Emily Brontë’s Bicentenary

Wuthering Heights was a tough read for this cynophilist, and I’ve often wondered if I would have enjoyed it more had the dogs in the book not suffered a cruel fate. To this day, having read the book years upon years ago, what sticks in memory most tenaciously is wrapped around dogs – and that Heathcliff…

Library Event: A Victorian Christmas with Dickens

Saturday, December 14th at 1:00 pm A Victorian Christmas music program, with excerpts from Dickens’ various Christmas stories, using period American and British music. Songs and instrumentals performed live by the husband-and-wife team of Jim and Maggi Dalton, in costume, and with period appropriate instruments and style. Family-friendly and full of fun! Jim Dalton and…

The Making of…

via Shelf Awareness: “To celebrate the publication of the three-volume Robert Motherwell Paintings and Collages: A Catalogue Raisonné, 1941-1991 by Jack Flam, Katy Rogers and Tim Clifford, Yale University Press, which published the book in partnership with the Dedalus Foundation, made a two-minute video documenting the making of the books. Filmed at the printing press…

This Week in the Literary World

io9 took on “10 Science Fiction Novels You Pretend to Have Read (And Why You Should Actually Read Them)” in their Daily 10. A few that made the list: Cryptonomicon by Neal Stephenson Gravity’s Rainbow by Thomas Pynchon Infinite Jest by David Foster Wallace Some of the other books that made the cut just might…

Student Documentary: "EPILOGUE: the future of print"

via Shelf Awareness: “Epilogue–The Future of Print is a beautiful documentary short about the world of print and a moving tribute to books, booksellers and book makers. The student project was “built upon interviews with individuals who are active in the Toronto print community and questions whether or not they expect to see the disappearance…

Bookish Sites of Interest

First up: Writers No One Reads From the site: “Highlighting forgotten, neglected, abandoned, forsaken, unrecognized, unacknowledged, overshadowed, out-of-fashion, under-translated writers. Has no one read your books? You are in good company. ” And, indeed, most of these authors induced a Who Is That Now? response. (Aleksei Mikhailovich Remizov, anyone?) You can browse the site a…

Bookish Sites of Interest

First up, The Composites: “Images created using law enforcement composite sketch software and descriptions of literary characters…Read more on the project at The Atlantic.” The site is new, having launched earlier this month, and is currently taking suggestions for characters site-goers would like to see sketched out using the aforementioned software. Some of those already…

Anne McCaffrey

Popular fantasy writer Anne McCaffrey passed away this past Monday. She was 85 years old. From The Guardian: “McCaffrey, who went on to publish almost 100 books, began her career in 1967 with Restoree, which she described as a “jab” at the way women were portrayed in science fiction. Later that year, she had the…

Tap, Tap: NaNoWriMo is Knocking

It’s November: Happy National Novel Writing Month! NaNoWriMo urges writers at every stage in the grand game to complete the first draft of a 50,000 word novel. In a month. Think it can’t be done? Erin Morgenstern’s recently published The Night Circus began as a NaNoWriMo project; look where it is now. On the New…

Bookish Hunger Pangs

From The Boston Globe: “Engrossing works of fiction inspire all manner of reader reactions. But hunger? That’s a surprisingly common takeaway for obsessed fans of George R.R. Martin’s best-selling series, “A Song of Ice and Fire,’’ the fifth book of which, “A Dance With Dragons,’’ hit shelves this summer after HBO’s adaptation of the first…

Nobel Prize Winner: Tomas Tranströmer

Swedish poet Tomas Tranströmer has won the 2011 Nobel Prize in literature. From the Huffington Post: Tomas Tranströmer is a poet who, according to Peter Englund, the permanent secretary of the Swedish Academy, writes about “death, history, memory and nature. A lot about nature.” He is the first poet to win the prize since 1996.…

"A gift in support of libraries, books, words, ideas….."

Intricate paper sculptures have been mysteriously turning up at bookish locations around Scotland, including the one to the left (entitled “Poetree”). With each, a note that begins “A gift in support of libraries, books, words, ideas…..” has been attached. Read the full article here; each new edit is exciting, especially as each new sculpture discovered…

The Emmy Awards Got Their Book On

Watching last night’s Emmy Awards, this librarian had her heart set on hearing Timothy Olyphant’s name called when the award for Outstanding Lead Actor in a Drama Series was handed out. It didn’t happen (but it will, one day). But my disappointment affirmed one thing: There are shows that can do a book or short…

The Personal Libraries of Celebrities

For book lovers, this is voyeurism at its best: a chance to peak into the home libraries of 20 celebrities, including Diane Keaton (whose library is featured above). If only we could read a few of those spines! Click here to see the 19 other libraries that made the list.

