Tuesday Quote of the Night

Written by: William Haskins On 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

Written by: William Haskins On 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)

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Afternoon Viewing: Malcolm Gladwell at the 92nd Street Y

Written by: William Haskins On January 7th, 2014

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Tuesday Morning LitLinks

Written by: Jamie Mason On January 7th, 2014

Aaaaaand we’re back…

 

Shia_LaBeouf

 

First off, Shia LaBeouf, was plagiarizing left and right while we were away. (A.V. Club)

… and he equates authorship with censorship, and uses a lot of words he didn’t think up on his own. (Bleeding Cool)

… and apologized by skywriting. (CNN)

Eleanor Catton talks literature and elitism over at (Metro Magazine)

Rebecca Mead endeavored to summarize Jennifer Weiner’s efforts on all fronts in (The New Yorker)

If you never want a book deal, here’s how to do it. (Cracked)

Stephen King  joins Twitter. Some said it would never happen. (BuzzFeed)

Poet and playwright, Amiri Baraka, gave a scare, but is recovering at home in New Jersey. (NY Daily News)

Sadly, we lost a few in the past few weeks:

Novelist Hugh Nissenson, at age 80. Rest in peace. (The New York Times)

Romance author, Janet Dailey, at age 69. Rest in peace. (The New York Times)

Noveslist, blogger, and screenwriter, Ned Vizzini, at age 32. Rest in peace. (The Los Angeles Times)

Author Colin Wilson, at age 82. Rest in peace. (The New York Times)

“On this day in 1972 American poet John Berryman committed suicide at the age of fifty-seven. His 77 Dream Songs won the 1964 Pulitzer, and the writing of some 300 more over the subsequent years earned Berryman international fame, but his personal problems kept pace. These seem to stem from the severe trauma of his father’s early suicide, but whatever the cause, living became a volatile and destructive mix of compulsions — work, alcohol, sex, and four packs a day….” (Today In Literature)

 

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AuthorScoop Hiatus

Written by: Jamie Mason On December 5th, 2013

happy_holiday_1920x1200-1

 

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

 

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Thursday Morning LitLinks

Written by: Jamie Mason On 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. (mysterywriters.org)

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)

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Wednesday Quote of the Night

Written by: William Haskins On 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

Written by: William Haskins On 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)

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Wednesday Morning LitLinks

Written by: Jamie Mason On 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)

 

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Tuesday Morning LitLinks

Written by: Jamie Mason On December 3rd, 2013

stoner

 

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)

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Monday Quote of the Night

Written by: William Haskins On 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

Written by: William Haskins On 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)

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Afternoon Viewing: The Night Before Christmas

Written by: Jamie Mason On December 2nd, 2013

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

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Monday Morning LitLinks

Written by: Jamie Mason On 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)

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Sunday Quote of the Night

Written by: William Haskins On 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

Written by: William Haskins On 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)

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Afternoon Viewing: Pearl S Buck

Written by: William Haskins On 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.

 

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Sunday Morning LitLinks

Written by: Jamie Mason On 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)

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Saturday Quote of the Night

Written by: William Haskins On 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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Saturday Evening Book Reviews

Written by: William Haskins On November 30th, 2013

Jeffrey Wasserstrom on Jung Chang’s Empress Dowager Cixi: The Concubine Who Launched Modern China: “When Chang goes further – describing Cixi as a “revolutionary” with life-long progressive leanings, veering into the historical novelist’s terrain with claims about the ruler’s innermost thoughts – she moves on to shakier ground, overstating the significance of archival fragments and memoirs that support her interpretation, while dismissing those that contradict it. In the end, Chang’s most convincing arguments are her least novel, while her most novel assertions are least convincing.” (Financial Times)

Lydia Kiesling on Donna Tartt’s The Goldfinch: “…full of class markers, comical names (Kitten), kinds of antiques, and names of schools, so that the reader occasionally has the sense of being bludgeoned with a sledgehammer from some very tony shop.” (The Rumpus)

Darren Franich on George R.R. Martin’s The Princess and the Queen: “…densely packed with warfare, politicking, bloody melodrama, and dragon-on-dragon assault. It reads like Martin’s outline for a Game of Thrones prequel that never was.” (EW.com)

Maria Puente on Deborah Soloman’s American Mirror: The Life and Art of Norman Rockwell: “As his new and apparently first serious biographer, Deborah Solomon, makes clear in this highly readable, illuminating book, Rockwell was more than an illustrator.” (USAToday)

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