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Bookish thoughts 27 Sep: Penguin (law)suits, avoiding reviews, graduating from kidlit & more!

book news Bookish thoughts 27 Sep: Penguin (law)suits, avoiding reviews, graduating from kidlit & more!

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RIASS stuff:

Interview: Deborah O'Brien on overturning first impressions and confronting prejudice in fiction

Book Review: The Mighty Crashman by Jerry Spinelli'Rating: star Bookish thoughts 27 Sep: Penguin (law)suits, avoiding reviews, graduating from kidlit & more!star Bookish thoughts 27 Sep: Penguin (law)suits, avoiding reviews, graduating from kidlit & more!star Bookish thoughts 27 Sep: Penguin (law)suits, avoiding reviews, graduating from kidlit & more!halfstar Bookish thoughts 27 Sep: Penguin (law)suits, avoiding reviews, graduating from kidlit & more!blankstar Bookish thoughts 27 Sep: Penguin (law)suits, avoiding reviews, graduating from kidlit & more!'My first (but not last) Spinelli, and by which I was pleasantly surprised.

Giveaway: A Brief History of Montmaray by Michelle Cooper'(open to all)

Other bookish stuff:

The Penguin Group Launches Graphic Novel Imprint InkLit

Penguin is suing a bunch of authors in order to recoup advances paid'A number of prominent authors were paid advances for books that havent been published. The exact circumstances regarding why/if the books werent turned in or subsequently published are difficult to parse, however.

A great posts on authors and reviews from CJ Redwine'I agree with everything she says, including not commenting on or reading reviews (Ive been meaning to write a post about this for a while, actually). Its always nice to know an authors reading, but if they jump in on the comments section of their review, its very easy for readers to feel censured and to not want to participate. Comment on another post instead, or write a lovely little email. And arguing with reviews just isnt worth it. People are going to mess things up when they read, and thats fine. Its worth bearing in mind that book blogs arent for authors. Theyre for readers.

Are childrens authors who have moved into adult books graduates?'Ouch. I suspect that the use of this term might ruffle a few feathers.

Peter Stothards anti-blogger screed has been refuted all over, including in the Guardian.'What blogs can give readers is a sense of trust that, in professional circles, only the biggest lit-crit names ' such as James Wood or Michiko Kakutani ' can attain: a criticism with personality. They are expressing opinions about books in particular, and literature in general, based on a particular life of reading, written in a critical but non-technical language. What they can also give, crucially, is attention to books other than the newly published.

An interview with Wallace Shawn, actor and playwright: Public humiliation is always quite painful, obviously, because you do feel that everyone on the street has read about you and believed what they've read, and they're all thinking, Ah yes, there's that pitiful fraud I read about. But mainly I was shattered to realise that'The Fever'would not become part of a public conversation, would not stretch out across the United States and beyond and have the chance to affect people.

How comics made Jeramey Kraatz a reader and a writer'Kraatz talks about writing fan-fiction of his favourite comics, and how he never thought of this as writing as such. He also talks about how comics fuel the imagination. There is also a different, subconscious way comics force readers of any age to use their imaginations. The space between two panels on a page is the gutter, which usually represents unseen action or a passage of time. It's where your brain fills in the story.

Jeffrey Eugenides 'Spotify'playlist for The Marriage Plot'(see our review) and an interview with Eugenides about'The Marriage Plot.'Theres plenty of interesting stuff in here about Eugenides writing and books, but its hard to ignore his thoughts about Jodi Picoults belly-aching about prominent female authors receiving a different type of critical attention to prominent male authors. There's plenty of extremely worthy novelists who are getting very little attention. I think they have more right to complain. And it usually has nothing to do with their gender, but just the marketplace, he says, missing the point with jaw-dropping vim.

On the invention of hackademic publishing'John Mair and Richard Keeble produce books about hot-button topics in journalism on an astonishingly quick production schedule. Their goal is to collate myriad voices and to ensure that their books have an impact on the public.

Do you read ebooks on your phone?'I do, but only after I found out that somehow I have two Amazon accounts (and both, bafflingly, under the same email address), and that to access the books in the second account I needed a second electronic device. Enter the phone.

New stats from Bowker on book discovery and consumer book buying habits'In 2011, almost 50% of consumers said that theyd changed their book buying habits, and the places where books are bought continues to diversify.

JK Rowling mulling authors cut of the Harry Potter books.'Whats your take on this? Should books that have already been released into the publishing wild be simply let alone? Or is recutting a good idea? (I have, in fact, read one re-cut book this yearChristopher Priests'The Glamour, which I loved.

An interview with Justin Torres, author of'We the Animals. I tried to break other hearts besides my own. I had fun with the work, and sometimes it felt like torture. I tried to be honest. I tried to write with beauty.

Random House Australia is looking for a Production Assistant


  1. Im skeptical of the authors cut it smacks of a money grab. That said, it could be fascinating to see what was deleted or added in. I read that JK Rowlings novels were mostly self-edited anyway, I wonder how different theyd be.

    • Stephanie /

      The Priest re-cut made me rethink the whole authors cut thing. Im not sure that Id bother with a second version of a book I already own, thoughnor is it something I do with movies. But perhaps if I were coming to it for the very first time I might give it a shot. Actually, now that I think about it, perhaps this is the perfect thing for an e-version of the book? A before and after display?

  2. That article on bloggers was very interesting. I never read the piece it was responding to because Im a little tired of supposed bigwig people with egos going away dissing a form they dont understand. But that response piece was well written and thoughtful.

    • Stephanie /

      I agree, Jamiit was a very thoughtful piece. The original I think was a mix of smarty-pantsism and general smugness, and I can only assume that it was partly tongue in cheek. Bloggers are readers, after all, and though their opinions might not hold the same *critical* weight as professional reviewers, theyre certainly doing their part to promote reading and literature. I do understand the concerns about professional review channels diminishing and often moving solely online, and I do understand the concerns about the fact that many blogs cover the same books (and yet, isnt this the same for professional reviewers?). Bloggers, however, do have greater scope in that they can choose their own books for review, and are able to review from a backlist.

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