Archive for December, 2013

AuthorScoop Hiatus

Thursday, December 5th, 2013



Dear Readers,


Life is, well, you know. And this time of year is, well, you know.

We’ll be back after the first of the year and we’ll be wishing all of you the very best of the season in the meantime.


‘Til then, everything good to you.


-Jamie and William


Thursday Morning LitLinks

Thursday, December 5th, 2013

bryan cranston


Bryan Cranston talks books with (The New York Times)

Really? US version of Morrissey’s autobiography reportedly edited to remove a relationship he details in the book. (Salon)

BookRiot has some fun with a few brilliant vintage sci-fi covers. (BookRiot)

Québec gets its fixed-pricing on books. (Publishers Weekly)

Amazon launches a short story imprint. (NPR)

Manil Suri takes this year’s award for Bad Sex in Fiction. (The Washington Post)

Mystery Writers of America awards the Grand Master and Raven prizes for 2013. (

High school basketball coach fired after writing a sex-advice book. (WGNTV)

Bookseller, Richard Brower, has died. He was 83 years old. Rest in peace. (Publishers Weekly)

“On this day in 1830 Christina Rossetti was born. Her still-growing reputation as one of the best English women poets is based largely on two collections, Goblin Market and Other Poems (1862), and The Prince’s Progress and Other Poems(1866); her Sing-Song: a Nursery Rhyme Book (1872, 1893) is also highly-ranked among Victorian children’s books. Part of her fascination comes from her personal life, especially as lived on the outer circles of brother Dante Gabriel Rossetti’s Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood….” (Today In Literature)

Wednesday Quote of the Night

Wednesday, December 4th, 2013

“Writing is like getting married. One should never commit oneself until one is amazed at one’s luck.”

― Iris Murdoch





Wednesday Evening Book Reviews

Wednesday, December 4th, 2013

Carolyn Kellogg on Jared Farmer’s Trees in Paradise: “Farmer can be a stronger historian than he is a storyteller. The workings of the orange industry are detailed, but apart from the dirty history of smudge pots, not enlivened. In other sections, there are paragraphs of description cobbled together in Zagat-like barrages of primary sources.” (LATimes)

Hector Tobar on Billy Crystal’s Still Foolin’ ‘Em: Where I’ve Been, Where I’m Going, and Where the Hell Are My Keys?: “Crystal the comedian will do almost anything to get a laugh. Crystal the writer allows himself to flop at the box office, and he suffers the many indignities of old age. In the end, the reader concludes that Crystal isn’t just funny: He’s a mensch, too.” (

Ron Charles on Charles Palliser’s Rustication: “A literary Dr. Frankenstein, he has stitched together parts of Jane Austen and Edgar Allan Poe. The result is deliciously wicked, particularly as the violence grows creepier, the sexual tension more febrile.” (Washington Post)

Daniel Dyer on Jim Harrison’s on Brown Dog: Novellas: “After a six-novella journey with Brown Dog, readers will see him as sort of a genial Id (or a friendly brown dog), an impulsive man who loves women’s hindquarters, a skilled brawler who avoids violence, a man who selects the laws he will obey and ignore, a loving friend, father, mate.” (Cleveland Plain Dealer)

Wednesday Morning LitLinks

Wednesday, December 4th, 2013

James McBride


National Book Award winning author, James McBride, talks about how he does it. (The Daily Beast)

Jonathan Myerson diagrams why children’s fiction can never be great literature. (The Guardian)

New York’s famed Chelsea Hotel has been home to a good few great writers. (The Huffington Post)

John Freeman sits down with (The Independent)

Slate cherry picks 2013 for a selection of favorite literary lines. (Slate)

Anna Holmes and Pankaj Mishra talk about holiday reading over at (The New York Times)

A book within a book, with a twist. The Guardian looks at books gifted in literature. (The Guardian)

Some ancient manuscripts are set to be scanned into the ‘Net. (The Huffington Post)

Fine literature as financial advisor? Why not? (The Christian Science Monitor)

