Wednesday, July 27, 2011

King on Golding

The U.K.'s Daily Telegraph runs a piece by Stephen King on his discovery of Lord of the Flies, and the impact it had on him emotionally and as a writer. A wonderful appreciation of William Golding's masterpiece about what happens when a group of boys gets stranded on an island.

E-Books Accelerate Paperback Publishers’ Release Dates -

E-Books Accelerate Paperback Publishers’ Release Dates -

The Times reports on the growing trend of publishing paperback books earlier than the usual year after the hardcover version of a book debuts, in part to compete with the e-book versions.

Do you think paperback books will eventually disappear?

Monday, July 25, 2011

Oprah Selects Novel By Kenyan Author - Mfonobong Nsehe - The Africa Chronicles - Forbes

Oprah Selects Novel By Kenyan Author - Mfonobong Nsehe - The Africa Chronicles - Forbes

This is the second African author Oprah has selected as a book club pick. The first was the 2009 story collection Say You're One of Them, by Nigerian writer Uwem Akpan.

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Literati Loves...

The New York Poetry Festival, happening on Governers Island next weekend. For the first time ever, the city's poetry groups like The Poetry Brothel, Nuyorican Poets, Futurepoem and Warrior Writers among others will gather in one place to showcase and revel in the written/spoken word.
The event and ferry rides is free but there will be food vendors and craft vendors at the event, or you can bring a picnic with you. You will definitely need a blanket and sunscreen. Saturday and Sunday, July 30 & 31, from 12 -5 p.m. For more information or tickets to the pre-festival fundraiser ($10) at the Bowery Poetry Club, click

Friday, July 22, 2011

Literati Loves...

Book Boxes!
These cute and functional boxes can be used to store valuables or papers. They come in three sizes (8.5", 9.5" and 10.5") and at under $20 each, they're the perfect combination of form and function for booklovers.  Available at

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Got Book?

If you've got an idea for a whodunit rattling around your head, or are trying to write one but are stuck one way or another, the Mystery Writers of America has your back. The prestigious organization behind the Edgar Awards, has launched MWA University, which is dedicated to "giving back to the mystery community."
On August 13 they're holding a one day event where aspiring writers will be taught by established authors. Described as "not your grandmother's writing class," the full-day program is designed to teach participants the essential skills needed to write a novel, from the idea stage to the final editing. The focus is on the craft of writing.
The seminars will be available around the country. If there isn't one in your area ask your local MWA chapter to request one.

And when they say low cost, they're not kidding. $50 gets you a seat. For more information or to register (space is limited) click on the link above or call 212-888-8171.

Monday, July 18, 2011

Drink in the City

Sherry & Narcotics by Nina-Marie Gardner (Future Fiction, 239 pp. trade paperback, $14.95 )
By Vivian Lake
This searingly authentic portrayal of a young woman's downward spiral is the best and boldest writing I've seen in a long time.  First-time novelist Gardner pulls no punches with her prose. Her writing is so emotionally authentic and unfiltered you'll have to lie down to recover.

The first person perspective works brilliantly here to drop the reader right in the middle of a troubled young woman's self-delusional downward spiral.

Mary is a talented young American writer living in Manchester who's had some success as a playwright, but thanks to addiction, when we meet her she has given up serious writing and is writing term papers for money. She is lying to her family about her drinking (and occasional drugging), and has started a relationship with a man she is to damaged to assess properly. It quickly becomes apparent how bad thing are, and it's  obvious that they're going to get worse.

Mary's two addictions are alcohol and Jake. Jake, a fairly well-known writer reached out to her and half-heartedly started a relationship. Mary's reaction is to hang on to him like a life-preserver, infusing him with all the love, generosity and good will she would want, but not realizing that the whole time, he's just standing there while she creates the relationship around him. You're wondering if she will ever realilze the truth about him, you'll wonder just how long she can remain deluded about him. Let's just say longer than any sane person could be.

Gardner paints such a wretchedly accurate portrait of the drug and alcohol fueled haze in which Mary lives, the pain she's trying to obliterate bleeds off the page.

You will find yourself cringing, moaning, screaming at Mary as she drunkenly fumbles through work, relationships, and the danger she occasionally places herself in. The narrative is as addictive as its subject, compelling you to turn the page, get to the next horror, delusion, despair, and it is great writing that gets you to sit still for something you wouldn't want to witness in real life.

In spite of its dark subject matter, Gardner somehow weaves in comic moments, and writes a runaway train of a narrative which is as compelling as any thriller. And magically, she also provides a point of light, the possibility of enlightenment and redemption.