Book Bits: BookExpo, Kindle Worlds, Judy Blume, ‘Life After Life’
Every year about this time, newspapers, magazines and web sites jump into the “Hot Beach Reads” business. Since the books listed tend to be lightweight, sizzling page turners, the hot involved doesn’t come from the beach. Dan Brown’s on the list this year because any book called “Inferno” is likely to involve heat.
Since I grew up in the part of Florida where we actually went swimming sailing and water skiing when we went to the beach, the part of Florida where people lay naked on the beach with a book was not part of my experience. Suffice it to say, I’m not a beach read person, but if you are, I trust you can find the links to books that go well with sand, surf, and sunscreen.
Here are your non-hot-beach-read links:
- News: ‘Literary onslaught’ of BookExpo America hits May 30, by Bob Minzesheimer – “More than 500 authors will compete for attention at BookExpo America, the annual three-day trade show that opens May 30 in New York for 20,000 publishers, booksellers, librarians, agents and (on the last day at least) readers.” USA Today
- Viewpoint: Amazon’s Kindle Worlds: Instant Thoughts, by John Scalzi – “So, on one hand it offers people who write fan fiction a chance to get paid for their writing in a way that doesn’t make the rightsholders angry, which is nice for the fan ficcers. On the other hand, as a writer, there are a number of things about the deal Amazon/Alloy are offering that raise red flags for me. Number one among these is this bit: ‘We will also give the World Licensor a license to use your new elements and incorporate them into other works without further compensation to you.'” Whatever See Also: Amazon’s Press Release and the “Christian Science Monitor” story Amazon’s Kindle Worlds fan fiction publisher draws mixed reactions.
- Milestones: “On this day in 1849 Anne Brontë died of tuberculosis, at age twenty-nine. This was the third death in eight months among the Bronte siblings, Emily’s and Branwell’s coming earlier.” Today in Literature
- Feature: Judy Blume: ‘You cannot write with a censor on your shoulder’ by Maryann Yin – “Last night, Judy Blume and her son Lawrence Blume appeared in New York City at a special promotional event for the film Tiger Eyes. Attendees watched the film and joined a Q&A session with both Blumes. One audience member asked Judy how she dealt with the controversy and library challenges that followed her work.” GalleyCat
- Feature: How Edmund Wilson said NO, by Cory Doctorow – “Here’s literary critic Edmund Wilson’s form-letter for turning down requests from strangers. As Tim Ferriss notes, Wilson wasn’t a hermit or antisocial, but he maximized the time he spent socializing with the people he liked by not letting strangers gobble up his time.” Boing Boing
- Quotation: “I love the silent hour of night, for blissful dreams may then arise, revealing to my charmed sight what may not bless my waking eyes.” ― Anne Brontë, Best Poems of the Brontë Sisters
- Interview: Holocaust survivor and Nobel laureate Imre Kertész, with Luisa Zielinski – “I was suspended in a world that was forever foreign to me, one I had to reenter each day with no hope of relief. That was true of Stalinist Hungary, but even more so under National Socialism. The latter inspired that feeling even more intensely. In Stalinism, you simply had to keep going, if you could. The Nazi regime, on the other hand, was a mechanism that worked with such brutal speed that ‘going on’ meant bare survival.” The Paris Review
- Essay: Why Sylvia Plath Still Haunts Us, by James Parker – “Even half a century after her suicide, both her work and her life remain thrilling and horrifying.” The Atlantic
- Lists: 24 Classic Books’ Original Titles – “Yesterday, we came across this awesome piece that Book Riot did of 5 classic books with awful original titles (CAN YOU BELIEVE THAT FAULKNER’S THE SOUND AND THE FURY WAS ORIGINALLY NAMED TWILIGHT?! THIS MIGHT BE A VERY DIFFERENT WORLD IF THAT HAD ACTUALLY HAPPENED), and that got us thinking: what other working book titles did classic books have?” The Huffington Post
- Feature: Nora Gallagher On Dealing With A Mystery Disease, by by Nora Gallagher – “In 2009, author Nora Gallagher was diagnosed with a baffling illness that threatened to take her sight. She chronicles her medical journey in the new memoir, ‘Moonlight Sonata At The Mayo Clinic.'” The Daily Beast
- How To: How to Use Hyphens, by Marcia Riefer Johnston – “Hyphens are a regular source of confusion among Grammar Girl listeners. Since I thought the hyphen section of Marcia Riefer Johnston’s new book, Word Up!, was particularly helpful, this week, we have a show about hyphens based on an excerpt of her book.” Grammar Girl
- Review: “Life After Life,” by Kate Atkinson, reviewed by Sessily Watt – “On February 11, 1910, Ursula Todd is born with her umbilical cord wrapped around her neck. She strangles and dies. Then, again, on February 11, 1910, she is born, only this time the doctor arrives in time to cut the umbilical cord. She lives to be a small child and then dies, only to return to February 11, 1910. Life After Life, the latest novel from Kate Atkinson, delivers on its title not through the reincarnation of multiple selves, but instead through a kind of lifelong version of the Bill Murray movie Groundhog Day: the same self, the same time, over and over.” Bookslut
- Feature: How Korea Promotes Its Literature and Writers to the World, by Dennis Abrams – “Throughout the 19th century, missionaries and traders worked to open Korea, the “Hermit Kingdom” to Western influence. And now, in the 21st century, the process is happening in reverse.” Publishing Perspectives
- Review: “Matadora,” by Elizabeth Ruthm reviewed by Shawn Syms – “What does it mean to be a woman? To be alive? In her audacious third novel, Elizabeth Ruth examines such grand, universal questions through an historically specific mise-en-scène.” Quill & Quire
- News: Singapore to Regulate Yahoo!, Other Online News Sites, by Kevin Lim – “Websites that regularly report on Singapore including Yahoo! News will have to get a license from June 1, putting them on par with newspapers and television new outlets, in a move seen by some as a bid to rein in free-wheeling Internet news.” Editor & Publisher
- How To: Those %!@# Expletives, by Beth Hill – “The title notwithstanding, we’re not going to look at the swear-word kind of expletives, those four-letter words that can do a great job of rendering a character’s emotions at just the perfect time. What I want to talk about are the other expletives, the kind associated with grammar.” The Editor’s Blog
“Book Bits” is compiled several times a week by contemporary fantasy author Malcolm R. Campbell. Stop by my giveaway post for a chance to win a free copy of my latest novel, “The Seeker.”