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Bookish thoughts 3 Oct: translation hurdles, avoiding stuffy classics, book launch donts & more!

book news Bookish thoughts 3 Oct: translation hurdles, avoiding stuffy classics, book launch donts & more!

RIASS stuff:

Interview: Nikki Logan on using the wilderness as setting in romance novels

Film Review: 12 Angry Men

Giveaway: The Robbers by Paul Anderson'(Aus only);'Giveaway: Brave New World by Aldous Huxley'(world);'Giveaway: Dracula by Bram Stoker'(world)

Other bookish stuff:

The Lawrence Public library in the US has created a series of banned book trading cards. Collect them all!

Two of this years'MacArthur Foundation'genius awards have been awarded to authors Junot Diaz and Dinaw Mengestu. Each will receive $100,000 a year over five years.

Jancie Patterson talks about her new book'Chasing the Skip'I found her thoughts on writing about technology and the internet interestingshe worked to avoid brand names or specificities as technology dates so quickly. Instead, she focused on function. The prevalence of mobile phones is also difficult, as it means that its hard for a character to truly feel isolated or alone.

A Princess Bride cast reunion!'Oh to be in New York!

Yay, typography apps

An interview with the editor of Keigo Higashinos'Salvation of a Saint'I found this bit about the hardest bit about publishing books in translation interesting: Convincing readers that there really is something for them in a novel with a foreign setting by an author with a name they can't easily pronounce. It's a very tough hurdle and the few successes only attest to how hard it actually is to get readers to read outside of what they think is their comfort zone.

Got a spare $3mill or so? If so, you can put in a bid on JK Rowlings family home.

Lowis Lowry talks about her experience of reading'A Tree Grows in Brooklyn'Lowry says that although the character of Francie Nolan felt familiar, it was the environment that was new to her. It was her'world'that was new to me and caught me unaware. Francies crowded tenement neighborhood was pulsating with sex. I was startled, at firstBut I never confided in my friends with a giggle that I had found a new dirty book ' it wasnt. It was a book about life that revealed more to me than my earlier loved books ever had.

Elmo Keep on writing'I like her thoughts on reading widely, and not feeling guilty over what you feel you should be reading: I once had a great teacher at university who warned us off reading any canon texts we didn't enjoy. I think that was really smart advice to young writers; to read what really turns you on, not what you feel like you should be reading. There is a whole lifetime to get into difficult books that you will appreciate a lot more from the perspective of later life, I think.

Jackie Collins on her latest book and on'Fifty Shades of Grey'I was interested to read that Collins has to thoroughly check back over past books, as her readers know her stuff so well theyll call her on any mistakes. And of'Fifty Shades? Well, its not my kind of book because I like women who kick ass, and dont get their ass kicked. My women kick somebody elses ass!

Stephanie Burgis on her writing journey over her now-finished'Kat Stephenson series'Between then and now, so much has happened. I had a baby, and I moved from Leeds to Wales. I finished the book, and I found an agentWhen I found out that it had sold to Templar in the UK, I laughed out loud with pure joy and delight. I got to attend my first publishing party in London, got to actually meet my editor. I got to see my books on the shelves of my local bookstore, one of the biggest miracles in the world.

Amazing new Haruki Murakami covers from Vintage:

 Bookish thoughts 3 Oct: translation hurdles, avoiding stuffy classics, book launch donts & more!

Covers Illustrated by Noma Bar (except Birthday Stories and Blind Willow, Sleeping Woman).

Eleven things not to do before your book launch'Some of these handy dandy tips include things like: Dont do a crazy expensive contest giving away something like an iPad thousands of people will enter the contest to win the iPad but not be incentivised in any way to buy the book. In fact most will only take notice of the words iPad and not even register title of your book.

Interested in editing the Virginia Quarterly Review? Theyre hiring.'The job description is available at UVAs site: Search for posting # 0610873 at'

This stunning new illustrated edition of'The Odyssey'goes to show that not all books are designed for electronic consumption.'The retelling is courtesy of Gillian Cross, who says,'The book was conceived as a whole, words and pictures together ' theyre not separable.

 Bookish thoughts 3 Oct: translation hurdles, avoiding stuffy classics, book launch donts & more!

Neil Packer/Candlewick Press


  1. I totally disagree with the advice Elmo Keep was given regarding not reading canon texts we dont enjoy. I think if more young aspiring writers read those books they would realise, as I did, that I am better suited to being a reader rather than a writer. Once I had read Tolstoy, Zola, Proust, et al, I knew there wasnt any point bothering to write because Id never be able to do it as well. For me, writing is an art form, and not just typing stories. Too harsh? Perhaps, but it bothers me that universities seem to have more Creative Writing courses now than they do Literary Studies courses, catering for the hordes of students who want to be writers, but who dont want to expand their minds by reading the literary canon and studying literary theory because its all a bit too hard. Yes, anyone can type a story, and in our post-postmodernist world all things are considered equal, except by sceptics like me. I may have strong opinions on this subject. :)

  2. My goodness can I just say that the above comment makes me want to read much more seriously and is so eloquently stated that I feel it puts all other comments to shame :)

    • Stephanie /

      Its very thought-provoking, isnt it? Ive been thinking on it all morning!

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