Archive for April, 2013

Tuesday Quote of the Night

Tuesday, April 30th, 2013

“Writing, like life itself, is a voyage of discovery. The adventure is a metaphysical one: it is a way of approaching life indirectly, of acquiring a total rather than a partial view of the universe. The writer lives between the upper and lower worlds: he takes the path in order eventually to become that path himself.”

– Henry Miller


Tuesday Evening Book Reviews

Tuesday, April 30th, 2013

Dwight Garner on Edna O’Brien’s Country Girl: “You might come… for the gossip, but you’ll stay for this memoir’s ardent portrait of a young woman struggling to find her identity both as a human being and a writer.” (NYTimes)

Chris Lites on Douglas Rushkoff’s Present Shock: When Everything Happens Now: “It’s not simply an abstract philosophical principle — though elements of that exist in the book — but a decidedly new way through which we view, understand, and interact with the world.” (The Rumpus)

Craig Wilson on Nathaniel Philbrick’s Bunker Hill: A City, A Siege, A Revolution: “…an exhaustive three-year effort that takes the reader to pre-Revolutionary Boston and its famed hill where a turning point in American history unfolded.” (USAToday)

Steven Shapin on Steve Jones’ The Serpent’s Promise: The Bible Retold as Science: “The Bible’s resigned acceptance of human mortality apart, Jones’s judgment is that holy scripture is a miserable science textbook.” (The Guardian)

Tuesday Morning LitLinks

Tuesday, April 30th, 2013

Amanda Knox


Amanda Knox’s controversial memoir of her arrest, indictment, and ultimate (for now) acquittal in the murder of her British roommate will not be published in the UK. (NY Daily News)

Zadie Smith and Ian McEwan have a chat at (Believer Magazine)

A nod to the torch-bearers of modern farce at (The Millions)

A JJ Abrams story gets novel treatment. (GalleyCat)

Are handwritten typos still typos? Have a look at some classic manuscripts, direct from their authors’ pens. (Flavorwire)

1400 stolen books are recovered once the thief passed away and left his attic unguarded. (The Guardian)

Margaret Atwood’s THE HANDMAID’S TALE has been reimagined as a ballet. (The Millions)

The Los Angeles Times gives us a look at the Guantanamo prison library. (The LA Times)

The NY Times skirts around the demise of the printed newspaper and increases its circulation. (Fishbowl NY)

Here’s a recap of the Chicago Entertainment and Comics Comics Expo. (Publishers Weekly)

“On this day in 1642, courtier, soldier, and gentleman-poet, Richard Lovelace presented the Kentish Petition to Parliament — a Royalist document calling for the restoration of the rights of King Charles I — and was promptly imprisoned for it. His confinement produced “To Althea, From Prison”; this has become one of the most anthologized of 17th century poems, known especially for the poster-famous lines in the last stanza…” (Today In Literature)

Monday Morning LitLinks

Monday, April 29th, 2013

Author Gilbert King spoke at The VIllages on Tuesday, April 16 2013. King was awarded a Pulitzer prize for general nonfiction for "Devil in the Grove: Thurgood Marshall, the Groveland Boys, and the Dawn of a New America." (Tom Benitez/Orlando Sentinel)


Gilbert King got a text. Two words: Dude. Pulitzer. (The New York Times)

The stage adaptation of Mark Haddon’s THE CURIOUS INCIDENT OF THE DOG IN THE NIGHT-TIME wins a record-setting seven statuettes at the Olivier Awards. (The Guardian)

Rebecca Miller has a chat with the (Bookslut)

The wane of in-depth literary criticism via book reviews is plotted out at (The Millions)

A 500 year old Torah could rake in millions at auction. (The Independent)

World Book Night launches its book club. (The Bookseller)

Drinking and writing go together like peas a carrots, right? (LitKicks)

GQ Magazine lists 10 books every modern guy must read. (Yahoo! News)

The Beastie Boys get a book deal. (The New York Times)

Meet the purported oldest romance novelist still working. She’s Ida Pollock and she 105 years old. (The Daily Mail)

