The Sun Singer's Travels

Malcolm R. Campbell's World

Book Bits: Robot writing, Quintan Ana Wikswo, ‘New’ Tolkien story, Kindlepreneurs

BookBits“Book Bits” appears on this blog about once a week, except last week when I was in Memphis attending the 90th birthday party of my brother’s wife’s mother. She has stories to tell. Many of them. I wish i could capture them along with her way of telling them. We had a good time except for the Memphis-style thunderstorm that knocked out the power in the neighborhood where our hotel was. Drove back to north Georgia in the rain as well and, typically, found none of it falling in our yard.

This week’s links:

  1. NewsRobots that write fiction? You couldn’t make it up, by James Bridle – “Computer-generated fiction might seem a tipping point for artificial intelligence, but it could help us to understand the world we live in.” The Guardian
  2. WikswoInterview: Quintan Ana Wikswo (“The Hope of Floating Has Carried Us This Far”) – “I’m fundamentally obsessed with the way we humans actually experience story – the narrative of existence. This is a slightly different focus than priorities of “the craft of fiction.” For me, writing is the desire to convey the kinetic beauty of visceral, messy passions of our lives and experiences – the shifting abstractions of memory, the contradictions and disharmonies of shared reality, the awkward internal juxtapositions of trauma – where beliefs and feelings and perceptions are a tangle that defies the story arc.” Electric Lit
  3. News: One of J.R.R. Tolkien’s unfinished stories will finally be published this year, by Kwame Opam – “Tolkien fans rejoice! The Lord of the Rings author’s estate will soon release a 100-year-old manuscript that was never before released to the public. Titled The Story of Kullervo, the work is one of Tolkien’s earliest efforts, and helped lay the foundation for the stories he’d tell about Middle Earth throughout his career.”  The Verge
  4. NYCeddeptNews: New York Partners With Amazon to Bring E-Books to Schools, by Dianna Dilworth – “New York’s Department of Education is working on a plan to bring e-books to more than 1,800 public schools. The City has partnered with Amazon and allotted $30 million in funding to create ”  Galleycat
  5. prankFeature: New York Review of Books Fills a Niche by Reviving Forgotten Works, by Larry Rohter – “Publication of an overlooked work by a master like Chekhov would obviously be a coup for any publishing house, large or small. But New York Review Books, the publishing offshoot of the literary magazine The New York Review of Books, has made a specialty of rescuing and reviving all kinds of ignored or forgotten works in English or in translation, fiction and nonfiction, by writers renowned and obscure.” The New York Times
  6. Feature: Meet the Kindlepreneurs: The bestselling authors you’ve never heard of, by India Sturgis – “Louise is one of a rapidly growing number of authors taking the literary game into their own hands, and self-publishing ebooks (digital books) through companies such as Kindle Direct Publishing (KDP), Apple iBookstore and Smashwords. For as sales of print dwindle, self-publishing has become a ferociously rising sector. In 2013 the UK market for self-published books grew by 79 per cent with 18 million bought by UK readers, despite print sales falling 10 per cent overall. ”  The Telegraph
  7. blackoutReview: “Blackout” by Sarah Hepola – “A razor-sharp memoir that reveals the woman behind the wine glass…A treasure trove of hard truths mined from a life soaked in booze.” Kirkus
  8. News: Five Books Makiing the News This Week: Katrina, the Fall of Saigon, Opium Wars, Maine, by Jane Ciabattari – “A decade ago, on August 23, 2005, the devastating storm known as Hurricane Katrina commenced a trail of damage that changed the landscape and led to immeasurable human tragedy. Dozens of new books mark the tenth anniversary of the storm, including two below. Also on the critical radar this week: new Maine stories from Ann Beattie, the last in Amitav Ghosh’s Ibis triology, and a noir novel haunted by the fall of Saigon.”  Literary Hub
  9. Viewpoint: 7 Reasons To Choose ‘Real’ Books — At Least Sometimes, by Claire Fallon – ” 2013 study suggested that American adults are rapidly expanding their online time. . .Print — a notable loser in the survey, clocking barely 30 minutes in an average day — might be a dinosaur in the era of cheap e-readers and tablets. On the other hand, all this screen time isn’t an unalloyed good. Reading your books on paper instead of a Kindle can be a great way to disconnect and reset.”  The Huffington Post
  10. Feature: To Be Read (TBR) Time – Here’s a handy caculator you can use to figure out how long it will take you to read all the books in your TBR pile. Read It Forward
  11. nightsisterReview: “The Night Sister,” by Jennifer McMahon – “The creepy motel is a staple of the horror genre—think the Overlook or the Bates. In her chilling seventh novel, The Night Sister, Jennifer McMahon has created a worthy addition to that roster: the Tower Motel.”  Book Page
  12. Obituary: David Nobbs – British comedy writer David Nobbs, who “struck gold” in 1975 with his novel The Death of Reginald Perrin and went on to write “a series of sometimes interconnected novels and scripts chronicling changes to British life across the decades,” died August 9, the Guardian reported. He was 80. A popular TV adaptation, The Fall and Rise of Reginald Perrin, ran between 1976 and 1979, followed in 1996 by The Legacy of Reginald Perrin and Reggie Perrin in 2009.  Shelf Awareness See Also a longer story on The Guardian
  13. Commentary: Shakespeare and marijuana: important discovery or silly speculation? by By Gretel Kauffman – “Some scholars suggest that the Bard may have smoked marijuana for inspiration, but others are skeptical.”  The Christian Science Monitor

KIndle cover 200x300Book Bits is compiled by Malcolm R. Campbell, author of “Conjure Woman’s Cat,” a novella about a conjure woman fighting the KKK with folk magic and guile.

 

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