Archive for the ‘*William’s Posts’ Category

Nevermore.

Tuesday, January 21st, 2014

After nearly 6 years and 7,000 posts, AuthorScoop is closing up shop.

Jamie and I would like to express our deepest gratitude to our readers, the authors who have granted us interviews and everyone who has shown their support over the years.

We hope that you will still peruse our archives from time to time. The Morning LitLinks have captured just about every major writer/publisher headline since 2008, the Evening Book Reviews are a running chronicle of releases big and small, and our vast selection of writers’ quotes provoke, amuse and inspire.

On a personal note, I want to thank Jamie for her tireless efforts throughout our partnership and wish her continued success with her novels.

A note from Jamie:

AuthorScoop has been such a tremendous lesson in all the vibrant, ridiculous, and brilliant facets that today’s publishing industry offers. It also gave me reverence for times gone by. In particular, but among many, I learned to love Bukowski.

Thank you, everyone who read, commented, and contributed over these years. Thank you, William, for this fantastic opportunity. AuthorScoop is a treasure.

And so are you.

 

Wednesday Quote of the Night

Wednesday, January 15th, 2014

“Words are coin. Words alienate. Language is no medium for desire. Desire is rapture, not exchange.”

- J.M. Coetzee

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Wednesday Evening Book Reviews

Wednesday, January 15th, 2014

Mark Oppenheimer on Yascha Mounk’s Stranger in My Own Country: “…deftly describes Germans’ current, sometimes angry exhaustion with feeling guilty, on the right and on the left, among not only neo-Nazis but also among intellectuals like the novelist Martin Walser.” (NYTimes)

Sara Marcus on Masha Gessen’s Words Will Break Cement: “Gessen is not just asking how these women came to form Pussy Riot, or how they came to be punished so severely for making protest art. She’s also asking what makes great political art, and proposing that art and truth-telling have the power to defeat oppressive regimes (as the title, a quote from Nadya paraphrasing Solzhenitsyn, suggests).” (LATimes)

Dan DeLuca on Robert Gordon’s Respect Yourself: Stax Records and the Soul: “tells of the precipitous rise and dramatic fall of Stax, which went into bankruptcy in 1975 after a spectacular run that ended with the label’s last hit, Shirley Brown’s “Woman to Woman” in 1974.” (philly.com)

Boyd Tonkin on editor Pete Ayrton’s No Man’s Land: Writings from a World at War: “Even avid readers of First World War prose will find eye-opening discoveries here.” (The Independent)

Monday Quote of the Night

Monday, January 13th, 2014

“Poetry is life distilled.”

- Gwendolyn Brooks

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Monday Evening Book Reviews

Monday, January 13th, 2014

Yvonne Zipp on Martha Grimes’ The Way of All Fish: “…Grimes, who was named Mystery Writers of America Grand Master in 2012, has packed in plenty to amuse readers, from her ever-spiraling plot to the motley characters to allusions to classic mysteries by Dorothy L. Sayers, Edgar Allan Poe and Wilkie Collins.” (Washington Post)

Salley Vickers on Joshua Greene’s Moral Tribes: “Greene’s radical contention (pretty much a plea) is that the world will only be saved if we learn to transcend our intuitive responses in favour of what he wants to call “deep pragmatism”, which is in fact a refined form of utilitarianism, the philosophy of the greatest good for the greatest number.” (The Guardian)

Kirkus on Leon Leyson, Marilyn J. Harran and Elisabeth B. Leyson’s The Boy on the Wooden Box: “Along with harrowing but not lurid accounts of extreme privation and casual brutality, the author recalls encounters with the quietly kind and heroic Schindler on the way to the war’s end, years spent at a displaced-persons facility in Germany and, at last, emigration to the United States.” (Kirkus Reviews)

Rebecca Kelley on Pamela Erens’ The Virgins: “The Virgins isn’t a story about first love and the inevitable heartbreak that follows. It’s not really about sexual awakening, either, despite all the urgency, the panting and groping that goes on. It is a careful examination of unfulfilled desire.” (The Rumpus)

Friday Quote of the Night

Friday, January 10th, 2014

“Writing ought either to be the manufacture of stories for which there is a market demand—a business as safe and commendable as making soap or breakfast foods—or it should be an art, which is always a search for something for which there is no market demand, something new and untried, where the values are intrinsic and have nothing to do with standardized values.”

