Archive for the ‘News’ Category

Jamie Mason’s Debut Novel Set for 2013 Release

Friday, November 11th, 2011

With all the publishing news that swirls around this site, it’s always nice when it hits close to home.

And this is about as close as it gets.

AuthorScoop’s managing editor, Jamie Mason, has sealed the deal for her debut novel, THE LIAR’S MARGIN (retitled, THREE GRAVES FULL) which will be published in 2013 by Simon & Schuster imprint, Gallery Books.

We, of course, send out our heartfelt congratulations to Jamie and wish her great success. It’s also the perfect opportunity to express my personal gratitude for her tireless efforts on this site.

Kudos, Jamie. You earned it.

THE LIAR’S MARGIN announcement at Publishers Marketplace

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Friday Evening Book Reviews

Friday, September 23rd, 2011

The New York Times hosts a podcast book review of Touré’s, WHO’S AFRAID OF POST BLACKNESS?

THE QUEST: ENERGY, SECURITY, AND THE REMAKING OF THE MODERN WORLD, by David Yergin, is on tap at The Los Angeles Times.

The Washington Times seems to have enjoyed the collection, F. SCOTT FITZGERALD: A SHORT AUTOBIOGRAPHY, edited by James L.W. West III.

And The Telegraph has a look at Christopher Hitchen’s, ARGUABLY ESSAYS.

If Imitation is Sincere Flattery, What’s Flat Out Copying?

Monday, May 30th, 2011

UPDATE: Ms. Carroll has responded to an article in Dublin’s Metro Herald (reproduced here via Broadsheet.ie) with goodnessgraciousme outrage at the accusation of plagiarism.

“I wasn’t lifting expressions from TV shows – I haven’t even seen Sex and the City for years.”

Ms. Carroll asserts that we live in ‘a pop culture’ and that these expressions have creeped into everyday use.

“…who knows what is original anymore?”

The Metro Herald has expanded on the the list of awfully similar lines and scene set-ups to include excerpts from the American sitcom, Will & Grace, as part of the pop culture machine that seems to serve as a spoon-feeding Muse to Ms. Carroll’s efforts.

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(originally posted May 23, 2011)

At the intersection of a reader’s nearly photographic memory and a chick-lit author’s quippy prose, we find a question that feels almost rhetorical: how is this okay?

Irish author, Claudia Carroll, is coming under scrutiny for passages in her novel, PERSONALLY I BLAME MY FAIRY GODMOTHER, passages that eagle-eyed reader-writer-blogger Charlee Iddon recognized as lifted, almost verbatim, from popular television and literature sources – ‘Sex and the City’, ‘Friends’, and the ‘Bridget Jones’ series.

From the post at Before Charlee’s 30:

Here are just a few examples, and believe me when I tell you, they are the tip of the iceberg:

Carroll writes:
My top tip is to destroy all photos of you as a couple where he looks hot and you look happy it could set the whole recovery process back months if you happen to stumble across it at a weak moment

Anyone that watches Sex and the city will remember this line (book and show):
my top break up rule – destroy all pictures where he looks sexy and you look happy if you happen to stumble across it in a weak moment it could set the recovery process back by months

Carroll: I’ve always thought the witch in Hansel and Gretel is a deeply misunderstood woman. She builds her dream home and two brats come along and eat it?

SATC: But the witch in Hansel and Gretel — she’s very misunderstood. I mean, the woman builds her dream house and these brats come along and start eating it

<snip>

Carroll: I think she realises that there’s rock bottom followed by another 500 feet of crap before you finally arrive at where I’m at right now.

Friends: I really thought I just hit rock bottom. But today, it’s like there’s rock bottom, then 50 feet of crap, then me

But no one watches Friends or Sex and the City any more do they? Oh they do? Well Carroll obviously doesn’t think that matters, but then they are American and she is Irish maybe she thinks it doesn’t count if they are on a different continent.

