Talking About Books . . .

Wayfaring Stranger

“The peculiarity of this book is that I never saw it coming.  I started what I thought was a short story about some events in my family and things I witnessed growing up, and by the end I realized I had written a novel that went far beyond anything else I’ve ever done.”  That quote by James Lee Burke is his assessment of his latest novel, a work of historical fiction entitled Wayfaring Stranger.  David Masciotra offers high praise for the 77 year old author’s latest release in a Daily Beast review.

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Born Reading

How do you foster the love of physical books in your children in our digital age?  Jason Boog, the author of Born Reading: Bringing Up Bookworms in a Digital Age — From Picture Books to eBooks and Everything in Between, gives us five tips.

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In a very touching gesture J.K. Rowling, or rather Professor Albus Dumbledore, sent a letter to a Houston teenager whose family was recently murdered.

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Nancy Andreasen, Andrew H. Woods Chair of Psychiatry at the University of Iowa, has studied the brains of writers and other highly creative individuals for decades.  Judy Rudruff recently visited Andreasen for the PBS Newshour, and the result is a fascinating and enlightening piece.

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The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo

Peter Mendelsund started playing the piano at the age of four, and later spent two years studying piano at a music conservatory.  He intended to make a living as a concert pianist, but it didn’t work out.  Counter intuitively, Mendelsund decided to become a graphic artist – even though he had no formal training in art.  And as unlikely as it might seem, he became one of the most renowned book cover designers in the world.  But the story doesn’t end there.  Now he has become a writer with two published books.  Mendelsund’s unlikely odyssey is highlighted in a recent New York Times profile.

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Amazon’s troubled relationship with authors and their publishers continues, and the company’s recent attempt to appease authors seems to have done more harm than good.

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The Mount

Edith Wharton had a magnificent country estate in Lennox, Massachusetts called The Mount which, believe it or not, she designed.  Each summer and fall she welcomed visitors to her home, but made sure to maintain her writing pace while they were there.  Kate Bolick gives us a tour of Whatron’s magnificent estate, and some valuable tips on summer entertaining.

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Harper Lee

It’s sad to see people decline as they age, and Harper Lee is a prime example of the problems of aging.  A stroke has left her mind unclear at times, and she is practically blind and deaf as well.

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