The 2013 Pandora Award reveals its shortlist. (Women In Publishing)

“On this day in 1903 the crime writer Cornell Woolrich was born. Woolrich (sometimes as ‘William Irish’ or ‘George Hopley’) wrote two dozen novels and over two hundred stories, most of them so dark that he has been called ‘the Poe of the 20thcentury.’ Looking at the many movies made from his work — most famously, Hitchcock‘s Rear Window and Truffaut’s The Bride Wore Black…” (Today In Literature)


Tuesday Morning LitLinks

Tuesday, December 3rd, 2013



John Williams’ STONER wins Waterstones Book of the Year. (The Telegraph)

Albert Uderzo, co-creator of the Asterix comics, sues his daughter for “psychological violence”. (BBC)

Take the quiz and match the writer to his pet, over at (The Guardian)

Bookstore owner and author, Wendy Welch, has a chat with (WritersDigest)

Alice McDermott reflects on her reading for this year. (The Millions)

Granta Magazine interviews André Schiffrin. (Granta)

Have a look at a list of the best crime fiction of the century. (DoTheMath)

Salon gives their picks for ten graphic novels from 2013 that shouldn’t be missed. (Salon)

Author, William Stevenson, has died. He was 89 yeas old. Rest in peace. (The New York Times)

“When 28 year-old Tom Williams finally left his parents’ Missouri home, he headed for New Orleans, for a new life as a writer, a newly-realized sexual identity as a homosexual, even a new first name: Tennessee. As he describes it in his Memoirs, the exchange of his mother’s “monolithic puritanism” and the middle-class Midwest for the bars and bohemians of New Orleans was a late coming of age, as a person and a writer….” (Today In Literature)

Monday Quote of the Night

Monday, December 2nd, 2013

“No one asks you to throw Mozart out of the window. Keep Mozart. Cherish him. Keep Moses too, and Buddha and Lao Tzu and Christ. Keep them in your heart. But make room for the others, the coming ones, the ones who are already scratching on the window-panes.”

? Henry Miller



Monday Evening Book Reviews

Monday, December 2nd, 2013

Daniel Burton on (editor) Neil Gaiman’s Unnatural Creatures: “The sixteen tales collected are as creative as the creatures they feature, and with them Gaiman has produced a book as interesting and complete as any that he might have written himself.” (Blogcritics)

Mark Ford on Richard Burton’s A Strong Song Tows Us: The Life of Basil Bunting: ” Bunting emerges from Richard Burton’s thoroughly researched and enthralling biography as living a life far more active and variegated than the bookish Eliot’s, and even than the pugnacious, controversial Pound’s.” (The Guardian)

Jude Webber on Carlos Acosta’s Pig’s Foot: “The book’s lively cast of characters includes pygmy slaves from east Africa, a prophetic village soothsayer, a machete-wielding womaniser, a teenage architectural prodigy and the misfit narrator Oscar Mandinga himself, who instantly engages the reader’s sympathy with his blunt chattiness and the unlikely – but page-turning – saga of his ancestors, their passions and their secrets.” (Financial Times)

Jeff Labrecque on Ben Bradlee’s The Kid: “Fans will still revel in the Kid’s Fenway Park heroics, detailed beautifully here, but they’ll also see his more cantankerous side…” (

Afternoon Viewing: The Night Before Christmas

Monday, December 2nd, 2013

Penguin UK corrals an A-list to give us a wonderful version of this quick classic:

Monday Morning LitLinks

Monday, December 2nd, 2013

laura lippman


Laura Lippman  offers up the story of how she came to write mysteries. (Publishers Weekly)

Some writers of note weigh in on the spectre of doubt: a writer’s everlasting companion. (Salon)

New York Magazine scales back its publication schedule. (The New York Times)

Kent University ends up falling all over itself, apologizing for sneering at genre fiction and children’s literature. (The Guardian)

So, how did it go with authors helping out in Indie bookstores on Saturday? (Melville House)

