The Sun Singer's Travels

Malcolm R. Campbell's World

Book Bits: More Harry Potter, Jamie Ford, ‘Crown of Midnight,’ le Carré’s classic

BookBitsNow, getting back to “Book Bits” after ten days in Glacier National Park where I enjoyed the scenery along the backbone of the world while researching the locations I’m going to use in an upcoming novel.

Here are today’s links:

  1. News: Harry Potter film universe to return with Fantastic Beasts series, by Andrew Pulver – “The Harry Potter films will live again. Warner Bros, the studio behind the Potter films, has announced it is working on a new feature series in conjunction with author JK Rowling, based on Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, the first-year textbook that Potter uses at Hogwarts school in ‘Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone.'” The Guardian
  2. JamieFordInterview: Jamie Ford (“Songs of Willow Frost”) with Amy Scribner – “Jamie Ford conducted his interview with BookPage while crouched on the floor of the Minneapolis-St. Paul airport, seeking good cell reception and a pocket of quiet. While he briefly worried he might look like a homeless person lying on the floor of an international airport, he more or less embraces the whirlwind that comes with life on the bestseller list.” BookPage
  3. Viewpoint: Do Any Bands Give a @#$% About the Oxford Comma? by David Haglund – “‘Now, Then & Forever,’ the first album from Earth, Wind & Fire in eight years, is out today. Well adjusted music fans may wonder whether EWF’s famed horn section can still bring it or whether Philip Bailey can still hit the high notes, but here at Brow Beat we have a different question: What do pop musicians have against the Oxford comma?” Slate
  4. crownmidnightReview: “Crown of Midnight,” from the “Throne of Glass” series, volume 2, by Sarah J. Maas (ages 14-18) – “After being named the King’s Champion in Throne of Glass (2012), Celaena Sardothien serves as the king of Adarlan’s personal assassin—at least, she pretends to—in a densely plotted sequel…An epic fantasy readers will immerse themselves in and never want to leave.”  Kirkus Reviews
  5. Commentary: Rereading: ‘The Spy Who Came in from the Cold’ by John le Carré, by William Boyd – “‘What do you think spies are: priests, saints, martyrs? They’re a squalid procession of vain fools, traitors, too, yes; pansies, sadists and drunkards, people who play cowboys and Indians to brighten their rotten lives.’ The person responsible for this bitter rant is Alec Leamas, the deadpan fiftysomething protagonist of John le Carré’s 1963 novel ‘The Spy Who Came In From the Cold.'” The Guardian
  6. asylumReview: “The Asylum” by Simon Doonan, reviewed by Suzanne S. Brown – Simon Doonan’s “latest book is ‘The Asylum: A Collage of Couture Reminiscences and Hysteria,’ and while the title may not sit well with the mental-health community, the unabashed way Doonan compares denizens of psych wards and those who work at the highest levels of style makes perfect sense to anyone who has spent time as even a casual observer of the industry.” The Denver Post
  7. Essay: Letter of the Law: On J.D. Salinger, Unpublished Works, and US Copyright, by Dominic Smith – “Curiously, though, under all three sets of rules — copyright, fair use, and most archive policies — I am free to use my iPad to take good resolution images of unpublished manuscripts so long as I don’t share them publicly. Who can say if this extends to the privacy of my own home where I might convert an unused closet into a Salinger shrine? Such is the fickleness of U.S. copyright law.” The Millions
  8. On the list

    On the list

    Lists: 50 Sublime Coffee Table Books for the True Sophisticate, by Michelle Dean – “Let’s face it: the coffee table book is not just a book; it’s an item designed to indicate the relative level of sophistication of its owner. It’s a fetish object which ideally turns the sophistication dial up to ‘high.’ Displaying coffee table books is, thus, essentially an invitation to people to judge you.” Flavorwire

  9. How To: Getting Back to Work and into the Rhythm of Writing, by Beth Hill – “Summer is a season when writers step back from writing to work on other tasks and to enjoy extra hours with family. I’m glad that happens, that we find time for the other loves in our lives. Yet now that the summer is almost through, I want to remind you to get back to your writing. As if you needed a reminder.” The Editor’s Blog
  10. sundoorNew Title:  “Looking for the Sun Door” (Thomas-Jacob Publishing, September 4, 2013), a collection of short stories and poetry by author and essayist Tracy R. Franklin (“Angst, Anger, Love, Hope”). From “History”: “They were dragging the lake today. I stood on the north shore about 50 yards away from the police officers and firefighters and tried to drink my coffee so I’d have something to do. I was surprised to see that the recovery boats trawled backward, and that the hooks attached to them were lowered from the bow and not the stern. Everything about this process would have fascinated Carrean. I made a mental note to tell her about it if we didn’t find her in the murky water.” Thomas-Jacob Publishing
  11. Viewpoint: Poetry Isn’t as Useless as a Lot of Poets Say It Is, by Noah Berlatsky – “A recent speech at Yale inadvertently sums up what’s wrong with the art form these days: Its gatekeepers believe poetry matters because it’s poetry, not because of what it says. ” The Atlantic
  12. Feature: What happened to sexy supermarket fiction? by Mark R. Brand – “Mario Puzo and his ilk wrote plenty of schlock, but at least their characters seemed to like getting down.” Salon
  13. harlemnocturneReview: “Harlem Nocturne: Women Artists and Progressive Politics During World War II,” by Farrah Jasmine Griffin, reviewed by Vanessa Willoughby – “With her blunt relay of information and measured prose, Farrah Jasmine Griffin makes it very clear that her focus in Harlem Nocturne: Women Artists and Progressive Politics During World War II is not on the Harlem Renaissance as perceived through the popular masculine heroes of the time period. Instead, the author is keen on showcasing the legacy of three culturally underappreciated women. The rise and fall of Harlem as an African-American cultural Mecca is embodied by the careers of dancer Pearl Primus, composer and pianist Mary Lou Williams, and writer Anne Petry.”  Bookslut
  14. News: Federal judge rules for Lance Armstrong and publishers in book lawsuit – “A federal judge in California sided with Lance Armstrong and the publishers of his autobiographies on Tuesday, rejecting claims in a lawsuit that lies about not using performance-enhancing drugs amounted to fraud and false advertising.” The Washington Post
  15. News: Farcountry Press Turns Around Under New Ownership, by Wendy Werris – “When Linda Netschert purchased Farcountry Press from Lee Enterprises in 2011 she had an unusual advantage over other potential buyers: Netschert had been working at the Helena, Montana-based press for 15 years, and knew almost everything about its operations and publishing vision.” Publishers Weekly


SOFaudio“Book Bits” is compiled by Malcolm R. Campbell, author of the comedy/satire “Jock Stewart and the Missing Sea of Fire,” now available in an audio edition.

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