The Sun Singer's Travels

Malcolm R. Campbell's World

BOOK BITS: Ferguson wins Giller, the Doyles and faerie, ‘Charlie’s First Night,’ Kingsley Amis, Ghost stories

I’m compiling these links with short intermissions to answer the front door and hand out candy. Only a modest crowd so far. That means left over candy. Times have changed: when I was the age to go trick-or-treating, we didn’t get driven around by our parents. We walked or rode our bikes. Now the cars come into the neighborhood in caravans and wait at the street while the kids come to the door. If the kids are really young, the parents come to the door, too, and remind them to say “thank you.” I suppose the parents get a cut of the action.

Here are today’s readers’ and writers’ links:

  1. News: Streaming Sandy Coverage Drives Record Traffic for Local TV Websites – “Stations who streamed their live coverage of Hurricane Sandy on their websites and mobile apps are reporting record traffic according to Broadcasting & Cable.” TVSpy
  2. News: Will Ferguson Wins 2012 Giller, by Linda L. Richards – “Though until now he has perhaps been best known for his debut work, 1997’s Why I Hate Canadians, Will Ferguson has been given the nod for the 2012 Scotiabank Giller Prize, Canada’s richest literary award.” January Magazine
  3. Feature: The Father and Son Who Believed in Faeries, by A. N. Devers – Devers found an old book in a bookstore that was “full of drawings of faeries, elves, flowers, men kissing sphinxes, skeletons, men dancing with skeletons, and unsettling illustrations of women riding giant birds, all drawn by draftsman and artist Charles Altamont Doyle, father of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, who created them while in an insane asylum called Sunnyside. The book was ‘The Doyle Diary: The Last Great Conan Doyle Mystery: With a Holmesian Investigation Into The Strange And Curious Case of Charles Altamont Doyle,’ by Michael Baker. I bought the strange thing, of course. ” Lapham’s Quarterly
  4. Review: “Charley’s First Night,” by Amy Hest, Illustrated by Helen Oxenbury, (ages 3-6) – ” Amy Hest (“Letters to Leo”) proves once again her intimate knowledge of the bond between child and dog with this portrayal of Henry and the puppy that “wanted me to carry him home.” Helen Oxenbury (“There’s Going to Be a Baby”) captures every possible posture a puppy could assume, as Charley the dog woos Henry (and readers) until he wins a place in his home and heart” ShelfAwareness
  5. Lists: 9 Reasons to Quit Writing – “The publication journey isn’t easy, no matter how you approach it. I’m always encouraging people to be patient, persevere through the obstacles, and doggedly pursue their dream. For some people, this means persistence through years or decades. But… is there a time when you should give up? Maybe so. I could be wrong but I think there are a few signs the publishing journey is not for you.” Rachelle Gardner
  6. Interview: J. Robert Lennon (“Familiar”) with Brad Listi via podcast – From the NYT: “Over the last decade, J. Robert Lennon’s literary imagination has grown increasingly morbid, convoluted and peculiar—just as his books have grown commensurately more surprising, rigorous and fun.” Other People
  7. Feature: Tonight: Raise a glass to Kingsley Amis, by Maud Newton – “It’s hard to think of anyone who writes about drinking with more authority, finesse, and psychological sensitivity than the late Kingsley Amis, who could, no surprise, really put it away. ” Maud Newton
  8. Viewpoint: Set Theory for Poets / Poetry for Set Theorists, by William Flesch – “One modern incarnation of the debate between nominalism and realism is to be found in philosophical arguments about sets. There are two ways of characterizing a set: intensionally, through description (e.g. the set of all inhabitants of London, to use an example of Russell’s), and extensionally, which is just a list of the members of the set.” berfrois
  9. Review: The Goldilocks Variations, by Allan Ahlberg and Jessical Alberg (Illustrator) – “A familiar old tale is taken for a terrific spin with more bears, three pigs, assorted woodland animals, space aliens, additional young cast members (including one in a red hood) and lots and lots of sticky buns.” Kirkus Reviews
  10. Viewpoint: Like: Facebook and Schadenfreude, by Francesca Mari – “As an elder user, I can say one thing with authority: When it comes to disseminating news about Facebook, few media are more effective than Facebook itself. That’s how I came to learn that longtime users like me are more likely to believe others happier than themselves.” The Paris Review
  11. Review: Derrida: a Biography, by Benoît Peeters, reviewed by Andy Martin – “Derrida, the great philosopher of deconstruction, was brilliant at teasing out the evasions and mystifications and buried conflicts of our discourse, and even better at being evasive and mystifying himself. When he started giving lectures in English in America, he fretted about being understood.” Literary Review
  12. Viewpoint: Have We Already Reached “Peak E-book?” by Andy Richardson – “The dangers of running the E-book business like a commodity market.” – Publishing Perspectives
  13. Lists: The 14 Scariest Ghost Stories, by Otto Penzler – “Tales of the supernatural have been a fixture of the story-telling traditional since pre-literate times, and the most popular form they have taken is the ghost story. This should not be surprising, as the fear of death and its aftermath has abided in the breasts of humans ever since they became cognizant of what it meant to no longer be alive in the manner in which it is traditionally understood. ” The Huffington Post

“Book Bits” is compiled by Malcolm R. Campbell, author of comedy/satire, including “Jock Stewart and the Missing Sea of Fire”


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