“On this day in 1980 Alfred Hitchcock died at the age of eighty. Hitchcock averaged a film a year for over fifty years, and all but a handful of them began as a short story, novel or play. While many films came from ‘shocker’ or noir writers such as Robert Bloch (Psycho) and Cornell Woolrich (Rear Window), or more mainstream suspense writers such as Daphne du Maurier (The Birds, Rebecca), John Buchan (The Thirty-Nine Steps) and Patricia Highsmith (Strangers on a Train)…” (Today In Literature)

Sunday Quote of the Night

Sunday, April 28th, 2013

“A writer is dreamed and transfigured into being by spells, wishes, goldfish, silhouettes of trees, boxes of fairy tales dropped in the mud, uncles’ and cousins’ books, tablets and capsules and powders…and then one day you find yourself leaning here, writing on that round glass table salvaged from the Park View Pharmacy–writing this, an impossibility, a summary of who you came to be where you are now, and where, God knows, is that?”

― Cynthia Ozick


Sunday Evening Book Reviews

Sunday, April 28th, 2013

David B. Williams on Mitchell Zuckoff’s Frozen in Time: An Epic Story of Survival and a Modern Quest for Lost Heroes: “Zuckoff has produced a wonderful book that combines telling details, thoughtful background and vivid storytelling into a fascinating tale of courage, war and perseverance.” (Seattle Times)

Holly Williams on Graeme Simsion’s The Rosie Project: “…a romantic comedy with sublime character precision and soppy but gratifying genre fulfilment.” (The Independent)

Adam Markovitz on Michael Pollan’s Cooked: “Equal parts memoir, cookbook, and foodie dissertation, Michael Pollan’s Cooked provides a dazzling amount of food for thought — or more precisely, thought for food.” (

Carolyn See on Peggy Hesketh’s Telling the Bees: “Some have compared “Telling the Bees,” Peggy Hesketh’sfirst, stately and beautiful novel to “The Remains of the Day,” but to my mind it compares to the best of Elmore Leonard.” (Washington Post)

Sunday Morning LitLinks

Sunday, April 28th, 2013



Iain Bank’s last days have been awash in affection from his fans and his peers. (The Telegraph)

How Josh Hanagarne’s life was transformed by becoming – a librarian. (Publishers Weekly)

Christian Wiman has a chat with (The New York Times)

Leanne Shapton talks about the inspiration of jealousy. (The Guardian)

Salman Rushdie opines on moral courage in (The New York Times)

From the Life Is Stranger Than Fiction files: 10 books that are nearly too bizarre for their non-fiction shelves. (The Huffington Post)

Mary Thom, co-founder and editor of Ms. Magazine has died. She was 68 years old. (CNN)

“On this day in 1926 Harper Lee was born in Monroeville, Alabama. After the immediate and overwhelming success of To Kill a Mockingbird (1960), Lee is known to have published only three short magazine articles, all in the early 60s; nor has she broken the silence and anonymity into which she quickly retreated. Legions of readers, fans and homework-driven students continue to make the real or internet trip to Monroeville to see the old courthouse…” (Today In Literature)

Saturday Morning LitLinks

Saturday, April 27th, 2013



Go with the flow and learn your Shakespeare. (GalleyCat)

As Poetry Month nears its end, NPR lists a few volumes that shouldn’t be missed. (NPR)

The Guardian asks some novelists to name their second favorite artform. (The Guardian)

Have a peek at this wonderful literary map from 1952. (The Huffington Post)

A look at how it feels to be plagiarized. (The New York Times)

Have a peek at the longlist for the Desmond Elliott Prize. (The Telegraph)

Bret Easton Ellis says he was banned from the GLAAD Media Awards. (The Huffington Post)

H.P. Lovecraft’s journey to graphic novels. (Publishers Weekly)

Diaries in the Digital Age… (Paid Content)

Picture books: not just for kids. (Writers Digest)

Fiction and the Boston bombings. (The Huffington Post)

