The Sun Singer's Travels

Malcolm R. Campbell's World

Book Bits: Gaiman book banned, Happy Meal books, Rick Riordan, ‘Nine Inches’

BookBitsAs a writer, I am sad and disgusted about the book reviewing process in school libraries that somehow mandates the removal of a book simply because one parent says s/he doesn’t like it.

Our priorities are badly skewed when the opinion of one person can trump the views of the library staff and the needs of students and teachers throughout the system even if it is only for a limited period of time. But, here we go again with such lunacy in New Mexico.  

  1. News: Neil Gaiman novel banned by New Mexico school after mother objects, by David Barnett – “‘Neverwhere’ removed from Alamogordo school library, as parent complains Gaiman’s novel is ‘inappropriate’ for teens.’”  The Guardian
  2. Rthankyoueview: “Thank You for Your Service,” by David Finkel, reviewed by Andrew Bacevich – “Nominally a sequel to ‘The Good Soldiers,’ his 2009 account of an American infantry battalion at war in Iraq, David Finkel’s new book actually serves as a perfect companion to George Packer’s recent best seller, ‘The Unwinding.’ Like Packer, Finkel examines the human detritus left in the wake of fraudulent promises and collapsed illusions. In ‘The Unwinding,’ Packer contemplates the fate of those victimized by cataclysmic economic change. In ‘Thank You for Your Service,’ Finkel looks at those victimized by egregious military malpractice.” The Denver Post
  3. Feature: Contemporary Illustrations for Famous Novels, by Alison Nastasi – “California-based artist Paul Rogers, who we were introduced to via Lost at E Minor, recently illustrated Jack Kerouac’s Beat Generation tale ‘On the Road’ page by page (after the jump). The line drawings feature excerpts from the 1957 novel and offer an alternative view of the familiar and influential story. The work inspired us to search out other illustrations of famous novels — those stories that didn’t necessarily contain images to begin with, but have been brought to life by contemporary artists.” Flavorwire
  4. News: You Deserve a Book Today: McDonald’s to Distribute 20 Million Books in Happy Meals, by Karen Raugust – “McDonald’s, with 14,000 restaurants in the U.S., is poised to become a leading distributor of children’s books. It will insert 20 million copies of four original book titles into Happy Meals during the first two weeks of November, starting on National Literacy Day, November 1.”  Publishers Weekly
  5. househadesReview: “The House of Hades: Volume 4, Herores of Olympus Series,” by Rick Riordan, ages 10-14 – “Having plunged into Tartarus at the end of the last book, The Mark of Athena (2013), Percy and Annabeth struggle toward the Doors of Death, while their friends hurry to meet them on the other side at the titular House of Hades…In this adventure, victories are hard-won and the essence of bravery nuanced, making the journey as satisfying as it is entertaining. ” Kirkus Reviews
  6. How To: Set Story into Motion—Use Meaningful Verbs, by Beth Hill – “Verbs bring action—motion and movement—to our sentences. Without verbs, nothing happens. Verbs move story people, both literally and emotionally.”  The Editor’s Blog
  7. nineinchesReview: “Nine Inches,” by Tom Perrotta, reviewed by Nathan Goldman – “The dark suburban tales of Nine Inches are compelling and likely to appeal even to many Americans with no special interest in the short story, a form that has notoriously become the province of the ivory tower. But taken as a collection, Nine Inches reveals a fatal flaw that undermines the skilled artistry: Perrotta’s heavy hand.”  The Millions
  8. News: FutureBook Shortlists Five for “Most Inspiring Digital Person” by Porter Anderson – “Five high profile individuals in publishing based in the UK and US are shortlisted for the FutureBook Innovation Awards’ Most Inspiring Digital Publishing Person, an award sponsored by Frankfurt Book Fair.”  Publishing Perspectives

“Book Bits” is compiled by contemporary fantasy author Malcolm R. Campbell whose 2013 novels include “The Seeker” and “The Sailor.”



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