Authors

Authors

John Grisham Wishes President Obama would read Fifty Shades of Grey

The author, most recently, of “The Racketeer” wishes President Obama would read “Fifty Shades of Grey”: “Maybe it would loosen him up a bit.”

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Anxiety Ahoy: Amazon Now Ranks Author Popularity

What is the point of the best-seller list? Depends who you are. If you're a reader, it's a guide to what's popular — what's new, what your neighbors are buying, and what you might like to read next. If you're a publisher, it's a source of feedback and a sales tool: It tells you how your books compete, and gives you triumphs to crow about on paperback covers.

If you're an author, however, the best-seller list can feel awfully personal. It tells you how much the world values your work. It may be a sign of your economic future — say, whether you're going to be able to buy an apartment. It speaks to your professional future as well: whether your career is working out, and whether you're going to be able to sell your next book. And, unlike the private sales data reported to publishers or tracked by Nielsen through their BookScan service, the best-seller list lives in public. Your mom will see it; so will your high school nemesis. If your book makes the list, you can forever after be accurately described as a "best-selling author."

Full piece on NPR

Thousands Line Up For Rare Rowling Appearance

"They remind me of my childhood the way music reminds you of things when you were younger," she said. "The reason we cling to these books isn't because they were fun and we grew up with them; we cling to them because of deeper themes, because of friendship and because of loyalty and because of human connections."

Digging through the clutter of the online world: A Q&A with TED Books author Jim Hornthal

Digging through the clutter of the online world: A Q&A with TED Books author Jim Hornthal
The latest TED Book deals with an issue we all can relate too: the difficulty of finding answers to complex questions on the Internet when a simple search can lead you down a rabbit hole of impersonal data. In A Haystack Full of Needles: Cutting Through the Clutter of the Online World to Find a Place, Partner or President, Jim Hornthal explores groundbreaking new approaches to discovering the useful insights buried deep within our complex and noisy datasphere. Hornthal, a venture capitalist in Silicon Valley, introduces us to innovators who are pushing the edges of data science and data visualization by applying the principles of pattern recognition to isolate relevant signals in the noise. Their efforts will have enormous implications for the way we practice medicine, discover music and movies, and even identify our romantic partners.

Curious to hear more about the ideas he explores in his e-book, the TED Blog asked Hornthal a few questions over email.

Rowling on the Daily Show

Charlotte's Web Turns 60

From NPR.
Interesting story of how E.B. White made the transition from New Yorker to Mainer.

Syrian Author Wins PEN Prize

Syrian journalist and writer Samar Yazbek, who was forced into exile after criticizing President Bashar al-Assad, has won PEN's Pinter International Writer of Courage Award.

Yazbek, who fled her homeland late last year after repeated run-ins with the state security services, was recognized for her book, "A Woman In The Crossfire", an account of the early stages of the Syrian revolution.

In line with the late playwright Harold Pinter's Nobel speech in which he spoke of casting "an unflinching, unswerving gaze upon the world", the prize is awarded annually to a writer who has been persecuted for speaking out about their beliefs.

"The great thing about this prize is that it highlights figures who might not otherwise get the recognition they deserve," Heather Norman Soderlind, Deputy Director of English PEN, told Reuters.

Yazbek insists, though, that while grateful for the honor, she doesn't see this as a personal accolade. "I felt that beyond me this was a prize for the Syrian Revolution," she said.

Story from Reuters.

Open Road Media Video on Banned Books Week

Mugglemarch

The October 1 issue of the New Yorker has a 9000 word article on JK Rowling and her new book - The Casual Vacancy

The article is titled Mugglemarch

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The Fine Print

Americans are paying high prices for poor quality Internet speeds — speeds that are now slower than in other countries, according to author David Cay Johnston. He says the U.S. ranks 29th in speed worldwide.

"We're way behind countries like Lithuania, Ukraine and Moldavia. Per bit of information moved, we pay 38 times what the Japanese pay," Johnston tells Fresh Air's Dave Davies. "If you buy one of these triple-play packages that are heavily advertised — where you get Internet, telephone and cable TV together — typically you'll pay what I pay, about $160 a month including fees. The same service in France is $38 a month."

In his new book, The Fine Print: How Big Companies Use "Plain English" to Rob You Blind, Johnston examines the fees that companies — such as cellphone and cable — have added over the years that have made bills incrementally larger.

Discussion with book's author on NPR

Salman Rushdie on The Daily Show

Joseph Anton: A Memoir

On February 14, 1989, Valentine’s Day, Salman Rushdie was telephoned by a BBC journalist and told that he had been “sentenced to death” by the Ayatollah Khomeini. For the first time he heard the word fatwa. His crime? To have written a novel called The Satanic Verses: A Novel, which was accused of being “against Islam, the Prophet and the Quran.”

