Archive for August, 2013

Absence Makes The Heart Grow Fonder…

Thursday, August 8th, 2013



So we’re outta here!

We’ll be back on September 3rd, rested and ready. In the meantime, please be good to yourselves and don’t do anything we wouldn’t do.

-William & Jamie


If you’ve clicked here and found us walkabout, consider having a cyberstroll through some 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 End of Summer and see you on September 3rd!

Wednesday Morning LitLinks

Wednesday, August 7th, 2013





Marilynne Robinson’s novel, HOUSEKEEPING, provokes a fascinating essay on deracination at (The Boston Review)

Here’s a bit more on the fuss over putting Jane Austen on British money. (The New Yorker)

Here are some great first lines that impressed great first line writers. (The Atlantic)

A posthumous story from Stieg Larsson will be available next year. (The Guardian)

Danielle Steele is a little tired of being talked down to. (The Los Angeles Times)

It was a bit of a feat that the Washington Post sale was kept so quiet. (The New York Observer)

Aubrey Rose declines to work with Amazon publishing imprint, Montlake. (GalleyCat)

Salon tackles the immortal question: what’s the difference between literary fiction and other fictions? (Salon)

The Atlantic compares and contrasts poetry and comics. (The Atlantic)

Why did THE CUCKOO’S CALLING flounder, despite great reviews, before it was known that JK Rowling wrote it? (BookRiot)

Here’s a recap of recent news stories from libraries from (Library Journal)

“On this day in 1934, the U.S. Court of Appeals upheld Judge Woolsey’s earlier ruling allowing James Joyce’s Ulysses into America. This enabled Random House to issue the first U.S. edition, over a decade after Sylvia Beach‘s original Paris edition, and after a decade of American tourists had been nervously returning from Europe with their banned copies….” (Today In Literature)

Tuesday Quote of the Night

Tuesday, August 6th, 2013

“Poetry is mostly hunches.”

- John Ashbery





Tuesday Evening Book Reviews

Tuesday, August 6th, 2013

Felicity Capon on Suzanne Rindell’s The Other Typist: “Her references to Twenties New York are at times hasty and superficial, as her attention focuses firmly on the intricacy of the plot. Yet while this is by no means a flawless thriller, it is certainly addictive, with a deliciously unsettling ending.” (Telegraph)

Patrick Anderson on James Carlo Blake’s The Rules of Wolfe: “The novel’s plot is far from original, but Blake fashions an exciting narrative out of it.” (Washington Post)

Mark Athitakis on Paul Yoon’s Snow Hunters: “Yoon is a lyrical writer, weaving taut and simple sentences with expanded and rhythmic ones. Every line is engineered to matter in a book like this one, so the clunkier, more precious ones stick out.”  (Minneapolis Star-Tribune)

John Repp on Andrea Barrett’s Archangel: “At the end of each of these five tales, realizations occur that can only be called sublime, everything preceding them consisting of the mundane stuff of the world transformed by the alchemy of story.”  (Cleveland Plain Dealer)

Tuesday Morning LitLinks

Tuesday, August 6th, 2013

the washington post


Amazon CEO, Jeff Bezos, buys the Washington Post. (The Wall Street Journal)

… or maybe it was all a mistake. (The New Yorker)

… and how his thoughts on publishing stack up against the practice of journalism at WaPo. (Bloomberg)

All best thoughts to Elmore Leonard, who is recovering from a stroke. (Detroit News)

Alastair M. Johnston expounds on the adventures of book-scouting. (BookTryst)

THE SILENT WIFE, by A.S.A. Harrison, flies just fine under the summer reading radar. (The New York Times)

Roddy Doyle has a chat with (The Telegraph)

Have a look a two dozen famous authors when they were teens. (BuzzFeed)

Here’s a Fall fiction preview from (Quill & Quire)

These Florida readers take to the streets to protest library cuts. (GalleyCat)