Literary Tattoos

Tattoos that imprint favorite poems or bookish quotes on the skin fascinate me. Some, like the one above, take it to a whole new, imaginative level. Check out more literary tattoos on Contrariwise and The Word Made Flesh, an extension of the book featured below. Publisher’s Summary “The Word Made Flesh: Literary Tattoos from Bookworms…

"9 Surprising Things You Didn't Know About…"

Edgar Rice Burroughs, the creator of Tarzan. [via BuzzFeed] 8. Burroughs is a descendant of Edmund Rice — and is distantly related to Laura Ingalls Wilder and President Calvin Coolidge. “Rice was one of the original settlers of the Massachusetts Bay Colony, and while his own life was modest — founder of Sudbury, deacon in…

CNN's 12 Summer Reads

(CNN) — One of the best things about summer are the vacations (or staycations) that allow time for leisure reading. We’ve picked the bookish brains of editors from Entertainment Weekly, The Barnes & Noble Review and the social network site Goodreads.com to round up a collection of 12 books you can add to your list.…

"Literary Mixtape: Elizabeth Bennet"

“Elizabeth Bennet, the second eldest in a family of five daughters, is possessed of “a lively, playful disposition, which delighted in any thing ridiculous” and a healthy dose of scorn for her silly sisters. Her father’s favorite, Lizzy is headstrong, sharp-tongued and quite proud of the fact that she has what her father calls “something more…

Jane Eyre Set Interiors

Are you tempted to see the new adaptation of Jane Eyre starring Mia Wasikowska, Michael Fassbender, Jamie Bell & Dame Judi Dench? Perhaps taking a peek at the film’s gorgeous, brooding set interiors will be further incentive.

This Week in the Literary World

“Michael Lewis, who wrote the best-seller The Big Short: Inside the Doomsday Machine about the mortgage meltdown, has become the target of a lawsuit by an asset manager he wrote about in the book.” [via Advisor One] “Getting a handle on naming characters”: The right name can bring a fictional person into focus, but finding…

Brian Jacques, Author of Redwall, Dies at 71

“British author Brian Jacques, who wrote the “Redwall” (Penguin) adventure series, died of a sudden heart attack on February 5 in Liverpool, England. He was 71.” “The world has lost not only a talented author, but a truly gifted entertainer and champion of children,” says Philomel’s Green. “For almost 25 years, Brian Jacques lived up…

Amazon Editors Release Picks for "Best of 2010"

The following ten titles top their list: The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks by Rebecca Skloot Faithful Place by Tana French Matterhorn by Karl Marlantes Unbroken by Laura Hillenbrand The Warmth of Other Suns by Isabel Wilkerson Freedom by Jonathan Franzen The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet’s Nest by Stieg Larsson To the End of…

Flavorwire's Top 10 Sidekicks in Literature

In the number five spot, Sancho Panza, Don Quixote’s long suffering companion. Per Flavorwire: “Sidekick to: Don Quixote Backstory: Don Quixote, an older man who, after reading one to many fairytales, decides to go out on a quest of his own. He shortly recruits one of his neighbors, Sancho, to be his squire, promising him…

This Week in the Literary World

According to the New York Times: “It appears that Oprah Winfrey and Jonathan Franzen have kissed and made up. Nearly a decade after their public literary feud, Ms. Winfrey has selected ‘Freedom,’ Mr. Franzen’s best-selling novel, as her next book-club pick, according to booksellers who have seen early copies of the books. The selection is…

This Week in the Literary World

A couple of book to movie items: Scott Pilgrim goes from comic to live action [via the Los Angeles Times] “Eat, Pray, Adapt: Making a book into a film” [via CNN] And in other bookish news: Lost items found in returned books decorate the Burlington Public Library. [via Boston.com] “The Top 10 Most Expensive Rare…

