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

Bookish News & Publishing Tidbits 18 May 2012

book news Bookish News & Publishing Tidbits 18 May 2012

RIASS stuff:

A review of Witch Week'by Diana Wynne Jones, in which the author is in (as usual) fine form. (Rating: star Bookish News & Publishing Tidbits 18 May 2012star Bookish News & Publishing Tidbits 18 May 2012star Bookish News & Publishing Tidbits 18 May 2012star Bookish News & Publishing Tidbits 18 May 2012blankstar Bookish News & Publishing Tidbits 18 May 2012)

A guest post with best-selling author Diane Chamberlain about balancing writing and a second career.

Only a day left to enter our giveaway of Barry and the Fairies of Miller Street!

Other bookish stuff:

Are libraries doomed? Our librarians will find a way to make life better for us. 'Their working in a library building as we know such is doubtful. 'There won't be a library for us to go to. We'll be ordering e-books and other media from them by computer. 'They'll send them to us by computer. Will do everything by computer. 'Probably we'll never see a librarian face to face. 'In fact, the process may be automated.'I'm optimistic. 'I'm all for progress. But I'm glad I won't see this progress. 'I treasure my memories of my good times in public libraries big and small, near and far.' Good times beyond count.

Read no evil ' Senior censor defends work, denies playing Big Brother:'Always during each [Kuwait] Book Fair, the media writes about banning hundreds of books from being sold. And they blame us for this. The committee that decides the ban consists of members in high positions from outside and inside the Ministry of Endowments and the Ministry of Information. The censor is not responsible for the ban. He only reads and gives his opinion according to the law.

Jennifer Miller on writing The Year of the Gadfly:''I love the creativity involved in creating specific images and feeling simply by putting words on the page. I love language'particularly the sound of words. I also love creating a unique world out of thin air. I think writing fiction is a little bit like acting. As the author, you have to inhabit different characters and try to see the world through their eyes'and speak like them, which isn't easy. But it's so rewarding when you do it well. You're tricking readers (and yourself) in believing that fictions exist. How much fun is that!'

Should Faulkners The Sound and the Fury be colour-coded by viewpoint?'The Sound and The Fury is acknowledged as one of the masterpieces of 20th-century literature. It takes the modernist narrative devices of stream-of-consciousness, time-shifts and multiple changes of viewpoint to an unprecedented level of sophistication. Faulkner was well aware that readers would find it difficult, and employed italic and roman type to convey its 'unbroken-surfaced confusion', but when his agent attempted to standardise and simplify the system this prompted an angry objection from Faulkner. He quickly jotted down eight time-levels in Benjy's section, 'just a few I recall', and wished that it could be 'printed the way it ought to be with different color types', but he concluded pessimistically, 'I don't reckon ' it'll ever be printed that way'. Wrong!

An interview with author Carole Matthews: My latest book my twentieth novel is about Nell McNamara. It's a warm, funny story about someone who, against the odds, wants to follow their dreamsI think a lot of women will empathise with this character and will be cheering her on as she pursues her dream. It's based on the life and experiences of my good friend, Helen Rochfort, who is a successful and accomplished handbag designer. So I hope it has a really authentic feel. (see also our reviews of Caroles work)

Peter Brown on connect with a young audience: Outside of regular book tours, I go to spend entire days at an elementary school to talk in detail about my process, so at the end of the day's there's 400 kids out there, and it's invaluable to see their reactions. I get to observe my readers up close and personal. I get to see what lines make them laugh and where I'm losing their attention. So when I write my next book, I've learned my lesson and try to incorporate that.'

MJ Hearle on how The Wizard of Oz'both terrifies and inspires: By the end of the movie I was a mess. My imagination seethed with images of gnarled trees reaching with clawed hands, winged monkeys diving from the stormy heavens to wreck havoc, growling blue-skinned henchmen swarming through a castle brandishing spears and'Oz's'ultimate terror ' the Witch herself. She took root in my nightmares and resides there still.
I went to bed in a fever sweat. My stomach muscles were clenched with anxiety, my gaze roamed the dark corners of the room searching for green-skinned apparitions in pointy black hats. (see our review of The Wizard of Oz)

Jeffrey Eugenides on literary plot devices and how they evolve over time:'It [the marriage plot] was impossible because conditions have changed so much for women. I liked those novels but I did know that they still played a big role in our minds because of reading them and the kinds of expectations of romance that they still give to people, especially young women, but everyone really romantic ideals. It was more a question of trying to see how those novels affected the present more than recreating a novel that would actually be a marriage plot.

The power and range of the graphic novel memoir'For graphic novel memoirists like Bechdel, Spiegelman, and Satrapi, the form serves a critical storytelling function to highlight and enhance the emotionally fraught images with words, and vice versa.

Minimalist book covers

You know you want this iPhone app

For all your lucky Americans: registrations for BEA have opened.

Bookish videos:

Trailer for Frankenstein (A Monstrous Parody), written by Rick Walton and illustrated by Nathan Hale

Trailer for Sidney Chambers and the Shadow of Death by James Runcie:

Trailer for Burn Mark by Laura Powell:

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  1. Hi Stephanie! Glad you stopped by my blog and wanted to return the visit. Also, I just sent you an email regarding your question about Swagbucks.

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