Welcome to our new feature where we talk about random things we’ve seen around the blogosphere. It could be an interesting article, a book trailer, maybe a fun piece of news we feel you should know about, and maybe even a stylish pair of shoes or handbag we’ve seen (if Laura has her way!). Basically it’s a bit of a mashup! Enjoy….
Book Bloggers Harming Literature?
Let’s start this month by talking about an an interesting article written by Peter Stothard, the chair of this year’s Booker Prize. Where he argues that book blogging is at risk of damaging literature. At first I was aghast, until I began to read his opinions in more detail. He doesn’t discredit book blogging, more worry that it is beginning to damage and eradicate the role of the literary critic, and frustratingly newspapers begin to reduce their book sections. He argues that literature is always about what is good, but what is challenging, new and different:
“You don’t read a literary critic to explain why a new Ian Rankin is any good – the people who know about him don’t need that explaining. If we’re going to keep literature and language alive, we have to be alert to the new, the things which aren’t like what’s been before. And as Howard Jacobson said, this may be unpleasant, it may be that we don’t enjoy reading it, but it might matter hugely to the future of literature.”
This really got me thinking. Having studied for an English degree myself, I understand the appreciation between a book that I know is beautifully written, and one I would read for pleasure. Sometimes they’re separate and sometimes they’re not. But each piece has its own role. Personally, I believe there is a place for both critics and bloggers in the world and both play independent roles. Book bloggers may review at a different level, but they appeal more often to the mainstream, it’s more about personal opinion and enjoyment and sharing with a group of fellow minded individuals. But it doesn’t mean that it does not have its own important place in the literary world.
Source: Guardian Books
Stephen King Teams Up With Son To Write Short Story
Now this story made me had a little *facepalm* moment, because I had no idea that Joe Hill was Stephen King’s son! But anyway, moving on… I think it’s really nice that they have both teamed up to write a short story together called IN THE TALL GRASS. Here’s the summary:
In the Tall Grass begins with a sister and brother who pull off to the side of the road after hearing a young boy crying for help from beyond the tall grass. Within minutes they are disoriented, in deeper than seems possible, and they’ve lost one another. The boy’s cries are more and more desperate. What follows is a terrifying, entertaining, and masterfully told tale, as only Stephen and Joe can deliver.
The story is available as an ebook or an audiobook. Perhaps a perfect mini spooky story ready for Halloween on Wednesday?
Fifty Shades News
Ok, so it’s been a little while since I’ve written about Fifty Shades in a Monday Mashup, and it’s not been easy, every month there’s a new news story about it! This month I have two. First up is news about Frankfurt book fair which has seen a flood of Erotica books following on from E.L. James’ overwhelming success. This could just be me, but my enjoyment of the trilogy wasn’t necessarily about the erotica and more about the compelling love story. I’m not a huge erotica fan, I read some on occasion, but I would happily read the whole trilogy over again because I loved the story between Ana and Christian. I’m not so sure I’m going to run out and buy a load more of the genre. Does anyone else feel the same?
Second on the Fifty Shades newsreel is that apparently there are talks that Mila Kunis may be in talks to play the role of Anastasia Steele. If you’re unsure of the name you may know her from Black Swan, Friends with Benefits or That 70s Show. Interesting choice, I’m not sure she quite has the innocence that I imagined Ana has, but she certainly has the dark, pretty looks I imagined. I still think there must be someone better for the role. That aside, I really cannot wait for this film to be released, let alone made. I will be pre-ordering my tickets!
New Adult Series For Kelley Armstrong
I’m a HUGE Kelley Armstrong fan, I simply love her Women of the Otherworld series, which sadly ended recently with 13 last month. So I was rather excited to hear she has a new adult series coming out. Called Omens, it will be out in August 2013, here’s a summary:
Twenty-four-year-old Olivia Taylor Jones has the perfect life. The only daughter of a wealthy, prominent Chicago family, she has an Ivy League education, pursues volunteerism and philanthropy, and is engaged to a handsome young tech firm CEO with political ambitions.
But Olivia’s world is shattered when she learns that she’s adopted. Her real parents? Todd and Pamela Larsen, notorious serial killers serving a life sentence. When the news brings a maelstrom of unwanted publicity to her adopted family and fiancé, Olivia decides to find out the truth about the Larsens.
Olivia ends up in the small town of Cainsville, Illinois, an old and cloistered community that takes a particular interest in both Olivia and her efforts to uncover her birth parents’ past.
Aided by her mother’s former lawyer, Gabriel Walsh, Olivia focuses on the Larsens’ last crime, the one her birth mother swears will prove their innocence. But as she and Gabriel start investigating the case, Olivia finds herself drawing on abilities that have remained hidden since her childhood, gifts that make her both a valuable addition to Cainsville and deeply vulnerable to unknown enemies. Because there are darker secrets behind her new home, and powers lurking in the shadows that have their own plans for her.
Definitely one for my auto-buy list!
In the spirit of all things fun and Halloween I’ve found these cute little pumpkin earrings which I think would inject a perfect but of fun to your look on the day. I reckon you could even sneak them on and wear them to work and get away with it ;-).
Anne Hathaway and Chris Hemsworth for Robocalypse?
More exciting movie rumours… this time about Steven Speilberg’s newest film. The film will be based on the sci-fi novel by Daniel H. Wilson. Rumour has it the film will star Anne Hathaway and Chris Hemsworth. Hemsworth continues to reside on my ‘men I would become a bigamist for’ list so this is great news in my books! I’m also a Steilberg fan, with perhaps the exception of the last Indiana Jones film, so I shall look forward to more news.
Source: Guardian Books
Amazon Stripped of Ebook Tax Advantage
A European ruling has closed a tax loop-hole that has allowed Amazon to charge just 3% VAT on ebooks, instead of the normal 20%. Giving them 30 days to remedy the situation. Bad news for us Kindle lovers! Amazon are contesting the ruling, but I think the bigger problem here is why VAT is charged on ebooks in the first place, when it isn’t on paper books? Why should an ebook have 20% tax on it, I quite simply do not understand?!
Source: Guardian Books
Margaret Atwood Writes Serialised Zombie Collaboration
Here’s one for our zombie-queen Carolyn. Margaret Atwood, Booker prize winner and renowned author of The Blind Assassin, has teamed up with fellow author Naomi Alderman to write a serialised zombie story about a fifteen year old girl battling her way through a zombie apocalypse. The story is going to be serialised, and will appear on Wattpad, updating regularly between now and the 2nd January. You can read the first three chapters already right here. I’ve not read a story in a serialised format before, but it sounds quite different and a bit fun. Atwood has been writing it with Alderman as part of a mentoring programme, where established artists, help upcoming talents. This sounds like a really cool and valuable idea! Go on, why not stop by and have a read?
Source: Telegraph Books
666 Park Avenue TV Series
The 666 Park Avenue series by Gabriella Pierce has been turned into a TV series in the US, starring Rachael Taylor and Terry O’Quinn (better known as John Locke in Lost). I’ve not read the books myself, but the trailer looks great! I hope we get it in the UK.
Now, I have to apologise as I know that Carolyn has featured this bookmark on Monday Mashup before. But I do just love this bookmark and as it’s Halloween this week I thought I would sneak them in again, because they are so cool. I must buy it! The Wicked Witch of the West is the ultimate witch!
That’s it from me this month, it just leaves me to say an early Happy Halloween from all of us here at BCC, don’t scare yourselves too silly! ;-D