The Sun Singer's Travels

Malcolm R. Campbell's World

Book Bits: Ann Rule, new ‘Bones’ novel, ‘The Dying Grass’

BookBitsIf you look up Ann Rule quotes, you get some good stuff: “I always say that bad women are fewer than men, but when you get one, they’re fascinating because they’re so rotten,” and “Try to open up your mind a little, and move away from rigid opinions of what people should do and be – unless you have been there.” We expect people like this to go on forever, to still be writing when they’re 100 or 150. Then, suddenly they’re gone, and we want to go re-read all their works so we can pretend that one way or the other, they’re still here.

  1. Rule


    Obituary: True-crime writer Ann Rule dies at 84, by Jocelyn McClurg – Best-selling true-crime writer Ann Rule died Sunday in Seattle…Rule was best known for her 1980 book ‘The Stranger Beside Me.'” USA Today

  2. News: Ursula Le Guin Debuts Online Fiction Workshop, by Calvin Reid l “Ursula Le Guin, the fantasy/sci-fi novelist and NBA lifetime achievement winner, is launching an online writing workshop on the Book View Café blog. As part of the blog, Le Guin, a cofounder of the Book View Café, will answer selected questions on the craft of writing fiction”  Publishers Weekly
  3. dyinggressReview: “The Dying Grass,” by William Vollmann, reviewed by David Treuer – “Vollmann, who won a National Book Award in 2005, has written a novel of incredible significance and power. In the manner of ‘Blood Meridian,’ but with characters who do a lot less convenient philosophizing than Cormac McCarthy’s, ‘The Dying Grass’ presents a place and time that is gripping, immediate and bloody.”  The Washington Post
  4. News: Rediscovered Pablo Neruda Poems to Be Published, by Alexandra Alter – “Copper Canyon Press will publish a collection of 20 rediscovered poems by the Chilean poet Pablo Neruda. The poems were found by archivists last June, in boxes kept at the Pablo Neruda foundation in Santiago, Chile.”  The New York Times
  5. Feature: Retracing Ralph Waldo Emerson’s Steps In A Now ‘Unchanged Eden,’ by Brian Mann – “It’s high summer, and for a lot of us that means it’s time to go camping. This summer, we’re celebrating one particular camping trip. Way back in 1858, Ralph Waldo Emerson, the great philosopher and poet, set out into the Adirondack Mountains in New York. On the famous journey, he took with him some of the most famous artists, scientists and thinkers of his day.”  NPR
  6. licenseexpiredInterview: Jacqueline Baker and Kathryn Kuitenbrouwer on ChiZine’s upcoming Bond anthology, with Becky Robertson – “ChiZine Publications co-editors Madeline Ashby and David Nickle have released the line-up of authors contributing to the press’s forthcoming James Bond anthology, License Expired: The Unauthorized James Bond, due in November. Nineteen stories by writers such as Jacqueline Baker, Kathryn Kuitenbrouwer, Corey Redekop, Robert J. Wiersema, and others will be featured, along with an introduction and an afterword by the editors.”  Quill & Quire
  7. Essay: How David Gates Slow Cooks Great Stories, by Bill Morris – “Gates has just come out with his first book in 16 years, ‘A Hand Reached Down to Guide Me,’ a collection of one novella and 11 short stories. In addition to being full of Gates’s laser prose, his pitch-perfect dialogue, and his usual wised-up, broken-down, unmoored characters, this book is a testament to the benefits of slow cooking in an age of flash-fried, microwaved fiction.”  The Daily Beast
  8. lovesheleftbehindReview: “The Love She Left Behind,” by Amanda Coe, reviewed by Harvey Freedenberg  – “British novelist Amanda Coe’s ‘The Love She Left Behind’ is a tart family drama that examines how a selfish act of adultery mars the lives of adult children a generation after its occurrence. In this, her second novel, Coe demonstrates a keen eye for the intricate dynamics of family life and an even sharper ear for the language we use both to conceal and to wound.”  Book PageHow


    To: How a Book Becomes a Movie, by Jane Friedman – “In 2008, writer Jeanne Bowerman was working at home in upstate New York when her husband pointed to an article he was reading in the Wall Street Journal and said, ‘I would see that movie.’ The article discussed Slavery by Another Name, by Douglas Blackmon, a book detailing an episode of American history that very few people know about: after the abolition of slavery, millions of African-Americans experienced new forms of coerced labor in the South and were sold into coal mines, construction crews, and plantations.” Jane Friedman

  9. Commentary: BookBrowse Study Explores Book Club Trends – ” quarter of men who read at least one book a month have positive opinions about book clubs but are unwilling to join one, and many book club choices defy the stereotype of “women’s fiction.” In addition, more and more clubs are reading books close to publication date, which has implications for publishers.”  Shelf Awareness
  10. speakinginbonesReview: “Speaking in Bones,” by Kathy Reichs, Reviewed by Roz Shea – “SPEAKING IN BONES is the 18th novel in Reichs’ long and dazzling writing career. Juggling her “day job” as one of fewer than 100 accredited forensic anthropologists, she also co-produces the long-running TV series “Bones” while finding time to enthrall her readers with tightly written, scientifically correct and fascinating forensic thrillers, all featuring fully developed characters. SPEAKING IN BONES may be her best book yet, as Brennan attempts to balance her career with personal life decisions while trying to untangle the fate of the mysterious Cora Teague.”  Book Reporter
  11. borisjohnsonNews: Boris Johnson Inks Deal for Shakespeare Biography, by  Maryann Yin – “Boris Johnson, the mayor of London and a renowned author, has signed a deal with the United Kingdom-based publishing house, Hodder. Johnson plans to write a biography on the famous playwright, William Shakespeare.”  Galley Cat
  12. News: E-books for sale, but not selling, at independent booksellers, by Jessica Iannetta – “Scattered among the Tattered Cover’s tightly packed bookshelves are signs advertising the store’s partnership with e-book company Kobo. But those signs generate few inquiries and even fewer sales. Eight years after Amazon released the first Kindle, surviving independent bookstores are now selling e-books — and finding that no one really wants the ones they’re offering.”  The Denver Post

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



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