Archive for July, 2013

Wednesday Morning LitLinks

Wednesday, July 31st, 2013

george orwell

The random maze of the internet delivers us to this: a famous essay from George Orwell, called WHY I WRITE. (

Book covers come under scrutiny:

… a send-up of cover clichés from (BuzzFeed)

… and a handful of book designers share covers that didn’t make the cut. (The New York Times)

James Dawes discusses his book, EVIL MEN, with (Guernica Magazine)

Here’s a sneak peek at the cover of her upcoming memoir, I AM MALALA. (

JK Rowling’s response to a fan letter from a teenaged girl is truly lovely. (Letters of Note)

… ans speaking of JK Rowling, the law firm that betrayed her as Robert Galbraith has donated a tidy sum to the charity of her choice. (The Huffington Post)

MediaBistro follows up on a Newsweek profile on NYT editor-in-chief, Jill Abramson. (MediaBistro)

Here’s a selection of two sentence horror stories compiled by (BuzzFeed)

“On this day in 1485, William Caxton printed Sir Thomas Malory’s Le Morte Darthur. Caxton was England’s first printer, and more than a printer: many of the 100 books and pamphlets he produced were his own translations, and many contained his own prefaces and epilogues, providing anything from personal details to literary criticism. Caxton also took responsibility for not only publishing what he thought was the best and most edifying British writing of the day (first editions of The Canterbury Tales and John Gower’s Confessio Amantis), but for helping to clean up and stabilize the language….” (Today In Literature)

Tuesday Morning LitLinks

Tuesday, July 30th, 2013



Fox News dishes out scorn, reaps a whole pile for themselves, and makes Reza Aslan’s book a bestseller at Amazon. (GalleyCat)

… non-US markets take notice. (The Bookseller)

Phillipa Gregory talks women in history with (The Guardian)

Harvey Weinstein will develop ARTEMIS FOWL for the big screen. (The Atlantic)

Oh dear. Russia loves its Swedish crime thrillers, but is the latest one faking its Swedishness? (The Los Angeles Times)

The readers of BookRiot summed up the life lesson from 30 famous works – each in one sentence. (BookRiot)

James Smythe is up to MISERY in his Stephen King read-a-thon and hails it “one of the greatest thrillers ever written”. (The Guardian)

Seth Rosenfeld selects his list of best books on government surveillance. (The Daily Beast)

“On this day in 1818 Emily Bronte was born in Thornton, Yorkshire, the fifth of six children. When she was two years old, Emily’s father became curate in nearby Haworth; when she was three, her mother died; and three years after that, her two oldest sisters died. These factors — the isolated Pennine village, the burdened single parent, the three surviving girls and their brother (too shy Charlotte, shyer Anne, shyest Emily, and way too wild Branwell) left to go their own imaginative ways…” (Today In Literature)


Monday Quote of the Night

Monday, July 29th, 2013

“There are moments when everything goes well; don’t be frightened, it won’t last.”

― Jules Renard




Monday Evening Book Reviews

Monday, July 29th, 2013

Larry Lebowitz on Philip Caputo’s The Longest Road: “…although The Longest Road isn’t seminal, it’s an easy, entertaining and at times provocative summer read.” (Miami Herald)

Emily Carter on Sinan Antoon’s The Corpse Washer: “Antoon makes this tale compelling, rather than a drone of despair, with the language he uses to tell it.” (Minneapolis Star-Tribune)

Carolyn See on Jeannette Walls’ The Silver Star: “Readers are bound to notice that “The Silver Star” echoes Jeannette Walls’s earlier, frightening memoir of abuse, “The Glass Castle.” The poverty, the hunger, the plain nuttiness of adult authority figures are here again. But “The Silver Star” is more forgiving.” (Washington Post)

Alan Cate on Maury Klein’s A Call to Arms: “Exhaustively researched and engagingly written, this marvelous book tells an epic story. It paints on a broad canvas, yet simultaneously limns detailed and fascinating miniatures of compelling people and places.” (Cleveland Plain Dealer)

Monday Morning LitLinks

Monday, July 29th, 2013

Author, Tana French, shifts the insight she wields to create fiction to map the current state of the Irish economy. (The New York Times)

Fox News’ interview with Reza Aslan on his book, ZEALOT: THE LIFE AND TIMES OF JESUS OF NAZARETH, causes quite a commotion. (NPR)

Markus Sakey has a chat with (NPR)

Amazon drops prices on bestselling books to the dismay of many. (The Booksellers at Laurelwood)

