Talking About Books . . .

American Elsewhere

The Shirley Jackson Awards are presented each year to authors for their “outstanding achievement in the literature of psychological suspense, horror, and the dark fantastic.”  Here is a list of the nominated works, and the winners.

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I recently came across a series on my local public TV station called Well Read in which authors talk with the program’s host about their books.  In case you don’t get the series, you can find many of the episodes here.  Once you get to the site you will see a list of available programs.  Click on the plus sign (+) to see a description of each episode or click on “View More Episodes” to see all episodes that are currently available.

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We all like happy endings in the novels we read, and most novelists feed our desire for that “and they lived happily ever after” feeling.  But occasionally we read a novel where one of the main characters dies, and we find that we are very upset – upset by the death and upset with the author for doing such a horrible thing.  We applaud an author who can present a vision that we perceive as being realistic, but killing a main character is too realistic.  In a thought provoking article, author Mark Pryor defends authors who occasionally kill a main character.

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I think you’ll be delighted with these photos in which great books come to life.

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One of the features of The Poetry Archive website is poets reading their own works.  Click on the photo of a poet, and you will be taken to a page that contains information about the poet and a sample of his or her work.  If you click on “READ THIS POEM,” you will be able to read the poem that you are listening to.

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Parent Reading to a child

The American Academy of Pediatrics has recently recommended that parents begin reading to their babies at an early age, and that they read to them every day.  It immunizes them against illiteracy.

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There are many stories about the feuds between writers, so it’s nice to find that authors sometimes form friendships with other authors.  It’s equally pleasant to know that, strange as it seems, authors have actually been known to compliment one another.

Here is an article that highlights 11 beautiful friendships between authors.

And here is an article in which 15 authors praise their fellow writers.

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Nadine Gordimer

The Nobel Prize winning South African writer Natine Gordimer recently died at the age of 90.  The New Yorker has an article about Gordimer, and offers us a sample of her articles and short stories that have appeared in the magazine.

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Former Chicago Tribune reporter Marja Mills recently published The Mockingbird Next Door, a biography of Harper Lee which she says was written “with the trust, support and encouragement” of both Harpeer Lee and her sister Alice.  In a statement concerning the book, Lee flatly denies Mills’ claim.  According to Lee, she has not and will not cooperate with anyone writing a biography about her as long as she lives.

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