The Sun Singer's Travels

Malcolm R. Campbell's World

Book Bits: ‘Inferno,’ ‘Gatsby’ cover art, Goodbye Sookie Stackhouse, Norah Labiner

IBookBits‘m setting down my copy of “Inferno” (Item 4) on a rainy Saturday morning in Georgia when I should be editing my next novel to send you, dear reader, some books and author’s links for the weekend. I’m also trying to forget John McIntyre’s comment about seeing granny naked. (Item 6)

  1. News: Fla. gov. rejects Amazon deal, by Gary Fineout – ”  Florida Gov. Rick Scott, who has made job creation his top priority since coming into office, has rejected a proposed deal to bring major Internet retailer Amazon to the state. After months of behind-the-scenes negotiations, Scott ultimately said no to a deal that would have led to the construction of Amazon warehouses in Florida. The warehouses could have created up to 2,500 jobs in the state.”  The Miami Herald
  2. zadiesmithLists: Zadie Smith’s 10 Rules of Writing, by Maria Popova – “In the winter of 2010, inspired by Elmore Leonard’s 10 rules of writing published in The New York Times nearly a decade earlier, The Guardian reached out to some of today’s most celebrated authors and asked them to each offer his or her rules. My favorite is Zadie Smith’s list — an exquisite balance of the practical, the philosophical, and the poetic.” Brain Pickings
  3. Feature: Novelist Irvine Welsh spies future in mixed-media, by Claire Davenport  – “Electronic publishing is allowing authors to be more creative and the best ones are successfully blending video and online content with traditional text, says cult writer Irvine Welsh.” Reuters
  4. InfernoReview: “Inferno,” by Dan Brown, reviewed by Ilene Cooper – “Fans will once more enjoy the through line of the Langdon formula—the race to find a find an iconic object at the corner of deadly thrills and plot twists. The negatives are here, too: paper-thin characters and windy descriptions. But for those hungry for more Brown, this has some meat on its bones. ” Book List
  5. News: Sookie Stackhouse, Duck Dynasty Top Bestseller List – “Charlaine Harris’s last Sookie Stackhouse novel, Dead Ever After, took #1 on Nielsen BookScan, selling 85,00 copies in the week ending May 12.”  Publishers Weekly
  6. Viewpoint: The Old Editor says: Reading other people’s raw copy is like looking at your grandmother naked, by John E. McIntyre – “First, from your editor, as from your butler, there are no secrets. If you have allowed yourself to be lazy, careless, turgid, or sloppy, there is no concealing it.” Grammar Girl
  7. darkflowerReview: “Let the Dark Flower Blossom” by Norah Labiner, reviewed by Ethan Rutherford – “Fans of Minnesota Book Award-winning author Norah Labiner’s earlier work — which includes the novels ‘German for Travelers,’ ‘Miniatures’ and ‘Our Sometime Sister’ — will not be surprised to hear that her new novel is interested primarily in investigating the art of storytelling. They may, however, be surprised to find that ‘Let the Dark Flower Blossom,’ in addition to being an elegant and sometimes jarring exploration of the malevolent and destructive power that stories can wield, is for most of its duration a page-turning murder mystery.”  The Minneapolis Star-Tribune
  8. News: E-book sales almost doubled in 2012, rising to $3.04 billion, by Carolyn Kellogg – “The total revenue generated by e-book sales in the U.S. in 2012 was $3.04 billion, a 44.2% increase over the year before. That gain was announced in the preliminary year-end report released Wednesday by BookStats, a joint statistics project between the Assn. of American Publishers and the Book Industry Study Group.”  The Los Angeles Times
  9. Feature: Why Interactive Fiction is “Just Really Hard to Do,” By Mark Piesing – “It is easy to be impressed by a certain Hollywood quality to the first chapter of The Numinous Place, announced at last year’s Frankfurt Book Fair. The Numinous Place is a supernatural thriller told in a combination of video and audio clips, graphic novel sections and traditional written text, whose protagonist, Henry Amadeus Meat, stumbles into a mystery following a series of deaths at a Los Angeles sleep clinic.”  Publishing Perspectives
  10. butterflymoonReview: “Butterfly Moon,” by Anita Endrezze, reviewed by Malcolm R. Campbell – “The fifteen stories in this finely honed and well-polished collection have the power to cut away assumptions and alter a reader’s focus and direction as only a storyteller’s magic can do. Borrowed and reshaped from older folktales out of Anita Endrezze’s heritage and imagination, these stories take on new life in their contemporary settings.”  Malcolm’s Round Table
  11. Viewpoint: So long, Sookie Stackhouse, by Laura Miller – “The final volume of Charlaine Harris’ Southern Vampire Mysteries series does right by a beloved character.”  Salon
  12. gatsbycoverFeature: When F. Scott Fitzgerald Judged Gatsby By Its Cover – “It’s one of the most recognizable book covers in the history of American literature: two sad female eyes and bright red lips adrift in the deep blue of a night sky, hovering ominously above a skyline that glows like a carnival. Evocative of sorrow and excess, this haunting image has become so inextricably linked to The Great Gatsby that it still adorns the cover of F. Scott Fitzgerald’s masterpiece 88 years after its debut. This iconic work of art was created by Spanish artist Francis Cugat.” Smithsonian Magazine
  13. News: Scarlett Johansson to make directorial debut with Truman Capote adaptation, by Ben Child – “Scarlett Johansson will become the latest Hollywood star to make the leap to director with an adaptation of Truman Capote’s posthumously discovered debut novel, ‘Summer Crossing.'”  The Guardian

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



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