… more on that from (The Los Angeles Times)

Life is stranger than fiction, but sometimes all you want is the not-made-up-stuff. (The Guardian)

When you have to take your favorite book skin deep… (BuzzFeed)

Assigned summer reading: cruel and unusual or fine? (BookRiot)

“On this day in 1909 Chester Himes, “the father of black American crime writing,” was born. Although Himes is mostly read for his ‘Harlem Domestic’ novels — Cotton Comes to Harlem, A Rage in Harlem and six others featuring the detectives ‘Coffin’ Ed Jones and ‘Gravedigger’ Johnston — a recent flurry of attention may change that. The End of a Primitive and Yesterday Will Make You Cry, two novels deemed too sexual or violent when they first appeared…” (Today In Literature)



Friday Morning LitLinks

Friday, July 26th, 2013

dr eben alexander


Dr. Eben Alexander, the neurosurgeon whose near-death experience left him to bestsellingly endorse heaven, falls under scrutiny. (News Observer)

Andrew Bardin Williams set up a crowdsourced map of places in literature. (The Huffington Post)

Philip Caputo has a chat with (USA Today)

David Mitchell (of CLOUD ATLAS fame) helps translate a Japanese memoir about autism. (Minneapolis Star-Tribune)

Damien Walters looks at sci-fi for what we might expect in the future. (The Guardian)

Have a look at these amazing miniature books. (The Telegraph)

Can’t we all just get along? (Flavorwire)

What jewelry would suit these fictional characters? (BookRiot)

Neil Gaiman is everywhere. Next up – a video game. (IGN)

Novel by collaboration: are many pens better than one? (The Guardian)

“On this day in 1602, printer James Robertes entered in the Stationers’ Register, “A booke called the Revenge of Hamlett Prince Denmarke as yt was latelie Acted by the Lord Chamberleyne his servants.” Shakespeare seems to have written Hamlet about 1600; more certain is that two of the Chamberlain’s Men in the original cast at the Globe playhouse were Richard Burbage, as Hamlet, and Shakespeare, probably as the Ghost and perhaps as Claudius, too — a casting economy which might have given Gertrude a start….” (Today In Literature)

Thursday Morning LitLinks

Thursday, July 25th, 2013



Why Jane Austen should be on Britain’s £10 note. (The Telegraph)

Not everyone feels bad about JK Rowling’s blown cover. (CNN)

…and a bit more from (Katherine Rusch)

An argument for the literary position of guidebooks. (The Morning News)

Woody Allen knows his literature. (Word & Film)

Does modern poetry check its passion at the door? (Boston Review)

Check out the lyrical Junot Diaz. (The Los Angeles Times)

In defense of Barnes & Noble… (The New Yorker)

30 Things Librarians Love, from (buzzfeed)

“On this day in 1834 Samuel Taylor Coleridge died of heart disease at the age of sixty-one. Over the last years Coleridge continued to write in his Christian-philosophical-sage vein (Aids to Reflection, 1825; Church and State, 1830), but he was decades away from his great poems and literary criticism, and equally estranged from many once close to him, such as his friend and partner Wordsworth. Though living in semi-seclusion in his Highgate rooms, Coleridge’s fame and his reputation for brilliant conversation caused many to visit…” (Today In Literature)


Wednesday Morning LitLinks

Wednesday, July 24th, 2013



Amazon needn’t be so adversarial with local bookstores, says (BusinessWeek)

The Royal Baby made us ponder royal babies in literature. (The Guardian)

… and the best births in literature, too. (The Atlantic)

Chris Abouzeid examines the current crop of YA heroines rendered blank slates by amnesia. (Beyond the Margins)

We all know books that were made into films, but what about poems? (The Huffington Post)

Ann Rule sues over a bad review, but there’s a catch: the reviewer was the fiance of the subject of her book. (The Daily Mail)

JK Rowling caves and embraces Galbraith and changes up his website to include her thoughts on the stunt. (Robert Galbraith)

Author Alex Pang laments digital distractions, the writer’s hurdle. (All Things D)

Sand in your shorts; sand in your pages. Still, not a bad idea. (Bookriot)

Martin Amis has a chat with (Salon)

Matt Seidel reflects on prominent, but terrible houseguests in literature. (The Daily Beast)

“On this day in 1725 John Newton, the slave-trader-turned-preacher who wrote the hymn ‘Amazing Grace,’ was born. Newton’s autobiography (An Authentic Narrative of some Interesting and Remarkable Particulars in the Life of John Newton, 1764) makes clear how repeatedly lost and found a wretch he was: to sea with his merchant marine father at the age of eleven; sent to Spain as a shopkeeper’s apprentice at fifteen; another try as sailor in Venice at seventeen; press-ganged into service aboard an English man-of-war but such a trouble-maker that he was released to a slave-trader…” (Today In Literature)

Tuesday Quote of the Night

Tuesday, July 23rd, 2013

“Anybody who has survived his childhood has enough information about life to last him the rest of his days.”

