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Book Bits: Reader’s Digest Bankruptcy, Debbie Ford, Week’s hot reads, Armstrong’s ‘Merciless’

underToday is the 66th anniversary of the publication of Malcolm Lowry’s Under the Volcano. While the troubled author took ten years to write the novel, some critics said is as better than Hemingway and on the level of Thomas Wolfe’s work. The novel is ranked 11th on the Modern Library’s top-100 American novels list.

From the novel: “The Consul felt a pang. Ah, to have a horse, and gallop away, singing, to someone you loved perhaps, into the heart of all the simplicity and peace in the world; was that not like the opportunity afforded man by life itself? Of course not. Still, just for a moment, it had seemed that it was.”

Today’s links:

  1. readersNews: Reader’s Digest Is Bankrupt as Iconic Magazine Falters, by Dawn McCarty  – “RDA Holding Co., publisher of the 91-year-old Reader’s Digest magazine, filed for bankruptcy to cut $465 million in debt and focus on North American operations as consumers shift from print to electronic media. ” Bloomberg
  2. News: Debbie Ford Dies - “Debbie Ford, who authored several books in the self-help genre, has died of complications from cancer. She was 57 years old. Ford began her writing career with ‘The Dark Side Of The Light Chasers,’ which aimed to help heal people confront their “dark side” rather than block it out. ” WebProNews
  3. bombReview: Bomb: The Race to Build–and Steal–the World’s Most Dangerous Weapon,” by Steve Sheinkin, ages 10-18 – “In late December 1938, German chemist Otto Hahn discovered that uranium atoms could be split, and just a few months later the race to build an atomic bomb was on….A superb tale of an era and an effort that forever changed our world. (source notes, quotation notes, acknowledgments, photo credits, index) ” Kirkus Reviews
  4. News: Amazon Fires German Security Firm After Claims Of Intimidation, by Annalisa Quinn – “Amazon announced Monday that it has fired a German security company amid accusations that seasonal warehouse workers had been intimidated and harassed. In a documentary aired last week by a German TV station, foreign temporary workers claimed that guards from Hensel European Security Services (HESS) would frisk them and search their rooms. ” NPR
  5. teleportationFeature: This Week’s Hot Reads: February 18, 2013, by Jim Gavin – “From a story collection of manhood in Southern California to some of the last books of Maeve Binchy and Vasily Grossman.” Ned Beauman’s “The Teleportation Accident,” shown here, made the list, with a story about “A Berlin set designer obsessed with teleportation follows his heart to Los Angeles.”  The Daily Beast
  6. Feature: Kate Middleton criticized by Hilary Mantel, Booker Prize winner, by Peter Griffiths – Kate Middleton was seemingly verbally attacked by Hilary Mantel, the first Briton to twice win the coveted Man Booker prize for fiction. In her attack, Hilary Mantel described Kate Middleton as ‘a shop-window mannequin, with no personality.’” Most stories omit the fact that Mantel said this characterization came from the public  and the press and wasn’t Mantel’s viewpoint.  The Christian Science Monitor
  7. Essay: In theory: the unread and the unreadable – “We measure our lives with unread books – and ‘difficult’ works can induce the most guilt. How should we view this challenge?”  The Guardian
  8. kazuoInterview: Kazuo Ishiguro (“The Remains of the Day”), with Susannah Hunnewell – “Q: Were you a hippie? A: I suppose I was, at least superficially. Long hair, mustache, guitar, rucksack. Ironically, we all thought we were very individual. I hitchhiked up the Pacific Coast Highway, through Los Angeles, San Francisco, and all over northern California…It more than fulfilled my expectations. Some of it was nerve-racking. I rode a freight train from Washington state across Idaho to Montana. ” The Paris Review
  9. Quotation: “The statistics on sanity are that one out of every four people is suffering from a mental illness. Look at your 3 best friends. If they’re ok, then it’s you.” ― Rita Mae Brown
  10. housewascalmResource: The Neglected Books Page – Covers, excerpts, reviews and authors who have been (and probably still are) neglected. I don’t think authors are allowed to ask that their books be added to the list.
  11. News: Nominees for the Women’s National Book Association’s Pannell Award are Avid Book Shop, Athens, Ga., Byrd’s Books, Bethel, Conn., Nicola’s Books, Ann Arbor, Mich., Newtonville Books, Newtonville, Mass., Porter Square Books, Cambridge, Mass., Main Street Books, Davidson, N.C., Vroman’s Bookstore, Pasadena, Calif and Park Road Books, Charlotte, N.C. The award rcognizes bookstores that bring creativity into their efforts to serve prospective readers. – ShelfAwareness
  12. mercilessReview: “Merciless” by Lori Armstrong – “As a former black-ops sniper and current FBI agent, [protagonist Mercy Gunderson] she kicks ass and takes no prisoners. She also supports her friends and family, and although having a committed relationship scares her (especially since it’s with the local sheriff, with whom she can’t share case information) she realizes she’s happy, maybe for the first time, and rather than engage in the typical self-sabotaging behavior so many heroines do, tries to grow and change.” Poisoned Pen Bookstore Blog
  13. News: Scholar Sues Arthur Conan Doyle Estate Over Sherlock Holmes Copyright, by Jason Boog – “Scholar Leslie S. Klinger has filed a civil suit in federal court against the Arthur Conan Doyle Estate, hoping to prove that ‘Sherlock Holmes and Dr. John H. Watson are no longer protected by federal copyright laws.’” GalleyCat
  14. How To: 3 Cases of Extraneous Hyphens, by Mark Nichol – “Writers, even professionals, have a difficult time with hyphens, frequently perplexed about whether to use one — or, worse, blithely certain they’re inserting or omitting a hyphen correctly when doing so is wrong. “ Daily Writing Tips

MalcolmCampbellFL“Book Bits” is compiled several times a week by Malcolm R. Campbell, author of the upcoming dark and earthy fantasy adventure “The Seeker”

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3 thoughts on “Book Bits: Reader’s Digest Bankruptcy, Debbie Ford, Week’s hot reads, Armstrong’s ‘Merciless’

  1. melindaclayton on said:

    Sad news about Readers Digest. I’ve been reading it since I discovered it at about the age of five on my grandfather’s end table (and I still get it today).

  2. What am I going to read in the bathtub if Reader’s Digest goes under? Oh wait…I don’t have a bathtub. Can’t read in the shower, needless to say. Still, sad news. We always had it in our house when I was growing up, and the first thing I always did was go through and read Life in These United States and the other joke pages. And people need to leave Princess Kate alone. If you can’t say something nice, don’t say anything at all, whether it’s Hilary Mantel or the public saying it.

  3. I disliked Reader’s Digest condensed books, but liked the magazine for the jokes and quick articles.

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