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

Book News, Reviews, and Musings 21 September 2010

book news 150x150 Book News, Reviews, and Musings 21 September 2010

News, Reviews, and Musings is a new daily feature. Feel free to chime in, or to'tweet/email us if we've missed something that you'd like to see featured.

News and features

Our find for the day is, a great site where experts from a range of fields list five seminal works from the area of expertise. For a taste, check out Michael Morpurgo on childrens literature; Dacia Maraini on Italian literature; and Nicholas Jose on Australian novels.

The blogosphere is livid after Laurie Halse Andersons great YA novel'Speak is characterised as as filthy and immoral. Check out Lauries response. You can also help support Laurie by picking up a copy of her book. tells us that JK Rowlings handwritten manuscripts will be on display at the Wigtown Book Festival.

It looks as though Apple has its eye on the periodicals market.

Thanks to this zine for including our zombie fiction list, and as an opener, too.


William Gibson shares his favourite books set in that moody and labyrinthine city that has been the fodder for so much great fiction: London.

DBC Pierre answers 10 terrifying questions at Booktopia.


Violet at Still Life With Books reviews Jenny Woolfs The Mystery of Lewis Carroll, which depicts the author as a thoroughly enigmatic and, to be honest, rather creepy gentleman.

Eric Brown at The Guardian casts an eye over Jeff VanderMeers Finch. The upshot? Its both a stylish detective story and an unsettling example of the New Weird movement.


Author Arthur Slade tells us how he came to write Victorian-era steampunk novels for kids. (You can also win a copy of his book The Dark Deeps by scrolling to the bottom of the post)

Mark T Mustian discusses the research he undertook for his historical novel The Gendarme. I love the quote taken from Michener: Really great writers are people like Emily Bronte who sit in a room and write out of their limited experience and unlimited imagination. In a follow-up article, Mark discusses the value of reading widely, something we applaud here at this site!

Enough with the present tense!'says said Philip Pullman. But Elizabeth Baines has entirely different thoughts on the matter, with some interesting points about uncertainty and authorial responsibility.

Just for fun

Check out these great little literary games developed by Niall Moody. How can you not be intrigued by something called'The Lair of Fungal Wonder and based on one of Jeff VanderMeers books?

And while youre taking a break, have a look at these crazy costumes from the recent World Con. You might want to put down your coffee first, though, because youre about to come eye to eye with a plush cthulu.

Author birthdays

Todays a popular today for birthdays! Happy birthday to Stephen King, Heather Brewer, and HG Wells!

Beautiful book cover of the day

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