Oh no she also likes to plagiarise closer to home:

Bridget Jones: He’s just a big knob head with no knob

Carroll:
He’s a big nob head with no nob (oh but she left the K off, that makes it different surely? Erm NO!)

Plagiarism is a serious accusation and, on the surface, these similarities appear brazen. As the social media sites buzz with speculation, AuthorScoop will keep a cyber-eye out and will update with any response from Ms. Carroll’s camp (or any other interested party’s) as it becomes available.

2011 Pulitzers Announced

Monday, April 18th, 2011

Congratulations to the 2011 Pulitzer Prize winners (via official site):

Journalism

PUBLIC SERVICE – Los Angeles Times
BREAKING NEWS REPORTING – No Award
INVESTIGATIVE REPORTING – Paige St. John of the Sarasota Herald-Tribune
EXPLANATORY REPORTING – Mark Johnson, Kathleen, Gallagher, Gary Porter, Lou Saldivar and Alison Sherwood of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel
LOCAL REPORTING – Frank Main, Mark Konkol and John J. Kim of the Chicago Sun-Times
NATIONAL REPORTING – Jesse Eisinger and Jake Bernstein of ProPublica
INTERNATIONAL REPORTING – Clifford J. Levy and Ellen Barry of The New York Times
FEATURE WRITING – Amy Ellis Nutt of The Star-Ledger, Newark, N.J.
COMMENTARY – David Leonhardt of The New York Times
CRITICISM – Sebastian Smee of The Boston Globe
EDITORIAL WRITING – Joseph Rago of The Wall Street Journal
EDITORIAL CARTOONING – Mike Keefe of The Denver Post
BREAKING NEWS PHOTOGRAPHY – Carol Guzy, Nikki Kahn and Ricky Carioti of The Washington Post
FEATURE PHOTOGRAPHY – Barbara Davidson of the Los Angeles Times
Letters, Drama and Music

FICTION - “A Visit from the Goon Squad” by Jennifer Egan (Alfred A. Knopf)

DRAMA - “Clybourne Park” by Bruce Norris

HISTORY - “The Fiery Trial: Abraham Lincoln and American Slavery” by Eric Foner (W. W. Norton & Company)

BIOGRAPHY - “Washington: A Life” by Ron Chernow (The Penguin Press)

POETRY - “The Best of It: New and Selected Poems” by Kay Ryan (Grove Press)

GENERAL NONFICTION - “The Emperor of All Maladies: A Biography of Cancer” by Siddhartha Mukherjee (Scribner)

MUSIC - “Madame White Snake’” by Zhou Long, premiered on February 26, 2010 by Opera Boston at the Cutler Majestic Theatre.

The Dark Side of Innocence: Growing Up Bipolar

Wednesday, April 13th, 2011

In 2008, I interviewed Terri Cheney about her book, MANIC: A MEMOIR. It was only my second interview and I was quite nervous, but that recording remains one of the most listened-to in the series. And it’s certainly not because of me. It’s because the book is remarkable.

Of all the books I’ve lent or suggested over the years, this is the single volume that has brought back the most commentary and the most heartfelt thanks for the recommendation. For many, it is a life-changing read.

And now it has a companion volume.

THE DARK SIDE OF INNOCENCE: GROWING UP BIPOLAR, is Terri Cheney’s riveting new memoir. It draws back to her furthest recollections of the destructive force inside her, now framed in the context of her diagnosis.

This is no weepy account of a broken childhood. There are certainly occasions that call for pure sympathy, and tragic memoirs are a valuable gift from their authors. But what sets Ms. Cheney’s work apart is the words. She is a writer first, a bipolar patient second. Through the employ of just the right language to explain her inner world, Terri Cheney switches our track from sympathy to empathy. And the difference is profound.

THE DARK SIDE OF INNOCENCE is a hard course over ground opened by insight and clarity. I would say it was unflinching, but I imagine she flinched quite a bit in the writing and remembering, but she clasps the reader firmly – for her fortification, and for ours.

