The Sun Singer's Travels

Malcolm R. Campbell's World

Book Bits: New Tennessee Williams story, BookCon, ‘Three Weeks With Lady X,’ Pete Hautman

BookBitsIf you’ve purchased e-books from Amazon, check you inbasket for an e-mail titled eBooks Antitrust Settlement Information. Yes, you’re getting money back and you have a year to claim the account credit before it disappears. The money comes from settlements with Hachette, HarperCollins, Simon & Schuster, Macmillan, and Penguin. I seldom read e-books, so I have a whopping $1.46. But if you’re a Kindle addict, you may have enough to stock up on books for the next several months.

Today’s books and authors links

  1. News: Tennessee Williams Tale Of Disappointed Love To Be Published, by Annalisa Quinn – “A previously unpublished campus love story by Tennessee Williams called ‘Crazy Night,’ will appear in the next issue of Strand magazine. The Prohibition-era tale takes place during on the last night of the semester, known as ‘crazy night’ because of the wild parties and bootleg alcohol. ” NPR
  2. Mortimer


    Feature: The Neglected Penelope Mortimer Was a Novelist Ahead of Her Time, by Jessica Ferri – “A feminist author long before it was popular, she survived abortion, her husband’s betrayal and even a Harold Pinter screenplay. Her woefully neglected novels still bristle with wit and insight.” The Daily Beast

  3. News: BookCon hopes to match books and pop culture, by Bob Minzesheimer – “Can a new literary event, called BookCon, do for publishing what Comic Con has done for comics, graphic novels, TV and movies? The organizers of BookExpo America, an annual publishing trade show, are announcing plans to launch what they describe as ‘a one-of-a-kind interactive consumer experience where books and pop-culture collide.'” USA Today
  4. Quotation: “On this day in 1892 Walt Whitman died at the age of seventy-two. The high and controversial emotions which surrounded Whitman in life attended his death: in the same issue that carried his obituary, the New York Times declared that he could not be called ‘a great poet unless we deny poetry to be an art,’ while one funeral speech declared that ‘He walked among men, among writers, among verbal varnishers and veneerers, among literary milliners and tailors, with the unconscious majesty of an antique god.’ Today in Literature
  5. LadyXReview: “Three Weeks With Lady X,” by Eloisa James – “When Lady Xenobia is hired to restyle Thorn Dautry’s country estate to help him win a perfect bride, they’re both loath to admit they’ve met their perfect matches…Emotionally rewarding and elegantly written, with textured characters and a captivating plot, this is James at her best.” Kirkus Reviews
  6. News: Madonna to film Rebecca Walker’s ‘Ade: A Love Story,’ by Carolyn Kellogg – “A bisexual, biracial Yale grad goes to Africa and falls in love with a Kenyan Muslim. That’s the premise of “Ade: A Love Story,” the novel by Rebecca Walker that Madonna plans to make into a film. ‘Deadline’ reports that Madonna plans to direct and has lined up Oscar-winning producer Bruce Cohen; a screenwriter has not yet been attached.” The Los Angeles Times
  7. How To: Make Readers Care, by Beth Hill – “Plots that go nowhere or characters that inspire no interest are death to your stories. If nothing interesting happens in a novel, readers are likely to put it down. If characters don’t engage the readers—their minds or emotions or curiosity—you get the same result—readers tossing aside the book without reading to the end.” The Editor’s Blog
  8. cathedralReview: “Cathedral of the Wild,” by Boyd Varty, reviewed by Catherine Hollis – “It’s hard to know whether to call Boyd Varty’s ‘Cathedral of the Wild’ a memoir, a true adventure story or a self-help book. All I know is that it made me cry with its hard-won truths about human and animal nature, distilled by Varty from his experiences living on Londolozi, the game reserve his family runs in South Africa.” Book Page
  9. Commentary: Extinction and Editing: Startup Collate It, by John Pettigrew – “Back in the 1990s, when I got my first job as an editor, paper still ruled the earth. I learned to copyedit with multicolored pens on hard copy and to work on galley proofs. But a cataclysmic event led to the extinction of these dinosaurs: the emergence of on-screen editing.” Publishing Perspectives
  10. terminusReview: “The Klaatu Terminus,” by Pete Hautman, reviewed by Daniel Kraus – “Tucker is trapped atop a Romulan pyramid in the year 3,000 CE with no interdimensional disko. What, you’re lost already? In this final book of the Klaatu Diskos trilogy, the multitalented Hautman—a paragon of prose clarity—concludes this most unclear of literary experiments. ” Book List
  11. News: Bologna 2014: Realism Reigns, by John A. Sellers and Diane Roback – “With the 2014 Bologna Children’s Book Fair in full swing, trends were beginning to emerge, and they sounded a bit like the trends of last year’s fair. In short: a continued interest in middle-grade books, and an emphasis on realistic YA over all things paranormal and dystopian.” Publishers Weekly
  12. arijjisInterview: Chloe Aridjis (“Assunder”), with Carlos Fonesca Suarez – “With the recent publication of Asunder, her second novel, Chloe Aridjis has reaffirmed her status as a painter of estranged atmospheres, of disrupted tones and latent fears. Asunder, a beautiful novel which subtly weaves together the life of a museum warder to that of Mary Richardson, the Canadian suffragette who famously slashed Diego Velazquez’s Rokeby Venus, comes to confirm what many of us had already intensely felt while reading her first novel, ‘Book of Clouds.'” Bookslut
  13. Essay: This is the best thing about the New York Times Book Review, by David Daley – “Introducing Reviewends, our chronicle of the awkward politeness that makes the Book Review, well, the Book Review.” Salon


JSSBcover2“Book Bits” is compiled by Malcolm R. Campbell, author of the comedy/mystery “Jock Steward and the Missing Sea of Fire.” Now you can pre-order the new book of stories “Jock Stewart Strikes Back” prior to the book’s April 1 release.


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