Category: authors (page 2 of 33)

Book Blogging in Turmoil

Well, at least we can never say life in the book blogging world is dull!

This past weekend, The Guardian newspaper published a story by an author that, frankly, pissed a lot of people off. I’m not going to link to the story, because I don’t want to give it any more of a signal boost than it’s already received. But surely, if you’ve been paying attention these last few days, you know what I’m referring to. (If you don’t, I might argue that ignorance is bliss, but you could also simply Google “Kathleen Hale.”)

I honestly don’t think I have much to add to the conversation. Many other bloggers (who are much, MUCH smarter than I am) have already written about this incident (*) from a variety of perspectives, including:

(* I hate calling this Hale thing an “incident.” It’s not. It’s so much worse. But I’m also mindful and a little bit wary about what I’m writing now, so I’m being careful with my word choice. In a way, I’m self-censoring. I don’t particularly like it, but there it is.)

My mother, who is one of the smartest people I know, routinely gives me good advice; the best advice she’s ever given me is that we can’t control what other people do or say. We can only control our reactions to them. This is, of course, much easier said than done, but it’s also true for so many different situations in life. We can’t change how other people think, but we can change and take responsibility for our own actions.

So, my two cents, for whatever it’s actually worth, comes down to this: don’t be an a$$hole. Whether you’re a blogger, an author, a publisher, a marketer, a reader or any combination of the above, just….don’t be an a$$hole. I feel like that’s both an obvious statement and a naive one, but really, it should be that simple.

And if you don’t want to listen to me, listen to the Dowager Countess:

Dowager Countess Memes

[Image from Funny or]

Book News, Oct. 11th

Happy October, bookworms. To paraphrase Anne (with an E) Shirley, I’m so happy to live in a world where there are Octobers. I like October because it means changing leaf colors, cooler weather and ALL THE APPLES. (Imma let you finish, but apples are totally > anything pumpkin spice.) Today, I’m visiting Newgrange, a UNESCO World Heritage site here in Ireland. I hope you’re enjoying yourself, wherever you are. And I also hope you enjoy the book news:

  • Bad Adobe! With thanks to Dear Author and Smart B*tches for bringing this to my attention, it turns out Adobe has been spying on you while you read. Adobe’s Digital Editions 4, often used to read e-books for various sources (many libraries with Overdrive use it, for example), tracks every book you read and sends that information back to Adobe in plain text format (i.e., a wildly unprotected format). It’s simultaneously an invasion of privacy and a data security issue, one the company apparently doesn’t see as a problem. Adobe did say it was “working on an update” for Digital Editions 4, though there’s no indication that update will, you know, stop recording every page and book you read and send that information to the company unencrypted. Some companies never learn.
  • Authors United’s fight with Amazon is about to get some reinforcements. Several high-profile authors, including Philip Roth, Salman Rushdie and Ursula Le Guin, have agreed to join AU in its fight against Amazon. The organization is hoping to put enough stress on Amazon and compel it to end its dispute with Hachette Books regarding the pricing of e-books. In a statement, Le Guin compared Amazon’s tactics to censorship, saying the conglomerate “deliberately [makes] a book hard or impossible to get” and decried Amazon’s use of that censorship “to gain total market control so they can dictate to publishers what they can publish, to authors what they can write, to readers what they can buy.”
  • J.K. Rowling almost broke the Internet and she’s probably laughing about that. Earlier this week, Rowling published a cryptic tweet, which Potterheads immediately began trying to decode. Many die-hard fans were convinced the tweet heralded the return of The Boy Who Lived, while Rowling herself took to Twitter to provide some clarification. In the end, the original tweet turned out to be an anagram for a sentence relating to Rowling’s upcoming Newt Scamander “prequel.” Rowling, meanwhile, prove once again that she is indeed smarter than the rest of us. And I’m okay with that.
  • Introvert children of the world, rejoice! Susan Cain is writing a book for you. Cain, author of one of my most favorite nonfiction books (Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World that Can’t Stop Talking) signed a deal with Penguin Young Readers to publish of Quiet for children. The original was clearly geared towards adults, with discussions of workplaces and parenting choices. The children’s version will feature stories of children who have used their own introversion to their advantage. I’m certainly looking forward to this book (even having no children of my own) and I wish it had been around when I was a socially awkward young’un.
  • How do you say you’re sorry in Dothraki? You don’t! At least, according to the folks who came up with Dothraki for the Game of Thrones television show, you don’t. Now you too can become a Dothraki expert. Living Languages has released a Dothraki course, featuring more than 200 words, phrases, grammar explanations, notes and more. George R.R. Martin only created the barest foundation for Dothraki in his books; HBO hired linguists to help expand the language for use on television. At the very least, you could learn how to curse someone in Dothraki and not only would that person never know, but you also would get away with foul language in public. Sounds like a Dothraki to me!
  • Lastly, my name is Meredith and I love reading romance novels. And I’m not afraid to stand up (here in my little corner of the Internet) and admit it. If, however, you’re feeling a bit skittish about your own romance habit, Elyse at Smart B*tches has an excellent post in defense of romance novels. She aptly knocks down most of the arguments she hears against romance, pointing out that the romance genre and feminism tend to go hand-in-hand (books written about women, by women, for women = duh! feminist!) while also deconstructing the fallacious idea of “good” or “serious” literature. (I’ll take Sarah MacLean over Jonathan Franzen any day, thank you very much.) Read it. Be happy. Then read more romance!

