Guardian.UK: The five worst book covers ever.
I remember that ‘Princess Bride’ cover; right when Boris Vallejo art was the ‘thing’ for fantasy books.
The Airship: Roald Dahl - Certified Bad Ass.
“It’s usually macho men like Ernest Hemingway or Jack London whom people think of when someone mentions intrepid 20th century writers, but Roald Dahl proves that one can entertain generations of children and still go down in history as a certifiable bad ass.”
PS Mag: Fictional Stories Are More Moving Than We Predict.
“New research finds people mistakenly believe real-life stories will be more emotionally gripping than those that are the products of an author’s imagination.” There are some who eschew all fiction, because biographies ‘tell how real people solved real issues.’ Then they find out how biographers and autobiographers engage fictional thinking and revisionism ...
The Millions: The Art of Close Writing
“So-called omniscience is almost impossible. As soon as someone tells a story about a character, narrative seems to want to bend itself around that character, to take on his or her way of thinking and speaking. A novelist’s omniscience soon enough becomes a kind of secret sharing.” Fun read.
NPR: The ‘Bridge’ From Watergate To Reagan, Masterfully Drawn.
“Perlstein does an admirable job recounting the political stories of the era, but it’s his keen understanding of larger social and cultural trends that make the books in his series so essential.” On my reading list! Sometimes, one needs to verify one’s memory.
The Rumpus: Murder By Danielle Collobert.
“Collobert left behind a handful of books, all produced in only twenty years. Like many writers who have chosen to end their own lives, her voice occasionally takes on a gravity that is, if nothing else, alarming, urgent.”
WaPo: Crimes of Passion.
“Writing an opera about adultery, in this context, involves a great bait-and-switch, because while adultery was once a crime, love is not. Love, in fact, is supreme in Western culture: we are told that it is synonymous with God, that it conquers all, that it has its own laws, and that in its pure form it is one of the greatest things to which man can aspire. So a story about two adulterers can at once titillate and uplift: the passion outweighs the crime.”
The Bookseller: Sony to cease production of e-reader devices.
“Analysts have previously indicated that e-readers have a short shelf life in the market now the versatile and popular tablet computer is more affordable.” Surprised it took this long. I predicted the dedicated e-reader was an interstitial form-factor; tablets, in various sizes, would win the long game.
Writer’s Digest: List of 50 Poetic Forms for Poets.
They’re all fun. My advice ... try something new when you’re really creatively stuck. And be sure to write ‘em down and save ‘em. What you hate today, you may find you love tomorrow. They’re all worthy.
Longform: The Longform Guide to Miraculous Survivals.
Marked for later reading.
The Hairpin: Go Read Alice - The History of the Diary Novel.
“The diary novel canon is composed first of diary novels which have received significant (male) literary praise. But within this genre, the diary novel for women is an important and under-recognized sub-genre. These novels are usually evaluated on their historical merits because aesthetically, they are terrible: written by religious conservatives and/or befuddled men, often intended (in the Victorian era) to instruct.” Ugh.
Consulting Collections of Medieval Manuscripts Online.
The Airship: I Read All of the Harry Potter Books for the First Time Over the Last Month.
Someone had to say it.
Paris Review: Emily Brontë’s Boring Birthday.
“I’m afraid it’s true. Emily Brontë’s birthday letters are totally dull.” Doesn’t that give more evidence to a fertile imagination?
MeFi: DIY Law School - Learn the Law Without Law School.
The Airship: Happy Birthday, Penguin, and Thanks for Inventing the Modern Paperback Book.
“July 30 marks the 79th anniversary of a mass-market paperback revolution. On this date in 1934, publisher Allen Lane was supposedly struck by a fantastic epiphany while suffering from boredom at a British train station. The idea? To make good literature accessible to everyone.”
Paris Review: Cory Arcangel’s Working on My Novel.
“Cory Arcangel’s new book, Working on My Novel — based on the Twitter feed of the same name—is a compilation of tweets from people who are putatively at work on novels. No more, no less.” That’s it - never, ever say you’re working on your novel.
Paris Review: The Best Medicine.
“Can a reader and a character be simultaneously amused?” Hmmm. Interesting. Conflict tends to drive dialogue, not amusement. I can’t think of a single example of mirthful characters, off the bat. Mercutio’s mirthful wit, perhaps.
The Airship: Have You Failed as a Writer If You Aren’t Famous?
Guardian.UK: The owl who liked sitting on Caesar by Martin Windrow.
“Throughout their 15 years together, Windrow filled notebooks with fascinating observations of Mumble’s behaviours, such as her improving flight and hunting skills, her eating and bathing habits, and even that she enjoyed drinking from a dripping kitchen tap. We also learn that the fledgling Mumble was a delight to Windrow’s friends, who later had to don protective helmets before Mumble’s growing possessiveness ruled out visitors altogether.” They are territorial birds. As my scalp can attest from various photographic misadventures.
VQR Online: Away.
“Writing is a bit like inflating a vast oxygen tent contained by a thin filmy membrane. Each time I write I have to breathe life into this, slowly blowing it larger and larger, making it more and more substantial, giving it shape. The sound of anyone’s voice, an approaching step, arrests me. I waver, and the whole filmy construct trembles, shudders, and then deflates, sliding into nothingness. It’s gone.” Beautifully expressed. One’s muse can be as diaphanous as a soap-bubble — fragile, vulnerable.
WNYC: The Leonard Lopate Show - Do You Have to Be Crazy to Be a Genius?
“Neuroscientist and literary scholar Nancy C. Andreasen tries to answer the question: If high IQ does not indicate creative genius, then where does the trait come from, and why is it so often accompanied by mental illness?” Audio; linking it without having the time to listen to it yet, because it’s one of my favorite bugbears.
Hemingway App for Mac OSX.
Of note. Does a bit of editing while you write.
Removed a post for the first time.
About how publishers should contemplate “director’s cuts”. I decided my comments and critiques were not phrased well, and offered too wide an opportunity for misinterpretation. My apologies. Sometimes it is indeed better to shut one’s cake-hole and listen a bit more.
Guardian.UK: E-readers vs books - the debate.
Never thought I’d say it, but I miss our old Borders Books. I preferred NYC-style B&N’s, but all Santa Fe had was a Borders. I support independent bookstores, but they just don’t have the huge storespace, the strollspace that the chains had. And I could kill hours - even days (after returning from a long a/v tour) - in bookstores.