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Malcolm R. Campbell's World

Book Bits: ‘Bellman & Black,’ Food and memory, Siobhan Fallon, ‘American Hustle’

BookBitsMost of the print magazines I subscribed to in the days before the Internet became popular have gone away, become a fraction of their original sizes, or become too expensive. However, I still subscribe to the “National Parks Magazine” and “Smithsonian” and–off and on, depending on mood and finances–several others.

How about you? I started wondering how popular print might be when I read about “The Pitchfork Review.” (Item 1)

  1. News: A new magazine – in print! Online publishers are rediscovering ink, by Simon Houpt – “The Pitchfork Review, a quarterly printed on high-quality paper stock with a book-type binding, that will run 160 pages in its debut edition, joins other online-only babies that have discovered an atavistic pull to print in their middle age.”  The Globe and Mail
  2. bellmanandblackReview: ‘Bellman & Black,’ by Diane Setterfield, reviewed by Yvonne Zipp – ““Bellman & Black,” the second novel by Diane Setterfield, opens on a bright and sunshiny afternoon. Ten-year-old William Bellman and his friends, who live in a 19th-century English mill town, are playing with his new slingshot. William points to a far-off tree and says, “I bet I can hit that bird.” He lets fly, and the bird, a young rook, drops down dead. William is horrified — but not nearly as horrified as he’d be if he knew that he and everyone around him will spend the rest of their lives paying for his good aim.”  The Washington Post
  3. Feature: The madeleine effect, by Julian Baggini – “Why is the smell and taste of some foods so evocative of the past? I spent a day eating childhood favourites to find out” Aeon
  4. News: The BookBar Expands to Meet Club Demand, by Judith Rosen – “Like some booksellers before her—and a few authors—Nicole Sullivan decided to mix booze and books. But in her case it was to make her bookstore, the BookBar, stand out and help give it a more solid financial footing when it opened in Denver at the end of May.”  Publishers Weekly
  5. goodmanReview: “You Know When the Men are Gone,” short stories by Siobhan Fallon, reviewed by Lynne Perednia – ” The collection about Army families centers around Fort Hood, and was written by Siobhan Fallon, who was an Army wife staying at Fort Hood while her husband was on two tours of duty in Iraq. The focus is on the women and children at home, although there also are powerful insights about those who are actively serving. From the opening pages describing how the colors and tone of the base change when the troops ship out, Fallon puts the reader amongst those who stay behind.”  Lynne’s Book Notes
  6. Feature: How Much of American Hustle Actually Happened? by Evan Hughes – “Like many movies, American Hustle addresses its relationship to fact with a message that appears on screen before the action begins. But rather than the customary (and intentionally vague) “based on a true story,” the claim is more modest: “Some of this actually happened.” A viewer may be surprised, then, to learn how much of the farfetched storyline is true.” Slate
  7. jacksonLists: 10 Controversial Short Stories, by Alison Nastasi – “It caused an uproar upon its publication, but Shirley Jackson’s “The Lottery” is considered by many to be her most famous work…Inspired by “The Lottery’s” significance, we highlighted other controversial short stories.” Flavorwire
  8. Lists: Fishy Expressions, by Maeve Maddox – “The Venerable Bede (c.672-735) tells this story about Bishop Wilfrid’s conversion of the South Saxons in the 680s…As the sea and rivers of Bede’s description abounded in fish, the English language abounds in expressions related to fish and fishing. Here are just a few.”  Daily Writing Tips
  9. vinjamuriInterview: David Vinjamuri (“Binder”), with  Sarah Rettger – “It was speed that brought David Vinjamuri to self-publishing his novels—or, rather, the lack of it. After publishing a business book in 2008 through Wiley, Accidental Branding: How Ordinary People Build Extraordinary Brands, he showed his agent at the time his next project, a military thriller. The manuscript arrived just as the agency went through a major staff turnover. Although the agent did make some attempts at submitting the novel to publishers, it was a halfhearted process, thanks to the agency’s disarray. ‘I didn’t really get a lot of ‘no’s on it, but it was two years,’ Vinjamuri says.”  Kirkus Reviews
  10. News: Kindles makes up for lack of books in Ghana’s reading revolution, by  Afua Hirsch – “Guardian Christmas appeal: school turns to technology to tackle poor literacy among students – and achieves remarkable results”  The Guardian

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



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2 thoughts on “Book Bits: ‘Bellman & Black,’ Food and memory, Siobhan Fallon, ‘American Hustle’

  1. Thanks, Malcolm. And what a coincidence; today, I’m writing about a previously unpublished Shirley Jackson story that is a beaut.

    And, as someone who likes print and vinyl, I like what The Pitchfork Review is doing.

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