This Week in the Literary World

“Here’s a publishing plot twist: One of the book world’s top moneymakers, Janet Evanovich, has switched literary homes.” No worries, there will be more Stephanie Plum in store for readers. [via The Associated Press] MTV shares an opinion on the chosen director for the US film adaptation of The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo, David…

This Week in the Literary World

Julianne Moore, best known for her work on the big screen, also has children’s book writer on her resume. And pretty soon her book series, Freckleface Strawberry, will be heading to the off-Broadway stage. [via Playbill.com] Elizabeth Gilbert briefly mentions her ex-husband in her best-selling book Eat, Pray, Love, but that’s all you’re going to…

Stephen King’s Summer Reading Picks

Entertainment Weekly got the goods on the six titles Stephen King thinks you should be reading this summer. Among them: Stieg Larsson’s Millennium trilogy and William Boyd’s Ordinary Thunderstorms. For the complete list, click here. Of Boyd’s novel, King states: “Great suspense stuff here, told with flair, compassion, and a high sense of humor. Readers…

Dating a real Character

Over on Publisher’s Weekly’s blog, Shelf Talker, Elizabeth Bluemle is talking fictional characters she’d let her daughter date. And she’s asking you the same. So how about it? Which fictional guys would you be happy to see your daughter date? And on the flipside, which ones wouldn’t you want within ten feet of her? From…

NPR’s “Thrilled To Death”

In their new series (“Thrilled to Death,”) NPR has asked thriller novelists to talk about beloved books. Kicking off the series is Scott Turow who chose Graham Greene’s The Power and the Glory. Of the book, Turow states: The novel captivated me completely. It was a thriller — but also a novel of ideas. Greene’s…

This Week in the Literary World

The New Yorker Magazine has announced their list of the best 20 authors under 40 It’s a season to celebrate books! Not to be outdone by BookExpo America The Guardian hosts The Hay Festival this week. Click here for highlights. The 2010 Moby Awards for Best/Worst Booktrailers were announced last week. The publicity team for…

This Week in the Literary World

Oprah is offering up “7 Books to Watch for in June 2010” – titles include: Jennifer Egan’s A Visit From the Goon Squad and Julie Orringer’s The Invisible Bridge. [Source: Oprah.com] There’s no reason to go through Lost withdrawal once the show is off the air. Pick up one of the many books featured on…

This Week in the Literary World

Entertainment Weekly puts Charlaine Harris (author of the Sookie Stackhouse series) through her paces with a book quiz. I’m particularly happy (and very much in agreement with) her choice for “What fictional character would you most like to marry?” [Source: EW] Similarly, Kansas City (.com) asked author Dave Barry 20 questions. His answers include: Barry…

This Week in the Literary World

This week’s news comes from BookPage, a fantastic – and free! – publication for book lovers that the library now has available for patrons. (If you’d like a copy, check out the Reader’s Area, which is directly behind the magazines.) In the current issue you’ll find: An interview with Emily Giffin, whose new book, Heart…

This Week in the Literary World

Here are some fun stories from an article that appeared on the Poet’s & Writers website. George Washington (yep, that George Washington) owes three hundred thousand dollars in late fees to the New York Society Library for two overdue books he borrowed on October 5, 1789. (Guardian) Fashion Designer Marc Jacobs is opening his first…

This Week in the Literary World

The West Virginia Book Faire wants fair goers to take a bite out of their favorite books. “The whole idea behind the festival is to get people reading,” said Weiss, who is overseeing the edible book competition. “Using food to represent a book or other piece of literature offers a great opportunity to do something…

Maggie O’Farrell on Her New Novel

Lexie Sinclair cannot stay. Enclosed within her parents’ genteel country lawn, she yearns for more. She makes her way to the city, and meets a magazine editor, Innes, a man unlike any she has ever imagined. He introduces her to the thrilling world of bohemian postwar London, and she learns to be a reporter, to…

True Blood’s Comic Turn

HBO and IDW Publishing are thrilled to announce an exclusive partnership to produce a multiple, all-new comic book series based on the network’s hit show True Blood. Premiering at San Diego Comic-Con in July, this sexy, visually striking comic series will add new and unique layers of supernatural drama to the wildly original Emmy®- and…

RIP ~ Robert Parker

Robert B. Parker, whose spare, eloquent sentences turned the tough private investigator Spenser into one of Boston’s most recognizable fictional characters, died in his Cambridge home Monday. He was 77. For more click here.