As always, happy reading.

Book News, Aug. 9th

Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you may have picked up on the fact that today is the premiere of the Outlander television show on Starz. (You could have watched it online during this past week, but why quibble with minor details.) Based on what I’ve seen so far, the show looks amazing, but thanks to my upcoming move, I’ll only be able to watch a few episodes before leaving. Maybe someday I’ll get the see the whole thing. Will you be watching? Why or why not? Ponder that, and the book news:

  • Classy all the way. Last month, after a teen girl survived a shooting that claimed the lives of the rest of her family, she paraphrased Albus Dumbledore in a public speech. In response, Harry Potter author J.K. Rowling recently sent the girl a personalized, handwritten letter in Dumbledore’s voice, along with a Hogwarts acceptance letter, a wand and a signed copy of Prisoner of Azkaban. Though the contents of Rowling’s letter will remain confidential, it strikes me as a very classy move by a very classy lady.
  • Tolkien is never far from people’s minds, especially with the final Hobbit movie releasing this winter. Now, you can also consult Tolkien for writing advice, thanks to an infographic from The advice is culled from the letters of J.R.R. Tolkien and features ideas such listening to critics, finding inspiration in dreams and understanding that you will always improve as time goes on.
  • Madeleine L’Engle told readers that there is such a thing as a tesseract, and now movie-goers will get to see it as well. Jennifer Lee, the director of Disney’s mega-hit Frozen, is writing an adaptation of L’Engle’s novel A Wrinkle in Time. Disney is apparently eager to maximize on the book’s strong female heroine and science-fiction elements. (We’ll just ignore that television version of the novel from awhile back, mmkay?). No word yet on who will direct, or the cast. I’ll keep my fingers optimistically, but cautiously, crossed; A Wrinkle in Time is one of my all-time favorite childhood novels and I’d hate to see it messed up.
  • Football, schmootball! Who needs a fantasy football league when you can have a fantasy author league? Thanks to Book Riot, you can now lead a fantasy league with your reading friends, drafting authors instead of athletes. (Everyone knows authors are more fun, anyway.) In this year, you get points for an author’s productivity (bonus points for the Nobel Prize!), media and publicity appearances, and, “feuds, disputes, and ruckuses.” May the best fantasy draft win!
  • This just in: reading is sexy. And when beautiful, attractive, sexy people read books aloud, well, that’s just even better. The lovely people at Book Riot have compiled a list of 10 sexy celebrities reading children’s books (although they included Justin Bieber on their list and I wholeheartedly disagree with that, so I’m calling it 9). You may think that sounds icky, but trust me – you haven’t really lived until you’ve listened to and watched Benedict Cumberbatch read The Little Red Hen. You’re welcome, book world.

As always, happy reading.

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