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

Bookish links 20 Dec: making a reader, Prousts sleeping habits, Dead Sea Scrolls 2.0 more!

book news Bookish links 20 Dec: making a reader, Prousts sleeping habits, Dead Sea Scrolls 2.0 & more!

RIASS stuff:

You might have noticed that RIASS has been having issues. A server crash took the site down a few nights ago, and Ive had a lot of down time since then. Please bear with me while I try to get things up and running again, and rest assured that I'll be moving to another server/CMS soon!

Nameless narrators and Sarah Brill's'Glory. What are your thoughts on books that avoid naming their narrators?

Dinner parties and Rick Riordan's The Lost Hero'Or why starting a new series is like trying to host a group dinner.

My top reads of 2012'(I anticipate a few additions, so stay tuned)

Other bookish stuff:

Why a self-published author unpublished her book Results'just didn't fit in with the overall plan, which is'and has always been'to earn a living doing something fulfilling that doesn't require the leaving of the house. (And to achieve childhood writer dreams too, of course.) And while it was out there, I felt off the plan and getting further away from it day by day. So I decided to take a hit, sooner rather than later, and unpublished the book.


Literary gingerbread houses. Just because.

Charles Stross on understanding reader reviews I might be sticking my neck out here, but I know no novelists who set out to write a book to which the typical reader response will be meh.'So. Beware the curve with a fat belly. Dread the analytical reader who can distance themselves from their subjectivity and who still gives the book three stars. Ignore the five-star fans and the one-star butt-hurt trolls. This is the world we live in.

Always wanted to read the Dead Sea Scrolls online? Now you can!


The metaphor that harms creatives and entrepreneurs'forget balance. Aim for an optimal mix. The optimal mix of friends, of family, of client work, of deep creative work, of pure pleasure, of pure practice. Optimal as in what's contributing to the well being of you, your loved ones, the people you serve. Optimal as in what sounds, looks, and feels as if it's contributing to the work and experiences that matter.

Writers Digests 19 most popular writing articles of 2012 Includes gems like do you underline book titles?

Why publishing Proust was as difficult in 1912 as 2012 The complete publication of Proust's novel took 15 years and Proust did not live to see it completed. The publication was interrupted by World War I and was marked by amazing editorial complications caused by constant corrections and reworking of the text, difficulties created by the author's illness, more specifically eyesight, and by his impossible schedule ' Proust slept all day and worked at night.

How to make (or unmake) a reader My identity as an avid reader died when I no longer had unfettered access to those long rows of library books and to the librarian who bought, shelved, and shared them with us.' By high school, I was out of the habit, which was fine because the fiction section of our high school library was nearly as outdated as that the one at the school I had just left.

On grammatical pedantry and status Now there's nothing wrong with trying to be clear, but what is annoying about people advertising their hatred of small grammatical errors is that it's a fairly transparent status thing. Where once the aristocracy used to make a point of getting twitchy when others poured the milk in before the tea or had supper at 6 rather than 8, the intelligentsia now mark themselves out by being, by nature, unable to stand certain phrases.

A feature on Hilary Mantel I wrote a letter to an agent saying would you look at my book, it's about the French Revolution, it's not a historical romance, and the letter came back saying, we do not take historical romances. They literally could not read my letter, because of the expectations surrounding the words 'French Revolution''that it was bound to be about ladies with high hair.

Australian writers on their best books of 2012 and some more writers on the same over here.

The NYT shares its favourite book covers of the year I quite like'The Flame Alphabet