Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Stephen King's top ten of 2009

Mr. King's judgment has to cover some weight in the world of popular fiction. Check out his list in Entertainment Weekly.

An original Sherlock for Christmas

One-Minute Book Reviews points us to "The Adventure of the Blue Carbuncle," a classic for the holidays:

Arthur Conan Doyle begins this Sherlock Holmes tale on the second morning after Christmas. It’s a holiday story without the freight it would carry if it took place two days earlier. And it has a plot perfectly attuned to the season. More...

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

L. M. Alcott was all wrong for Little Women

Maud Newton points us to an article in Humanities on this classic author.

Alcott considered herself wholly unqualified for the task. An irrepressible tomboy in her youth, Louisa had “never liked girls or [known] many” other than her three siblings: her older sister, Anna, and her younger sisters, Lizzie and May. She saw only a faint possibility that the “queer plays and experiences” that the four of them had shared would interest a popular audience. More...

Powells interview with Eoin Colfer

We referred to an earlier interview with the author of the latest Hitchhiker's Guide, but so it goes. There's just something irresistible about Colfer and his project. For instance, "It was a strange project to get involved in. It was something that came completely out of the blue, out of left field. I wasn't expecting it. I don't think it's something you could ever expect to prepare for. I actually think if you went looking for this project, then you're probably not the person to do it." More...

Monday, December 7, 2009

Two thriller writers on e-readers

Would Jack Reacher use a Kindle? The New York Times provides the answer.

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Un-Christmas books?

Had enough holiday spirit yet? Try these from Laurence Hughes on HuffingtonPost.com.

LH: If you're looking to escape from this holly jolly overkill, a good book might be just the thing. But this time of year, your options are limited to various uplifting tales of the season, all called The Christmas Something [just insert a random noun: Box, List, Sweater, Dog, Bus], each one brimming with heartwarming sentiment. There's nothing I like better on a wintry evening than settling down by a cozy fire with one of those books and then throwing it into the fire. More...

NY Times 10 best books of 2009

Check them out: Link.

Great conversations

The BookMine specializes in old and rare books. And they've just posted a collection of real conversations with customers that is, in a word, hilarious. Enjoy.

BookMine: "I am looking for a certain autobiography, but I don't know who the author is. Can you help me?" More...

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Dickens edits Dickens

I'll make no bones about it: I'm an enormous Dickens fan. I've read just about everything he's written, often more than once. So when the master's edit of A Christmas Carol is available, I want to see it. Thanks to the NY Times, we all can. Make sure to click in on the close reading box. Link.

La's Orchestra Saves the World

This is an upcoming SE selection. Amazon has a nice review here.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Neil Gaiman on audiobooks

When you listen to Gaiman speak in this piece from NPR, you know you wouldn't mind hearing him narrate one of his own books, or any books. We're big fans of audiobooks, mainly because we commute and can imagine no better way to pass time in an automobile. And when it's a good audiobook, we do it while cooking, exercising, everything, to hear what will happen next.

NG: I would read to my children, and began to supplement that with cassette audiobooks. They made car journeys pass faster, more interestingly. And you knew you had a good one when nobody wanted to get out of the car at the end of the journey. I began to buy, or rent, classics and new books and old favorites. A drive from Florida to Minneapolis became Stephen King reading his book Bag of Bones; a journey from Wisconsin to New York was Tom Parker reading an unabridged Huckleberry Finn. I realized I was experiencing the stories differently, word by word. Listening. More...

Interview with Sandra Brown

The Big Thrill interviews Sandra Brown. (Select Editions will be featuring Rainwater in a future volume.)

SB: "Every novel should have suspense. It's the element that keeps the reader turning the pages. I try and pose a question, subliminally, to my reader on the first page if possible, and I withhold the answer to that question until the very final pages. New questions arise along the way, and they're gradually answered as the story unfolds. But that main, overriding question, the one that makes a story out of a mere idea, is the last one to be answered." More...