Book Bits: Booker short list, Apple suit, ‘Fear of Dying,’ Jessa Crispin
If you were taking pictures during the era when your rolls of film were were sent in to Kodak and other labs to be developed as slides or prints, you may be sitting on an archive of writing ideas. I recently bough an inexpensive slide scanner and have been converting old pictures into JPG files.
What surprised me was the flood of memories that appeared as I looked at these slides for the first time in years. Many of the incidents captured by the slides could easily serve as writing prompts or plot ideas for novels and short stories. This was a benefit I hadn’t expected.
- News: Man Booker shortlist 2015: Marilynne Robinson out as new writers surge ahead, by Alison Flood – “Tom McCarthy and Sunjeev Sahota are the sole British novelists on the shortlist for this year’s Man Booker prize. The award-winning Andrew O’Hagan, the third British writer to be longlisted for his novel The Illuminations, failed to make the final six. In the biggest surprise of the shortlist, the major American author Marilynne Robinson, who has won the Pulitzer, the Orange prize and a National Humanities Medal presented by Barack Obama, was eliminated from the competition, as was former Booker winner Anne Enright.” The Guardian
- Review: “The Song Machine,” by John Seabrook, reviewed by Jeanette Zwart – “New Yorker writer John Seabrook (Flash of Genius) provides an eminently readable and important inside look at how the pop music industry developed strategies to manufacture no-fail hit songs.” Shelf Awareness
- News: Clock Ticks on Apple’s Supreme Court Bid, by Andrew Albanese – “Might consumers see e-book refunds from Apple in time for the holidays? Apple’s hopes for a reversal of Judge Denise Cote’s 2013 verdict finding it liable for price fixing now rest with the Supreme Court—and attorneys this week confirmed that Apple has until roughly the end of September to petition the high court for review, or to file an extension.” Publishers Weekly
- News: 11 New Writers Sign on to Write for Chipotle Cups and Bags, by Maryann Yin – “Chipotle Mexican Grill has recruited eleven new writers to create pieces for its “Cultivating Thought” line. With the help of this team, the company will post original content in the form of stories and illustrations on its cups and bags.” Galleycat
- Review: “Fear of Dying,” by Erica Jong, reviewed by Patty Rhule – “Jong’s latest novel, Fear of Dying, is the story of actress Vanessa Wonderman, 60, happily married to the wonderful and wealthy Asher … and longing for more. Asher is 20 years older than Vanessa and they read obits together more often than they make love. ” USA Today
- Feature: Ashley Smith: the true story behind “Captive,” by Kay Foley – “It’s been ten years since Ashley Smith’s life was changed for the better in the most unexpected way—by being held hostage…Smith recounted her harrowing tale in her 2005 book, “Unlikely Angel: The Untold Story of the Atlanta Hostage Hero.” Now, it’s the inspiration for the new film, “Captive,” which comes out on September 18.” (inlcudes video interview) Yahoo
Interview: Jessa Crispin (“The Dead Ladies Project”), with Mairead Case – “The writing of it was more like the channeling of it, because it came very fast and pretty much in just one draft. This is how I write. I don’t write for a very long time, until it becomes like a wave pushing at the back of my skull and if I don’t get to a pen or a computer really fast my brains will come out of my head and make a mess.” Bookslut
- Essay: Writing in Cafés: A Personal History, by Benjamin Aldes Wurgaft – “Hemingway once reported that in cafés he ‘was like a charging rhino when he wrote,’ noticing nothing but his target. Whether or not this is true, it suggests a familiar kind of authorial self fashioning. For a kid with literary aspirations, to write in cafés is such a cliché that it needs no explanation, but there is the historical question of how the cliché got its stripes, of how the link between cafés and writing became intuitive for us. ” Los Angeles Review of Books
- Review: “The Gates of Evangeline,” by Hester Young, reviewed by Meg Bowden – “Hester Young’s debut novel, The Gates of Evangeline, is a thrilling Southern Gothic mystery. Full of family secrets, betrayals and unexpected romances, it pulls readers along on a dark, twisted ride through the Louisiana swamp.” Book Page
- Feature: New York Times has announced a new fellowship to honor David Carr – “David Carr, who died in February, was the media columnist for The New York Times and one of the most important voices in journalism. The first David Carr Fellow will spend two years in The Times’s newsroom covering the intersection of technology, media and culture. The focus of the fellow’s work could be steady, sustained news stories; magazine-style features; investigative efforts; videography; or a mix of approaches, depending on the interests of the fellow and the recommendation of Times editors.” (Includes application form.) The New York Times