If you are affected by bipolar disorder, personally or peripherally, I cannot recommend this book enough. If you’re not, I recommend it even more.

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Find out more about Terri Cheney and her work at her website and follow her newly launched column, The Bipolar Lens, at Psychology Today’s online magazine.

Tuesday Evening Book Reviews

Tuesday, March 29th, 2011

The Atlantic raises and eyebrow at MY BEAUTIFUL MOMMY, a picture book to explain plastic surgery and mommy-makeovers to the short-pants set, by Dr. Michael Alexander Salzhauer.

ALL THINGS SHINING: READING THE WESTERN CLASSICS TO FIND MEANING IN A SECULAR AGE, by Hubert Dreyfus and Sean Dorrance Kelly, doesn’t find an enthusiastic champion at The New Republic.

EVERY DAY BY THE SUN: A MEMOIR OF THE FAULKNERS OF MISSISSIPPI, by Dean Faulkner Wells, is a hit at The Los Angeles Times.

And THE PEACH KEEPER, by Sarah Addison Allen, weaves through the genres on some liquid prose, says The Denver Post.

Sunday Evening Book Reviews

Sunday, March 27th, 2011

LOSING GRACELAND, by Micah Nathan, has its moments, but doesn’t pull off everything it attempts.

USA Today seems a bit noncommittal on Alice Hoffman’s latest, RED GARDEN.

The Baltimore Sun selects a pair of book, a YA novel and a teen memoir, that should resonate with adults as well.

And sex isn’t quite sexy enough or erudition erudite to the satisfaction of Slate Magazine in Deborah Lutz’s PLEASURE BOUND: VICTORIAN SEX REBELS AND THE NEW EROTICISM.

Sunday Evening Book Reviews

Sunday, March 20th, 2011

Chelsea Cain’s, NIGHT SEASONS, takes a few hits at The Washington Post.

And Victoria Patterson flounders a bit with The Sand Fransisco Chronicle’s opinion of her latest, THE VACANT PARADISE.

But Cory Taylor sparks a nice review in New Zealand for her debut, ME AND MR. BOOKER.

THE FINKLER QUESTION, the latest Man Booker Award winner, by Howard Jacobson, is found intriguing and worth the while in New Jersey.

Sunday Eveninng Book Reviews

Sunday, February 27th, 2011

The New Jersey Star-Ledger makes it a five for onepage deal on book reviews today.

THE QUIET WORLD: SAVING ALASKA’S WILDERNESS KINGDOM 1879-1960, by Douglas Brinkley, takes accolades in Kansas City.

Carol Leifer wins a good review after the initial hurdle this reviewer had with the title (which I love) – WHEN YOU LIE ABOUT YOUR AGE, THE TERRORISTS WIN.

Must be gonna start baseball soon.  Here’s a look at IN THE TIME OF BOBBY COX: THE ATLANTA BRAVES, THEIR MANAGER, MY COUCH, TWO DECADES AND ME, by Lang Whitaker.

HuffPo Hosts a Diagram of Persistance

Wednesday, February 9th, 2011

Friend to AuthorScoop, Kim Michele Richardson, is featured at The Huffington Post’s book section this week with the twisty tale of how her memoir, THE UNBREAKABLE CHILD, made it into print… twice.

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‘A Season of Darkness’ by D. Jones & P. Gobbell

Monday, January 31st, 2011

A few weeks back, AuthorScoop was treated to a unique, double edition of ’5 Minutes Alone’. Authors, Douglas Jones and Phyllis Gobbell, shared their insights on their careers in the wake of the launch of, A SEASON OF DARKNESS, their account of one of Nashville’s most notorious crimes: the murder of nine year old Marcia Trimble.

I became intrigued by the saga of a killer caught thirty three years after his crime, so I got a copy.

In a feat of careful research and thoughtful construction, Jones and Gobbell tell the tale, striking the delicate balance of respect and reporting to honor the memory of a crime that broke a family and changed a city.