This Fall in Publishing

published an interesting article on Fall publishing. They’re very excited about some of the titles – some mainstream, some not – that will be released between August and December. Click here to read the full article. Oh, and make sure you have a pen and paper handy so that you can add to your to-be-read…

Short Stories on Sunday

At Harper Perennial, where I work, we traffic in stories of all kinds. And we have a special fondness for the short story—self-contained, crystalline, newborn, perfect. This year we’re celebrating the thriving art of the story by sharing a new one every week: most of them new, a few of them classics, from authors you…

Nora Roberts, Innkeeper

Best-selling author Nora Roberts can now add “innkeeper” to her list of pursuits. Inn BoonsBoro is located in Boonsboro, Maryland, and the reason why I’m posting this has to do with the rooms themselves. They’re all modeled after literary couples! So…You can stay in a room inspired by  J.D. Robb’s Roarke and Eve, or you…

Remembering Tony Hillerman

Tony Hillerman died yesterday at the age of 83. Hillerman’s evocative novels, which describe people struggling to maintain ancient traditions in the modern world, touched millions of readers, who made them best sellers. But although the themes of his books were not overtly political, he wrote with a purpose, he often said, and that purpose…

National Book Award Nominees

For more information on the National Book Awards click here. FICTION Aleksandar Hemon, The Lazarus Project (Riverhead) Rachel Kushner, Telex from Cuba (Scribner) Peter Matthiessen, Shadow Country (Modern Library) Marilynne Robinson, Home (Farrar, Straus & Giroux) Salvatore Scibona, The End (Graywolf Press) Fiction judges: Gail Godwin (chair), Rebecca Goldstein, Elinor Lipman, Reginald McKnight, Jess Walter.…

Rowling’s Charitable Potter Prequel

LONDON (Reuters) – An 800-word hand-written story by bestselling author J.K. Rowling, which she describes as a prequel to the Harry Potter boy wizard books, sold for 25,000 pounds ($49,000) at a charity auction on Tuesday. To read the rest of the article, click here.

Author Jon Hassler dies at 74

Jon Hassler, who “suffered from a longtime neurological disorder,” died Thursday at the age of 74, according to the Associated Press (via USA Today), which noted that, despite his deteriorating health, the author of Staggerford and other novels about small-town life “continued work on a book, Jay O’Malley, until his death.”In a 1995 AP interview,…

Arthur C. Clarke Died at the Age of 90

“Clarke died early Wednesday after suffering from breathing problems, the Associated Press reported. He was 90 years old. He suffered from post-polio syndrome and was confined to a wheelchair toward the end of his life.” {From a FoxNews report.} Clarke was the author of 2001: A Space Odyssey.

Check It Out…

If you’re a fan of Neil Gaiman‘s work, or, you know, even if you are not currently a fan {due, of course, to the fact that you have yet to read this brilliant man’s work} you may want to amble on over to his journal. In order to celebrate his journal’s birthday – 7 years,…

What to do?

The last unpublished work of one of the 20th century’s greatest writers may be close to being destroyed in fulfilment of the author’s last wishes, his son has hinted.Vladimir Nabokov requested in his will that his unfinished novel, The Original of Laura, should be destroyed on his death, saying that he abhorred the idea of…

In Character

NPR is hosting a new series called “In Character.” Each week they will explore a character in depth to see what makes them tick and why they are important. Listeners can submit their suggestions for characters to be discussed on the show. If you are interested in characters, you may want to check out the…

In the Corner to my Right…

Just couldn’t pass this up…The Top 10 Most Manly Writers Ever From the eNotes Book Blog: “So who would win in a fistfight? Ernest Hemingway or Norman Mailer? James Fenimore Cooper or William S. Burroughs? This week we present the most burly, manly men of letters. In their world, or at least in their fiction,…

And not a jar of marmalade in sight…

The authorities have finally rumbled the nation’s most famous illegal immigrant. That’s right. They’ve got Paddington Bear in a jail cell, waiting to be interrogated. No, really; I’m serious… In a surprisingly political opening chapter to Paddington Here and Now police interrogate the duffelcoat-wearing stowaway from darkest Peru about his residency status and right to…

In Macabre Book News…

A private buyer has paid £5,400 at auction for a book alleged to be bound in the skin of a Jesuit priest executed over the 1605 Gunpowder Plot. Did you have to read that twice? ‘Cause I did. BBC News has the full report. And, in case you were wondering, that there book went for…

UK Poll: Which books do you revisit?