“On this day in 1786 twenty-seven-year-old Robert Burns served his third and last public penance for having “ante-nuptial fornication” with his eventual wife, Jean Armour. Burns had privately acknowledged his behavior and legally bound himself to Jean by giving an oral and written promise of marriage, but her parents would have none of it. They destroyed his note and had their daughter write one of her own to the church fathers, admitting pregnancy and naming Burns….” (Today In Literature)

Monday Morning LitLinks

Monday, August 5th, 2013



Saturday Night Live writer, Simon Rich, has a chat with (The Independent)

A book, 150 years overdue, is returned to a library in Kentucky. (The Huffington Post)

If you have kids and an impending long car ride, here are some reading recommendations from (NPR)

Dave Astor looks at artists in literature. (The Huffington Post)

John Green sits down with (Entertainment Weekly)

The Pakistan Academy of Letters’ literary mag explores how a country’s literature serves a window into the collection mind of the culture. (The International Herald Tribune)

The film adaptation of THE BOOK THIEF shows a little teaser look at what’s to come. (USA Today)

What books are on the shelf at home? Yeah, there’s an app for that. (BookRiot)

Lending libraries in hotels: what a splendid idea. (The New York Times)

“On this day in 1884 the cornerstone was laid for the pedestal of New York City’s Statue of Liberty. Much of the rest of the money needed would be raised by Joseph Pulitzer through his campaign in The New York World for the penny-donations of the poor, but one of the most historic fund-raisers was an upper crust affair with a more literary slant. This was the Pedestal Art Loan Exhibition, to which Walt Whitman, Mark Twain and others had donated manuscripts for auction…” (Today In Literature)

Sunday Quote of the Night

Sunday, August 4th, 2013

“Life shrinks or expands in proportion to one’s courage.”

- Anaïs Nin



Sunday Evening Book Reviews

Sunday, August 4th, 2013

David Collard on Stan Barstow’s The Likes of Us: “Barstow’s strength lies in characterization and situation, and he is brilliantly concise in his set-ups – who, what, where, when – before exploring the whys and hows.” (The Times Literary Supplement)

Joy Lo Dico on Simon van Booy’s The Illusion of Separateness: “…a slim novel and a subtle one. It tramps through the muddy fields and dark spirits of the Second World War, but it carries you with it effortlessly, leaving the reader with a rare feeling of lightness at the end.” (The Independent)

Carolyn Kellogg on Toby Barlow’s Babayaga: “…an absurd hybrid that winds up as a bewitching caper novel.” (LATimes)

Edward Docx on Rawi Hage’s Carnival: “…not a masterpiece – it is a rich and often beautiful, brave, engrossing, intelligent, literate, funny and very human novel, yet it is not quite as fine as it hopes to be.” (The Guardian)

Sunday Morning LitLinks

Sunday, August 4th, 2013

dave sedaris


Katherine Valdez talks about meeting Dave Sedaris twice. (Writers Digest)

JM Sidorova tells us what being a scientist by day does for being a writer by night (or at least a writer on other days). (Publishers Weekly)

How the upcoming best and brightest writers differ from their counterparts a decade ago. (The Hindu)

The tangle of self-promotion in publishing: social media and humiliation is the name of the game. (Salon)

Have a look at a guide to great writers, presented in (The Sydney Morning Herald)

The best of beards in literature. (BuzzFeed)

John Graves and the literature of Texas, on tap at (The Dallas Morning News)

Here’s a glimpse at some natural phenomena that inspired science fiction. (io9)

Some success for books that started out in digital form, from (The Guardian)

“On this day in 1821, the first issue of The Saturday Evening Post appeared. This was the first use of the new name, coined by new owners, but the weekly was begun in 1729, by twenty-two-year-old Benjamin Franklin. His Pennsylvania Gazette was one of five regular publications in the colonies, and itself a purchase from a previous publisher who had struggled on for ten months under the title, The Universal Instructor in All Arts and Sciences and Pennsylvania Gazette….” (Today In Literature)

Friday Morning LitLinks

Friday, August 2nd, 2013



Author, Susan Hill, talks about writing people into crime fiction for a writing how-to series in (The Telegraph)

