The Sun Singer's Travels

Malcolm R. Campbell's World

Book Bits Links: Sandy Relief, Santa sans pipe, ‘Portraits of Service,’ Stephen King writing tip

What of the faith and fire within us
Men who march away
Ere the barn-cocks say
Night is growing gray,
Leaving all that here can win us;
What of the faith and fire within us
Men who march away?
Thomas Hardy (1840-1928)

“Men Who March Away: Poems of the First World War” edited by I. M. Parsons and published by Viking in 1965 was one of the more poignant and evocative books of poetry that I received as a Christmas gift. Many of the famous poets who marched away to World War I did not return. I’m happy to see the article (Item 13) celebrating the work of some of those poets whom we should never forget. We’ve changed the name of the holiday from Armistice Day to Veterans Day, but the words of these long-lost poets hold true across names and generations. Portraits of Service (Item 6) brings another perspective to the life of soldiers.

  1. News: Scholastic to Donate 1 Million Books to Sandy Relief – “Scholastic has announced that it will donate 1 million books to schools and libraries hard hit by superstorm Sandy. The company will also make available free to teachers online lesson plans and activities.” Publishers Weekly
  2. News: Santa’s pipe put out in new edition of children’s classic, by Alison Flood “Fresh version of ‘Twas the Night Before Christmas sparks censorship row.” The Guardian
  3. News: Guideposts Launches E-Shorts Series – “Guideposts Books has announced the debut of Spirit Lifters, its new series of short e-books.” Publishers Weekly
  4. News: Rushdie and Le Carré End War of Words, by Linda L. Richards – “Fifteen years ago Salman Rushdie publicly described John le Carré as a “pompous ass.” Things went downhill from there.” January Magazine
  5. Satire: Children’s Christmas Classic Sanitized for Today’s Slower Children, by Jock Stewart – “It’s much better to have ignorant kids who do not know the ways of the world rather than kids who are presented with the dangerous original additions of classic literature and expected to fend for themselves.” Morning Satirical News
  6. New Title: Veterans tell their stories in “Portraits of Service” book, by Meghana Keshavan – “Despite their public displays of support on Veterans Day, most Americans cannot truly appreciate the sacrifices made by the millions of people who have served in the military during war, a former U.S. Marine Corps veteran says.” Reuters
  7. Commentary: Is the death of newspapers the end of good citizenship? by Jessica Bruder – “The death of newspapers – by cutbacks, outright disappearance, or morphing into lean websites – means a reduction of watchdog reporting and less local information. Some say it has caused a drop in civic participation. Is it a blow to good citizenship?” The  Christian Science Monitor
  8. News: UK lawmakers slam Starbucks, Amazon and Google on tax – “UK lawmakers criticized executives of Starbucks, Google and Amazon on Monday for not paying more tax in Britain and Amazon said it had received a $252 million demand for back taxes from France.” Reuters
  9. Feature: How Stephen King Writes Imagery, by Jason Boog – “The great Stephen King offered some simple advice for writers who want to improve their imagery: “see everything before you write it.”” GalleyCat
  10. Review: “The Yellow Birds,” by Kevin Powers, reviewed by Hector Tobar – “Pvt. John Bartle, the narrator of Kevin Powers’ sorrowful war novel “The Yellow Birds,” is a man of reason caught between the uncontrolled emotions of two men.” The Los Angeles Times
  11. Festival: Bookmania, Harold Washington Library Center, Chicago, November 16 – “Calling all children ages 3 to 10 and their families to celebrate Bookamania!” Chicago Public Library
  12. News: Two Bradbury works to be released this fall, By Hillel Italie – “The late science fiction writer penned a book introduction and a short piece late in life, before he died in June.” Salon
  13. Feature: WWI Poetry: On Veterans Day, The Words Of War – “Veterans Day — originally Armistice Day — was renamed in 1954 to include veterans who had fought in all wars. But the day of remembrance has its roots in World War I — Nov. 11, 1918 was the day the guns fell silent at the end of the Great War. On this Veterans Day, we celebrate the poetry of World War I, one of the legacies of that conflict.” NPR
  14. News: Bridget Jones to Return in New Helen Fielding Novel, by Maryann Yin – “Author Helen Fielding will publish a third Bridget Jones novel. The book is scheduled for release in fall 2013” A third movie with Renée Zellweger and Hugh Grant is also in the works. GalleyCat
  15. Viewpoint: Like affairs, biographies hold seduction and betrayal between the pages, by Emma G. Keller – “Is there a code of ethics for biographers? If there is, it would have to acknowledge the difficulties writers face in serving two masters: their subjects and the truth” The Guardian
  16. How To: 3 Common Comma Errors, by Mark Nichol – “The following sample sentences and the discussion that follows each point out three frequently found punctuation errors in which a comma is extraneously inserted or erroneously omitted.” Daily Writing Tips
  17. Viewpoint: What’s happening at the BBC by Emily Bell – “The Corporation is facing a serious challenge to its future and to its independence” Columbia Journalism Review
  18. News: Authors Guild Appeals Loss in Book Scanning Case, by Andrew Albanese – “Although few details were available at press time, it isn’t hard to imagine on what parts of the decision the Guild appeal might hinge: in a statement issued at the time of the decision, the Authors Guild said they ‘disagree with nearly every aspect of the court’s ruling.'” Publishers Weekly
  19. Boyle – Wikipedia photo

    Interview: T. C. Boyle with Brad Listi – “He is the author of twenty-three books of fiction, including The Tortilla Curtain, Drop City, and World’s End, for which he won the PEN/Faulkner award. His latest novel, San Miguel, is now available from Viking.” Monologue topics: finishing the novel, extremely personal psycho-spiritual tweets, Board. Other People

  20. Quotation: “Today is my birthday. I’ve owned a bookstore for 16 years and for 16 years, I have not received a book as a gift. Everyone just assumes I can get all the books I want. While this is true, there is something so lovely about getting a book as a gift.” – Josie Leavitt, at PW’s Shelftalker

“Book Bits” is compiled by Malcolm R. Campbell, author of contemporary fantasy, including the heroine’s journey adventure novel set in Glacier National Park, “Sarabande.”


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