― Flannery O’Connor




Tuesday Evening Book Reviews

Tuesday, July 23rd, 2013

Frank Wilson on M.J. Rose’s Seduction: “…just about everything a thriller fan could wish for: reincarnation, spiritualism, Druids, Jungian psychology, even perfumery.” (

Jurek Martin on Thurston Clarke’s JFK’s Last Hundred Days: An Intimate Portrait of a Great President: “If the standard view of JFK is that he was a man of infinite promise but limited achievement, the book reminds us exactly how much did happen in that time span and of how many tantalising hints he left behind about his plans for the future, even foreshadowing the war on poverty waged by his successor.” (Financial Times)

Dwight Garner on Lawrence Osborne’s The Wet and the Dry: “Mr. Osborne comes across in “The Wet and the Dry” as a real human being indeed — a complicated man mixing complicated feelings into fizzy, adult, intoxicating prose.” (NYTimes)

Joanna Scutts on Sheilah Graham’s College of One: “As a writer, Graham is plain and conversational, and her story often meandering and anecdotal.” (The Rumpus)

Tuesday Morning LitLinks

Tuesday, July 23rd, 2013



Raymond Chandler was born 125 years ago today. Here’s a tribute from (The Telegraph)

The Man-Booker long list is out! (

… with some additional commentary from (The Guardian)

FIGHT CLUB is set to get a graphic novel sequel. (The Huffington Post)

Now that must have been a sight: Martin Amis, Salman Rushdie, and Ian McEwan took the stage together… (Yahoo! News)

Odd to say, considering he’s been dead for a baker’s dozen years, but Joseph Heller has a new story out.  (The Guardian)

Check it out – podcasts from ComicCon. (Publishers Weekly)

One writer’s take on how attached we are to our books’ covers. (Publishers Weekly)

“On this day in 1846, Henry David Thoreau was jailed for not paying his poll tax. Thoreau was almost exactly half-way through his Walden stay, and had come to Concord to pick up a shoe at the cobblers; this came to the attention of Sam Staples, tax collector and warden of the county jail, who was under orders from the town fathers to confront and, if necessary, confine this most contrary of its sons. Thoreau was willing to pay his highway taxes, and generally felt himself to be ‘as desirous of being a good neighbor as I am of being a bad subject,’…” (Today In Literature)

Another 5 Minutes… With Jessica Brody

Monday, July 22nd, 2013

One of AuthorScoop’s more lauded and prolific friends is back again with her newest venture into YA/mainstream literature, UNREMEMBERED. It’s been wonderful to host interviews with Jessica here, here, and here, and also to get her thoughts on whether or not her books are her babies. Now we get an update on what’s new in the Brody Brand.

We’d like to thank her for returning again to be part of our “5 Minutes Alone” interview series.

AuthorScoop: You have been busy! UNREMEMBERED has garnered great buzz. Will you tell us a bit about it?

Jessica: Of course! UNREMEMBERED is the first in a new sci-fi/romance trilogy. It’s the story of a sixteen year old girl who wakes up among unrememberedthe wreckage of a devastating plane crash with no memories and no identity. She’s forced to piece together her forgotten past with only one clue— a mysterious boy who claims he helped her escape from a top-secret science experiment.

AuthorScoop: You’ve tested the waters of both adult fiction and YA. Where do you feel the two fields of reading interest overlap?

Jessica: I think the two genres overlap in a lot of ways. All of my books have love stories in them and I don’t think you’re ever too old to read a good love story! Also I think fast-paced stories will attract readers of all ages. I try to keep my pages moving quickly!

AuthorScoop: Sometimes adult readers send feedback in the form of online reviews or even correspondence. Do you get that kind of feedback from the younger readers?

Jessica: I LOVE hearing from my readers! My teen readers contact me often through email, regular mail, and social media. It’s the best feeling in the world when a reader takes the time to tell you that they enjoyed your book!