? Willa Cather

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Friday Evening Book Reviews

Friday, January 10th, 2014

Martin Chilton on Nathan Filer’s The Shock Of The Fall: “It’s an unsettling read but a perceptive and moving one. One image stayed with me. Matthew refers to his life as “watching my helium balloon slowly die”.” (The Telegraph)

Patty Rhule on Sue Monk Kidd’s The Invention of Wings: “Kidd, the gifted author of the 2002 best seller The Secret Life of Bees, has produced a beautifully written book about the awe-inspiring resilience of America’s enslaved people. It’s a provocative reminder of why slavery’s wounds still scar the country 250 years later.” (USAToday)

Boyd Tonkin on Helen Dunmore’s The Lie: ” Distinguished by the sensual, compact intensity of Dunmore’s prose, The Lie lays bare on its local canvas the invisible wounds of a global  catastrophe.” (The Independent)

Gray Hunter on Michael Hittman on Corbett Mack: The Life of A Northern Paiute: “Family is important, no matter who you are, of course.  They lend identity to a person.  Mack centers his story, as any of us would, on the family and friends he had.  He casually speaks of all these family ties and you must pay attention to follow all the links. Hittman’s endnotes are again helpful in this regard.  While Mack is this ‘ordinary’ man, some of his relations were well known figures in Native American history:  Wodziwob and Wovoka, both Ghost Dance prophets.” (Blogcritics)

Wednesday Quote of the Night

Wednesday, January 8th, 2014

“Books aren’t made in the way that babies are: they are made like pyramids, There’s some long-pondered plan, and then great blocks of stone are placed one on top of the other, and it’s back-breaking, sweaty, time consuming work. And all to no purpose! It just stands like that in the desert! But it towers over it prodigiously. Jackals piss at the base of it, and bourgeois clamber to the top of it, etc. Continue this comparison.”

– Gustave Flaubert

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Wednesday Evening Book Reviews

Wednesday, January 8th, 2014

Karen Valby on Rosemary Mahoney For The Benefit Of Those Who See: “This is such a vivid portrait of people and places that one forgives Mahoney for occasionally losing sight of her own narrative.” (EW.com)

Erica Wagner on David Gilbert’s & Sons: “… a sophisticated, compassionate novel, very much more than a clever take on the vicissitudes of the writing life.” (Financial Times)

Frank Wilson on James Aitcheson’s Sworn Sword: “Sworn Sword is nothing if not action-packed, and Aitcheson is not chary about depicting how gruesome the action could be on a medieval battlefield.” (philly.com)

Ashleigh Lambert on Andrea Brady’s Mutability: Scripts for Infancy: “If Brady writes lucidly about the materiality of babyhood, she is even better when addressing “the chitchat, the blather” of infancy: if it’s good enough stuff to build a language on, why not use it as material for poems? After all, babies and poets “can say so many things by improvising on the roots.”” (The Rumpus)

Tuesday Quote of the Night

Tuesday, January 7th, 2014

“Bats have no bankers and they do not drink and cannot be arrested and pay no tax and, in general, bats have it made.”

- John Berryman

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Tuesday Evening Book Reviews

Tuesday, January 7th, 2014

Ivy Pochoda on James Scott’s The Kept: “Set at the turn of the 20th century, “The Kept” is an intriguing, if sometimes unbalanced reimagining of a western novel artfully transposed from the conventional dangers of the desert and Plains to the snowbound northern frontier.” (NYTimes)

J.C. Gabel on the reissue of Rafael Bernal’s The Mongolian Conspiracy: “Disdain for political corruption (something Mexico still suffers from today) soaks through every page of “The Mongolian Conspiracy,” as if Bernal were using the novel to elucidate what he had learned from a lifetime of writing, politics and diplomacy, and the now-somewhat-comic capers of the Cold War era.” (LATimes)

Earl Pike Chang-Rae Lee’s On Such a Full Sea: “His writing is supple and poised; his understanding of human nature, richly nuanced. A new book by Lee is cause for giddy expectation.” (Cleveland Plain Dealer)

Mark Guftafson on Olivia Laing’s The Trip to Echo Spring: On Writers and Drinking: “Why these six? Aside from the obvious connections, Laing has discovered other surprising similarities, crossed paths, echoes of various sorts. As she illustrates, with great sensitivity and often poignant detail, these were fragile and complicated men who — in addition to writing enduring works of beauty, depth and power — lived lives of not-so-quiet desperation.” (Minneapolis Star-Tribune)

Afternoon Viewing: Malcolm Gladwell at the 92nd Street Y

Tuesday, January 7th, 2014

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

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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.” (philly.com)

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)

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
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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…” (EW.com)

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

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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.

 

Saturday Quote of the Night

Saturday, November 30th, 2013

“Writing is one of the few professions in which you can psychoanalyse yourself, get rid of hostilities and frustrations in public, and get paid for it.”

- Octavia Butler

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