Maurice Sendak, Children's Author Who Upended Tradition, Dies at 83

Maurice Sendak, Children’s Author Who Upended Tradition, Dies at 83
Maurice Sendak, widely considered the most important children’s book artist of the 20th century, who wrenched the picture book out of the safe, sanitized world of the nursery and plunged it into the dark, terrifying and hauntingly beautiful recesses of the human psyche, died on Tuesday in Danbury, Conn. He was 83 and lived in Ridgefield, Conn.

Author collectives signal a new chapter for self-publishing

Author collectives signal a new chapter for self-publishing
With online groups working to sift out the hidden gems, and a New York co-operative instituting a 'seal of quality', is the world of independent publishing finally getting organised?

Why does James Patterson care about our kids’ reading habits?

Why does James Patterson care about our kids’ reading habits?
At this point, rowdy adolescents clutch their free copies of Patterson’s young adult novel Maximum Ride and listen intently as he gives a prescription for success in writing, or, beyond that, life.

"You have to have a dream; you have to have passion. And I strongly recommend you have a back-up dream. You have to have focus. Outline, baby. Before you write anything, outline."

He tells them to write down the coolest story they know. The sentences might not be any good, but the important thing is to get the story down – polishing can come later.

A Changing Turkey, Reflected in Author Orhan Pamuk's Novel Museum

ISTANBUL — The first thing you see are the cigarette butts. There are thousands of them — 4,213 to be exact — mounted behind plexiglass on the ground floor of the Nobel laureate Orhan Pamuk’s new museum, named for and based on his 2008 novel, “The Museum of Innocence.” Story and multi-media from The New York Times.

It’s a fittingly strange beginning to a tour of this quirky museum, tucked away in a 19th-century house on a quiet street in the Cukurcuma neighborhood, among junk shops that sell old brass, worn rugs and other bric-a-brac.

But it is also, like everything else on the museum’s four floors, a specific reference to the novel — each cigarette has supposedly been touched by Fusun, the object of the narrator’s obsessive love — and, by extension, an evocation of the bygone world in which the book is set.

“The Museum of Innocence” is about Istanbul’s upper class beginning in the 1970s, a time when Mr. Pamuk was growing up in the elite Nisantasi district. He describes the novel as a love story set in the melancholic back streets of that neighborhood and other parts of the European side of the city. But more broadly it is a chronicle of the efforts of haute-bourgeois Istanbulis to define themselves by Western values, a pursuit that continues today as Turkey as a whole takes a more Islamic turn.

Celebrities with published books

When Lauren Conrad’s “L.A. Candy” trilogy hit the shelves a few years ago, the TV personality added published author to her resume. But the release of her latest book, “The Fame Game,” earlier this month, reminds us of just how many celebrities have expanded their empire to include memoirs, self-help books and even the occasional novel.

Click through the gallery to see which stars can call themselves authors


New York's Mayor Gives City Writers Their Own Version of the Pulitzer

New York Times: The literary world still has not recovered from its Pulitzer snub last week, when the absence of an award for fiction incensed publishers, authors and booksellers.

But they may find some consolation in a new set of prizes that Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg will announce on Thursday: the N.Y.C. Literary Honors, given to living writers whose work and lives have been informed by New York City, as a way of highlighting its place as home to the publishing industry and an inspiration to authors.

The honorees, to be named at an evening ceremony at Gracie Mansion, are closely associated with New York in their work and in their lives. They include Paul Auster for fiction, Roz Chast for humor, Walter Dean Myers for children’s literature and Robert A. Caro for nonfiction. Mr. Caro’s first book, “The Power Broker,” a biography of Robert Moses, is one of the best-known works of nonfiction ever written about the city and its history.

Way to go Mr. Mayor! Any other communities doing likewise?


The Fireman

"The Fireman" by Ray Bradbury was featured in Galaxy Magazine in 1951. This 60 page novella went on to become Fahrenheit 451. You can see the first page of "The Fireman" here.

Getting a copy of "The Fireman" used to be more difficult. You could buy a copy of the 1951 Galaxy Magazine online. This often cost more than a $100. There was a paperback science fiction anthology that was printed in the 80's that contained the story and cost $30-$40 to get a used copy.

The Fireman has now been reprinted and is in the collection - A Pleasure to Burn: Fahrenheit 451 Stories

If your library features Fahrenheit 451 as part of Banned Book Week (September 30?October 6, 2012) you might want to add a copy of "Pleasure to Burn" to your display.


Social media self-promotion scheme draws authors including Margaret Atwood

Social media self-promotion scheme draws authors including Margaret Atwood
As bookshops teeter and publishers sway in the shifting landscape of the digital age, authors are being urged to go out and find their own readers by a new $20m (£12.5m) fund that will pay them a dollar for every book sold.

With early adopters including Margaret Atwood and FlashForward author Robert Sawyer – who claimed the scheme would have added $20,000 to his income from audio over the past two years – the fund is being launched by digital audiobook site Audible at the London Book Fair this weekend. Authors who sign up will be encouraged to use social media to promote their work, and will receive $1 for every audiobook sold from, or iTunes, on top of their royalties


Androgynous Pen Names

Androgynous Pen Names
Women writers have used initials and male pen names for centuries to cover up their gender when publishing their writing, knowing that for some readers (namely male), simply seeing a female's name on the cover of a book would dissuade them from even cracking the spine.


A Letter From Vonnegut To Someone Who Burned Slaughterhouse-Five

You have insulted me, and I am a good citizen, and I am very real.

In October of 1973, Bruce Severy — a 26-year-old English teacher at Drake High School, North Dakota — decided to use Kurt Vonnegut's novel, Slaughterhouse-Five, as a teaching aid in his classroom. The next month, on November 7th, the head of the school board, Charles McCarthy, demanded that all 32 copies be burned in the school's furnace as a result of its "obscene language." Other books soon met with the same fate. On the 16th of November, Kurt Vonnegut sent McCarthy the following letter. He didn't receive a reply.



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