In the Master's Voice, Old Books Live Again

A NY Times story about the "Spoken Word" CD series from the British Library's sound archives which features writers reading their books. Some of the writers recorded are J.R.R. Tolkien, Virginia Woolf, and Arthur Conan Doyle.

One of the great surprises is finding which writers actually do voices and which don't. When A. A. Milne reads from "Winnie-the-Pooh," his creations sound like Victorian gents — soothing, paternal Victorian gents reading a bedtime story, it's true, but rather Victorian nonetheless.

"He gave a little squeak of excitement," Milne reads about Piglet spotting a paw print, yet sounding not very excited at all.


Unmasked - the identity of Shakespeare's Dark Lady

Charles Davis writes "A miniature painting that has been on full view to the public at the Victoria and Albert Museum, but whose significance has passed
thousands of visitors by, may hold the key to one of the great mysteries of English literature - the identity of the Dark Lady of Shakespeare's
sonnets. Full Story"


Author Friedman May Throw Hat Into Gubentorial Ring

Mystery writer and oddball renaissance man, Kinky Friedman, is rumored to have his eye on the top post in Texas, according to the San Antonio Express News and the NY Times. His campaign is scheduled to kick off this week with the Governor's Balls Tour. In addition to penning mystery novels, Friedman performs with his band, The Texas Jewboys, and runs the Utopia Animal Rescue Ranch.


Indian writer wins 'bad sex' prize

Good News for Aniruddha Bahal who is this year's Literary Review's "Bad Sex in Fiction" award.
Aniruddha Bahal's book, "Bunker 13" -- described as a combination of the styles of ex-SAS author Andy McNab and romance novelist Jilly Cooper -- was awarded the prize on Wednesday for the most inept description of sexual intercourse in a novel.

"Your RPM is hitting a new high. To wait any longer would be to lose prime time...

"She picks up a Bugatti's momentum. You want her more at a Volkswagen's steady trot. Squeeze the maximum mileage out of your gallon of gas. But she's eating up the road with all cylinders blazing. You lift her out. You want to try different kinds of fusion."


Fears for Murdoch's books

Charles Davis writes: "from
The BBC:

There are fears a collection of 1,000 books that belonged to novelist Dame Iris Murdoch may leave the country. The books are being sold by the novelist's widower, Professor John Bayley, who said it was "painful" to sell his late wife's library but he had no room for them in his Oxford home.

The collection is on sale for £150,000 and there are fears it may go to the United States which, along with
Japan, has shown some interest."


Stephen King joins literary lions

Horror writer Stephen King, lauded by readers but panned by many critics, called for support of other popular fiction authors last night as he received the prestigious Medal for Distinguished Contribution to American Letters from the U.S. National Book Foundation. The Toronto Star, AP, Boston Globe, CSMonitor and an NPR Piece.


What would O'Brian have thought of 'Commander'?

Patrick T. Reardon Says Patrick O'Brian would have hated "Master and Commander: The Far Side of the World." He says It's a wonderful film, But, as he knows from interviewing him, O'Brian was a prickly coot, and, when it came to his writing, his characters and just about anything, he was quick to take offense. With no control over the movie, O'Brian would have been aghast at the liberties the filmmakers took, such as the way they cherry-picked scenes from the long run of novels to give the movie a near-constant flow of action. That continuous action, too, went against the general tenor of his novels, which focused much more on the everyday routines and challenges of shipboard life than on events such as storms and battles.
But how would he have felt about his URL?
Another good look at the movie/book connection at


Courtenay books dominate Australia libraries

Bryce Courtenay's books dominate public library shelves, with six of his books appearing on the list of the top ten books held in Australia.
Figures released by the Public Lending Right Committee show that over the past three years, Courtenay's Solomon's Song is the book most often bought by libraries.

This is followed by Courtenay's Tommo and Hawk, and Four Fires. Are such records kept for other countries?

Full Story.


Reclusive Judy Blume shares her inspirations

Bob Cox spotted This Story on Judy Blume, and her visit to Park School students in Baltimore.
They say Judy Blume wished aloud that she could speak to kids at a public school, too. In fact she wished she could talk to kids more often. On the other hand, it's a mystery to her why anybody thinks that writers who hide themselves away to get their ideas on paper could possibly feel comfortable standing before hundreds of kids.

Luckily, Judy Blume is a ham, a frustrated actress, and her performance yesterday was much like what happens in her books: She offers humor, empathy, solace, maybe even enlightenment, whether it's related to fear of putting your face underwater - as in Otherwise Known as Sheila the Great - or adolescent struggles with puberty and religion, as in Are You There God? It's Me, Margaret.


Italy to bare bones of famous bard

CNN has a story about a plan to dig up the grave of Francesco Petrarch to find out more about his appearance and health.

The 14th century Italian poet Francesco Petrarch left hundreds of letters detailing his life and thoughts. Now scientists plan to dig up his remains to find out more about his flesh and bones.

Petrarch became famous for the hundreds of love poems he wrote to the mysterious Laura, a woman he worshiped from afar. For her, the poet perfected the sonnet form that would influence William Shakespeare and many others.



Subscribe to Authors