Talking About Books . . .

Grumpy Cat

Have you ever heard of Grumpy Cat?  If you haven’t, you’re woefully behind the times.  He is a star with two books and a 2015 calendar to his credit, a recently released Lifetime movie under his belt (or fur), and a line of licensed merchandise.  Entrepreneur has an article featuring Grumpy Cat and four other delightful animals that are, without a doubt, wealthier and more famous than you and I are.

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Book TV toured Simon & Schuster recently.  The video, which is about 1 hour and 12 minutes long, gives us an insider’s view of how S & S works, but more importantly, it tells us a lot about how the book industry in general works.

Pamela Paul, the editor of The New York Times book section has recently published a book composed of many of the Times’ weekly feature “By the Book” in which authors answer questions about books and writing.  Ms. Paul hosted a panel discussion at the Miami Book Fair in which she asked four authors their thoughts about books and writing.  One of the panel members was Ann Patchett who now owns Parnassus Books in Nashville.  She talks about how her life has changed as she attempts to balance owning and running a bookstore while trying to maintain her writing career.  I think you will find it interesting.

Saturday, December 13th from noon to about 4:15 p.m. ET, Book TV will feature eight authors who spoke at the recent Louisiana Book Festival.  The authors and their topics are listed here.

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The Hollywood Reporter gives us a ranked list of the 25 most powerful authors in Hollywood.  They are responsible for over 300 movie and TV projects that have brought in billions of dollars in revenue.  Who do you think is number one?  Click on any of the images to find out details about that author.

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Biographical Dictionary

“To bring attention to his verse, Pasquale Frunzio resolved to commit suicide and be found with the typescript of his collected poems, Lo Specchio Segreto, at his side. By accident, a spark ignited the gas-filled apartment, and its entire contents was incinerated.  Even more pitiable may be the case of Hans Kafka, who found that everything he wrote — including ‘the grotesque story of a beetle who is transformed into a man’ — was completely overshadowed by the work of his neighbor Franz (no relation).

Those are two of the 52 made-up biographical sketches that author (or rather “editor”) C.D. Rose relates in his book The Biographical Dictionary of Literary Failure.  Michael Dirda’s review of Rose’s book can be found here, and another from The Wall Street Journal here.  And finally, you can read excerpts from Rose’s book here.

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Second Readings

Jonathan Yardley, the long-time book critic for The Washington Post, has retired.  You can find out more in a Washington Post article.  Some of his 3,000 or so book reviews can be enjoyed in his 2011 book Second Reading: Notable and Neglected Books Revisited.  And a list of some of his favorite books is available here.

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A friend of mine responded to my recent post concerning possible holiday book gift ideas with a suggestion that I also include the recommendations from the Los Angeles Times, so here it is.

And here are a few more holiday gift book lists to peruse:

Christian Science Monitor

Politics and Prose Bookstore

The Economist

Newsweek 

Slate

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