Book Bits: ‘Snowblind,’ Fitzgerald affair, Harper Lee, Terry Pratchett
A group of authors has been discussing doing review swaps. I appreciate their initiative, but have–without any success–cautioned them against the practice. Many consider it unethical because there’s a feeling amongst professional reviewers and many readers that these reviews are posted for business purposes to load up a book’s action on Amazon and GoodReads rather than as honestly done reviews of books one discovered and enjoyed.
According to the What’s Not Allowed and FAQ sections of Amazon’s guidelines, “Sentiments by or on behalf of a person or company with a financial interest in the product or a directly competing product (including reviews by publishers, manufacturers, or third-party merchants selling the product) ” and “An artist posts a positive review on a peer’s album in exchange for receiving a positive review from them.” Amazon will delete these reviews when they find them and GoodReads users will blacklist you when they find them.
Here are today’s books and authors links
- News: DC Comics Cancels “Batgirl” Joker Variant Cover at Artist’s Request – “The highly criticized variant cover for “Batgirl” #41 will not be published by DC Comics, CBR News has learned. This move was made at the request of the cover’s artist, Rafael Albuquerque. ” Comic Book Resources
- Review: “Snowblind” by Christopher Golden, reviewed by Karen Ann Cullotta – “Christopher Golden’s Snowblind is a supernatural thriller that transcends the ghost story genre. While this spooky story will not disappoint readers who relish all things creepy, Snowblind is also a well-observed tale populated by a cast of characters whose Recession-era lives are portrayed with poignant authenticity, offering up a 21st-century landscape of tract homes, strip malls and fast food joints inhabited by ordinary folks.” Book Page
- Feature: My mother’s affair with F. Scott Fitzgerald: How it made me the person (and the reader) I am today, by wendy W. Fairey – “Their three-year fling — which ended when he died in her living room — has shaped my life in immeasurable ways.” Salon
- News: HMH Celebrating 100 Years of Best American Short Stories, by Rachel Deahl – “Houghton Mifflin Harcourt is honoring the centennial of its short fiction compilation Best American Short Stories with a forthcoming special anniversary edition, 100 Years of The Best American Short Stories. The special edition, edited by Lorrie Moore, will include a selection of short stories featured throughout the series, which launched in 1915.” Publishers Weekly
- News: Harper Lee’s agent dismisses ‘elder abuse’ allegations – “Harper Lee’s literary agent says he was ‘surprised’ that his client was believed a victim of elder abuse and asserted ‘categorically” that she was in “full possession of her mental faculties.'” The Denver Post
Interview: Author looks at Congress and a slaughterhouse through satirical lens, Marietta Rodgers (“The Bill”) with Malcolm R. Campbell – “In the novel, Representative Joe Herkieze is trying to get his Hunger Relief Act passed and teenager Hope Price has taken a summer job in a slaughterhouse looking for enlightenment. This juxtaposition screams dark humor and satire.” Malcolm’s Round Table
- Viewpoint: Publishing With a Small Press: Straddling the Indie-Traditional Gap, by Eliot Peper – “The internet is a black hole for aspiring authors. There’s enough conflicting advice out there to overwhelm even the most enterprising soul. Self-published wunderkinds like Hugh Howey and Barry Eisler demonstrate the possibilities of forging your own path. Big-name authors like James Patterson staunchly defend the merits of traditional publishers. Vicious battles over distribution deal terms with Amazon muddy the picture further.” Jane Friedman
- Essay: Novelist Hanif Kureishi on David Bowie’s ‘Rebel Rebel’ – The author of ‘The Last Word’ on how the song influenced him to become an artist, by Hanif Kureishi – “In the late 1960s, I attended the same South London high school as David Bowie. He’s seven years older than me, and even back then he left quite a mark. At school, one of my teachers said if I didn’t behave, I’d turn out like him. Which was fine with me. Bowie’s ‘Rebel Rebel’ sums up how I felt.” The Wall Street Journal
- News: Terry Pratchett’s final Discworld book will be Tiffany Aching novel, Alison Flood – “The late Terry Pratchett will take his fans on one more trip to Discworld, with a final novel set in his fantasy universe, The Shepherd’s Crown. The news comes as fundraising in Pratchett’s name has reached more than £40,000 in less than a week. Starring Tiffany Aching, the teenage witch possessed of “first sight and second thoughts” who has appeared in four bestselling young adult novels to date, The Shepherd’s Crown will be the 41st Discworld novel.” The Guardian
- Quotation: “Authors like cats because they are such quiet, lovable, wise creatures, and cats like authors for the same reasons.” – Robertson Davies
On sale on Kindle March 20 and 21