“On this day in 1882 Ralph Waldo Emerson died, at the age of seventy-eight. Though Emerson’s last decade was one of increasing debility — aphasia and senile dementia — it was also one of international accolade. The Sage of Concord was still invited to speak across America and Europe, and he was still able to pack them in, though many came to see and honor rather than to hear the old talks on the familiar themes, redelivered now only with the prompts of his daughter, Ellen, from the wings….” (Today In Literature)

Friday Morning LitLinks

Friday, April 26th, 2013



Salman Rushdie must be rich enough. He sold the film rights to MIDNIGHT’S CHILDREN  for $1. (The Los Angeles Times)

Don DeLillo takes the inaugural Library of Congress Prize for American Fiction. (NPR)

Melvin Burgess reveals his favorite children’s books. (The Telegraph)

Icekandic author, Sjón, will debut in the US with a triple-release of fiction from Farrar, Straus & Giroux. (The Wall Street Journal)

John le Carré makes an appearance in the book trailer for A DELICATE TRUTH. (The New York Times)

Sometimes the setting is a character in itself. Here are ten great books about cities. (The Guardian)

Literary personalities and their weird obsessions, from (The Atlantic)

Data and the book trade, or why we never know how many books sell. (The Bookseller)

Writerly responsibilities to predicting The End (of, if not everything, an awful lot.) (The New York Times)

Torie Bosch recalls two books that bolstered her teen years in (Slate)

Jonathan Franzen has a chat with (The New York Times)

“On this day in 1893 Anita Loos was born. Loos started writing scenarios for D. W. Griffith while she was in her teens, and eventually worked on over sixty films, but her most enduring creation is her 1925 novel, Gentlemen Prefer Blondes. The play, musical or film versions may be better-known, but the book was an immediate hit and soon translated into over a dozen languages….” (Today In Literature)

Thursday Quote of the Night

Thursday, April 25th, 2013

“The poet or the revolutionary is there to articulate the necessity, but until the people themselves apprehend it, nothing can happen … Perhaps it can’t be done without the poet, but it certainly can’t be done without the people. The poet and the people get on generally very badly, and yet they need each other. The poet knows it sooner than the people do. The people usually know it after the poet is dead; but that’s all right. The point is to get your work done, and your work is to change the world.”

― James Baldwin

Thursday Evening Book Reviews

Thursday, April 25th, 2013

Jacob Silverman on Arnon Grunberg’s Tirza: “…a rather sober novel, but it’s a formidable work.” (LATimes)

James Campbell on (editor) Dan Wakefield’s Kurt Vonnegut: Letters: “Wakefield, a lifelong friend, has divided the book into sections according to decade, prefacing each with a brief essay. He also adds comments before some of the letters – a method chosen by certain editors in preference to footnotes – which occasionally has the effect of informing us of events before we have the chance to read about them at source.” (The Guardian)

David Evans on Joyce Carol Oates’ The Accursed: “It incorporates her characteristic themes – social injustice; the corruption of youthful innocence – and like many of her previous books evinces a gothic sensibility.” (Financial Times)

Bryan Waterman on Richard Hell’s I Dreamed I was a Very Clean Tramp: “Hell’s account of punk’s origins, including his eventual split with Verlaine and his drug-addled years in equally influential bands The Heartbreakers and The Voidoids, might not have been so successful if he had stuck to the narrative that has so often been told: a story of backstabbing American bands angry that the British punk scene was getting all the credit for something they’d created.” (The Rumpus)

Thursday Morning LitLinks

Thursday, April 25th, 2013

braille book


Braille editions make these classics even more precious. (The Los Angeles Times)

Why does Wikipedia think it needs a separate category for female novelists? (The New York Times)

WINNIE THE POOH author, AA Milne, was a spy? (Metro)

The must-read list, according to (AARP)

The Korea Herald analyzes the practice of literary interpretation and criticism. (The Korea Herald)

Salman Rushdie’s MIDNIGHT’S CHILDREN makes it to the big screen. (Raw Story)

