George Orwell and the whiff of genius

Submitted by Blake on Tue, 09/06/2016 - 14:28
Orwell often lived in places with no washing facilities, and in the company of chickens and goats. He loved farmyard smells: cows grazing in a meadow were scented ‘like a distillation of vanilla and fresh hay’. Sutherland thinks it significant that there are no animals in Nineteen Eighty-Four — apart from the rats, of which the author’s phobia was as intense as Winston Smith’s.
From George Orwell and the whiff of genius

Allen Eskens

Submitted by Bibliofuture on Wed, 08/10/2016 - 14:09
Allen Eskens is a writer from Mankato, Minnesota, and is author of three mysteries, "The Life We Bury," "The Guise of Another," and "The Heavens May Fall."

How do authors make money from library books?

Submitted by Blake on Tue, 07/26/2016 - 10:21
But that staple of society is changing. The Los Angeles County Public Library has a lot of physical books, but it’s shifting a lot of its book budget to more of the hybrid model with ebooks and audio."I know I sound like a cheerleader for libraries, and it’s not just because my wife is a librarian.

Shakespeare: Actor. Playwright. Social Climber.

Submitted by Blake on Tue, 07/05/2016 - 07:44
The new depictions Ms. Wolfe has gathered are all from the 17th century. More than half associate the arms with “Shakespeare the player,” or with William, not John. This material not only proves “that Shakespeare was Shakespeare,” as Ms. Wolfe wryly put it. It also, she argues, underlines the degree to which contemporaries saw the coat of arms as, in effect, being for William. “It makes it abundantly clear that while Shakespeare was obtaining the arms on behalf of his father, it was really for his own status,” she said. Mr. Shapiro said he agreed.

Was Roald Dahl the Best Children’s Author of All Time?

Submitted by Blake on Fri, 07/01/2016 - 10:52
For one thing, he was ruthless. Or, if that’s too strong a word, let’s just say he did not coddle his readers, young or old (and as for what he wrote for grown-ups, he is surely the only successful children’s book author to ever get away with writing stories and novels for adults that are often, as my aunt would have said, prurient, and often just this side of pornographic).
From Was Roald Dahl the Best Children’s Author of All Time?

With Bookshots, James Patterson thinks he’s invented the “Uber of books”

Submitted by Blake on Tue, 06/07/2016 - 14:57
If short, face-paced novels don’t seem particularly novel, that could be because innovation in publishing doesn’t seem to resonate with readers. Profitable book and reading “disruption” hasn’t born out: Speed reading apps had a moment a few years ago, as did snack-themed ebooks, but neither has stuck. So perhaps Patterson would do best to call these what they are—short, fast reads.

Sherman Alexie On His New Kids' Book ('Thunder Boy Jr.') And The Angst Of Being A 'Jr.' : NPR

Submitted by Blake on Tue, 05/24/2016 - 10:09
Alexie tells NPR's David Greene that he found inspiration for the book in a surprising place: his own father's funeral. "As they lowered the coffin into the grave, his tombstone came into view and on the tombstone is Sherman Alexie — his name, my name," Alexie says. "And I'd always struggled with being named after him, but the existential weight of being named after your father really, really becomes clear when you're looking at a tombstone with your name on it."
From Sherman Alexie On His New Kids' Book ('Thunder Boy Jr.') And The Angst Of Being A 'Jr.' : NPR

Celebrating the 200th birthday of Charlotte Brontë with some books from an unconventional childhood

Submitted by Blake on Wed, 04/27/2016 - 07:47
This month marks the 200th anniversary of the birth of Charlotte Brontë, the third-born and longest lived of the six children of Patrick and Maria Brontë, and the author of the classic novels Jane Eyre (1847), Shirley (1849), Villette (1853) and The Professor (1857).  Much has been written about Charlotte and her famous 19th century literary family, and the mystique of their lives and legacy has been the subject of continuing interpretation and reinterpretation.  The Baillieu Library is very fortunate to hold some important early Brontë editions, together with copies of several titles which they are known to have read, if not devoured, as children.
From Reading with the young Charlotte: celebrating the 200th birthday of Charlotte Brontë with some books from an unconventional childhood – Library Collections