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

Bookish news 31 Oct: reading agreements, just say no to hobbits, ebook ownership more!

book news Bookish news 31 Oct: reading agreements, just say no to hobbits, ebook ownership & more!

RIASS stuff:

Bookalikes: cover twins and book covers with strong family resemblances

Guest Review: Friendship and loneliness in John Steinbeck's Of Mice and Men

Parallels between Drabble's The Millstone and Jan Murray's Goodbye Lullaby

Literary Blog Hop Giveaway: Tender is the Night by F Scott Fitzgerald'(open to all);'Giveaway: Arcadian Genesis by Greig Beck'(open to all)

Other bookish stuff:

Disney has bought out Lucasfilm'Only three years after purchasing Marvel, Disneys bought out Lucasfilm. It seems that Disneys focusing its efforts on franchising and merchandising over making new content.

Jo Nesbo: If Salman Rushdie had been Norwegian, he would have written a thriller.'All my friends who wanted to write had got nowhere trying to write the great European novel. So I deliberately steered clear of that and set out to write something story-led. It wasnt so much a commercial decision as a literary one. Thanks to the success of'Henning Mankelland'Peter Hoeg, there wasnt the same stigma attached to writing genre thrillers in Scandinavia as there was in many other cultures. Quite the opposite, in fact.

How headphones can improve your writing. Writers can use certain types of music to guide their writing (eg soundtracks) and can use music to help drown out external noises. Giant headphones are also a great way of telling other people not to disturb you. I have a big pair of Shure headphones, and they were an awesome investment.

Penguin book covers through the years'(oh, how I hope we dont lose the orange and white covers with the merger.)

This is how you advertise for an art school'(art school ads dressed up as anti-drug public service messages.)

Peta Jinnath Anderson from Walker on her reading agreement with her husband'Peter and her husband have a deal where they each read books of the others choosing. This means that they read outside their comfort zone, and also learn more about each others tastes. What a great idea!

Some handy-dandy writers tools for those just getting started.'Includes tips for finding sources, for backing up documents, and for organising our finances.

Book awards, the German self-publishing way'A German book award (the''has been created to offset what authors have seen as a narrow emphasis on longlisted/shortlisted books up for traditional awards. The German market is so small, they argue, that rather than encouraging readers to read more widely, they encourage focus exclusively on shortlisted titles, which tend to be from mainstream publishers. And so, lo, another award. The award involves public voting, and encourages authors to promote their book and spread awareness.

Want to give a talk about prehistoric hobbits? Nope. Not unless you pay royalties.

Invisible bookends! Very, very cool.'Being able to see stuff is so overrated.

Shakespeares syphilis and other author ailments'Milton was blind, the Brontes were all about tuberculosis, Swift had virtually everything, and Hawthorne had social anxiety disorder. Writers: living on the edge since the invention of cuneiform.

Ebooks and ownership: do you own your ebooks?'There are two issues around DRM, says Joel from Momentum. The first is a legal one. Publishers arent selling you the file to their ebooks, but rather a licence to use it with certain legal restrictions. The second is a technological one. Its when software is used to apply restrictions on sharing, duplication and so on to the file. The latter has resulted in all sorts of issues such as users being deemed to be illegally using their licences, and thus having their accounts shut down or libraries wiped. Momentums DRM-free policy allows readers to share their books between devices, but at the same time, theyre still selling readers a licence to use a file, not the file itself.

Video: has the way we tell stories changed in the digital world?

The ten best history books'Glad to see that'Necropolis by Catherine Arnold tops the list, as I have that sitting right here on my desk!

Since its Halloween, heres the story that gave me nightmares as a kid. WC Morrows'His Unconquerable Enemy.'Eep.

In Melbourne? Not planning on trick or treating tonight? Cate Kennedy is going to be giving a talk at the Fitzroy Town Hall tonight from 7pm, so stop by.

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