The Sun Singer's Travels

Malcolm R. Campbell's World

Book Bits: Hilary Mantel, Earth Day Books, Amazon TV, ‘Illumine Her,’ Helene Wecker

earthdaynetIf you love Mother Earth, you’re celebrating Earth Day today. Some thought it was a novel concept when it began forty-three years ago. Now, it’s a necessary concept. Noting that many of today’s earth-friendly books have become consumer oriented (what to eat, what to clean your house with), the “Christian Science Monitor” has compiled a list of some of the classics for reading and remembering today. (Item 5).

  1. News: Britain’s Hilary Mantel tops women’s fiction prize shortlist – “British novelist Hilary Mantel’s “Bring Up the Bodies” tale about Thomas Cromwell will take on five challengers in the Women’s Prize for Fiction award in 2013 as she attempts to add to her groaning trophy cabinet.” Reuters
  2. psalmsNews: Colonial psalm book could sell for $30 million at NY auction – “One of 11 surviving copies of the first book printed in America is hitting the auction block later this year and is expected to fetch as much as $30 million, which would make it the most valuable book in history, Sotheby’s said on Friday.”  Reuters
  3. Essay: How the American Novel Lost Its Religion, by Philip F. Gura – “American fiction was once inseparable from proselytizing. How did it become the anticlerical, ego-theistic literature of today? Cultural historian Philip F. Gura, whose new book, Truth’s Ragged Edge, traces the early history of the first American novels, looks at the evolution.”  The Daily Beast
  4. Quotation: “Wilderness is not a luxury but a necessity of the human spirit, and as vital to our lives as water and good bread. A civilization which destroys what little remains of the wild, the spare, the original, is cutting itself off from its origins and betraying the principle of civilization itself.” ― Edward Abbey
  5. silentspringLists: On Earth Day 2013: 13 excellent books to consume, by Ben Frederick – “The environmental movement started out with transcendentalism and conservationism and efforts to protect natural sites. Nowadays, however, many environmentalists tend to focus on the food industry and modern consumerism – areas that are closer to home for the average reader. To celebrate Earth Day, here are 13 classic environmental titles to help reconnect you with nature.”  The Christian Science Monitor
  6. Quotation: “Those who contemplate the beauty of the earth find reserves of strength that will endure as long as life lasts. There is something infinitely healing in the repeated refrains of nature — the assurance that dawn comes after night, and spring after winter.” ― Rachel Carson
  7. MRCampbellInterview: Malcolm R. Campbell (“The Seeker”) with Pat Bertram – “Q: Do you have specific techniques you use to develop the plot and stay on track?…A:  Definitely not, mainly because rituals of any kind get in the way of a naturally evolving story and because staying on track is the last thing I want to do. There is no track. As hikers say when they leave the trail and explore new places, the whole process is bushwhacking.”  Pat Bertram Introduces
  8. How To: Why Would Anyone Use The Chicago Manual of Style? by Mignon Forgarty – “The Chicago Manual of Style is one of the oldest and most comprehensive style guides on the market. The fact that it is so comprehensive can be both a strength and a weakness…”  Grammar Girl
  9. News: Cape Cod Times features graphic blunder on page A-5, Newspaper, Macy apologize to readers, by Walter Brooks and Maggie Kulbokas – “Pressure cooker bomb how-to runs on same page as Macy’s ad for a special one day sale on pressure cookers – Newspaper apologizes for blunder.” capecodtoday
  10. cookedReview: ‘Cooked’: Michael Pollan takes kitchen duty, by Laura Miller – “Much food writing is little more than a gaseous substance that collects around recipes and advice. I like to cook and make most of my own meals, but I have no patience for the touchstones of foodie literature, like M.F.K. Fisher, with her preening sensuality, or the imperious fussiness of Richard Olney. Nigella Lawson’s phone-sex cooing makes me grind my teeth. ”  Salon
  11. Quotation: “Conservation is getting nowhere because it is incompatible with our Abrahamic concept of land. We abuse land because we regard it as a commodity belonging to us. When we see land as a community to which we belong, we may begin to use it with love and respect.” ― Aldo Leopold
  12. Feature: Can Amazon Transform TV? by June Thomas – “With eight new sitcom pilots and stars like John Goodman and Bebe Neuwirth, the bookselling giant is willing to try.”  Slate
  13. illumineReview: “Illumine Her,” by Sieni A. M. – “Every once in a while, I read a book that, when finished, leaves me content, happy and wrapped in a warm cocoon of happiness. Sieni A.M.’s debut novel, Illumine Her, was just this kind of book. Capturing me from the very first pages, it took me on a wonderful journey to Samoa, where Alana Vilo has returned to after studying abroad for three years.” Seattle Post-Intelligencer
  14. Essay: Time Traveling Through a Sentence, by Jessica Love – “How quickly does language comprehension happen? Do we allow words and structures to accumulate like snowflakes on a porch swing, scooping them up at a sentence’s end to take stock of what we’ve got? Or does sense-making never stop? Do we perhaps update our understanding mid-sentence, mid-phrase, mid-word, mid-syll—? ”  The American Scholar
  15. weckerInterview: Helene Wecker (“The Golem and the Jinni”) with Michael Alec Rose – “How did debut author Helene Wecker—who just published her superb fantasy novel The Golem and the Jinni—burst onto the literary scene with such an extraordinary achievement right off the bat? When we asked her that question, the answer only made us shake our heads in further wonder.”  BookPage
  16. News: German Court Nixes Selling Used E-books – “Just weeks after the U.S. District Court in Manhattan rejected Cs bid to resell digital files in Capital Records vs. ReDigi using ReDigi 1.0, the German District Court of Bielefeld ruled that digital books can’t be resold by purchasers. Unlike physical work, e-books and digital audio books are not subject to “exhaustion of the rights of the author,” according to the ruling. ” Publishers Weekly
  17. rachelleViewpoint: 3 Things You Need for a Successful Book, by Rachelle Gardner – “I was going to title this post, “3 Things Publishers Look for in a Book,” or maybe “3 Things Agents Look For.” But then I realized that the three keys of a successful book apply across the board. It doesn’t matter you’re using an agent, if you’re going through a publisher, or even if you’re self-publishing. There are some essentials that every writer needs to consider if they intend for their work to attract readers.”  rachellegardner
  18. Commentary: What Would Happen Amazon Gave Every Ebook Away for Free? by Edward Nawotka – “What would happen if Amazon gave every nearly book in its system away for free for three days? That’s what two of the leading bookstores in China did this past week…The giveaway, which the ebooksellers said was being done to help promote commercial ebooks and raise reader awareness, has been criticized by publishers and authors alike.”  Publishing Perspectives

seekergiveaway“Book Bits” is compiled several times a week by Malcolm R. Campbell, author of contemporary fantasy novels including “The Sun Singer,” “Sarabande,” and “The Seeker.”


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2 thoughts on “Book Bits: Hilary Mantel, Earth Day Books, Amazon TV, ‘Illumine Her,’ Helene Wecker

  1. I’m glad you listed you interview. It was a good one, as always — both informative and fun.

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