Bookish News Publishing Tidbits 11 May 2012

book news Bookish News & Publishing Tidbits 11 May 2012

RIASS stuff:

The Ditmar shortlist has been announced, and apparently Im on it.

A review of'How to Marry a Murderer'by Amanda Matetsky, a 50s-era cozy mystery starring Paige Turner.

A review of The Victory Dance Murder'by M T Jefferson, a WWII-era cozy mystery set in small-town Pennsylvania.

Other bookish stuff:

B&Ns Kevin OConnor on Nook Kids: It's about meeting a different need, it's opportunistic, needing a book right now'it's tied into meeting an'immediate'need. And then at the stores there's so much about giving and passing along a cultural experience that we don't quite see on the digital side yet.'

Joan Acocella on the English language: English is a melding of the languages of the many different peoples who have lived in Britain; it has also changed through commerce and conquest. English has always been a ragbag, and that encouraged further permissiveness. In the past half century or so, however, this situation has produced a serious quarrel, political as well as linguistic, with two combatant parties: the prescriptivists, who were bent on instructing us in how to write and speak; and the descriptivists, who felt that all we could legitimately do in discussing language was to say what the current practice was.

Neil Gaiman shares his reading habits: There have been few books in recent years I actually broke up with, realising we were not right for each other. There are instead books I have stopped seeing, and vaguely intend to finish one day, the next time I run into them, but they are vaguer, more general things.

The State Library of Vic brings all the kids to the yard: More than 1.5 million people visited it last year, making it the busiest in the country after a 95 per cent growth in visitors over the past five years. The number of visits to the librarys website was nearly double that at 2.8 million. (NB, also, a certain blogger got engaged there.)

An interview with David Vann, author of Dirt: I grew up in Alaska and then California, and all my books are set in landscapes that are very important to me. I don't outline or plan my books, and I don't know what will happen each day in the writing. What I focus on is only the landscape and a problem in the character. The collision of these two generates the story, mostly because landscape is a kind of blank page for the unconscious, without any meaning of its own.

The agony of writing: I hate to write. I have to force myself every day to sit down and begin. This is the first thing that I always tell students, who have absorbed the peculiar modern notion that if you are practiced at something you must find it effortless and pleasurable. Sometimes they ask how I continue, and I reply, glibly, Because of contractual obligation. But I only manage because I live a humdrum life, in which the drama takes place mainly on the page.

Rise of the serial killer in fiction: The term 'serial killer' rapidly escaped the realms of psychology and criminology in the early 80s, and as we see here it quickly gained ground on 'mass murderer', 'maniac' and 'psychopath'.'Thomas Harris's'Red Dragon'was 1981, so he was quick off the mark, although he only uses the term once.

Love your library? Have your say at Tomorrows Library

Bookish songs


Book Depository now ships free to China

Are you following the Penguin Podcast?

Have you checked out Bloomsbury Circus, the new imprint from Bloomsbury? (more info here)

Jobs and opps:

The Age Book of the Year Award is open to submissions


The story behind Keep Calm and Carry On (thanks to Jami of Absurdly Nerdly for the heads up)

The trailer for Joe Abercrombies Heroes

How to make a hollow book:

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