Alyssa Nuting’s TAMPA gets banned from some Australian bookstores. (

Audiobooks enjoy a resurgence thanks to smartphones. (The Wall Street Journal)

Rick Gekoski deals in books, but prefers his Kindle. (The Guardian)

Cracked, in its inimitable style, features five film adaptations that the book authors say improved on their work. (Cracked)

Christa Del Giorno muses on her time working in a bookstore. There’s more to it than you might think. (The Huffington Post)

Grownups get their own spelling bee at Pete’s Candy Store. (The New York Times)

In a bizarre resurfacing of television divas from the 1970′s, Joan Collins and Shirley Jones fuss over the salacious particulars of Jones’ memoir. (TMZ)

Feminist, Hayley Krischer, reader her first romance novel and tells us what she thinks of it over at (The Huffington Post)

“On this day in 1740, James Thomson’s masque, Alfred the Great was first performed, an open-air presentation before the Prince and Princess of Wales. The premiere was a birthday present for the Princess, though if others found the history and didactics to require a ‘great labour of the brain,’ the occasion must have demanded the four-year-old Princess Augusta’s very best manners. The music would have helped: amid the lessons on Alfred’s greatness and the prophetic visions of future glory were seven songs, one of which, ‘Rule, Britannia!’ became immediately and enduringly popular….” (Today In Literature)

Thursday Quote of the Night

Thursday, August 1st, 2013

“As things stand now, I am going to be a writer. I’m not sure that I’m going to be a good one or even a self-supporting one, but until the dark thumb of fate presses me to the dust and says ‘you are nothing’, I will be a writer.”

― Hunter S. Thompson




Thursday Evening Book Reviews

Thursday, August 1st, 2013

Michael Upchurch on Tim Parks’ Italian Ways: On and Off the Rails from Milan to Palermo: “…perfectly pleasurable, but Parks is a novelist foremost.” (Seattle Times)

David Peak on Donald Dunbar’s Eyelid Lick: “The line breaks are never where they “should be.” The poem titles sometimes appear in the middle of the page. The poems take odd turns and get messy and sometimes fall flat but that’s okay because it’s all part of what makes Eyelid Lick Eyelid Lick.” (The Rumpus)

Dwight Garber on Tash Aw’s Five Star Billionaire: “There is some Edith Wharton, as well as some Tom Wolfe, in how he invests awareness of these distinctions with moral and financial peril.” (NYTimes)

Clark Collis on Jeff Guinn’s Manson: “Manson wouldn’t cooperate with the project, but Guinn does such a thorough job reminding us of his monstrousness, that actually seems like a blessing.” (

Thursday Morning LitLinks

Thursday, August 1st, 2013

NY Public Library


Writers of all stripes band together to legally block the renovation of The New York Public Library’s main building. (The Huffington Post)

George Saunders’ address to the graduates is worth the read. (The New York Times)

The US government sags in its support of intellectual property. (Quartz)

Recommended reading, straight from the pen of F. Scott Fitzgerald. (OpenCulture)

Uganda’s underground publishing movement stokes anti-government sentiment. (The Washington Post)

Stephen King’s family: a dynasty of fiction. (The New York Times)

Here’s a dissection of how Samuel Johnson became less a person in history than a character is a string of anecdotes. (The New York Review of Books)

Andrew Carnegie’s library: how it all began. (NPR)

The Guardian dives into a stack of self-published titles. (The Guardian)

Kirkus springs some vintage reviews from its vault. (Kirkus)

Read Percey Bysshe Shslley for free and relate it back to Breaking Bad, if you can. (GalleyCat)

“On this day in 1915 Robert Frost’s “The Road Not Taken” was first published in The Atlantic Monthly. Frost had recently returned to the U.S. after a two-and-a-half year stay in England; that the English had been first to publish and praise him, and that the Atlantic had rejected his poems — “We are sorry that we have no place in The Atlantic Monthly for your vigorous verse” — was on his mind. With the British collections now being praised at home, Ellery Sedgwick, editor of the Atlantic, declared to Frost that he was eager for any new poems…” (Today In Literature)