The Sun Singer's Travels

Malcolm R. Campbell's World

Book Bits: New Herman Wouk novel, Jeff Bezos, Robert Gottlieb, Jack Kerouac, year’s worst sex scene

Here are a few links for those not busy shopping or cooking or doing other Thanksgiving holiday preparations or celebrating the anniversary of the 1934 Broadway opening of Lillian Hellman’s “The Children’s Hour” on this day.  Best wishes for a great holiday.

  1. News: Minneapolis Booksellers Have Much to Celebrate, by Claire Kirch – “There’s been a lot of excitement lately among Minneapolis booksellers, what with one well-established bookseller winning the 2012 National Book Award for Fiction, a former bookseller winning the 2012 National Book Award for Young People’s Literature, and a new bookselling duo opening a store.” Publishers Weekly
  2. Yorke

    Obituary: Margaret Yorke – According to The Rap Sheet, English crime novelist Margaret Yorke has died at 88 this past Saturday. “Yorke (whose real name was Margaret Beda Nicholson) was born on January 30, 1924, in Compton, Surrey, but spent her growing-up years in Dublin, Ireland. She finally moved back to England in 1937. Twenty years later, she saw her first novel published, Summer Flight. She went on to produce more than 40 other novels, five of which starred her Oxford Don sleuth, Dr. Patrick Grant. All of the Grant tales–including the first, 1970’s Dead in the Morning–were reissued in paperback by House of Stratus earlier this year.” You can find more information about Yorke on Martin Edwards’ Crime Writing Blog.

  3. New Titles: Top selling recent new titles compiled by
    Guinness World Records 2013
    The Elf on the Shelf by Carol V. Aebersold and Chanda B. Bell
    The Science of Good Cooking by the Editors of America’s Test Kitchen and Guy Crosby
    LEGO Ninjago: Character Encyclopedia
    Checkmate by R.L. Mathewson
    Fade into You by Kate Dawes
    Losing It by Cora Carmack
    The Unwanted Wife by Natasha Anders
    All In by Raine Miller
    Fade into Me by Kate Dawes
  4. Review: “The Lawgiver,” by Herman Wouk, reviewed by Matthew Jackson – “or half a century, while he built a reputation as one of the great novelists of his generation with works like Marjorie Morningstar and The Winds of War, Herman Wouk chased what he called “the impossible novel”—a story based on the life of Moses. He never found the key to making the book work. Until now.” BookPage
  5. Quotation: “Any reviewer who expresses rage and loathing for a novel is preposterous. He or she is like a person who has put on full armor and attacked a hot fudge sundae.” –  Kurt Vonnegut
  6. News: “Fortune ” selects Amazon Chief as Businessperson of the Year, reported in The ultimate disrupter, by Adam Lashinsky – “He’s a pro-customer, tightfisted risk-taker who is conditioning Wall Street to embrace his erratic earnings. If you’re running a business with high margins — watch out.” CNN
  7. Review“Great Expectations: The Sons and Daughters,” by Robert Gottlieb, reviewed by  Heller McAlpin – “You would think, wouldn’t you, that the man who created such heartrendingly sympathetic children as Oliver Twist, Pip, Tiny Tim and poor Little Nell would be a stupendous father. Well, the Charles Dickens who emerges from Robert Gottlieb’s Great Expectations, a compulsively readable if occasionally repetitive account of what happened to the great writer’s brood of seven sons and three daughters, is not so wonderful.” NPR
  8. How To: Fish Out of Water, Character Out of Time, by Beth Hill – “I love a great story about a character dropped into an unfamiliar world. Whether it’s a time-travel adventure, an amnesia story, or something similar, a story that features a character well out of his element grabs my attention almost every time.” The Editor’s Blog
  9. Kerouac – Wikipedia photo

    Feature: Was Jack Kerouac really a hack? by Joseph Lapin – “As “On the Road” prepares to hit the big screen, a writer reassesses the novel with the Beat’s friends and critics ” Salon

  10. Feature: Did Tom Wolfe Write the Year’s Worst Sex Scene? by Judy Berman – “It’s that time of year again! Yes, Thanksgiving — but more importantly, time for the Literary Review’s annual Bad Sex in Literature Award. The magazine has released its 2012 shortlist, and the most famous name is none other than one Tom Wolfe, who’s been writing cringe-worthy sex scenes for decades now. ” Flavorwire
  11. News: George Eliot writing desk stolen from Nuneaton museum – “The secretaire was taken from a glass display cabinet at Nuneaton Museum and Art Gallery in Warwickshire, on Sunday.” BBC

“Book Bits” is compiled by Malcolm R. Campbell, author of “Moonlight and Ghosts”


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