AuthorScoop: You’ve had some exciting developments in screen adaptations for your work. Can you give us a scoop on what’s happening, Brody-wise, in development?

Jessica Brody - Author PhotoJessica: I wish I had some more updates but at this point, sadly, I don’t. Several of my books have been optioned for film and each one is moving along (at a snail’s pace, I might add!) but any kind of forward momentum is good! I hope to have some more news soon!

AuthorScoop: Finally, what’s next for Jessica Brody?

Jessica: Phew! So much fun stuff! I can’t wait for book in the UNREMEMBERED trilogy to release. It’s called UNFORGOTTEN and it will hit bookstores in February 2014. The stakes are ratcheted up in this book and lots of new stuff will be revealed about the world. I’m about to start writing book 3 plus I’m also writing an eBook novella which will release in the fall. It’s technically Unremembered 1.5, but it will most likely be a prequel to the first book. I think it’ll be fun for fans of the trilogy. A little something to tide you over between books 1 and 2.

Thanks for hosting me again, Jamie!


Look for UNREMEMBERED wherever books are sold, or of course, if you need it right now, click here. And find Jessica on the web at Facebook and Twitter and, of course, at

Monday Morning LitLinks

Monday, July 22nd, 2013


jk rowling


Now we hear how JK Rowling really feels about the ruination of Robert Galbraith. (USA Today) 

Literature’s most incendiary fights are a secret window into our psyches. (The Wall Street Journal)

William Faulkner’s estate fails in delivering a legal smackdown to Woody Allen. (The Huffington Post)

Here are half a dozen alternative dictionaries you might find useful. (Mental Floss)

A new entry in the literature-is-dead archives gets the attention of (The Atlantic)

… and from “literature is dead” to the “literature of death” from (The New York Times)

A trio of author interviews to start your week:

Gabrielle Glaser, author of HER BEST KEPT SECRET, sits down with (Jezebel)

Ben Fountain Catches up with (The Dallas Morning News)

And Henry Jaglom talks about his book, MY LUNCHES WITH ORSON, over at (NPR)

“On this day in 1941, on his twelfth wedding anniversary, Eugene O’Neill presented the just-finished manuscript of Long Day’s Journey Into Night to his wife, Carlotta. Accompanying the manuscript was O’Neill’s letter of dedication:

Dearest: I give you the original script of this play of old sorrow, written in tears and blood. A sadly inappropriate gift, it would seem, for a day celebrating happiness. But you will understand. I mean it as a tribute to your love and tenderness which gave me the faith in love that enabled me to face my dead at last and write this play — write it with deep pity and understanding and forgiveness for all the four haunted Tyrones. These twelve years, Beloved One, have been a Journey into Light — into love….” (Today In Literature)


Sunday Quote of the Night

Sunday, July 21st, 2013

“Reading made Don Quixote a gentleman. Believing what he read made him mad.”

- George Bernard Shaw




Sunday Evening Book Reviews

Sunday, July 21st, 2013

Mark Lawson on Robert Galbraith’s (AKA JK Rowling’s) The Cuckoo’s Calling: “…an enjoyable, highly professional crime novel that has escaped from the aim its author had for it but taken on a massive new significance for readers.” (The Guardian)

Hector Tobar on David Gilbert’s & Sons: “…a novel that creates an imaginary author who is so real and flawed that the reader feels he understands American literature itself a little better after reading his story.” (LATimes)

Kimberly Marlowe Hartnett on Reza Aslan’s Zealot: The Life and Times of Jesus of Nazareth: “…a fascinating book, and no doubt will be chosen by many a well-meaning and hurried gift-giver who imagines a devout Christian recipient will be delighted. Be advised, dear reader, Sunday school this isn’t.” (Seattle Times)

Tina Jordan on Robert Kolker’s Lost Girls: “Kolker’s book doesn’t center on police work but on Gilbert and her fellow victims… Talking to family and friends, he pieces together their lives, looking at the societal forces that led all five to end up as escorts. The result is vivid and moving: These women had families, passions, plans, interests, children.” (

Saturday Morning LitLinks

Saturday, July 20th, 2013

Helen Thomas


Famous (and occasionally infamous) journallist, Helen Thomas, has died. She was 92 years old. (CNN)

… more on her life and times from (Salon)

Cormac McCarthy’s birthday gets a tribute from (The Atlantic)

… and reading Cormac MCCarthy can be challenging. Here’s what you need to know going in. (BookRiot)

What’s the staff at The New Yorker reading this summer? (Page-Turner)

