The Sun Singer's Travels

Malcolm R. Campbell's World

Book Bits: Parabola auction, Facebook privacy, ‘The Elephant Keeper’s Children,’ Twitter/BBC libel case

The readers of Parabola Magazine have an opportunity to support the publication via the currently running online auction. In fact, you can even donate an item to the auction while it’s in progress. An autographed copy of my contemporary fantasy Sarabande (Vanilla Heart, 2011) is among the items up for sale. Click on the graphic to view the auction pages.

  1. News: Nolan Ryan to serve up beef cookbook in 2014 – “A new book by baseball Hall of Famer Nolan Ryan will be a bit of a sizzler.  The game’s all-time strikeout king is also a longtime Texas rancher and has compiled dozens of his favorite recipes for ‘The Nolan Ryan Beef Cookbook.’”   The Denver Post
  2. News: McGraw-Hill Sells Education Business for $2.5 Billion, by Bill Mickey – “McGraw-Hill has agreed to sell its education business to investment company Apollo Global Management for $2.5 billion. This leaves the company with its remaining McGraw-Hill Financial operation and after the close of the deal, which is expected later this year or early 2013, it will become the company’s official name.”  Folio
  3. News: Privacy groups ask Facebook to withdraw proposed policy changes, by Alexei Oreskovic – “Two privacy advocacy groups urged Facebook Inc on Monday to withdraw proposed changes to its terms of service that would allow the company to share user data with recently acquired photo-application Instagram, eliminate a user voting system and loosen email restrictions within the social network.”  The Chicago Tribune
  4. Review: “The Elephant Keeper’s Children,” Y/A novel by Peter Høeg, reviewed by Katie Lewis – “Høeg is best known for his modern classic Smilla’s Sense of Snow, a literary thriller. The Elephant Keepers’ Children—which would also appeal to YA readers—is both suspenseful and a coming-of-age adventure, recalling Karen Russell’s Swamplandia! (2011).”  BookPage
  5. Feature: Solzhenitsyn’s ‘Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich’ 50 years on, by Hector Tobar – “One work of literature, arguably more than any other, helped changed the course of Soviet history — “One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich,” Alexander Solzhenitsyn’s novel of one man’s descent into Stalin’s infamous gulag.”  The Los Angeles Times
  6. News: Libel Case That Snared BBC Widens to Twitter, by Eric Pfanner – “The Internet, it is sometimes said, turns every citizen into a journalist. If that is the case, some Twitter users in Great Britain are discovering one of the downsides of the business. ”  Editor & Publisher
  7. Obituary: Actress Deborah Raffin, who also co-founded Dove Books-on-Tape in the mid-1980s with her husband, music and film producer Michael Viner, died last week, the New York Times reported. She was 59. – ShelfAwareness
  8. Review: “Escape From North Korea,” by Melanie Kirkpatrick – “Drawing parallels with American slaves seeking freedom 150 years and continents apart, Kirkpatrick traces North Korean journeys through a network of clandestine routes, safe houses, and courageous individuals willing to compromise their own safety to help others.”  The Christian Science Monitor
  9. Feature: Fictional Foods: No Empty Calories, by Jami Attenberg – “What a character eats is a detail—like eye color or a favorite song. But food is also our lifeblood. I wondered: When does food become more than just the thing your character is putting in her mouth? ”  The Wall Street Journal
  10. How To: “Burned” Versus “Burnt” by Mignon Forgarty – “Burned” and “burnt” are both acceptable past-tense forms of the verb “burn,” but which one you use depends on where you live because the verb “burned” is the most common form in the United States, and the verb “burnt” is the most common form in Britain.” Grammar Girl
  11. Review: “The Other Side of the World,” by Jay Neugeboren – “Although summarizing the arc of the narrative makes it sound like the most sensational of soap operas, it’s anything but—Neugeboren presents a meditation on life, love, art and family relationships that’s reminiscent of the best of John Updike.”  Kirkus Reviews
  12. Essay: Quality Writing Projects Require Safe Places—And Here Are Five, by Ed Cyzewski – “While permission got me started with writing, I needed a safe space to create my posts, articles, and proposals and develop them. It was one thing to take myself seriously as a writer, but I didn’t start taking my writing itself seriously until I starting writing in a safe space before hitting publish.” Jane Friedman
  13. News: News Corp Wooing S&S: Is Another Merger in the Works? by Dennis Abrams – “Last week, News Corp, the owner of HarperCollins Publishers (as well as the Wall Street Journal), expressed interest in buying Simon & Schuster from its owner, CBS Corp.”  Publishing Perspectives
  14. Families for Depression Awareness

    Interview: Rose Styron on her husband’s collected letters in “Uncovered Letters Reveal A New Side Of William Styron” – “So few people write letters anymore, myself included, and there was such an incredible trove of letters to Bill that I found squashed in drawers in his study when I was putting the house in Connecticut we lived in for 50 years on the market. I thought there must be troves of letters from him to these same friends, and other friends, and I wanted to save them.”  NPR

  15. Essay: Let There Be Light, by John Banville, looking at “The Book of Kells” by Bernard Meehan – “The story of the Book of Kells, of the mystery surrounding its provenance and the anonymity of the master scribes and artists who executed it, is a splendid romance. ”  Essay
  16. Viewpoint: Skyfall and the James Bond Sartorial Tradition, by Roger Stone – “The latest offering in the James Bond oeuvre, Skyfall, does a few things right but when it comes to 007 and his sartorial style, it makes a mockery of the Ian Fleming-created icon played by Sir Sean Connery.” The Huffington Post
  17. News: Poets House Offers Emerging Poets Fellowships – “The deadline [December 1, 2012] is drawing nigh for the emerging poets fellowships at Poets House.” Harriet
  18. News: Holiday Children’s Art Auction Opens on eBay – “The American Booksellers Foundation for Free Expression (ABFFE) is launching today an online auction of original children’s art by 50 of the book industry’s leading artists and illustrators, including Marla Frazee, Barbara McClintock, Chris Raschka, and Adam Rex.” Publishers Weekly

“Book Bits” is compiled by Malcolm R. Campbell, author of contemporary fantasy adventure novels.


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