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Malcolm R. Campbell's World

Book Bits: ‘Raising Steam,’ Writing Contests, Gabriel Garcia Marquez, ‘Frog Music’

BookBitsHere are your books and authors links for April 4, 2014:

  1. News: Guardian staffers win top IRE prize for NSA series, by Andrew Beaujon – “The Investigative Reporters & Editors medal for 2014 goes to Glenn Greenwald, Laura Poitras, Ewen MacAskill and others for the Guardian’s reports on the NSA, which “revealed a story that continues to reverberate in the United States and across the globe,” the judges say.”  Poynter
  2. risingsteamReview: “Raising Steam,” by Terry Pratchett – “Pratchett’s 40th Discworld novel brings in one—or, as it turns out, two—intriguing new characters and introduces a radical new concept: the railway…Brimming with Pratchett’s trademark wit, a yarn with a serious point made with style and elegance.”  Kirkus Reviews
  3. News: World Book Night U.S.: Publicity Humming – “With just under three weeks to go until World Book Night on April 23, national PR about WBN and indie bookseller local outreach are already paying off, according to WBN U.S. director Carl Lennertz.”  Shelf Awareness
  4. Essay: Are We Entering a Golden Age of the Second Novel? by Bill Morris – “If a first novel fails to become a blockbuster, as almost all of them do, publishers are less inclined to get behind the follow-up by a writer who has gained a dubious track record but has lost that most precious of all literary selling points: novelty. Writers get only one shot at becoming The Next Big Thing.”  The Millions
  5. News: Booksellers and Publishers React to the Defunding of S.C. Universities, by Paige Crutcher – “South Carolina House Ways and Means Committee recently voted to cut close to $70,000 in funding to the University of South Carolina Upstate (USCU) in Spartanburg, and the College of Charleston. The move was retribution for the fact that both schools assigned books as part of freshman-level courses and campus reads deemed inappropriate by the legislators because the titles feature gay and lesbian characters.”  Publishers Weekly
  6. frogmusicReview: “Frog Music,” by Emma Donoghue, reviewed by Patricia Hagen – “In her last book, ‘Astray,’ Emma Donoghue wove tantalizing short stories out of snippets from historical sources: journals, newspapers, letters and court records. She returns to this genre — “a crazy quilt of fact and fiction” — in ‘Frog Music,’ a crime thriller based on the true, still-unsolved murder of one Jenny Bonnet in late summer, 1876.”  The Minneapolis Star-Tribune
  7. Reference: Writing Contests, Grants & Awards – “The Writing Contests, Grants & Awards database includes details about the creative writing contests—including poetry contests, short story competitions, essay contests, awards for novels, and more—that we’ve published in Poets & Writers Magazine during the past year.”  Poets & Writers
  8. marquezphotoNews: Gabriel Garcia Marquez, 87, Hospitalized In Mexico, by Annalisa Quinn – “Gabriel Garcia Marquez, Latin America’s most prominent living novelist, has been hospitalized in Mexico City for a lung and urinary tract infection, Mexican health officials told The Associated Press.”  NPR
  9. Viewpoint: Writing: A Healing Art, by Ed Griffin – Griffin writes about the value of teaching creative writing in prisons. “Writing was an art, and it helped people understand themselves. I remember giving an assignment, ‘Write about a safe place you knew as a child.’ Nothing was more productive than this. ‘Me and my brother, we had a fort behind the house where we went when ma was looking for us.’ ‘My safe place was under the steps. I hid there when my old man came home drunk.’”  Indies Unlimited
  10. News: Debut thriller writer signs ‘dream’ six-figure book deal, by John Spain – “ON the eve of London Book Fair, UK publisher HarperFiction has signed a major two-book deal with a debut thriller writer who lives in Meath. The deal with the 28-year-old writer is worth a substantial six-figure sum in sterling.  Anne O’Donnell was born and raised in New York but currently lives in Enfield, Co Meath.”  Independent
  11. Waldman


    Interview:  Ayelet Waldman (“Love and Treasure”), with Megan Fishmann – “When writing historical fiction—really, all fiction—research must deepen and contextualize without distracting. I didn’t want the detail to overwhelm the story, but I also know that historical verisimilitude is one of the great pleasures of reading historical fiction.”  Book Page

  12. News: Authors Guild Calls for Collective Licensing Agreement, by Calvin Reid – “In testimony delivered Wednesday afternoon before the House subcommittee on the Courts, Intellectual Property and the Internet, Authors Guild counsel Jan Constantine recapped the Guild’s long running copyright dispute with Google over its scanning program and offered what she said is one possible solution—a collective licensing agreement for digital presentation rights to out-of-print books.”  Publishers Weekly


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“Book Bits” is compiled by Malcolm R. Campbell, author of “Jock Stewart Strikes Back,” a collection of humorous stories.

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