Writers and Writing

The Questions Authors Hate to Answer
By October 30, 2014 0 Comments Read More →

The Questions Authors Hate to Answer

I had a great time moderating two panels, “Ask the Publishers” and “Writing for the Younger Crowd,” last weekend at the Chicago Writers Conference. Preparing for the latter, I asked authors Allan Woodrow and Erica O’Rourke which questions they hate answering. Between them, they offered three—in a moment of perversity, I considered then asking them THOSE […]

Advice for Aspiring Authors at the Chicago Writers Conference
By October 21, 2014 0 Comments Read More →

Advice for Aspiring Authors at the Chicago Writers Conference

The third annual Chicago Writers Conference will be held this weekend in Dubuque, Iowa. Just kidding, it’s in Chicago. It’s a small and well-run event that stresses practical advice for aspiring authors—founder Mare Swallow is not a fan of empty platitudes or back-slapping from presenters. This year, attendees can look forward to hearing from authors such […]

The Peter Temple Project: An Iron Rose
By October 15, 2014 0 Comments Read More →

The Peter Temple Project: An Iron Rose

Last month, I announced my intention to read the entire backlist of the great Australian crime fiction author Peter Temple, writing retrospective reviews for the titles Booklist hadn’t already covered. (Many of his books weren’t available in the U.S. until Text Publishing, working with Consortium Distribution, made it happen last year.) After Bad Debts (1996), the […]

2014 Nobel Prize in Literature Announced
By October 9, 2014 0 Comments Read More →

2014 Nobel Prize in Literature Announced

French born writer Patrick Modiano, born July 30, 1945, received the Nobel Prize in literature, announced this morning. The press release announces Modiano is awarded the prize “for the art of memory with which he has evoked the most ungraspable human destinies and uncovered the life-world of the occupation.” Modiano’s work frequently explores the themes of […]

By October 9, 2014 0 Comments Read More →

Inside the Audiobook Studio with the Incomparable Jack Gantos

“I may have finished but the book lives on.” The incomparable Jack Gantos, award-winning author and narrator extraordinaire, discusses the recording of his fifth and final Joey Pigza book, The Key That Swallowed Joey Pigza (2014), courtesy of Listening Library. Check out this video with Gantos in the recording studio, where he shares his thoughts on the power of […]

Don’t Make Us Spell It Out For You: Books with Single-Letter Titles
By October 2, 2014 0 Comments Read More →

Don’t Make Us Spell It Out For You: Books with Single-Letter Titles

It’s hard to gauge the effect of a single-letter book title on potential readers. Excitement, perhaps, because of the author’s boldness? Curiosity, maybe, because of the title’s minimalism? The imminent publication of Howard Jacobson’s J (yesterday’s Review of the Day on Booklist Online) had me wondering whether I could assemble an abecedary of the world’s briefest […]

Hostile Questions: Stephanie Perkins
By September 26, 2014 0 Comments Read More →

Hostile Questions: Stephanie Perkins

Hostile Questions is, of course, known for its questioning, which is of a hostile bent, but something strange happened when I met up with Stephanie Perkins, author of Anna and the French Kiss, Lola and the Boy Next Door, and Isla and the Happily Ever After. There I was, bitter beyond my years, when we […]

The Blurb is the Word: Uses (and Misuses) of the Book Blurb
By September 15, 2014 0 Comments Read More →

The Blurb is the Word: Uses (and Misuses) of the Book Blurb

Two weeks ago, I happened across a Twitter conversation sparked by Michael Bourret, a literary agent at Dystel & Goderich. “We need to talk about the blurb game,” he wrote. “Are we doing a service to anyone, the blurber or the blurbee?” I know a cry of exasperation when I hear one, so I invited three voices in […]

The Peter Temple Project: Must-Read Australian Crime Fiction
By September 11, 2014 1 Comments Read More →

The Peter Temple Project: Must-Read Australian Crime Fiction

At Booklist, we review almost entirely new and forthcoming titles, a challenge for those of use who tend to get distracted in used bookstores. Fortunately, sometimes there are opportunities to bring good, old books to a brand-new audience. I first discovered Peter Temple when I was asked to review The Broken Shore (2005), a magnificent novel that made me […]

The Hugo Awards Winners and Nominations
By August 18, 2014 0 Comments Read More →

The Hugo Awards Winners and Nominations

The winners of the Hugo Awards for excellence in science fiction and fantasy, were announced yesterday, in London. See the nominations and winners below, with booklist reviews linked when available. If you’re wondering why there aren’t many links, most of the nominees are shorter works originally published in periodicals and thus ineligible for Booklist review.   Best Novel […]