUNT OF THE MISSION THAT KILLED OSAMA BIN LADEN, by pseudonymous Navy Seal, Mark Owen, lands on the shelves on September 11th. (The New York Times)

Joe Paterno’s biographer, Joe Posnanski, talks about honesty in a critical plot turn of a life. (CBS)

Children’s author, Nina Bawden, has died at age 87. Rest in peace. (BBC)

Carol Spelius, author and publisher, has died at age 93. Rest in Peace (The Chicago Sun-Times)

“On this day in 1893 Dorothy Parker was born in Long Branch, New Jersey, to Henry and Eliza Rothschild — but ‘My God, no, dear! We’d never even heard of those Rothschilds.’ She was two months premature, allowing her to say that it was the last time she was early for anything, but she was also late, in that her mother was forty-two years old, her closest sibling seven years away….” (Today In Literature)

Another 5 Minutes… With Jaden Terrell

Tuesday, August 21st, 2012

AuthorScoop hosted a chat with Jaden Terrell in February in celebration of her debut novel, RACING THE DEVIL. Jaden’s back with its follow-up, A CUP FULL OF MIDNIGHT, out this month from The Permanent Press. Today we get to preview the new book and snag a bit more insight into the clockworks of the Jared McKean Mysteries series.

We’d like to thank Jaden Terrell for being here once again to take part in our “5 Minutes Alone” interview series.

AuthorScoop: Booklist had nice things to say about your latest, A CUP FULL OF MIDNIGHT. Tell us a bit about the book.

Jaden: It’s the second book in the Jared McKean series. Jared is thirty-six, a private detective coming to terms with his unjust dismissal from the Nashville murder squad and an unwanted divorce from a woman he still loves. His teenaged nephew, Josh, has fallen under the influence of a dangerous fringe of the Goth subculture, giving the family lots of reasons to worry. When the fringe group’s leader—a mind-manipulating sociopath who considers himself a vampire—is found butchered and posed across a pentagram, Josh is the number one suspect. He asks Jared to investigate the murder, and in the course of the investigation, he learns that his nephew, whom he loves like a son, is next on the killer’s list.

AuthorScoop: Are the books coming easier now that you’ve got a couple behind you, or is the writing experience the same rollercoaster it’s been from the start?

Jaden: I keep thinking it’s going to get easier, but it never does. Every book seems just a little bit beyond me and I have to grow into it. A CUP FULL OF MIDNIGHT is more complex than RACING THE DEVIL, and the third book is even more challenging.

AuthorScoop: Has writing and publishing changed the way you read?

Jaden: I don’t think so. I’ve always read like a writer. I remember reading books when I was seven or eight, and one level, I was enjoying the story and falling in love with the characters, and on another level, I was trying to figure out how the writer did it. I still do. Often, I’ll read a book once for pleasure, then go back and read parts over again to see how it’s put together or how the writer achieved a certain effect.

AuthorScoop: Has your advice for new writers evolved the farther you get from being a new writer yourself?

Jaden: Everybody’s specific path is different, but I don’t think the core principles ever change. Learn everything you can. Read everything you can. Write every chance you get. Always look at what you can do better. It’s easy to get caught up in marketing and platforms and forget that the important thing is the writing.

AuthorScoop: What’s next for Jaden Terrell?

Jaden: I’m working on the third book in the Jared McKean series, along with a standalone thriller that’s, like always, a little bit too hard for me. I’m really excited about it.


A CUP FULL OF MIDNIGHT is available now. Read a sample and then quick click to your favorite retailer to get your own copy. Visit her webpage and you’re on your way. Jaden Terrell is also at home on the web at her blog, Murderous Musings. Like her Facebook page to keep current with news and events.