London, 9th November 2007: New research released today by Costa, the UK’s fastest growing coffee chain, reveals that 77% of UK readers have enjoyed a book* so much the first time that they’ve gone back to read it again. {Full article here.} I’ll post the top twenty reread books, as listed in the article quoted…

Robert Jordan, fantasist, dies at 58

Robert Jordan, author of the popular fantasy Wheel of Time series, passed away on September 16th as a result of a rare blood disease. According to a BBC News story, Jordan’s personal assistant said: “the disease caused the walls of his heart to thicken.” For more information on Robert Jordan and his books, take a…

Madeleine L’Engle dies at age 88

 Madeleine LEngle, author of “A Wrinkle in Time” has died.  Many of us will remember reading this Newbery Medal book. Not a big fan of fantasy and science fiction, this is one of the few in that genre that I have read and enjoyed.  In my earlier days as an Asst. Children/Young Adult Librarian, I…

Grace Paley Dies at 84

I just read on Maud Newton’s blog that Grace Paley died today. Here is her obituary from the New York Times. “Grace Paley, the celebrated writer and social activist whose acclaimed short stories explored in precise, pungent and tragicomic style the struggles of ordinary women muddling through everyday lives, died Wednesday at her home in…

Percy Jackson story posted on author’s blog

If you’re a Percy Jackson/Rick Riordan fan (as in The Lightning Thief, The Sea of Monsters, and The Titan’s Curse) you’ll want to take a virtual walk over to Riordan’s blog. He’s posted the first part of a never-before-seen Percy short story entitled Percy Jackson and the Stolen Chariot. For all of us who cannot…

Count Down to Book 7

All the book news is about the soon to be released Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows. If you aren’t frantically re-reading the last 6 books, here are a few articles to help you get ready for the final installment. JK Rowling: Learning to live with fame, fortune and life without Harry Goodbye Harry by…

Bond Bound to Print Once Again

When the trustees of Ian Fleming’s estate began looking for an author to write a new James Bond book many assumed hard-bitten thriller writers such as Frederick Forsyth or John Le Carré would top the list.Certainly no one tipped the acclaimed serious literary novelist Sebastian Faulks to be entrusted with the latest incarnation of Britain’s…

Notes Around the Literary World

According to a British newspaper, “a rare copy of a book by the explorer Sir Ernest Shackleton has sold at auction for £43,200.” That’s roughly $86,339.79. The paper goes on to say: “The book was edited and published by Shackleton (1874-1922) and his fellow explorers during their Nimrod expedition to Antarctica from 1907-1909. Archivists believe…

Defining the 20th Century with One Book

If you had to pick one book to be the “definitive book of the 20th century,” which one would you pick? The Guardian Unlimited held a poll and asked their readers just that. The answer? George Orwell’s 1984. “Paranoia, propaganda and a state of perpetual war are the defining characteristics of the last century, according…

“Life after Harry”

Will the end of the Harry Potter series bring about a publishing apocalypse? Several news sources around the world, while not suggesting that, are certainly wondering what publishers will do once the series ends this July. Take this snippet from a recent USA Today article: “‘I don’t know if we are ever going to see…

It’s in the review – or is it?

“The Decline and Fall of the Book Review Section…and What It Means to Publishers” was a recent headline in The Huffington Post. The writer’s summation is that it “certainly ain’t good.” What do you think? Do book review sections effect how you borrow/purchase books? Do you even read them?

Getting a Look at the Book

“Whenever a bookshelf is in a photograph, I just have to identify its titles. It’s giving me a headache.“ Read the article here. I have quite the same problem, I must admit. Both the need to identify the titles and getting the headache. And book bloggers are notorious for photographing their bookshelves, as well as…

Are they really going to collect that fine?

Here are a few highlights from an article on the Poets & Writers website featuring some interesting literary news: George Washington (yep, that George Washington) owes three hundred thousand dollars in late fees to the New York Society Library for two overdue books he borrowed on October 5, 1789. (Guardian) Fashion Designer Marc Jacobs is…