The Sun Singer's Travels

Malcolm R. Campbell's World

Book Bits: NYC poetry festival, Shirley Jones, Joseph Heller story, ‘Mink River’

BookBitsShame on the Huffington Post for deleting my comment expressing concern about a blogger’s belief that writer platforms are the only way to sell books. Once my comment was gone, the remaining comments made the thread look like a mutual admiration society. My belief continues to be that, while there are exceptions, most readers are immune to the posts and status updates of unknown authors and continue to buy most of their fiction from well-known authors who have a track record and/or are actually promoted by their publishers.

Here are today’s links

  1. News: Scrapbooks Of Hemingway’s Childhood Made Public, by Annalisa Quinn – “Although it’s hard to imagine Ernest Hemingway as anything other than bearded, gruff and gin-scented, five detailed scrapbooks by the Nobel Prize winner’s mother give a glimpse of his early life through baby photos, school reports, drawings and school paper clips. The fragile books compiled by Grace Hall Hemingway had been kept in storage at the John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum in Boston, but digitized versions are now available on the museum’s website.” NPR
  2. NYCpoetryFestival: The 3rd Annual New York Poetry Festival Is Coming, by Dustin Luke Nelson – “The Poetry Society of New York’s 3rd Annual New York Poetry Festival is coming up on July 27 and 28 on Governors Island.”  The Rumpus
  3. gormanInterview: Ballots and Bullets: Gorman Brings the Mystery Back to Politics, by J. Kingston Pierce – “I’m always surprised when I hear longtime followers of crime and mystery fiction say they’ve never read anything by Ed Gorman. I mean, really, what does Gorman have to do to capture their attention? He’s churned out novels—around 100 of them so far—over the last three decades. ” Kirkus Reviews
  4. Feature: How to HALT the Crazy and Be a Productive Writer Again, by Carol Tice – “Do you sometimes feel like life just won’t let you write? The kids are screaming. You’re juggling responsibilities with job, family, maybe even caring for parents or other relatives.”  Make a Living Writing
  5. News: Previously unseen Joseph Heller story out this week, by Liz Bury – “Written before Catch-22, ‘Almost Like Christmas’ is a surprisingly sober tale of racism in the American South.” The Guardian
  6. minkriverReview: “Mink River,” by Brian Doyle, reviewed by Patricia Damery – “Brian Doyle’s novel Mink River (Oregon State University Press, 2010) is a funny, unique tale that quickly becomes a page turner (once you realize what you are into). Then, story by citizen story, you are transformed from the ground up.” Patricia Damery
  7. Lists: 12 Tales of Book Thievery, by Alison Nastasi – “As devoted book lovers and defenders of libraries, there are few things that upset us more than people who steal books. We read about a recent case of book theft in China this week, …which compelled us to explore a brief history of shocking book thievery. Greed, desperation, and delusion have compelled ordinary citizens and literary insiders to snatch rare books and manuscripts for dubious purposes. ” Flavorwire
  8. lostgirlsReview: “Lost Girls: An Unsolved American Mystery, by Robert Kolker, reviewed by Tina Jordan – “Whether Kolker intended it or not, Lost Girls is a powerful argument for legalizing and regulating prostitution. Regardless of how you may feel about the profession, it’s never going away — and keeping it illegal marginalizes the women who work in its scary underworld” Entertainment
  9. Commentary: Amazon’s attitude to small presses gives a glimpse of the future – “What happens when Amazon doesn’t need to compete on price? The price goes up …” The Guardian
  10. Contest: Very Short Fiction Award – Deadline: July 31, Entry fee: $15, Prize $1,500 and publication, Glimmer Train
  11. shirleyjonesInterview: Shirley Jones on her racy new autobiography, by Lynn Elber – “Shirley Jones paints a different portrait of herself in her new autobiography, “Shirley Jones.” The actress, who played a mother on “The Partridge Family,” offers a racy view of her private life.” The  Christian Science Monit
  12. Essay: The Head of Farrar, Straus & Giroux Reflects on the Company’s Golden Age and Its Seemingly Less-Than-Romantic Present, by Jonathan Galassi – “I had an odd, vertiginous sense of unreality reading Hothouse, by New York’s Boris Kachka, about the publishing house where I’ve worked for the past quarter-century, Farrar, Straus & Giroux. I loved reading the spiky, spicy evocation of the company’s good old days. But the story of those years casts a shadow on the current life of the company, and I found myself wondering: Do the book-­publishing cynics have it wrong, or do I? ” Vulture
  13. wateroflifeReview: The Water of Life: Spiritual Renewal in the Fairy Tale, by David L. Hart, reviewed by Grady Harp – “What happens to the reader of this book is an enlightening experience – looking once again at fairy tales as a means of expanding the real world with the spiritual world, and in doing so provides new avenues to explore our own fears and needs.” Literary Aficionado
  14. News: Guideposts Disbands Trade Books Program, by Lynn Garrett – “Citing the challenging economy, Guideposts is disbanding its trade books program and suspending sales of its fiction and nonfiction through retail channels, effective spring 2014. The company will continue to publish fiction and nonfiction, but it will be sold only direct to consumer, as it had been until Guideposts launched its trade program in 2006. ” Publishers Weekly
  15. Viewpoint: Unlike Rowling, They Were Denied Literary Fame, by Dave Astor – “J.K. Rowling tried to go under the radar by using a pen name for The Cuckoo’s Calling, but many other great authors spent all or part of their careers involuntarily missing out on the literary cachet and cash they deserved.” The Huffington Post
  16. SARAdisplayNews: Why the comics business had such a great year, by Lauren Hockenson – “This weekend in San Diego, hundreds of thousands of geeks, nerds and pop culture maniacs descended on the Convention Center for the event that has become a consumer show mecca — Comic Con. Attendees were paying tribute to hit TV shows and movies, but it could just as easily have been a celebration for the comics industry as a whole: 2012 was one of its best years in a long time, and a lot of that has to do with digital strategy.” GigOM
  17. Trailer: ‘The Hunger Games: Catching Fire’ Trailer Is Out! We Analyze It Shot by Shot, by Natalie Zutter – “Lionsgate released the second official teaser trailer for “The Hunger Games: Catching Fire” Saturday at San Diego Comic-Con during the official “Catching Fire” panel, attended by Jennifer Lawrence, Josh Hutcherson and other stars of the dystopian young adult franchise inspired by Suzanne Collins’ trilogy.” BOOKish
  18. News: Les Moonves Hits Time Warner Cable, Says Customers Could Lose CBS Thursday, by Jeanine Poggi – “CBS Corp. President-CEO Leslie Moonves sent staffers a memo Tuesday about the company’s dispute with Time Warner Cable, saying there is a very real threat CBS stations, and possibly Showtime, will be dropped in New York, Los Angeles and Dallas come Thursday morning.” AdAge

Thank you for reading “Book Bits”



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