Book Reviews

The latest "Bookman" - murder and signed 1st editions!

Cortez writes "John Dunning took 10 years to release his latest work: denverpost.com Reports. The Sign of the Book is definitely Dunning's best "Bookman" novel since Booked to Die, the auspicious debut, and with its mix of noirish elements, legal thriller scenes and forensic details, The Sign of the Book has the ability to appeal to all sorts of mystery buffs - not just the bibliophile sort."

Daniel is happy to see the return of Cliff Janeway.

An electrifying new novel from Alice Hoffman - with a librarian

Cortez writes "Alice Hoffman seems to have scored well, with her latest novel "The Ice Queen," reviewed in the Chicago Sun Times.

"The child, who loses her mother at a far too early age, grows up to be a young librarian who retreats to the safety of books and caring for her grandmother while her older brother, Ned, becomes a meteorologist, professor and project adviser for a study of lightning."

Books are safe?

Meet Harriet Klausner, Amazon.com's most prolific reviewer.

ecorrado writes "The OpinionJournal.com has a nice article on Amazon.com's most prolific reviewer in Tuesday's Leisure & Arts section. It appears that Harrriet Klausner reads an average of 4 or 5 books a day. Interestingly, one of the reasons she usually gives a lot of high reviews is if she doesn't like the book she'll stop reading it (and thus not review it). Anyway, check out the article if you want to know more."

Memoirs and More Memoirs

In the last decade, publishers have brought a plethora of memoirs to the reading public, but as New York Times critic William Grimes asks, "We all have a life. Must we all write about it?"

Here's his analysis, which includes authors from the sublime to the ridiculous to the ordinary, with subject matter from the traumatic-memory memoir, to the vanished-era memoir to the sexual-exploit memoir.

Persepolis: an extraordinary achievement

Submitted by Cortez. Highlighting Persepolis and Persepolis 2.

Iranian illustrator Marjane Satrapi has documented her life in prose and pictures from comfortable childhood before the revolution to an exile and a return to Iran. From http://www.nybooks.com/articles/17900 (April 7, 2005):
"The art department of her university in Tehran, under the supervision of mullahs, was forbidden to offer traditional anatomy classes. Female models posed covered head to toe in sheets like black chadors, while male models were allowed to pose in marginally more revealing street clothes. When Satrapi, an indefatigable student, stays late to draw a seated male model, she is challenged by a supervisor, who tells her it is against the moral code for her to look at the man she is drawing. When she asks with incredulous flippancy if she should look instead at the door while drawing the man, the supervisor replies, 'Yes.'"

Vanity or sanity?

Anonymous Patron writes "While "vanity" and other variations of self-publishing are often looked down upon, it's still a way to get into print. But those with hopes of leveraging their books into something bigger face a tough reality.

The Greater Baton Rouge Business Report Has a good look at How three local authors took books from concept to customer in the hit-or-miss world of self-publishing."

Authors recommend favorite books for romance

teaperson writes "The Christian Science Monitor asks authors to tell what they read on Valentine's Day. The authors include Garrison Keillor, Anita Shreve, Dan Chaon and many others. Choices range from Henry James to Pablo Neruda to Mark Ruff."

Highbrow literature prize to get a $$$ makeover

JET spotted a Guardian Piece on the James Tait Black Memorial Prizes.They say outside the world of the highbrow literary cognoscenti, few have heard of the awards, despite the fact that they are the UK's oldest and, many would argue, most prestigious. Now one man armed with a grand vision and a plan to increase the prize money fivefold is aiming to take them out of the shadows.

Are literature prizes good for fiction?

JET sent over Eyes on the prizes from The Guardian Books Section. They say Like acting, writing novels is a profession in which not to be very successful is to be very unsuccessful.
Ninety per cent of fiction is crap and deserves no medals. But 90% of everything is crap. In the top non-crap tier, the novel is the only place nowadays where one is likely to find any grown-up discussion of race. In America, that discussion is conducted by writers such as Tom Wolfe (bronze), Philip Roth (silver) and Toni Morrison (gold).

The origin of book reviews

The origin of book reviews is from The Scotsman archive, in 1879. "THE newspaper book reviewers in 1879 had no time for frivolous literature. Included with the extracts below were ponderous comments on socialism, the elements of dynamics and a student’s commentary on the Bible."

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