… authors loved it. (The Los Angeles Times)

Kirkus lines up their favorite teen books of 2013. (Kirkus)

Griff Rhys Jones is set to play Dickens on stage, and he has a chat about the writer with (The Telegraph)

Get that hardback in half an hour – right to your door. Amazon is looking to start delivering by drone. Not kidding. (The Los Angeles Times)

Editor and publisher, André Schiffrin, has died. he was 78 years old. Rest in peace. (The New York Times)

“On this day in 1867 Charles Dickens gave the first reading of his American tour. Like all but a few over the five months, the evening was a sell-out, some having slept out overnight to beat a ticket line almost a half-mile long. This first-night audience included all the great and triple-named of the New England literary elite – Henry Wadsworth LongfellowRalph Waldo Emerson, Oliver Wendell Holmes, James Russell Lowell, Charles Eliot Norton — though not all were impressed….” (Today In Literature)

Sunday Quote of the Night

Sunday, December 1st, 2013

“Now…in an abundant society where people have laptops, cell phones, ipods and minds like empty rooms, I still plod along with books.”

- Harper Lee




Sunday Evening Book Reviews

Sunday, December 1st, 2013

Michiko Kakutani on Robery Hilburn’s Johnny Cash: The Life: “The chief music critic and pop music editor for The Los Angeles Times for more than three decades, Mr. Hilburn writes most powerfully about Cash’s trajectory as an artist — about his place in a changing country music scene, the evolution of individual songs and the eclectic influences on his work, which wed the storytelling intimacy of Jimmie Rodgers to his love of gospel, blues and traditional folk to create something powerful and new.” (NYTimes)

Alice Short on Anita Shreve’s Stella Bain: “You might hope for a shattering plot twist midway through the novel or some startling psychological insight or an ending that is not necessarily filled with love and laughter. But you’ll have to find that elsewhere.” (LATimes)

Benjamin Evans on Lore Segal’s Half the Kingdom: “Not so much a cohesive narrative as an interconnected series of vignettes, many of Segal’s characters are reeling from the quotidian blows of old age: regret, loneliness, estrangement, miscommunication and declining lucidity. Yet her tonal poise continually offsets the sadness with razor-sharp ironies and gleeful wisecracks.” (Telegraph)

Max Liu on Paul Auster’s Report from the Interior: “Whether he’s remembering being the kid who was disappointed that his father didn’t fight in the Second World War or the poet who said he’d rather go to jail than Vietnam, Auster’s “you” is so annoying that I considered adopting it for this review. But I decided that it would be kinder to spare you.” (The Independent)

Afternoon Viewing: Pearl S Buck

Sunday, December 1st, 2013

From the Merv Griffin Show YouTube description:

Pulitzer and Nobel Prize winning novelist Pearl S. Buck talks with Merv about her newest book, her charity work helping Asian orphans fathered by US servicemen, Communism in China and her new book ideas in this very rare interview from 1966.


Sunday Morning LitLinks

Sunday, December 1st, 2013

Ian Rankin


Ian Rankin talks money with (The Telegraph)

Imagine there’s no negative reviews allowed. (The New York Times)

Slate Magazine picks their favorite books of 2013. (Slate)

Rare book theft makes a rare story. (The New York Times)

Harlan Ellison once pitched a Batman episode. (io9)

Mark Twain was a crank. Enjoy! (Flavorwire)

The Denver Post takes on a marijuana editor. (Gawker)

Fifty years gone, remembering C.S. Lewis. (The Huffington Post)

“On this day in 1821 Percy Shelley’s “Adonais,” his elegy to John Keats, was published in England in the Literary Chronicle. The poem has become a cornerstone document for those interested in Shelley (left) or Keats, or in all that is best and incredible in Romanticism. By linking Keats’s death at the age of twenty-five to the Adonis myth, Shelley helped immortalize the idea of the ‘tortured Romantic,’ he who has one eye upwards on the pursuit of Beauty and Truth…” (Today In Literature)