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Malcolm R. Campbell's World

Book Bits: Gatsby hopeless, OED seeks rare book, Sjon, ‘The Barbed Crown’

BookBitsThere have been a fair number of reviews out already talking about “The Great Gatsby,” most of them bad. I liked Redford’s portrayal of Gatsby in an earlier film, but that production lacked punch. I would like to see the Alan Ladd version, but it’s not on DVD…or anywhere else. So, I looked forward to the new version with a lot of hope but, after reading Rex Reed’s review (Item 5), the new production looks hopeless.

  1. News: Two Southern California Papers Open Public News Lounges, by Nu Yang – “The Pasadena Star-News and San Bernardino Sun in Southern California are inviting the public to sit back and relax in their newsrooms. Both newspapers hosted open houses in March to introduce their communities to their news lounges, which are open to the public during normal business hours and are equipped with computers, Internet access, tables, and a sitting area.” Editor & Publisher
  2. How To: Write Hot, Edit Cold? It’s Still Great Advice, by Beth Hill – “You’ve probably heard the advice about writing hot and editing cold—write freely without censor, trying any- and everything that might work, that could lead to a wonderfully creative, dramatic, or satisfying line or passage or scene, but only edit after giving yourself some distance from the text.”  The Editor’s Blog
  3. bluefoxReview: “The Blue Fox, The Whispering Muse, and From the Mouth of the Whale,” by Sjón, reviewed by Sessily Watt – “Though Sjón’s work has been translated into a smorgasbord of other languages, these three — The Blue Fox, The Whispering Muse, and From the Mouth of the Whale — have not yet found a substantial audience in the United States. They have been given distinctive, matching covers for their major publisher release: a starry background with Sjón’s name spelled out in folded white strips, the title of each novel in smaller block letters, and, superimposed over the top, a colored etching that reflects the content — a blue fox, in the case of the first novel.” BookSlut
  4. Feature: Oxford English Dictionary asks public to help track down mystery book, by Alison Flood    – “Meanderings of Memory by Nightlark, from which 51 words in the OED are thought to be sourced, is nowhere to be found.”  The Guardian
  5. gatsbyFilm: A Triumph on the Page, The Great Gatsby Founders Miserably on the Silver Screen, by Rex Reed – “Director Baz Luhrmann takes a meat cleaver to F. Scott Fitzgerald’s literary masterpiece.”  The New York Observer
  6. How To: How Texting Is Changing English,  Mignon Fogarty – “Reducing keystrokes isn’t the only force behind the way texting is changing language. That may seem obvious to some of you, but a lot of ranting about how text messaging is ruining English focuses on abbreviations such as “L8” for “late” and the letter “u” for the word “you,” and I’ve certainly heard arguments that people write this way because they’re lazy and trying to save keystrokes.”  Grammar Girl
  7. barbedcrownReview: “The Barbed Crown,” by William Dietrich, reviewed by Adam Woog – “Fans of two-fisted Napoleonic-era action will rejoice in Anacortes author William Dietrich’s ‘The Barbed Crown’ the sixth in his cheeky series about Gage, an American adventurer of that time.”  The Seattle Times
  8. Feature: The modern history of swearing: Where all the dirtiest words come from, by Melissa Mohr – “As society evolves, so do our curse words. Here’s how some of the most famous ones developed — and a few new ones. ” Salon
  9. Quotation: “I felt a haunting loneliness sometimes, and felt it in others–young clerks in the dusk, wasting the most poignant moments of night and life.” – F. Scott Fitzgerald, “The Great Gatsby”
  10. fortyoneReview: “Forty-One Jane Doe’s,” by Carrie Olivia Adams, reviewed by Laura Isaacman – “Drawing on quotes from Simone Weil, Stephen Hawking, Leonard Euler, and Pythagoras, Adams embraces science and mathematics to create a wonderland of words. She is at once large in her curiosities and gentle in her explorations. Each poem is an opportunity to explore the mystery and magic of the universe, both without and within.” The Coffin Factory
  11. Commentary: The End of Us And Them: David Cannadine’s Quest to Unite History, by Jimmy So – “David Cannadine is a distinguished historian of the British aristocracy, but can he end our binary view of human history once and for all, or will he be ostracized by his peers?” The Daily Beast
  12. Feature: On the Origin of ‘Shyster,’ by Allan Metcalf – “Master etymologist Gerald Cohen knows how jazz got its name, why they’re called hot dogs, and much more.”  Tablet
  13. angrydaysReview: “Those Angry Days,” Lynne Olson, reviewed by Randy Dotinga – “As author Lynne Olson writes in her new book, a roiling debate erupted across the US, pitting two of the nation’s most admired men against each other. ‘Those Angry Days: Roosevelt, Lindbergh, and America’s Fight Over World War II, 1939-1941,’ captures a forgotten battle over the country’s role in the world and the lives of American soldiers.”  The Christian Science Monitor
  14. Essay: The Superhero Factory: An Unauthorized Corporate History of Marvel Comics, by Paul Morton – “At some point, at 4, at 8 or 25, every child learns he will not become a superhero. It won’t be his first disillusionment. He will meet men and women who won’t return his affections. He will discover he has only a limited talent for the vocation he honors. He’ll still indulge his initial fantasies from time to time, usually through stories that imbue the superhero mythos with a hint of realism, some concept of what a superhero would look and act like if he inhabited our world.”  The Millions
9 days left

9 days left

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

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