Book reviews, new books, publishing news, book giveaways, and author interviews

Bookish links 15 Nov: defining magic realism, state of the novel, authors reviewing books more!

book news Bookish links 15 Nov: defining magic realism, state of the novel, authors reviewing books & more!

RIASS stuff:

Dead Europe: notes from a Q&A with the director and producers

Ghost towns, history and The Secrets of St Dee by Victoria Routledge

Stop it or you'll go blind! Or, how reading is ruining my eyesight

After yet another hacking problem with this site Im going to moving away from WordPress and over to a bespoke CMS (thanks, techie husband!) If youre worried about getting lost in the shuffle, make sure that youre subscribed to our Google Reader feed'or via the email box to the right, and Ill port over all of the subscriptions when its ready to go. :)

Other bookish stuff:

Kate Forsyth on writing magic realism'Magic realism is, I think, a genre of fiction set in our own world, in which strange, uncanny, or magical things happen in the midst of everyday events. The protagonists do not change their world, as is the case in most fantasy novels; rather, they themselves are changed as a consequence of the magic. The line between real and unreal, possible and impossible, is blurred. Life is shown to be filled with mystery and the inexplicable. Kates included a reading list as well, so swing by to check out her suggestions.

Readings Books has a New Adult section. I guess New Adult really is a thing!

An interview with Tom Wolfe'Wolfe, whos criticised the state of the novel in the past, offers some more thoughts here: it gets weaker and weaker because of the influence of these MFA programs. They teach young people to write what you know, which would mean things youve experienced. Now thats perfectly good advice, but its usually not good for more than one book.'Emerson'once said every person on earth has a great autobiography to write, if only he or she can distinguish something unique in his or her experience. Thats true, but he didnt say two!

An origami mobile made from old books:

book cranes 225x300 Bookish links 15 Nov: defining magic realism, state of the novel, authors reviewing books & more!Ebony McKenna asks whether authors should review books'Authors hang out in writer circles and make friends with loads of other authors. Its impossible to be impartial. Personally, I like to help other authors out. If I like their book, I like to tell people about it. When theyre a good friend and theyve been wonderful sometimes their books just arent for me. But I wont write a negative review becuase I want to still be their friend. Every author feels this at some point.

The Mystery of Edwin Drood is back as a play (I read the book last week and will be reviewing it soon!)

Beck has released an album in the form of sheet music'Writing the songs included here, I began to wonder: How do you ask people to take the time to learn to play them?actual, playable songs were still a necessity. I started to think about what kind of songs have a quality that allows others to inhabit them and to make them their own. What is it about a song that lets you sing it around a campfire, or play it at a wedding? Its an interesting concept. What do you think about products that put the onus back on the reader to help realise their creation?

This is how you design a house: around a library!'(Walls are so overrated)

Andrew Motion on the poetry of John Keats'When we read his best poems ' which with a few exceptions are those in the 1820 volume ' we are watching a writer grapple with the largest eternal questions: what is the role of the imagination? What is the value of art? What is the purpose of suffering? How can we create our own selves, and integrate with the lives of others?

An iOS developer has decided to combat piracy by sending accusing autotweets from its users accounts.'The problem is that plenty of the users werent pirates at all, but were properly paid-up members. Oops.

So,'Fifty Shades'has been nominated for an award.

When reaching tween readers, content matters more than format'(fancy that) An interview with journalist Larissa Faw: 'you need to have something that's everywhere ' so that it's on mobile, and trading and webisodes ' it can't just be something that's just on the printed page. It's not how they see things and it never has been. It just can't be that publishers say 'we have a book and it's on the shelf and that's end of it and that's that.' It has to be a brand.

Is reading the genre youre currently writing in dangerous?'The author notes that, yes, while its possible to accidentally filch something from another authors books, its important to keep up with your genre, know whats overdone, and have something in the genre you can share with other readers. And besides, if youre always writing, avoiding reading your preferred genre is going to be a tough ask!

On killing your darlings and the preoccupations of authors (podcast)

Happy birthday to the State Librarys Dome Reading Room!'(100 years!)

Too many distractions? Turn your computer into a typewriter.'*typey typey typey typey typey typey typey bing!*

Ever wanted to make a book? Check out this bookmaking kit

bookmaking kit 294x300 Bookish links 15 Nov: defining magic realism, state of the novel, authors reviewing books & more!

The myth of the evil editor'Contrary to the evil editor myth, the horror stories aren't the norm. The experience of most of the published writers I know has been more like mine'relationships that range from great to just okay and sometimes poor, but that don't typically involve the kind of manipulation and mutilation that the myth says we should fear.

How Amazon and Barnes & Noble Price Changes Affected Sales of HarperCollins Ebooks'In the following five examples, I found that price decreases didn't have much effect on sales ranking. If an ebook's price is lowered from $10 to $8, for example, it needs to sell about 25% more copies to maintain the same level of revenue. I didn't observe any sales rank bumps that would indicate a 25% bump in sales. Ideally, a title has more than a 25% increase in sales, justifying a price change as better for business overall.

The Melbourne Writers Festival has some job opps availableand so does the'National Young Writers Festival

white 15 Bookish links 15 Nov: defining magic realism, state of the novel, authors reviewing books & more!Send to Kindle


  1. Ooh, I'm going to set up a much better site I the new year. WordPress isn't really as great as people tell you it is'

    And God, I was hoping Fifty Twilight Shades would have gone away by now, but people can't just stop, can they? I got a catalogue from a bookshop the other day, and there were even Fifty Shades-themed self-help books in it.

    • Stephanie /

      Oh, good luck with the new site, Sonya! Yes, WP has been making me tear my hair out!

      Im amazed that people are still trying to cash in on it. I saw a publishers catalogue the other day that tried to describe some new book as the marriage of a classic (I think it was Fitzgerald) with Fifty Shades. Juststop. Please.

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