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

Bookish links 19 Oct: gloomy endings, Amazon felled, reading only good books more!

book news Bookish links 19 Oct: gloomy endings, Amazon felled, reading only good books & more!

RIASS stuff:

Would you quit the law to follow your writing career? Prominent lawyer Paul Batista did'

Being God and Playing Frankenstein in Grant and Applegate's Eve & Adam

Ordinary protagonists, ordinary invasions and John Wyndham's The Midwich Cuckoos

Giveaway: The Complete Fairy Tales of Oscar Wilde;'Underdog by Euan Leckie

Other bookish stuff:

21 extraordinarily bad book titles'Im intrigued by The Illustrated Texas Dictionary to the English Language. And its volume two, no less!

After 80 years in print,'Newsweek will be moving to an e-only format at the end of the year.

Has UK ebook adoption reached a plateau?'Kindle remains king in the UK, but Christmas will be the decider now that there are plenty of other devices and etailers in the mix, including the recently launched Barnes & Noble Nook. Sales, however, are starting to slow. That said, commercial fiction remains the biggest seller, with nonfiction, reference, and childrens books still not especially strong contenders. This is generally true globally.

An interview with Georgia McBride'McBride has put together an anthology of Mother Goose retellingsmany of them dark. Given the discussion about darkness in childrens fiction last year, I was interested to read McBrides take on unhappy endings. Painting happy endings to tragic and worrisome stories does not always allow for the reader to calm the unsettling feeling of some storiesbecause the reader knows it isnt authentic. Some stories are supposed to end badly. Some stories are supposed to be told at night, with all the lights on, or around the campfire. Some stories are meant to be dark.

This will make you giggle: portraits of authors drawing on their surnames for inspiration

Mary Robinette Kowal on the difference between market and audience'As an author, I'm writing for a specific audience but I have to sell the novel to an editor, who then has to sell it to the sales team, who then has to sell it to a book-buyer. That's my market.'There's often a lot of overlap between the audience and the market, but not always.

Amazon may be a huge retailer, but its not doing so well in the publishing stakes.'Many other bookshops have boycotted Amazon-published books, arguing that they refuse to support a competitor. I personally think that it also has a lot to do with lack of awareness about the fact that Amazon even is working as a publisher, and that those books that its publishing are actually traditionally published and not self-published. I think some serious rebranding efforts need to made here.

An interview with TC Boyle about his reading habits.'I was quite struck by this line: I dont read anything thats not good. Ive never read sci-fi or genre books of any kind. What I want, as an artist, is to have somebody blow me away in every way possible, with a great story and also with color and depth. Ive never read any stinkers. Id never get through them. Are there any genres you dont tend to read in? I used to be a huge genre reader, but its definitely something Ive moved away from. I find myself relishing literary fiction and childrens literaturealthough MG over YA, as I feel theres more scope for creativity and boundary-pushing.

.and'Ned Vizzini on reading the right books'Vizzini looks at'The Voyage of the Dawn Treader in depth and teases out why it appealed to him as a kid, and what can be taken from it. The Voyage of the Dawn Treader'shows us that there's a lot of good in useless fantasy books, in case you actually do end up in a magical world. If you know about Midas, about St. Brendan, about not getting fooled by strange voices, and about always,'always'not touching things, you should do very well. If you don't, you're going to be screwed.

An interview with romance author Megan Mulry'I was interested in Megans take on how to know when a manuscript is ready. As long as I keep telling myself that my books are no better or worse than whats out there, I seem to move forward. Its about letting go. Also, in terms of endless self-editing, I dont notice much difference between things Ive self-edited twice and things Ive self-edited ten times. So Ill go with the twice, thanks.

Chronicle Books talks setting up its first popup shop in Tokyo'We wanted our books and formats to populate the shelves and tables and we wanted them to welcome all to San Francisco. We hoped visitors would have a sense of our values when they entered the shop. We wanted Japan to see Chronicle Books the way we see ourselves:'differently. This ones worth checking out for the detailed floor plans and breakdown of the design involved.

Joan Didion on writing'Setting words on paper is the tactic of a secret bully, an invasion, an imposition of the writer's sensibility on the reader's most private space.

These word portraits are pretty cool.

Tonya Hurley on kicking arse and telling stories'Hurleys book came about from her interest in female matyr legends, and the fact that female matyrs were often revered in a time when women were not.

If youd stopped by the Google homepage yesterday you would have seen this Google doodle in celebration of the 161st anniversary of'Moby Dick. The Guardian also has some extra info about the books history and a recording project thats underway.

 Bookish links 19 Oct: gloomy endings, Amazon felled, reading only good books & more!


  1. Ah, dunno if you use e-readers, Steph, but just a heads-up, The Australian is offering some Free eBooks via Kobo and todays offer is Capricornia by Xavier Herbert youd just have to buy the paper and look up the Promo Code.

    • Stephanie /

      Oh, cool! ExceptId have to buy The Australian. *feels dirty*

      • LOL Just ask around the office or on FB if any of your colleagues / friends buy The Australian and are willing to give you the Arts section!

  2. Oh & tomorrows offer is March by Geraldine Brooks!

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