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Bookish News and Publishing Tidbits 19 March 2012

book news Bookish News and Publishing Tidbits 19 March 2012

RIASS stuff:

A review of Mr Toppit: what if AA Milnes Christopher Robin had lived now?

Audiobooks and reading: do you read to block out noise?

Book Review: A Tale Dark and Grimm: a suburb (and gruesome) fairytale retelling

Coming up: a review of Lady Violet Winters: The Man with Tiger Eyes, a guest post from Kate Forsyth, an interview with Joel Naoum from Momentum publishing, and interviews with Michael Grant and Richard Hine.

Just a note that I'll be tango dancing my way through Argentina in April, and would love to receive some guest posts to feature during that time. Feel free to drop me a line at

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'Other bookish stuff:

Steamy yet discreet: an ebook revolution: Without the changes brought by the digital age,'Fifty Shades'would probably never have made its way out of a publishers pile of rejected manuscripts, a Macquarie University media studies academic, Associate Professor Sherman Young, says.'Digital proved itself the perfect low-cost vehicle for bringing the experimental, risky story to market while social media substituted for the literary critic and the publicist.

SJ Finn on short stories: I like the power the short story form holds, like a secret behind a door that begins to be revealed the moment it's opened. It's not that everything is seen at once but good stories take you to the heart of the matter very quickly unlike a novel which is more like being outside a house and first having to take in the garden, the path, the garage etc. before opening the front door. It's the intensity of the short form that is attractive to me.

Robin Black, author of If I Loved You, I Would Tell You This, on writing and its demons: If it isn't to be a work of genius, it isn't worth writing, you know.'. .I find myself struggling again with this thought ' as I realize that I am not in fact writing'Mrs. Dalloway. Or'Ulysses. Not reinventing the form. Not revolutionising literature. As I understand very well that my personal best is not Virginia Woolf's best ' and never will be. At nineteen, at twenty I dreamed it was. At nearly fifty, I know better. And if I am to believe my poor father, that makes this whole writing pursuit pretty pointless.

The realists guide to experimental fiction:' Does your lumpen book critic have the language to evaluate experimental fiction? Does todays fractious literary landscape deny me that language? If I say Dennis Cooper, what do you say? Have I mentioned Ive read only snippets of Gertrude Stein in'The Norton Anthology of American Literature? Such a worthy doorstop! The perils of exposing oneself to such novel and disgusting language are thus: I feel just like a stoned college student after her first philosophy class, brimming with the same sincerity and wonderment. You and I are staring at this orange. Is it the same color for us both?

Who is the'audience of The Hunger Games?'A tense and gritty critique of media culture with violence as entertainment, it could be a movie squarely aimed at grown-ups. Or a family film that works on different levels for older and younger viewers, the way Pixar releases do. Or it could be the next'Twilight, another smash young-adult-novel-to-teen-movie adaptation with a similarly vexing (if less prominent) love triangle.

The Way we Read Now: The best case I've seen'for'electronic books, however, arrived just last month, on the Web site of The New York Review of Books. The novelist Tim Parks proposed that e-books offered a more austere, direct engagement with words. What's more, no dictator can burn one. His persuasive bottom line: This is a medium for grown-ups.

Geoff Dyer on the literary establishment: Im going to be talking here about the literary establishment. You know who I mean. Dont you? Well, even if you dont, you certainly know what I mean. You dont? Come to think of it, neither do I. Its one of those expressions and concepts whose rhetorical potency and convenience derive, imprecisely, from the fact that no one stops to think whether it means anything at all ' any more than a'squash player pauses to consider why theres a wall at the back of the court.

Vintage Publishing, a division of Random House, has acquired through Jonny Geller at Curtis Brown the ten-year licence for Ian Fleming's entire James Bond backlist in print and eBook format, along with Fleming's two non-fiction titles.

17 reads to celebrate the Irish in all of us'

A fascinating examination of reading and thought

Flavorwire quiz: can you identify these famous writers by their distinctive prose alone?

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