I’m pleased to pass on a recommendation of, A SEASON OF DARKNESS. The story of this baffling case is well-handled and definitely worth the read.

Book Review: Karen Abbott’s ‘American Rose’

Monday, January 24th, 2011

Most all books have only two ingredients: a story and the words chosen to tell that story. For sniffing out a narrative to mine for interest, anyone with the time and inclination for the research would find a barrel for a shooting gallery and big fat fish for targets in the life story of the most famous striptease artist of all time, Gypsy Rose Lee.

So all that’s left to distinguish a writer in the telling of Gypsy’s tale are the words.

And this is where Karen Abbott soars.

AMERICAN ROSE: A NATION LAID BARE: THE LIFE AND TIMES OF GYPSY ROSE LEE takes a story that was always going to be fascinating and bawdy and fraught, and makes it lyrical. To bolster Gypsy’s nimble sidestepping of her own quantifiability, Ms. Abbott nails in place a richly textured backdrop of the wane of vaudeville, the rise and fall of burlesque, The Great Depression, and the American home front in and after World War II. With her excellent words, facts become patterns and the feel of an era is transformed into the color we recognize in our own lives, but seem to relegate to sepia whenever we dial back the time machine. The effect is that, from here on out, no pale dry history of this time in America will cut it.

No, I take it back. The times of Gypsy are not nailed in this book, they’re pinned, as surely and elegantly as one of Gypsy’s skirts. And as in a striptease, what’s revealed in the folds of this vibrant garment, are the reasons behind what we know of Gypsy Rose Lee and the whys of what we cannot know.

In choosing a non-linear format, Ms. Abbott offers a natural feel to the way we learn about Gypsy: a personal, intimate conversation; the organic way we discover a friend or a rival, or sometimes even an enemy – a story here, a rumor there, one anecdote crossing decades to a related point that explains what came before or where it all wound up.

The combination of Karen Abbott’s skills as a writer and the endlessly riveting trials and triumphs of a national icon, makes AMERICAN ROSE: A NATION LAID BARE: THE LIFE AND TIMES OF GYPSY ROSE LEE, a easy addition to the must-read list.

Terri Cheney Launches Column at Psychology Today

Tuesday, January 18th, 2011

A unique insight from the bipolar vantage point is now just a click away.  Terri Cheney, friend to AuthorScoop and author of the wonderful MANIC: A MEMOIR, has launched Psychology Today’s newest feature, The Bipolar Lens.

With her honesty, experience, and most importantly, her dexterity with language, Terri’s column is sure to be a much needed bridge in the discourse on mental health issues.

Bookmark it.  Read it.  Come away (to return again) enlightened.

Florida Nabs Pedophile How-To Author

Monday, December 20th, 2010

Early last month, web chatter blew up into news and a near boycott of Amazon.com over Philip R. Graves self-published book, THE PEDOPHILE’S GUIDE TO LOVE AND PLEASURE: A CHILD LOVER’S CODE OF CONDUCT. Today, Mr. Greaves finds himself in custody, awaiting extradition to Florida.  Mr. Greaves autographed and shipped a copy to the one state that would activate its provision against depicting children in a harmful relationship.

The sting was run by detectives in Polk County, Florida and, hot on the heels of Amazon pulling books of erotic incest from its sales pages and customers’ archives just a few days ago, is sure to reignite the debate on both sides of the discussion.

‘Cooks Source’ Speaks…

Wednesday, November 10th, 2010

Disgraced small press mag Cooks Source has released a statement on the fallout over their absurdly ham-fisted reaction to charges of plagiarism. In part:

Last month an article, “American as Apple Pie — Isn’t, ” was placed in error in Cooks Source, without the approval of the writer, Monica Gaudio. We sincerely wish to apologize to her for this error, it was an oversight of a small, overworked staff. We have made a donation at her request, to her chosen institution, the Columbia School of Journalism. In addition, a donation to the Western New England Food Bank, is being made in her name. It should be noted that Monica was given a clear credit for using her article within the publication, and has been paid in the way that she has requested to be paid.

