Archive for October, 2008

Changes in conversation

Changes in conversation

I know I’ve blogged numerous times about Luncheon of the Boating Party and the book discussions I’ve attended for it, but it occurred to me last night how very differently readers will approach a book. This is nothing surprising for any of us who facilitate book groups, but how often do we get to see […]

The Alexie Factor
By October 31, 2008 6 Comments Read More →

The Alexie Factor

Guests on the Colbert Report, Stephen Colbert’s spoof of the O’Reilly Factor, sometimes have just as much trouble facing Stephen Colbert as others do Bill O’Reilly–for completely different reasons, of course. O’Reilly often shouts and interrupts, making it hard for people to get a word in edgewise. Colbert interrupts, too–his satire is wickedly accurate–but more […]

More Books–both Good and Bad–for Bad Times
By October 30, 2008 0 Comments Read More →

More Books–both Good and Bad–for Bad Times

Speaking of good books for bad times, Gawker looks at authors’ stock-market speculations–speculative fiction, to be more precise–asking, “What have our finest authors found to redeem us from this depression?” Speculative fiction often refrains from defining the terms of an economic collapse, but it’s always forced to either solve the problem or make things considerably worse […]

Socialite Sues Sneaky Sis for Spurious Self-Aggrandizement
By October 30, 2008 0 Comments Read More →

Socialite Sues Sneaky Sis for Spurious Self-Aggrandizement

The New York Post (“Sis Family Feud’s One for Books,” by Bruce Golding) reports on a literary lawsuit where the facts may be more entertaining than the fiction. The author of the soon-to-be-published novel Hedge Fund Wives makes some serious claims about her sibling’s claims to her creativity: Writer Tatiana Boncompagni Hoover claims in court papers […]

Ten Writers Win Whitings
By October 30, 2008 0 Comments Read More →

Ten Writers Win Whitings

Ten happy writers have received 2008 Whiting Writers’ Awards–and checks for $50,000. They are recognized for “exceptional talent and promise in early career,” and they are listed below. (Because some of them don’t yet have books to link to, I’ve just reproduced the copy from the press release, adding links to the books we’ve reviewed.) […]

Posted in: Awards, Likely Stories
Reservation Road
By October 30, 2008 0 Comments Read More →

Reservation Road

Last night I watched the film version of John Burnham Schwartz’s harrowing novel, Reservation Road, which is about a tragic hit-and-run accident and its devastating effects on two families — that of the driver, and also his victim, a young boy.  The movie stars Joaquin Phoenix, Mark Ruffalo, and Jennifer Connelly, each of whom gives […]

A Place for Us
By October 30, 2008 0 Comments Read More →

A Place for Us

Setting is an important appeal factor to many readers, but wise book group leaders should give it special consideration. A book with a strong sense of place lends itself well to discussion because it offers so many conversational entry points for readers. Even readers who are not good at discussing their reactions to a book often have […]

Persephone Books: Dovegray Reprints
By October 29, 2008 1 Comments Read More →

Persephone Books: Dovegray Reprints

As soon as the book was handed to me by a bookseller, I was in love. It had a luscious painting on the cover, and was otherwise gray. I found myself holding a beautifully constructed paperback, with wallpaper from the era of the original printing of the book on endpages. It was just what I was […]

Tony Hillerman, R.I.P.
By October 29, 2008 0 Comments Read More →

Tony Hillerman, R.I.P.

From the Associated Press (“Acclaimed author Tony Hillerman dies at 83,” by Amanda Lee Myers): PHOENIX – Tony Hillerman, author of the acclaimed Navajo Tribal Police mystery novels and creator of two of the unlikeliest of literary heroes — Navajo police officers Joe Leaphorn and Jim Chee — died Sunday of pulmonary failure. He was […]

EarlyWord Kids
By October 28, 2008 0 Comments Read More →

EarlyWord Kids

EarlyWord, the Web site that includes Nora Rawlinson’s Give ‘em what They Want blog, has just added a new feature called EarlyWord Kids. Contributor Lisa Von Drasek, librarian for the Bank Street Colllege of Education in New York, started posting last week about books for children and young adults.  Look for this tag on the site: to identify new […]