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Malcolm R. Campbell's World

Book Bits: New Bridget Jones, Mike Hammer, Outlander series, ‘Inferno’ creates Florence fever

Welcome to Book Bits for June 3, 2013, your quick stopping place for links to the latest book news, author interviews and reviews, how-to features and essays.

Books on the Street?

Books on the Street?

  1. News: Helen Fielding opens up about new Bridget Jones book, by Jocelyn McClurg – “Helen Fielding says the idea of trying to keep the plot of her third Bridget Jones novel a secret “frightens” her.” USA Today
  2. News: Blade Runner Sequel Heads to Big Screen, by Linda L. Richards – “More than 30 years after its initial release, a sequel to Ridley Scott’s cult favorite Blade Runner is being prepared for the screen. Blade Runner was the first of science fiction great Philip K. Dick’s novels to be adapted for the film. ” January Magazine
  3. Quotation: “In the past year, Little Free Libraries have grown and spread around the world. We know that there are funny, heartwarming and inspirational stories behind many of these Libraries. We want to hear those stories!” – Little Free Library
  4. maxcollinsInterview: Pulp Fiction’s Bad Boy Mike Hammer Returns In ‘Complex 90’ – “Mickey Spillane died in 2006, but his hard-boiled, pre-Age of Aquarius detective, Mike Hammer, lives on thanks to acclaimed mystery writer and graphic novelist Max Allan Collins. Collins was Spillane’s friend and literary executor, and since 2006, he’s been hard at work completing several of Spillane’s unfinished Mike Hammer manuscripts.” NPR
  5. Commentary: Book Publishing May Actually Save Itself, by Steve Cohen – “The book publishing industry just finished its annual convention, called BEA (BookExpo America.) For three days in New York City, publishers exhibited their new and forthcoming titles, and occasionally took orders from the dramatically dwindling ranks of independent bookstore buyers. Yet there was a feeling of optimism in the hall. The question was: why?” Forbes
  6. News: Jack Vance dead at 96 – “Mystery and science fiction writer Jack Vance, whose works included “The Dragon Master” and “The Last Castle,” has died at age 96, according to a statement posted on his official website on Wednesday.” Reuters
  7. outlanderNews‘Outlander’ Greenlighted To Series By Starz, by Nellie Andreeva – “I’ve learned that Starz has given a series order to Outlander, a drama based on Diana Gabaldon’s bestselling fantasy/romance/adventure series of books. I hear the project, from Battlestar Galactica developer Ron Moore and Sony Pictures TV, has received a 16-episode order, with production slated to begin in October in Scotland where the books are set. I hear Gabaldon let the news of the greenlight slip at Book Expo America 2013.” Deadline
  8. Feature: From Colum McCann to Edwidge Danticat, heavy hitters are rolling out big books all summer long, by Laurie Hertzel – “Summer books are usually the lighter stuff …This year, though, more than in recent years, significant books by notable authors continue unabated, straight through June, July and August.” Minneapolis Star-Tribune
  9. whitetabletReview: “The Day is a White Tablet,” by Jill Fletcher Pelaez, reviewed by Donna Meredith – “Jill Fletcher Pelaez creates a compelling fictional world steeped in lesser-known details of the last days of the Civil War in her novel The Day is a White Tablet…Receiving a contract from Wido Publishing for The Day is a White Tablet was a dream-come-true for Pelaez. Her book was accepted for publication two months before her death at the age of eighty-eight. Sadly, she did not live long enough to hold the printed book in her hands. ” Southern Literary Review
  10. Viewpoint: Can Grammar Be Taught, by Mark Nichol – “The BBC recently reported that students in the final year of primary school — equivalent to the fifth grade in the United States — will be required to take a grammar and spelling test (to evaluate teaching effectiveness, not to qualify the students for matriculation). But are grammar and spelling teachable?” Daily Writing Tips
