Save your money and buy a book. Any book. A comic book. A romance novel. A whodunnit where you know whodunnit. It doesn't matter.
The Winter Vault, which opens in 1964, apparently involves a Canadian couple who live on a houseboat in the Nile. We are not at all surprised to learn, thanks to amazon.com, that tragedy ensues.
Can it possibly be as tragic as Fugitive Pieces? Seems impossible.
If you are a book editor, the thought has crossed your mind: As the publishing industry suffers the slings and arrows of outrageous economic misfortune, the number of self-published books seems to grow. And grow. AND GROW. How is this phenomenon possible?
The New York Times addresses that issue in an interesting story. What happens when there are more people who want to write their novels/memoirs/drivel than there are people who actually want to read actual books? It's a scenario scarier to me than anything out of Dawn of the Dead. Fleeing brain-eating zombies is one thing, but being forced to read self-published books is far scarier.
The New York Daily News reports that Stephenie Meyer (of Twilight fame) is still refusing to work on the manuscript for Midnight Sun. Turns out she's still mad that the unfinished manuscript was leaked online, which IS pretty lousy. Midnight Sun, the fifth book in the series, was supposed to be the story from Edward the Brooding, Stalkery Vampire's point of view. To Twilight fans, that's the equivalent of Jane Austen revisiting Pride and Prejudice from Darcy's POV.
But alas. Edward and his penetrating gaze will have to wait. Meyer wrote on her website that the book "is on hold indefinitely."
So you couldn't stand John Updike's work? You found it unbearably overrated? Ben Shapiro seconds that emotion.
The rumors - as they so often are in the world of journalism - were true: The Washington Post will no long publish Book World as a standalone section. Welcome to the wonderful world of 21st century journalism.
Read more here.
We think of him of a novelist first, of course, remembering the Rabbit series, two of which won Pulitzer Prizes (Rabbit is Rich and Rabbit at Rest); his ruthless (and now aging) witches of Eastwick; his embattled upper middle class couples waging domestic war in the nation's Northeast. But Updike, born in Reading, Pa., and living in Beverly Farms, Mass., at the time of his death, was also a poet, a short story writer and an art and literary critic. He also won a couple of National Book Awards.
An Associated Press obituary points out a funny thing: Though Updike never won the Nobel Prize, he did bestow one on his character Henry Bech.
He wrote things that made me want to tear out my hair sometimes. I can't tell you how many times I shouted aloud at his reviews in The New Yorker. And yet he'll be missed. Strange how that works.
Former book editor Margaria Fichtner interviewed Updike several years ago; click here to read her insights into his remarkable career.
Clearly, 'tis the season (!) for awards. Up next: Five fiction writers have been chosen for the 2009 Sami Rohr Prize for Jewish Literature, which comes with an impressive $100,000 award.
The finalists are:
Sana Kraskikov, One More Year
Anne Landsman, The Rowing Lesson
Dalia Shofer, The Septembers of Shiraz
Anya Ulinich, Petropolis
The winner will be announced later this spring. Last year's winner was Lucette Lagnado, author of the memoir The Man in the White Sharkskin Suit.
``Right now I'm reading Nelson DeMille's The Gate House, and I'm thoroughly enjoying the novel. I read Gold Coast [another of his bestsellers] about 10 years ago. Because this is a continuation of the adventures of the Sutter family, it is especially fun to read. Nelson's the best.''
STEPHEN CANNELL, author of On the Grind: A Shane Scully Novel
Cannell appears at 7 p.m. Saturday at Books & Books, Coral Gables.
Also announced by the American Library Association was the winner of the 2009 Randolph Caldecott Medal (for illustrated children's books): Beth Krommes for The House in the Night, written by Susan Marie Swanson.
You can read more about the awards here.