A psychiatrist tries to diagnose the very fictional Holden Caulfield. (The Huffington Post)

The Eisner Awards are announced. Here’s who took what, from (Publishers Weekly)

Who are the 10 best underdogs in literature? (Publishers Weekly)

“On this day in 1869 Mark Twain’s The Innocents Abroad was published. This was his second book — after The Celebrated Jumping Frog of Calaveras County, and Other Sketches in 1865 — and the most popular one in his lifetime. It was a distillation of the newspaper articles Twain had written during his trip to Europe and the Holy Land in 1867. Though promoted as “the Most Unique and Spicy Volume in Existence” by the men who knocked on doors for Twain’s subscription-only publisher…” (Today In Literature)

Friday Morning LitLinks

Friday, July 19th, 2013



Who doesn’t love to read Stephen King talking about writing? (The Writer)

Harlan Ellison feels better. Kind of. (Vulture)

Why don’t new authors do better in the suspense and thriller genres? (Book Pregnant)

Some bookstores are so great, they are worth a roadtrip to see them. (The Chicago Tribune)

Zadie Smith has a chat with (The London Evening Standard)

You could do worse than to get writing advice from the likes of these very successful scribes. (Writers Digest)

Crime fiction festivals could make you a world traveler. (The Guardian)

“On this day in 1374, or perhaps the day before, Petrarch died; and tomorrow is the 701st anniversary of his birth. He was a friend and contemporary of Boccaccio, and a generation younger than Dante — both Dante’s and Petrarch’s father were expelled from Florence in the same year — but Petrarch’s most formative relationship was the one he never had with ‘Laura.’ Though some scholars hold that she was only an idealization, others think that she was not only real but an ancestor of the Marquis de Sade…” (Today In Literature)

Thursday Quote of the Night

Thursday, July 18th, 2013

“When everything is easy one quickly gets stupid.”

? Maxim Gorky





Thursday Evening Book Reviews

Thursday, July 18th, 2013

Dwight Garner on Complete Short Stories of James Purdy: “Purdy’s stories are relentless, in terms of their commitment to exploring alienation. As such they are also reminders that persistence and tenacity aren’t substitutes for literary talent. A sense of second-rateness creeps in early and lingers.” (NYTimes)

Leigh Cuen on Anne-Marie O’Connor’s The Lady in Gold: “O’Connor’s writes gruesome depictions of death and hatred, repeatedly referring to these crimes against humanity as ‘”orgies of violence.”” (The Rumpus)

Catherine Taylor on Philipp Meyer’s The Son: “Meyer, crucially, avoids passing absolute judgment about any one side. Nobody emerges in triumph – the brutalisation, even sadism, facilitates a grim, frequently temporary survival. In Eli, Meyer has created a picaresque anti-hero of crackling ambition and unspoken losses. He remains the bedrock of this work, right up to its eerie, heart-stopping finish.” (The Telegraph)

Orlando Bird on  Michael Blastland and David Spiegelhalter’s The Norm Chronicles: Stories and Numbers About Danger: “Witty and illuminating, The Norm Chronicles is essential reading for anyone wanting to know whether they should try skydiving, or accept that third glass of wine.” (Financial Times)

Wednesday Morning LitLinks

Wednesday, July 17th, 2013

the innocent man


John Grisham books: banned at Guantanamo Bay. (The Huffington Post)

A funny and odd-ish Jonathan Franzen encounter… (

… that Jonathan Franzen says wasn’t at all odd. (NPR)

Should the business of book covers be left to the experts? Probably. (The New Yorker)

Rolling Stone takes a drubbing for putting Dzhokhar Tsarnaev on the cover, but the article, by all accounts, meets Rolling Stone’s highest standards. (CNN)

… a bit more on the story from (The Atlantic)

If you’d like to live where William Blake once did, you can. It’s for sale. (January Magazine)

When movie titles skip grammar lessons… (TIME)

A Pennsylvania librarian makes an exercise of book-banning to illustrate a point. (GalleyCat)

Children’s book illustrator, Marc Simont, has died. He was 97 years old. Rest in peace. (The New York Times)

“On this day in 1914 Amy Lowell hosted an ‘Imagist’ dinner party in London, attended by Ezra Pound, Ford Madox Ford and others prominent in the avant-garde movement. Though intended as a celebration of modern poetry and a joining of avant-garde forces, it became an early skirmish in a longer war between Pound and Lowell over who would lead whom, and in what direction….” (Today In Literature)