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Book Bits: Dennis Lehane’s Edgar, ‘The Village,’ Lauren Graham, ‘Southern Cross The Dog’

thoreauCalling him “Porcupine & Orchid.” Today in Literature notes the passing of  Henry David Thoreau on this day in 1862. His prickly attitude cost him the close friendships of many who respected both his and Emerson’s work. Today, readers seem to choose Walden over Emerson’s Self-Reliance.

Thoreau’s words are used today to illustrate points of view and as inspirations. My favorite is: “I learned this, at least, by my experiment: that if one advances confidently in the direction of his dreams, and endeavors to live the life which he has imagined, he will meet with a success unexpected in common hours.”

  1. lehaneNews: Lehane Takes Home First Edgar, by Lenny Picker – “It took 18 years, and 10 books, but Dennis Lehane finally got to take home a small bust of Edgar Allan Poe. At the 67th Annual Edgar Awards Banquet, held Thursday night at the Grand Hyatt Hotel in Manhattan, his Live by Night (Morrow), about a cop’s son gone bad, was named the Best Novel of the year by the Mystery Writers of America.” Publishers Weekly
  2. Quotation: “You must live in the present, launch yourself on every wave, find your eternity in each moment. Fools stand on their island of opportunities and look toward another land. There is no other land; there is no other life but this.” ― Henry David Thoreau
  3. villageReview: “The Village: 400 Years of Beats and Bohemians, Radicals and Rogues, A History of Greenwich Village,”  by John Strausbaugh, reviewed by Michael Dirda  – “Where’s the map? While there’s much to praise and enjoy in John Strausbaugh’s social and cultural history of Greenwich Village, there really should have been a map. People who have visited New York as tourists are likely to know that “the Village” comprises the streets and neighborhoods around Washington Square. You do know where Washington Square is, right? Near New York University? This book needs a map.”  The Denver Post
  4. News: Lauren Graham pens new novel, ‘Someday, Someday, Maybe’ by Alicia Rancilio – “‘Parenthood,’ ‘Gilmore Girls’ actress Lauren Graham’s new book ‘Someday, Someday, Maybe’ follows a 20-something aspiring actress named Franny Banks who is living in New York City in the 1990s.”  The  Christian Science Monitor
  5. flamethrowersReview: “The Flame Throwers” by Rachel Kushner, reviewed by Craig Seligman – “Rachel Kushner’s big, rich wonder of a novel takes place in the mid-’70s, mostly amid the downtown New York art scene. It captures the post-Pop moment when conceptualism flourished and a group of artists had burrowed so far inside their own heads that to see what they were doing, you had to follow them there.” Newsday
  6. Lists: Lee Child’s 6 favorite books – “The best-selling author of 17 Jack Reacher novels recommends six debut novels that led to greater things,” starting with Ian Flemming’s 1953 novel “Casino Royale.” This was the first James Bond novel, and it would be followed by eleven more.  The Week
  7. Plath - Wikipedia photo

    Plath – Wikipedia photo

    Feature: Sylvia Plath’s Darkest Sea: What an Unveiled Draft Poem Reveals, by Olivia Cole – “Now that her life story is the stuff of myth, it’s hard to imagine that when Sylvia Plath killed herself on February 11, 1963, she was the obscure American wife of Ted Hughes, a much more famous British poet. ”  The Daily Beast

  8. Quotation: “It’s not what you look at that matters, it’s what you see.” ― Henry David Thoreau
  9. Feature: Done with Tolstoy, by Kevin Mahnken – “”In Crime and Punishment, there is a sentence that goes like this: ‘It was a very simple matter and there was nothing complicated about it.’” Richard Pevear lets the words hang in the air, along with a note of faint bafflement. From his Paris apartment, one half of the world’s only celebrity translation team is recollecting some of the knotty, cross-lingual jumbles that he has spent his working life trying to untangle.”  Humanities See also: Anna Clark’s 2009 interview with Richard Pevear and Larissa Volokhonsky in “The Millions.”
  10. Fast Fact: “In the first quarter ending March 31, Amazon’s net sales rose 22%, to $16.07 billion, and net income fell 37%, to $82 million.” – Publishing Pointers
  11. homageCommentary: Homage to Orwell: Revisiting George Orwell’s classic account of the Spanish Civil War, 75 years on, by Mick Hume – “George Orwell could have been killed twice in the Spanish Civil War. Once when he was shot in the throat by General Franco’s fascist forces; then when he was hunted by official Communist agents who, with the backing of Stalin’s Soviet Union, stabbed the revolution in the back and imprisoned, tortured and killed leading leftists and anarchists who were ostensibly on the same Republican side. Orwell learned the hardest way that the war against fascism in Spain was also a civil war against Stalinism.”  Spiked Review of Books
  12. Bestsellers: “The Hit” by David Baldacci; Whiskey Beach” by Nora Roberts; “Fly Away” by Kristin Hannah; “Daddy’s Gone a Hunting” by Mary Higgins; “Paris: The Novel” by Edward Rutherfurd. Reuters
  13. chengInterview: Bill Cheng (“Southern Cross The Dog), with  Kelly McEvers in A Tale from the Delta, Born of the Blues” –  “It was important to me to have — just communicate this feeling of what it’s like to feel like you have no choice, to feel like the things that happen to you happen because of how the universe wants to use you. There is a way of thinking about and viewing free choice and destiny in blues music that’s very much built into the genre.”  NPR
  14. Obituary: Author Andrew J. Offutt Dies at 78 After Extended Illness – “Andrew J. Offutt, who published more than 50 books under a variety of names, died on April 30 after an extended illness, Morehead News reported. He was 78. He served two terms as president of the Science Fiction Writers of America and was a consultant to Writers’ Digest Criticism Services. Offutt was also the father of novelist Chris Offutt.” Shelf Awareness
  15. BeingBornReview: “A Guide to Being Born: Stories,” by Ramona Ausubel – “Lyrical stories arranged around themes of birth, gestation, conception and love—yes, in that order…Ausubel has a gift of language so rich that even the most mundane events are invested with poetry, and many of her characters are in need of all the poetry they can muster.”  Kirkus Reviews
  16. How To: “Moot” Versus “Mute” by Mignon Fogarty – “A fan who shall remain nameless wrote to me with this problem: ‘In negotiations today, a union rep provided me with handouts of proposals she’d labeled ‘mute.’ Help!'” Grammar Girl
  17. News: U. K. Spending on printed and digital books rose 4 percent to more than $5.1 billion – “British publishers brought in their highest-ever annual sales in 2012, with stronger sales for digital formats outweighing a slight decline in printed books.”  The Hollywood Reporter

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


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6 thoughts on “Book Bits: Dennis Lehane’s Edgar, ‘The Village,’ Lauren Graham, ‘Southern Cross The Dog’

  1. I am going to order “The Village….” book since I’ve always enjoyed the village, the beats, the Village Voice from a very young age. Thanks for the reviews and I, too, enjoy quotes by Thoreau.

  2. melindaclayton on said:

    Interesting Fast Fact about Amazon, that sales rose but income fell. I know there could be all kinds of reasons, but I wonder if one might be because every download of a “feebie” book counts as a sale. They definitely count as sales for the “sales rank” figure of a book; makes me wonder if they count as sales in whatever Amazon’s formula is for tracking overall sales.

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