13 books and that’s all she wrote for Sookie Stackhouse. “She” being Charlaine Harris, that is. (USA Today)

… as Sue Grafton approaches the end of the alphabet, will she consider going to a numeric titling scheme? (USA Today)

Maya Angelou is back home after a hospital stay. (The Huffington Post)

George RR Martin is a big football fan. (CBS New York)

“On this day in 1898 William S. Porter — the drug store clerk, cowboy, fugitive, bank teller, cartoonist and future “O. Henry” — began a five-year prison sentence for embezzlement. Porter had published several stories prior to his prison term, but the fourteen written behind bars represented a new style and quality, and began his rise to popularity. Porter hoped a pseudonym would keep the disgrace of his conviction from his young daughter…” (Today In Literature)


Wednesday Morning LitLinks

Wednesday, April 24th, 2013



Alexandrian, Virginia tops Amazon’s tracking of the most well-read cities in the US. (Library Journal)

Stephen King puts his money where his pen is when it comes to gun control. (The Guardian)

James Patterson responds to a recent flood of questions on the fate of books and bookstores. (Publishers Weekly)

It’s doubtful that J.D. Salinger would be thrilled to know his letters, written as a young man, are up for public scrutiny. (The New York Times)

The Telegraph speaks to André Aciman about his book that holds some notable parallels to the recent Boston bombing case. (The Telegraph)

A profile of Samuel Roth, front and center at (BookTryst)

Toni Morrison advises on writing sex differently. (The Huffington Post)

…while an erotica writer uses his Amazon success as somewhat of a personal ad for a “research assistant”. (The Gawker)

Matthew Battles talks writers and distraction. (The New York Times)

Judy Blume’s son adapts TIGER EYES for film. (Publishers Weekly)

“On this day in 1891 Oscar Wilde’s The Picture of Dorian Gray was published. The novel had originally appeared in Lippincot’s Monthly Magazine the previous summer, and caused an uproar for what one newspaper called “its effeminate frivolity, its studied insincerity, its theatrical cynicism, its tawdry mysticism, its flippant philosophizing, its contaminating trail of garish vulgarity.” In revising for book publication, Wilde toned down some of the more overt homosexuality and the decadent theme…” (Today In Literature)

Tuesday Quote of the Night

Tuesday, April 23rd, 2013

“How do I know what I think until I see what I say?”

- E.M. Forster




Tuesday Evening Book Reviews

Tuesday, April 23rd, 2013

Dwight Garner on Tracy Thompson’s The New Mind of the South: “This is a book about the Southern intellect by a writer who had never visited the South’s intellectual ground zero, Oxford, Miss., until she hurriedly drove through it while researching this book.” (NYTimes)

Melissa Katsoulis on Ellen Ullman’s By Blood: “Ullman’s aim is not to entertain with suspense but to explore, sometimes absurdly, the twisted paths the human mind takes as it tries to make sense of itself.” (The Telegraph)

Leah Greenblatt on Jean Thompson’s The Humanity Project: “The many protagonists in Jean Thompson’s The Humanity Project are, for the most part, complete messes: They’re broke, lonely, adrift, and traumatized; they’ve seen their dreams sour and their luck dissipate. A few don’t even make it past the first 50 pages alive.” (

Ann Levin on Meg Wolitzer’s The Interestings: “…a sprawling, marvelously inventive novel that tracks the friendships over nearly four decades of six teenagers who meet in the summer of 1974 at an arts camp in Massachusetts.” (Chicago Sun-Times)

Tuesday Morning LitLinks

Tuesday, April 23rd, 2013

Thatcher book


The first volume of Margaret Thatcher’s biography clocks in at a door-stopping 912 pages. Again, that’s just volume 1. (GalleyCat)

Big day for some big writers – new books from Sedaris, Pollan, and more. (The Millions)

Isabel Allende talks about the books that have inspired her. (The Daily Beast)

Philadelphia paper petitions the city for an historic marker for Isaac Asimov’s home. (GalleyCat)