This issue has made certain changes here at Cooks Source. Starting with this month, we will now list all sources. Also we now request that all the articles and informational pieces will have been made with written consent of the writers, the book publishers and/or their agents or distributors, chefs and business owners. All submission authors and chefs and cooks will have emailed, and/or signed a release form for this material to Cooks Source and as such will have approved its final inclusion. Email submissions are considered consent, with a verbal/written follow-up. Recipes created in the Cooks Source Kitchen are owned by Cooks Source and as such approval is given for chefs and cooks in our area to use them. Artwork used is created by our staff, or is royalty-free or purchased “clip-art.”

However: Cooks Source can not vouch for all the writers we have used in the past, and in the future can only check to a certain extent. Therefore, we will no longer accept unrequested articles, nor will we work with writers or illustrators unless they can prove they are reputable people, provide their sources, and who, in our estimation, we feel our readers and advertisers can trust and rely on for accuracy and originality. All sources will be listed with the articles, along with the permission, where necessary.

Read the entire statement here.

Background here.

(Hat tip: Jason)

Amazon.com Rolling in Buzz for How-to Pedophile Guide (Updated)

Wednesday, November 10th, 2010

With the launch of Amazon Digital Services, people can create a masterpiece, pen their thoughts, pour out their catharsis, and/or puke a point of view, then fast track whatever it turns out to be by self-publishing.  Over at Amazon, by the end of a few keystrokes, the fruit of the writer’s (or poor typist’s, in some cases) labor goes on sale as a Kindle download and takes a ranking at the biggest online retailer of books in the world.

Sometimes this is bad news and sometimes it’s worse than that and today the social media lines are on fire with outrage over Philip R. Greaves’ latest offering, THE PEDOPHILE’S GUIDE TO LOVE AND PLEASURE.

The blogosphere and message boards are clamoring for the book’s removal, but some sources are citing a firm stance by Amazon, defending its position on the nobility of free speech.

Updates as we get them, folks.

Amazon’s Customer Service Department can be reached at 800-201-7575.

Update #1 (2:30 PM CST)

Jason Boog has some news about boycotts, negative reviews and assorted outrage, in addition to a (disgusting) excerpt. (GalleyCat)

Update #2 (3:35 EST)

Here’s Amazon’s response -

Amazon believes it is censorship not to sell certain books simply because we or others believe their message is objectionable.  Amazon does not support or promote hatred or criminal acts, however, we do support the right of every individual to make their own purchasing decisions.

arguably at odds with its own Content Guidelines -

Titles sold through the Digital Text Platform Program must follow our content policy and guidelines, detailed below. Publishers are expected to conduct proper research to ensure that the Titles sold through the Digital Text Platform Program are in compliance with all local, state, national, and international laws. If Amazon Digital Services, Inc. determines that the content of a Title is prohibited, we may summarily remove or alter it without returning any fees. Amazon Digital Services, Inc. reserves the right to make judgments about whether or not content is appropriate.Please take a moment to familiarize yourself with some examples of prohibited content:

Pornography
Pornography and hard-core material that depicts graphic sexual acts.

Offensive Material
What we deem offensive is probably about what you would expect. Amazon Digital Services, Inc. reserves the right to determine the appropriateness of Titles sold on our site.

Update #3 (7:00 PM CST)

The author speaks to The Smoking Gun.

A taste:

Greaves denied ever being arrested, but revealed that his mental troubles “came to a head about three years ago” when he suffered a “mental collapse.” At the time, Greaves said, he had been working as a nursing home aide.

The breakdown was so severe, said Greaves, that he was involuntarily hospitalized for about nine months, and spent some of that time in a state mental facility. When he emerged from that hospitalization, Greaves recalled that he decided to go back to writing, which he first started doing while in eighth grade.

His pedophile’s guide is a byproduct of that recommitment to craft.

