The Sun Singer's Travels

Malcolm R. Campbell's World

Book Bits: Ian McKellen, King tweets, ‘The Apartment,’ Apple’s judicial woes

BookBitsI know I hold a minority viewpoint in such matters, but I still think it’s odd that the government charged major publishers with conspiracy while ignoring the fact that Amazon has more control over the market. Now the people at Apple must be shouting, “Here comes the judge,” as the courts run amok again. (Item 4)

  1. News: Sir Ian McKellen v Damian Lewis: actors trade blows, by John Plunkett – “Hobbit actor hits back at Homeland star, saying there’s nothing wrong with playing wizards” The Guardian
  2. apartmentReview: “The Apartment” by Greg Baxter, “Communion Town” by Sam Thompson, By Tucker Shaw – “Two books hitting bookstores this week are set in fictional cities without a name: ‘Communion Town,’ by Sam Thompson, and ‘The Apartment,’ by Greg Baxter. Both have a soul, but one feels much more human.”  The Denver Post
  3. News: Writers of the world call for end to mass online surveillance, by Patrick Smith – “Five Nobel literature laureates are among 560 international writers who today have put their names to an appeal, ‘A stand for democracy in the digital age,’ against widespread ‘mass surveillance’ by governments and corporations.”  The Irish Times
  4. injusticeCommentary: Apple’s Star Chamber: An abusive judge and her prosecutor friend besiege the tech maker – “Impossible as it sounds, Judge Denise Cote has found a way to make the Justice Department’s antitrust assault on Apple even more abusive. Because it presumed to enter the e-books market, the court is forcing the company to pay for a special prosecutor to investigate itself—and shredding the separation of constitutional powers too.”  The Wall Street Journal
  5. koontzInterview: Dean Koontz, with Jay MacDonald, in “Finding Hope in Life’s Dark Side” – “Few authors have managed to produce so many novels (I lost count at 120) under so many pen names (10 that I know of) across so many genres with as much success as Koontz.” BookPage
  6. Feature: E-books Priced at 99 Cents During the Holidays, by Melinda Clayton – “The following deals are from not only me, but also authors I’ve met along the way. They cover a variety of genres and many of them also include Kindle Matchbook deals. For the unfamiliar, Kindle Matchbook is a program wherein once a customer buys the paperback from Amazon, he or she gets a special deal on the ebook (in many cases, the ebook is free). Kindle Matchbook participants are noted as such below.”
  7. pollackObituary Notice: “Romance novelist Ida Pollock, who wrote more than 120 books and was ‘believed to be the world’s oldest romantic novelist,’ died December 3, the Associated Press reported. She was 105. Her 124th and 125th novels are scheduled for publication next year.” – Shelf Awareness
  8. Feature: Birds Will Attack Amazon’s Delivery Drones, by Nicholas Lund – “Konstantin Kakaes had a lot of good evidence to work with for his article debunking the promise of Amazon’s drone deliveries. The FAA doesn’t allow autonomous flight. Drones are too small and unreliable. They’ll cost Amazon a fortune to maintain and oversee. Kakaes had so many facts in his favor, but he left out a big one: Birds are going to hate these drones.”  Slate
  9. NoraCaronInterview: Quebec author finds her stories and spirit in the Southwest, by Malcolm R. Campbell – “I had several people come up and ask me, ‘So what happens after (Journey to the Heart)? I want to know more! Please!’ I had never thought of writing a trilogy but I realized after much meditation that Lucina’s story indeed was not over. When I started writing the second book,”  Malcolm’s Round Table
  10. News: Cohen to Write Ephron Bio – “The Washington Post’s Richard Cohen will write a biography of the late writer Nora Ephron, Page Six reported on Sunday. Cohen, friends with Ephron since the 1970s when she first began dating Carl Bernstein, reportedly asked Ephron’s family if he could write the biography.”  The Daily Beast
  11. tataniaReview: “Tatiana,” by Martin Cruz Smith – “In Smith’s latest Arkady Renko novel, the Russian investigator seeks the truth about a young reporter’s apparent suicide…Anyone who enjoys crime novels but hasn’t read Smith is in for a treat. Read this book, then look for other Arkady Renko adventures.”  Kirkus Reviews
  12. News: Stephen King Tweeting, by Linda L. Richards – “It hardly seems like it should be news. And yet…On December 6th, iconic author Stephen King (Carrie, The Shining) uttered his first tweet.”  January Magazine

“Book Bits” is compiled by Malcolm R. Campbell, author of “Emily’s Stories” and “The Seeker.”

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