The George W. Bush Presidential Library opens this week. (The Los Angeles Times)

Survey pins the worst career – newspaper reporter. Huh. (FishbowlNY)

Jack Shafer opines on journalistic error. (Reuters)

Southern Literature, celebrated. (Publishers Weekly)

Here’s the scoop on how to turn Brett Easton Ellis’ AMERICAN PSYCHO into a musical. (Kickstarter)

Children’s author and illustrator, E.L. Konigsburg, has died. She was 83 years old. Rest in peace. (The New York Times)

“On this day in 1616 both William Shakespeare and Miguel de Cervantes died, thus prompting UNESCO to declare today ‘World Book and Copyright Day.’ The declaration may also have been inspired by a third death on this day, that of William Wordsworth in 1850. As April 23 is also the generally accepted date of Shakespeare’s birth (based on baptismal records), the day is even more momentous. On the other hand, some say that Cervantes really died on April 22; and in any case, the claim that both died on the same day is misleading, since it relies on a calculation correlating the new Gregorian calendar of Cervantes’s Spain to the old Julian calendar still in use in Shakespeare’s England….” (Today In Literature)

Sunday Quote of the Night

Sunday, April 21st, 2013

“The world is a hellish place, and bad writing is destroying the quality of our suffering.”

? Tom Waits




Sunday Evening Book Reviews

Sunday, April 21st, 2013

Hector Tobar on Laleh Khadivi’s The Walking: “…a book that manages to convey painful truths with a rare combination of grit and tenderness. That makes it not just an important addition to the literature of California’s immigrants, but also a universal story of suffering and resilience told with elegance and compassion.” (LATimes)

Katherine Bailey on Kate Atkinson’s Life After Life: “For readers willing to suspend their disbelief, Life After Life is both an entertaining read and an authentic exposure to a slice of life.” ” (

Tova Gardner on Hadara Bar Nadav’s Lullaby (with Exit Sign): “…feels like a book of poems written because they couldn’t not be written.” (The Rumpus)

Gerard DeGroot on Christopher Clark’s The Sleepwalkers: How Europe Went to War in 1914 and Lynne Olson’s Those Angry Days: Roosevelt, Lindbergh, and America’s Fight over World War II, 1939-1941: “Both … show how conceptions of national interest eventually led a people to war, convincing them that carnage is justified. Less directly, both books also touch upon the perception of Europe that World War I inspired.” (Washington Post)

Sunday Morning LitLinks

Sunday, April 21st, 2013



Here are some books to be looking forward to, according to (Publishers Weekly)

Chuck Palahniuk talks aspiring writers through the failure that was FIGHT CLUB. (GalleyCat)

Debut novelist, Sam Byers, is in the spotlight at (The Guardian)

A panel of writers’ talk turns to Hollywood. (The Los Angeles Times)

Marie Colvin sits atop the Orwell Prize’s shortlist. (The Telegraph)

A profile of lesser-know fact about Willa Cather, from (Publishers Weekly)

The demise, most literal, of a selection of American poets. (BookRiot)

A fellow writer remembers his friend, Cort McMeel. Rest in peace. (Les Edgerton)

Journalist, Anthony Lewis, has died. He was 86 years old. (The New York Review of Books)

“On this day in 1910 Mark Twain died at the age of seventy-four. Despite an undercurrent of disasters and dark thoughts, Twain swept along through his last years as the Mississippi to the sea: guests to his seventieth birthday banquet took home his foot-high bust, New York City pedestrians and English royalty lined up to meet him, thousands filed past his casket to see him in his last white suit….” (Today In Literature)

Friday Quote of the Night

Friday, April 19th, 2013

“I think memory is the most important asset of human beings. It’s a kind of fuel; it burns and it warms you. My memory is like a chest: There are so many drawers in that chest, and when I want to be a fifteen-year-old boy, I open up a certain drawer and I find the scenery I saw when I was a boy in Kobe. I can smell the air, and I can touch the ground, and I can see the green of the trees. That’s why I want to write a book.”

? Haruki Murakami