  11. howtoreadlitReview: “How to Read Literature,” by Terry Eagleton, reviewed by Nick Mount – “Enter How to Read Literature, the latest book from one of the best and busiest English professors in the world. In just over 200 pages, Prof. Eagleton sets out to revive the dying art of literary analysis – not in theory, but by example.” Globe and Mail
  12. How To: Reader Takeaway, by Beth Hill – “The moment you put pen to paper or fingers to keyboard, or even before that, when you decided that you’d give this writing thing a shot, you made a promise to your readers. Several of them, as a matter of fact. And your story isn’t done, isn’t ready for those readers, until you fulfill those promises.” The Editor’s Blog
  13. spyReview: “The Spy Who Loved”: Britain’s most glamorous agent, by Laura Miller – “The true story of a Polish countess turned courier and resistance fighter is better than any James Bond novel…Not long after a woman going by the name of Christine Granville was stabbed to death in the hallway of a London hotel in 1952, five men formed a pact to “protect” her memory. They sought to preserve it from sensational newspaper and book accounts of her life as a hero of the British Special Operations Executive (SOE), an intelligence force deployed against the Nazis during World War II. ” Salon
  14. News: Dan Brown’s ‘Inferno’ Sparks Dante Fever in Florence, by Barbie Latza Nadeau – “So what if Dan Brown blurs the facts in ‘Inferno’? His latest Robert Langdon bestseller has tourists flocking to the Tuscan capital as recession grips Italy.” The Daily Beast
  15. besideLists: 10 best books of June – “The Monitor’s book reviewers are a diverse crowd and don’t always see eye-to-eye. But they do know a good book when they see it.” Fowler’s book, shown here, is one of the ten on the list. The Christian Science Monitor
  16. How To: How to Convert Your Followers into 1000 True Fans, by Meghan Ward – “If you’ve been reading blogs for a while, you have probably come across the term “1000 true fans.” Kevin Kelly first wrote about this idea on his blog Technium. The number 1000 is an estimate, of course, but the rationale goes that all you need to succeed in your field are 1000 true fans, a “true fan” being defined as someone who will buy everything you have to sell.” Writerland
  17. Feature: Neil Gaiman: Why Fiction Is Dangerous – “A standing-room-only crowd showed up at the Javits Center on Saturday morning to hear Neil Gaiman explain “Why Fiction Is Dangerous.” The first 500 fans to arrive received a signed copy of Make Good Art (Morrow), a commencement speech Gaiman delivered at Philadelphia’s University of the Arts last May, designed by Chip Kidd; and an autographed ARC of Gaiman’s middle-grade novel Fortunately, the Milk, illustrated by Skottie Young (Harper, September 17, 2013).” ShelfAwareness
  18. News: Amazon Decides on Five Original Series; Next Question Is Ads, by Jeanine Poggi – “After letting online viewers to vote on 14 original pilots, Amazon has ordered five to series: ‘Alpha House,’ ‘Annebots,’ ‘Creative Galaxy,’ ‘Betas’ and ‘Tumbleaf.’ These shows – two comedies and three childrens’ shows — mark Amazon’s first foray into original streaming series. The first will be made available to Amazon Prime subscribers later this year.” Advertising Age
  19. Milestones: “On this day in 1964, T. S. Eliot wrote to Groucho Marx to confirm that he was sending a car to pick “you and Mrs. Groucho” up for dinner. Their meeting was after years of correspondence, beginning with an Eliot fan letter expressing admiration for Groucho’s films.” – Today in Literature
Coming Soon

Coming Soon

Book 2 of the Garden of Heaven Trilogy, The Sailor -When the Vietnam War pull pacifist David Ward away from Montana, mountain climbing and magic, he leaves for Navy boot camp with a suitcase of regrets. His fiancé ignores him, a close friend callously tells him to kill bad guys and have sex in every port, and an old flame sends devastating news,wrenching his life from its foundations.


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