So begins the extraordinary story of how a writer was forced underground, moving from house to house, with the constant presence of an armed police protection team. He was asked to choose an alias that the police could call him by. He thought of writers he loved and combinations of their names; then it came to him: Conrad and Chekhov—Joseph Anton.

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Elif Shafak: The politics of fiction

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An Open Letter To Wikipedia from Author Philip Roth

NEW YORK — Philip Roth vs. Wikipedia? No contest.

The prize-winning author says he’s furious with the online encyclopedia over its entry about his novel “The Human Stain.”

In a letter posted Friday by The New Yorker, Roth says Wikipedia editors had said the book was inspired by the life of author Anatole Broyard.

Not true, Roth responded. The character was based on the late Melvin Turin, of Princeton University.

Roth says he privately reported the error to Wikipedia and was told, to his amazement, that he needed a secondary source. So Roth made his case to the public.

His agent, Andrew Wylie, confirmed the letter was written by Roth.

By Friday afternoon, the Wikipedia entry had been updated to include Roth’s comments and to note that some had “incorrectly speculated” about the novel’s origins.

Author Judy Blume says had breast cancer surgery

Judy Blume, the author of young adult books "Are You There God? It's Me, Margaret" and "Tiger Eyes," was diagnosed with breast cancer this summer and underwent a mastectomy, she said on her blog on Wednesday.

Blume, 74, one of America's most famous authors of young adult fiction, said that a month after her surgery she is recovering in New York. She also described the shock of learning from her doctor in June that she had breast cancer, given that she had no family history of the disease.

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Ray Bradbury: Why NASA named Curiosity landing site after SciFi writer

NASA began a new chapter of its Martian chronicle Aug. 22 when the agency named its Mars rover Curiosity's landing site after the late science fiction author Ray Bradbury.

Curiosity's landing site inside Mars' vast Gale Crater was rechristened "Bradbury Landing" to honor the iconic writer's legacy and dedication to Mars exploration, NASA officials said.

Ray Bradbury died in June at age 91. His first book, "The Martian Chronicles," paints a vivid picture of the human exploration of Mars through a series of short stories. The book was published in 1950 and later adapted into a TV series and video game.

Full article

Note: The landing was on Aug 5th but they renamed the landing site on August 22nd because that is Mr. Bradbury's birthday.

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Novelist and Bookstore Owner Ann Patchett Winner of Women's National Book Award

The Women’s National Book Association has announced that novelist Ann Patchett has been selected to receive the 2012-2013 Women’s National Book Award. According to the Association’s website, the biennial award is given to “a living American woman who derives part or all of her income from books and allied arts, and who has done meritorious work in the world of books beyond the duties or responsibilities of her profession or occupation.”

Ann Patchett, whose most recent novel is State of Wonder (HarperCollins, 2011), is the bestselling author of numerous works of fiction and nonfiction, including the novel Bel Canto, which won both the PEN/Faulkner and Orange Prize in 2002. Patchett’s work has also garnered such accolades as the New York Times Notable Book of the Year, the Janet Heidinger Kafka Prize, and the BookSense Book of the Year Award; and has been a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award. Her articles and essays have appeared in the New York Times Magazine, Harper’s, the Atlantic, the Washington Post, and Vogue.

In 2011, Patchett and publishing veteran Karen Hayes opened Parnassus Books, an independent bookstore in Nashville, Tennessee, after the last remaining bookstores in the city had closed their doors. Patchett has since become a nationally recognized advocate for independent bookselling, and this year was named one of Time Magazine’s “100 Most Influential People in the World.” Poets & Writers reports.

Uncle Ray’s Dystopia

Ray Bradbury didn’t just extrapolate the evolution of gadgetry; he foresaw how it would stunt and deform our psyches.

Op-ed in the NYT

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The Press's Ayn Rand Obsession

This week, the media decided that the juiciest line of inquiry about the GOP’s newly minted vice presidential nominee, Paul Ryan, was how deep his allegiance was to the late novelist Ayn Rand. Brooke talks to Slate political reporter Dave Weigel about Ryan’s relationship to Rand.

MP3 from radio show - On the Media

Page at the - On the Media - website with story.

See my general commentary about political posts on LISNEWS.

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Authors destroy legal e-book lending

Roughly two weeks ago, the popular e-book lending site LendInk was taken offline thanks to a group of terrified authors who couldn’t be bothered to read the fine print. LendInk was a website dedicated to helping book lovers lend books to each other through features implemented by Amazon and Barnes & Noble. The site’s only purpose was to serve as a front end — it hosted no e-book files, linked no torrents, and never directed users to a file locker.

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