Update #4, Thursday 8:00am (EST)

The Amazon page for the book no longer displays, and while some are calling it a victory for decency and the law, others think the heavy traffic may just have knocked the internet sideways. A search of the site still lists the book, but there’s ‘no image available’ and only a 404 error as reward for clicking the link.  No official comment from Amazon.com that I can find.  CNN spoke with Phillip R. Greaves:

When asked if the self-published e-book was a “how-to manual,” he said, “there are certain parts that are advisory,” which set out lines that should not be crossed.

“Penetration is out. You can’t do that with a child, but kissing and fondling I don’t think is that big of a problem,” he said.

Update #5, Thursday 9:00am (CST)

As reported in this morning’s LitLinks, UPI is reporting that “Amazon.com has apparently removed a Colorado author’s book about pedophilia from its Web site following protests from hundreds of shoppers, officials said.”

A Thought for Today on Tomorrow

Wednesday, November 10th, 2010

Jason Tudor is one of the good guys.  I’ve had the pleasure of meeting him and have benefited, more than once, from the clarity of his journalistic integrity.  Today he posts an article that should send us into Veteran’s Day with a thought for the soldiers who have made it home to, ultimately, no home.

“Tomorrow’s pause for Veterans Day is a day to remember there are sons and daughters, fathers and mothers, who fought in battles in Iraq, Afghanistan, Vietnam and elsewhere. Many of these people were Army Strong, Aiming High and Semper Fi. Then something happened to make them homeless…”

Please take a moment to read the entire article and then lend your support: 107,000 VETS WILL BE HOMELESS ON VETERANS DAY, by Jason Tudor

Dr. Johnson Strikes Again

Thursday, October 28th, 2010

As much as I like to read and write, I rarely feel like writing about reading.  So, I’m always pleased to feel moved to write a book review. Friend to AuthorScoop, Dr. Christopher Johnson, has already turned out two excellent books on children’s health that I’ve enjoyed both as a parent and as a person utterly fascinated by the clockworks of the human body.

With his latest book, though, he’s outdone himself.  HOW YOUR CHILD HEALS takes a clever format and uses visual, sensory language to strip away the mystery, but not the majesty, from one of the most complex processes in our bodies – healing.

Dr. Johnson’s expertise as a pediatric intensivist shines through, and his years of talking with parents about their sick children has honed his ability to explain, without condescension, what’s happening and why.

A find for both its depth and clarity, the real surprise is its readability. I thoroughly enjoyed it.

This book will appeal not only to pro-active parents, but to anyone with a fascination for the universe within.

Ted Hughes on Sylvia Plath’s Death

Thursday, October 7th, 2010

From the Telegraph:

The poem provides crucial insight into one of the most controversial episodes in 20th century literary history. It is the first poem in which Hughes directly addresses Plath’s death.

Hughes recalls his final meeting with his estranged wife two days before she killed herself, and writes of the devastating aftermath of her death.

“What happened that night? Your final night?” he asks in the opening lines of Last Letter.

And he recounts the moment that he was told of her death:

“Then a voice like a selected weapon
Or a measured injection,
Coolly delivered its four words
Deep into my ear: ‘Your wife is dead.’”

The 150-line poem was not included in Birthday Letters, the volume published by Hughes in 1998 and believed to be his final word on Plath’s death. The reason for its suppression is not known, but it has been discovered in the archive of the British Library and is now available for public view.

A full scan of the poem is available here.

A Match Made on the Bestseller Shelf

Tuesday, September 7th, 2010

Congratulations to historical suspense author, Tasha Alexander, and her thriller-writing new husband, Andrew Grant.  The two were wed in Chicago’s Centennial Park this summer.  Andrew sat with us for ’5 Minutes Alone’ this past Spring and will be featured in an upcoming installment of ‘Kill Your Darling… Babies?  Oh My.’ We’re working on hearing from Ms. Alexander — and looking forward to it.

So, all those royalties funneling into one household and looking this spiffy?  Some people just have it all.

Best wishes from AuthorScoop!