Wife and Husband Compete for British Book Prize

SomeOne sent over A NYTimes Story on Claire Tomalin and Michael Frayn, the first couple ever both to be shortlisted for the Whitbread Book of the Year award.
Ms. Tomalin was placed on the list when she won the biography category, with \"Samuel Pepys: The Unequaled Self,\" her account of the life of the 17th-century diarist and naval administrator. Mr. Frayn is the winner in the novel category, for \"Spies,\" a story of suspicion and half-understood childhood memories set in an English suburb during World War II.

\"All this is new territory,\" Mr. Frayn said ominously, It might just finish us.\"


Lost in literature

Here's A LA Times Story that takes a look at Novelist Larry McMurtry.
He's the author of The Last Picture Show, Terms of Endearment, and Lonesome Dove. At 66, he churned out four novels during the past year. But some time ago he lost interest in reading fiction, preferring to spend his evenings with European history and British diaries. He doesn't travel much anymore, either. He stays put in windblown Archer City, where he taps out books on a manual typewriter, tends a sprawling secondhand-book store, breakfasts at the local Dairy Queen, hosts out-of-town friends on the weekends, complains about the dearth of decent restaurants and, as one of those friends puts it, "lives in his own head."


Solzhenitsyn improving in hospital

Thanks to Christy Z for This BBC Story that says Nobel Prize-winning Russian novelist Alexander Solzhenitsyn is improving in hospital after being treated for high blood pressure, according to latest reports.
In other author news, Jean Kerr died, so did Roy Jenkins and Mary Wesley.


Nobel winner Solzhenitsyn suffers stroke

CNN Says Nobel Prize-winning author Alexander Solzhenitsyn has been admitted to a Moscow hospital after suffering a stroke.
They say Solzhenitsyn\'s Russian Social Fund confirmed he was in hospital, but did not elaborate on his condition.


Exhibit shows Dickens as stage hound

Here's A CNN Story on an exhibit, "Best of Times: The Theater of Charles Dickens," at the New York Public Library for the Performing Arts [WebSite].
Among 200 items on display are rare 19th-century broadsides, posters and programs from plays in which he was involved as an actor, playwright, director, librettist or other capacity.

"He was passionate about the theater all of his life," said the exhibit's curator, Bob Taylor. "Anybody who has read or studied his novels, you can't come away without recognizing the theatricality of them."


Tolkien manuscript struggle revealed

This BBC Story says Professor Michael Drout came across Tolkien\'s translation of eighth century epic Beowulf in an Oxford University library six years ago. He\'s had to contend with obsessive fans and \"strange\" lingering resentments to get it published, he has said.
JRR Tolkien 111th birthday was on Friday as well. The Tolkien Society was asking fans to toast the author, who was born on 3 January, 1892, at 2100 GMT local time.

They also say Everyone who sees The Lord of the Rings movies should read the books as well.


Authors Whose Audience Knows 'Em Like a Book

The Washington Post Says when it comes to publishing these days, it's all about the platform, as in, "Does the author have a platform to promote his or her book?"
Publishers now want authors to be previously published, a TV personality, a musician, an actor, or maybe a politician.
An author with a regular TV gig or a nationally syndicated newspaper column or a wall full of platinum records is worth way more to a publisher. Such a writer brings a built-in audience and untold opportunities for cross-promotion. Dave, Jay and Conan would just love to put him on the couch.


Don't close the book yet on big best sellers

The USAToday Says Overall book sales are down 7% this fall compared with a year ago, but some best sellers have been hit harder than others.
King is down 44% when comparing the first 11 weeks of sales of From a Buick 8 with those for Dreamcatcher, published last year. Clancy dropped 38%, Scott Turow is down 17%, Michael Crichton is up 27%, Nora Roberts is up 16%, John Grisham is up 24% .


What Dr. Seuss really taught us

Mary H. Musgrave points us to The New Yorker and a story on the story behind "The Cat in the Hat."
It turns out The Cat in the Hat was a Cold War invention.


Arthur Clarke — coasting along

Michael Nellis writes \"Nice little story here about Arthur C. Clarke. No mention of libraries, but I figured some of you must be fans. :-)

This article at focuses on his life in Sri Lanka. \"



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