Review: One Mountain Away by Emilie Richards Rating: Bring tissues!
Review: Possessed by Niki Valentine Rating: And you wonder why I’m so cynical at such a tender age.
Review: Big Sky River by Linda Lael Miller Rating: Cowboys, chicken farms and a hero called Boone. You know you want to read this.
Other bookish stuff:
Anton Chekhov on the eight qualities of cultured people “If they have a talent they respect it. They sacrifice to it rest, women, wine, vanity…. They are proud of their talent…. Besides, they are fastidious.”
A feature on programmer/novelist Ellen Ulman “she sees what great things are possible but also the terrible things that are probably inevitable. She wants to pinpoint the exact moments, the precise places, where things go awry.”
An interview with translator Natasha Wimmer “As a translator you work more exclusively with a text and you’re alone a lot, which I don’t mind. The problem can be that translating exercises just one part of the brain and you don’t get to be very analytical. So I’ve done some review writing and just started teaching, which are nice complements to the translation work.”
Bookstore cafes are the current big thing in Korea (I knew I was on to something with my coffee + book app idea)
Has self-publishing turned a corner? “If I’m being honest, I can track the shift in my own attitude. Like other large newspapers, the Chronicle receives about 50 books a day — from traditional publishing houses and indie outfits — in the hopes that the titles will be selected for review. Three years ago, I ignored the obviously self-published books. Today I don’t, because you never know what you’re casting aside.”
Where are the teens in teen book awards? (and in teen publishing in general, at that) “Why are adults deciding what is quality teen literature? Where are all the judging panels that have teens sitting alongside librarians or teachers? Often awards from teens are separated from the big awards. Where is the teen representation for the Printz, The Children’s Book Council of Australia Book of the Year or Prime Minister’s Literary Awards? If awards are for teen literature, shouldn’t the audience be represented?”
Eloisa James on being both a professor of literature and a romance author “[As a child] I was already writing romances…My parents, meanwhile, were training me and my siblings to become great writers. My father read aloud the Anglo-Saxon epic “Beowulf,” howling Grendel’s lines with terrifying emphasis. My mother, the short story writer and essayist Carol Bly, read “Charlotte’s Web,” weeping at Charlotte’s death. We quickly learned the ingredients of great literature: violence, death, grief. It took me years to accept that, though born into the Bach family, I had a pop talent.”
On the future of book editing “Another thing that is likely to change over the coming years is the conceptual focus on the appearance of books as opposed to their structure…Modern editing has been focused on desktop publishing—the font size of a particular heading level, or the leading, or the kerning—but that is going to begin shifting back towards the idea of text as a structure. In other words, in digital, structure trumps style.”
An interview with The Wheeler Centre’s Michael Williams “We do knowledge a disservice if we start to think about it in terms of a hierarchy of what is valuable smartness and what isn’t. I don’t want people to say that person looks like a real Wheeler Centre person and that person doesn’t, because we’re not about pitching everything to an inner city, bookish crowd.”