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Malcolm R. Campbell's World

Book Bits: ‘Doctor Sleep,’ ‘The Goldfinch,’ Jonathan Franzen

BookBitsWelcome to “Book Bits,” a randomly published listing of Internet links for those of us who are interested in the latest book news, reviews, essays and interviews.

Recently, when Jonathan Franzen said he thought there were a few things wrong with our modern culture, I thought it was amusing and then forgot about it. But, others didn’t let it go and have been expressing anger and shock ever since.  Now, Michelle Goldberg comes to his defense (Item 8); no doubt, her views will serve as a catalyst for more shock and this will become another example of the “issue” that wouldn’t die.

  1. News:  Bridget Jones a widowed mum-of-two in new book – “The world’s most prominent literary singleton Bridget Jones is now a widow bringing up two children alone, according to extracts of a new book of her exploits released on Sunday. Fifteen years after the last novel in her saga, it turns out unlucky-in-love Bridget married Mark Darcy and had two children — but author Helen Fielding has killed off the barrister and put her heroine back on the singles’ market.” Fox News
  2. lethemInterview: Jonathan Lethem (“Dissident Gardens”) with Brad Listi – The LA Times writes, “Lethem is as ambitious as Mailer, as funny as Philip Roth and as stinging as Bob Dylan.”  “Monologue topics: travel, the flu, walking, the homeless guy who asked me for my email address”  Other People
  3. Feature: How the blacklist can goose a book’s sales, by Noel King – “his week is Banned Books Week — an annual event sponsored by the American Booksellers Association, the American Library Association, the PEN Center and several other groups — to draw attention to literature that has been banned. ‘There’s no such thing as bad publicity,’ says R. Wolf Baldassaro, who writes the Banned Books Awareness blog. ‘As soon as you say ‘you can’t do something,’ it makes people want to do it more.'”  Marketplace
  4. emptyReview: “Empty Mansions” by Bill Dedman and Paul Clark Newell, Jr., reviewed by  Philip Boroff – “Huguette Clark, 84, arrived at Manhattan’s Doctors Hospital by ambulance in 1991 anxious, malnourished and dehydrated, her face disfigured from untreated skin cancer. Not your typical heiress whose estate would be valued at more than $300 million at her death 20 years later.”  The Denver Post
  5. How to: “In to” or “Into”? by Mignon Fogarty ‘”They sound the same, but a space makes all the difference. Into and in to have different uses. Here are some examples.” Grammar Girl
  6. Feature: The Evolution of a Scene: From Outline to First Draft, by K. M. Weiland – “Have you ever wanted to look under the hood of another writer’s process? Although we all have to create the unique processes that work for us as individuals, it’s always valuable to see what works for other authors—and specifically how those authors evolve each scene in their stories from idea to finished product.”  WordPlay
  7. doctorsleepReview: “Doctor Sleep,” by Stephen King, reviewed by Joelle Herr – “n an author’s note at the end of Doctor Sleep, Stephen King explains how the idea of writing a sequel to The Shining—his third novel, published in 1977—was planted by a fan at a book signing back in 1998. King mulled it over for more than 10 years before sitting down to figure out how 5-year-old Danny Torrance fared after his narrow escape from the horrifyingly haunted Overlook Hotel…Needless to say, expectations for a sequel to a beloved book like The Shining are high, and for the most part, Doctor Sleep delivers.”  BookPage
  8. Viewpoint: In Defense of Jonathan Franzen, by  Michelle Goldberg – “Jonathan Franzen is in a fracas over his comments deploring our literary culture, Amazon, and social media. Michelle Goldberg defends the novelist—and says we should admit we’re losing something important to the Internet.”  The Daily Beast
  9. Essay: Losing Yourself: What ‘The Secret History’ Tells Us About the Liberal Arts, by Angela Qian – “Now over twenty years after its publication, and with Tartt’s widely anticipated new novel The Goldfinch on the way, The Secret History still endures, and, in light of all the recent discussions about the liberal arts and its students, it may be worth revisiting why.” The Millions
  10. GoldfinchReview: “The Goldfinch,” by Donna Tartt – “A long-awaited, elegant meditation on love, memory and the haunting power of art. Tartt (The Little Friend, 2002, etc.) takes a long time, a decade or more, between novels. This one, her third, tells the story of a young man named Theodore Decker who is forced to grapple with the world alone after his mother—brilliant, beautiful and a delight to be around—is felled in what would seem to be an accident, if an explosion inside a museum can be accidental…A standout—and well worth the wait.”  Kirkus Reviews
  11. News: Nordic noir’s sexual violence attacked by British crime writer, by Paul Gallagher – “Bestselling author Ann Cleeves condemns gruesome scenes and morbid tone of Scandinavian books and TV dramas.”  The Guardian

“Book Bits” is compiled my Malcolm R. Campbell, author the “The Seeker”

Available on Nook

Available on Nook

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4 thoughts on “Book Bits: ‘Doctor Sleep,’ ‘The Goldfinch,’ Jonathan Franzen

  1. K.M. Weiland on said:

    Thanks so much for linking to my post! I’m glad you enjoyed it.

  2. chellecordero on said:

    I love reading The Grammar Girl columns

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