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Bookish links 12 Nov: on writing for others, journalists as amplifiers, blogger inferiority complexes more!

book news Bookish links 12 Nov: on writing for others, journalists as amplifiers, blogger inferiority complexes & more!

RIASS stuff:

It's not you, it's me: a letter to Beck McDowell's This is Not a Drill

Interview: Jennifer Laurens, author of Grace Doll, on immortality in fiction

Humour as an art form: Michael Frissore on having a laugh in fiction

A couple of public service announcements: two women have recently gone missing in Melbourne. If youve seen or heard anything, please contact the police.

Oscar, a friend of my lovely blogger friend Violet, is trying to raise money so that he can undergo sex change surgery. If youd like to donate to Oscars cause, you can do so here.'(I have.)

Other bookish stuff:

David Foster Wallace on why writers write: Then things start to get complicated and confusing, not to mention scary. Now you feel like you're writing for other people, or at least you hope so. You're no longer writing just to get yourself off, which ' since any kind of masturbation is lonely and hollow ' is probably good. But what replaces the onanistic motive? You've found you very much enjoy having your writing liked by people, and you find you're extremely keen to have people like the new stuff you're doing. The motive of pure personal starts to get supplanted by the motive of being liked, of having pretty people you don't know like you and admire you and think you're a good writer.

An Alice Through the Looking Glass'chessboardfrom 1875'The board features 16 ink and watercolour illustrations of images from the novel'Alice Through the Looking Glass'along its gilded border. It is believed to have been created in 1875 ' four years after the book's publication.

Smiths lyrics as Penguin Classics book covers

Are you a crafty type? You might want to pick up this pattern for a spiffy book cover bag:

Book bag cover 300x217 Bookish links 12 Nov: on writing for others, journalists as amplifiers, blogger inferiority complexes & more!

Amplification and the changing role of media'The author notes that critical analysis of news is dwindling in favour of amplification: the mere spreading of news via channels such as tweets and so on. He adds that part of the role of a journalist or reporter is to choose what news items should be amplified.

And speaking of thoughtful amplification (and how not to do it), Random House is under fire for using the hashtag #lestweforget in order to promote their books.

On'Fifty Shades of Grey and where it fits on the bookshelf' The book, which exists at a sort of genre crossroads, blends romance and 19th century pornography, argues the author. It co-opts romantic archetypes and the romance plot and uses them to reinforce its pornographic structure: it locates the repetitive climaxes of pornography within the overarching emotional climax of romance.

Not bookish, but contains pugs!

One blogger on how shes nervous about reading literary books in case shes unable to thoughtfully comment on or review them (I have this problem all the time, actually.) I have noticed over the past months that I am often hesitant to pick up books that I know will make me thinkand that I will probably love, because I feel insecure about the thought that subsequent to reading said book, I will have to formulate an opinion about it. What bothers me even more is the fact that these are usually books on the very subjects I find so important. Power discourses, historical fiction set in colonial times, gender, ethnicity

Philip Roth is retiring from writing.'Interestingly, Ive seen a number of comments in relation to this asking whether its possible for writers to retire. What are your thoughts on the subject? Is writing a job, or an identity?

Top ten authentic historical picture books

This blogger is exhorting people to use shorter, simpler words in place of their lengthier counterparts.''I disagree entirely. Though synonyms may have similar meanings, theyre never truly interchangeable in'all contexts. The English language is wonderful and rambling and huge, and I think its wonderful when authors play with it. Particularly in a world of ereaders with easy-to-access dictionarieswhy not learn something new?

A book money box!

Book money box 300x225 Bookish links 12 Nov: on writing for others, journalists as amplifiers, blogger inferiority complexes & more!

On the rise of gran lit'That grey market of baby boomers hitting retirement, which has contributed to UK cinema successes such as'The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel, is behind a new trend in book sales. Thanks to digital technology, tales from the passionate park bench are finding a new audience among the Kindle generation.

Beautiful paper art using newspapers

French novelist Jerome Ferrari has won the Prix Goncourt award with'The Sermon on the Fall of Rome


  1. Mmm, a great set of links! And gosh, those emotipugs totally got me :)

  2. I'm sick of authors/publishers using charities and disasters to sell. A popular one recently was, 'Sick of Hurricane Sandy? Curl up with my **** book.'

    Maybe they should make a shelf for Fifty Shades called 'Sex-filled Twilight fan fiction'. A whole heap of other Twilight fanfics have sold to publishers now too ;) I can't wait for the day someone sells fan fiction of *their* work for six figures' Maybe they could make Christian Grey a vampire'

    • Stephanie /

      I agree about the charity exploitation thingits terrible that such incidents can be hijacked in the name of turning a profit.

      And, oh, the Twilight fanfic stuff is just mind-boggling. I wish that publishers would realise that readers dont want the same product over and overthey just want something with the *elements* or *sensibilities* that made certain books so popular.

  3. sdfjasldfk jwio

    *gushing over those pugs*

    & wanting to go home to cuddle my own lol

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