The Sun Singer's Travels

Malcolm R. Campbell's World

Book Bits: Apple v DOJ, Jane Austen’s Ring, Joan Didion, ‘A Thinking Woman’s Guide to Real Magic’

BookBitsToday in Literature reminds us that today is the anniversary of the laying of the cornerstone for the Statue of Liberty. Many authors helped raise money for the construction, but Emmas Lazarus’ “The New Coloussus” brought in more money than anyone else.

  1. News: Apple price-fixing case heads back to court, by Julie Baldassi – “The U.S. Department of Justice has proposed a number of remedies to address Apple’s ebook price fixing, a month after the court found that the company conspired, along with publishers, to raise ebook prices by introducing agency pricing. The court will hold a hearing on the remedies Aug. 9.” Quill & Quire See also:  Apple Calls DOJ Proposals Draconian in Publishers Weekly
  2. ReturnRavenReview: “Return of the Raven,” by Sue Coleman, reviewed by Malcolm R. Campbell – “Return of the Raven is a well-told folktale that shows its author’s sensitivity to coastal British Columbia and its wildlife. The environmental and transformation themes come across as wondrous fantasy and deep truth. Raven returns twice, first from his figurative hibernation since the dawn of time, and second as a bird on a quest who can either give up and go back to his lazy habits or, like the triumphant heroes of human myth, return to his own kind with a prize of great value.” Malcolm’s Round Table
  3. How To: Setting Details—Mastering Technology, by Beth Hill – “Technology has changed beyond recognition in just the past couple of years. As it did in the five to ten years before that. And in the decade before that. We are living in a world of fast-paced technological advances, changes that happen one after the other and often before we fully appreciate or understand the previous change.  And our stories should reflect these changes as well as our characters’ expectations that technology will continue to change rapidly, at least for the foreseeable future.”  The Editor’s Blog
  4. Essay: Hell is self-promotion, by Sean Beaudoin – “As an author, marketing myself is a crucial part of the business — but that doesn’t mean I hate doing it any less.” Salon
  5. editorpublisherNews: Senators Spar Over Definition of ‘Journalist’ by Kate Irby  – “The Senate Judiciary Committee, looking to provide protections for journalists and their sources, ran into a roadblock Thursday when lawmakers couldn’t agree on the definition of ‘journalist.'”
  6. Gore's books include "A Criminal Defense"

    Gore’s books include “A Criminal Defense”

    Essay: The Challenge of Realism, by Steven Gore – “The novels I chose were known as realistic and I read them because I wanted to learn something from people who had thought about the world of crime and wrote with skill and insight. When I returned to them after decades as an investigator, both public and private, I began to wonder what was meant by realism, for though many of the stories were rich in plot and character, and often written in brilliant prose, few seemed realistic. I appreciated why they were popular, for I too had once felt their attraction and they had seemed authentic at the time, but they had become wrong as paths for me to follow.” Kirkus Reviews

  7. News: John Graves Obituary – “John Graves, whose 1960 book Goodbye to a River established him as “a giant in Texas letters and one of the nation’s more elegant prose stylists, died Wednesday, the New York Times reported. He was 92. Author Rick Bass once called Graves “the best-loved writer in Texas and one of the least-known beyond the state lines.” Shelf Awarness
  8. virginsEssay: Look. No, Don’t Look: My Book Cover, the Angel in the House, and Me, by Pamela Erens – “So I wasn’t sure what to think when I saw what Tin House Books was proposing for The Virgins. Admittedly, it wasn’t two young people lying together in a field. It wasn’t in soft focus. But there was a photograph of a young girl lying languidly on her side. In a field. That wasn’t all.  She had her hand on her crotch.” The Millions
  9. Quotation: Send these, the homeless, tempest-tossed to me, I lift my lamp beside the golden door!” – by Emma Lazarus, New York City, 1883
  10. Feature: ‘My furry foil’: How a goofy dog inspired author with ALS to write again, by Susan Spencer-Wendel – “In case anyone needed evidence that Susan Spencer-Wendel is unstoppable, consider this: When she lost her mobility to Lou Gehrig’s disease, the longtime journalist used her right thumb to write a 357-page memoir on her iPhone. Today, Susan, 46, can no longer control her thumb, and the writing process has become more arduous for her than ever — but the unconditional love of a dog can inspire great feats. In this case, Susan’s French bulldog Lenny motivated her to use a tool called the HeadMouse Extreme to write this essay for TODAY.com.” Today
  11. scatterReview: “Scatter, Adapt and Remember,” by Annalee Newitz, reviewed by Brendan Borrell – “Although these doomsday scenarios may sound like fantasy, only the solutions to them are. In “Scatter, Adapt, and Remember: How Humans Will Survive a Mass Extinction,” Annalee Newitz presents a sort of prophylaxis for the apocalypse. As the founding editor of io9, a Gawker Media blog about science and futurism, Newitz is a techno-optimist, convinced that we humans can outwit just about everything our solar system throws at us in the coming millennia.” The Denver Post
  12. Feature: No, Mermaids Will Never Be the New Vampires, by Forrest Wickman – “It’s the hottest new thing: Not mermaids, exactly, but declaring that they’re the new vampires. Yesterday the Atlantic got in on the media feeding frenzy, declaring that it’s ‘official’: ‘dead, male, Edward Cullen-types are out, and vibrant, lively female sirens of the sea are in.’ That article followed in the squishy finprints of articles at Vulture, the Huffington Post, the New Inquiry, ABC News, and a whole sea of others, all from the last few months.”  Slate
  13. ThinkingwomansguideReview: “The Thinking Woman’s Guide to Real Magic,” by Emily Croy Barker, reviewed by  Amy Scribner – “The bouncy title of this epic first novel sets up expectations of a certain type of book—maybe one with a pink stiletto or a sparkly diamond ring on the cover. Think again. The Thinking Woman’s Guide to Real Magic is a medieval fairy tale with a deliciously dark twist: The heroine is a modern-day woman trapped in an alternate, magical world.” Book Page
  14. Profile: Joan Didion, by Maud Newton – “Joan Didion has devoted her life to noticing things other people strive not to see. Over the past half-century she has investigated and interrogated the absurdities of contemporary American life—in five novels and five screenplays, and in thirteen books of nonfiction that sprawl across the genre, from personal essays and memoir, to criticism and political reportage, and to hybrids of these that have stretched our cultural understanding of what nonfiction can be.”  Humanities
  15. on the list

    on the list

    Lists: 15 books set for late 2013/early 2014 film adaptations, by  Casey Lee – “Take a quick peak at some of the most exciting movies scheduled for release over the next few months – all based on books.” The Christian Science Monitor

  16. News: Kelly Clarkson blocked from keeping Jane Austen’s ring, by Maria Puente – “American Idolpop singer Kelly Clarkson is such a big fan of Jane Austen she spent nearly a quarter-million dollars to own the beloved writer’s ring. But the British media are reporting today that Clarkson has been blocked from taking the gold-and-turquoise bauble home to the USA. At least for now.”  USA Today
  17. News: Follett to Offer Random House E-books to School Libraries – “Follett is expanding its pre-K to 12 digital offerings through a partnership with Random House. Under the arrangement, Follett’s school library e-book customers can purchase Random House titles like Rachel Hartman’s Seraphina and Christopher Paul Curtis’s The Watsons Go to Birmingham—1963 and lend them to their students.”  Publishers Weekly
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