Saturday, February 28, 2009

Buried Treasure

Sorry for the absence last week folks. Things were a little crazy but have finally calmed down. Right. Let's get to this!

Books will often offer hidden treasures in their stories. But sometimes, you can find something more. Specifically, have you ever bought a used book and found someone else's shopping list tucked away between page 98 and 99? When I looked through one of my old books, I found the bookmark from the store where I bought it (the store had closed down years ago). Sometimes, my mom would use heavy books to press dried flowers. Musician Dan Zanes once used a book to store a prized possession given him by his mother — a rare photograph of J. D. Salinger, taken by Mrs. Zanes’s mentor, the German photographer Lotte Jacobi. Henry Alford wrote in The New York Times Book Review that one time even bacon was found within a book's pages. Though, I have to question that one.

So, how about any of you out there? Have you ever found some interesting item in a book? Any of you used a book to stash a little something?

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Quote of the Week

"Let other pens dwell on guilt and misery."

--- Jane Austen

Friday, February 13, 2009

Breakin' the Law, Breakin' the Law

One of the new experimental features (a text to voice feature that reads in a computer-generated voice) of the new Kindle 2 from Amazon has the Author's Guild in an uproar. (See additional article here)

Paul Aiken, executive director of the Authors Guild, said of the feature: "They don't have the right to read a book out loud....That's an audio right, which is derivative under copyright law."

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Quote of the Week

"Writing saved me from the sin and inconvenience of violence."

--- Alice Walker

Monday, February 9, 2009

Can't We All Just Get Along?

Apparently, Stephen King had a few choice words regarding Twilight Saga author, Stephanie Meyer.

Of course, literary feuds are nothing new.



This was a case of a mentor/student relationship gone bad. Stein originally had nothing but great things to say about Hemingway, that is until he became a bigger literary star. Stein then wrote a scathing review about one of Hemingway's book. Papa responded by talking about Stein's sex life with Alice B. Toklas in his memoir, A Moveable Feast.


The on-going feud between these two egotistical novelists came to a head at a dinner party in New York when Mailer challenged Vidal to a fight and threw a drink in his face. Apparently, the two also came to blows (including slapping and headbutts) backstage of The Dick Cavett Show, before going on the air and engaging in what was called a memorable war of words.


When Wolfe's novel A Man in Full was published in 1998, the three "literary giants" all agreed that the book was horrible. Wolfe fired back at the trio in a Canadian TV show by calling them The Three Stooges and said that they were jealous of him. "It must gall them a bit that everyone, including them, is talking about me."

There you have it just three of the famous literary feuds. To read more, check out Anthony Arthur's book Literary Feuds: A Century of Celebrated Quarrels from Mark Twain to Tom Wolfe. And for the record, notice there weren't too many (if any at all) feuds among the crime writing community. :-]

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Quote of the Week

"Character cannot be developed in ease and quiet. Only through experience of trial and suffering can the soul be strengthened, ambition inspired, and success achieved."

--- Helen Keller

Sunday, February 1, 2009

In Library News

Local Libraries Seeing More Use

With the poor state of the economy, people are spending less money on books and heading off for their local library. In an article in The Cape Cod Times, contributing writer Laurie Higgins said:

"Public libraries are no longer just quiet places where people go to check out books or study. In the past 10 years, librarians have worked hard to respond to patrons' needs, and today many libraries are vibrant community centers offering information, education, modern technology and entertainment."

It's a great thing that libraries offer these services for their communities. Unfortunately, some could face the possibility closing due to state budget cuts. Let's just hope that this doesn't happen and that these library can continue to provide a haven for the many avid readers out there who are trimming their book buying budget in these tough economic times.

Fairstein's Latest Book Involves NYC Public Library

Speaking of Libraries, Linda Fairstein's latest book Lethal Legacy will bring readers into a fascinating world: The New York Public Library's rare books and maps archives. Lethal Legacy is the eleventh book in a series featuring Manhattan sex-crimes prosecutor Alexandra Cooper.

Author Linda Fairstein touring the NYC Public Library