The Sun Singer's Travels

Malcolm R. Campbell's World

Book Bits: ‘Go Set a Watchman,’ DOJ asked to investigate Amazon, Alice Munro stamp, Mardi Jo Link

BookBitsReaders who loved To Kill a Mockingbird have been in a state of shock for the last week or so as early reviews of Go Set a Watchman painted beloved character Atticus Finch as a racist. Some hoped that since Go Set a Watchman was written first, that Atticus saw the light before Mockingbird and Gregory Peck’s starring role in the movie created a memorable character in American literature. Yet, Go Set a Watchman is not a prequel but a sequel. “What the hell happened?” people asked. I plan to read te book before I decide. Apparently, I’m not alone since sales are brisk in spite of the controversy. For a sampling of early reviews, see Item 2.

  1. ABAlogoNews: Authors, ABA to DOJ: Investigate Amazon’s Abuse of Its Dominance in the Book Market, by David Grogan – “Today, in an unprecedented joint action, U.S. booksellers, authors, and literary agents called on the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) to investigate the business practices of Amazon.com. The action comes as similar efforts are underway in the European Union.” American Booksellers Association
  2. Audio Edition

    Audio Edition

    Commentary: Will ‘Go Set a Watchman’ Spoil ‘Mockingbird’? by Jane Ciabattari – “The July 14 publication of Harper Lee’s Go Set a Watchman is, indisputably, news. The reclusive author, now 89, was never expected to follow up on her Pulitzer Prize-winning classic To Kill a Mockingbird, first published in July 1960. But is Go Set a Watchman a good book? How will its publication affect Harper Lee’s literary legacy? And how are book critics shaping the early discussion?” Literary Hub

  3. Quotation:  “A significant aspect of this novel is that it asks us to see Atticus now not merely as a hero, a god, but as a flesh-and-blood man with shortcomings and moral failing, enabling us to see ourselves for all our complexities and contradictions.” – Former U. S. Poet Laureate Natasha Trethewey’s in Harper Lee’s ‘Go Set a Watchman,’ a less noble Atticus Finch.   Washington Post
  4. News: Oyster Subscribers Can Now Access 2,000 Macmillan Digital Books, by Maryann Yin – “Macmillan will make an additional 1,000 titles available to Oyster users. The newly added books come from a variety of genres such as nonfiction, young adult, and mystery.”  Galley Cat
  5. Obituary: Chenjerai Hove – “Novelist, poet and playwright Chenjerai Hove, one of Zimbabwe’s best-known writers and a leading critic of President Robert Mugabe, died July 12, BBC News reported. He was 59. Hove won several awards for his work. He is perhaps best known for Bones, ‘set after independence on a white-owned farm, the book asks what difference the end of colonial rule in 1980 really made,’ BBC News wrote.” Shelf Awareness
  6. Cover font fot "Watchman"

    Cover font for “Watchman”

    Feature: For Font Designer, ‘Watchman’ Proves an Unexpected Thrill, by Anisse Gross – “This week, while Harper Lee is thrust back into the spotlight because of her much-anticipated sophomore novel Go Set a Watchman, someone else, heretofore unrelated to the book, is experiencing a unique satisfaction.”  Publishers Weekly

  7. Feature: Dickens’s marginalia reveal famous contributors to his journal, by Alison Flood – “In a lucky coincidence that would not look out of place in a Charles Dickens novel, an antiquarian book dealer has stumbled across what is believed to be Dickens’s own personally annotated copy of a literary periodical he edited. The find reveals, for the first time in around 150 years, the names behind 1,500 anonymously authored pieces in All the Year Round, from Elizabeth Gaskell to Wilkie Collins.”  The Guardian
  8. Quotation: “‘A short story is like a T-shirt. A novel is a suit and tie, sometimes overcoat and hat—it simply has more amplitude and ambition, larger, with more implication.’ Bomb has published the final interview with author James Salter. The acclaimed writer passed away last month at age ninety.” Poets & Writers
  9. bloodonrosesNew Title: “Blood on the Roses,” by Robert Hays, (Thomas-Jacob Publishing, LLC July 10, 2015), 228 pages – “In 1955, at the height of alarm over the Emmett Till murder in Mississippi and after the Supreme Court ruling against school segregation, Associated Press reporter Rachel Feigen travels from Baltimore to Tennessee to report on a missing person case. Guy Saillot’s last contact with his family was a postcard from the Tennessee Bend Motel, a seedy establishment situated on beautiful Cherokee Lake. But they have no record he was ever a guest.” Thomas-Jacob
  10. Viewpoint: HarperCollins UK CEO says “Publishing Entering a Golden Age” by Roger Tagholm – “On a glorious summer’s evening in the elegant courtyard of London’s Victoria & Albert Museum earlier this month HarperCollins UK CEO Charlie Redmayne could not have sounded more positive as he welcomed guests to the publisher’s annual Summer party in honor of its authors.”  Publishing Perspectives
  11. News: Alice Munro featured on new Canada Post stamp – “Nobel Prize–winning author Alice Munro has been honoured with a new stamp by Canada Post, released today in celebration of her 84th birthday. The stamp features a photograph of Munro taken by her daughter, Sheila, some of the author’s handwriting, and images of her hometown of Wingham, Ontario.” Quill & Quire
  12. Raleigh

    Raleigh

    Interview: Reviewer IndieView with RaeleighReads – “I look for a book that grabs my attention from the get-go. I’m more a fan of action than of romance, and I adore scenes that are described in painstaking detail – scenes that transport me out of my reading room and into another world. For that to happen, there can’t be errors in grammar and usage. So, for me, a really well edited book is a must. Beyond that, I look for authentic, meaningful dialogue that is character-appropriate. There is nothing worse than reading a gorgeous line your favorite character would never utter. Again, this type of mistake rips the reader out of the scene. Reading is my means of being transported out of my real life, and a really great book will keep me in its world until the end.”  The Indie View

  13. Lists: A Visual Diary of Gorgeous Technicolor Films, by Alison Nastasi – “Through August 5, MoMA’s retrospective Glorious Technicolor examines this brilliant chapter in Hollywood history. We’re celebrating along with them by offering this visual diary of gorgeous Technicolor films that remind us of the magic of movies.”  Flavorwire
  14. drummondReview: “The Drummond Girls,” by Mardi Jo Link, reviewed by Henry L. Carrigan Jr. – “In 1993, Mardi Jo Link was a 31-year-old wife and mother of two and a bar waitress with a college degree. Just before sunrise on an October Michigan morning, Link and three friends set off on what would become an annual get-the-hell-out-of-Dodge adventure to the isolated refuge of Drummond Island on Michigan’s Upper Peninsula. In 1993, Link was the newest member of the sorority, but she eventually became the chronicler of the highs and lows of the annual island weekend.”  Book Page
  15. Commentary: Why newsrooms should care about virtual reality, by Abigail Edge – “From Vice to The Wall Street Journal, many newsrooms are already experimenting with virtual reality as a new way to engage audiences and offer different perspectives on stories.  The 2015 Trends in Newsrooms report from the World Editors Forum flagged VR as one of the top nine trends in news outlets around the world.” Journalism.co.uk

 

 

 

KIndle cover 200x300Book Bits is compiled by Malcolm R. Campbell, author of the Jim Crow era novella set in the Florida Panhandle, “Conjure Woman’s Cat”

 

 

 

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