Talking About Books . . .

Born to Run

Most authors never make enough money to quit their day jobs and write full time.  Others, including a few politicians and musicians, make more money with one book deal than most of us would earn in multiple lifetimes.  Here are 10 of the most lucrative book deals of all time.

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Who was Evelyn Wood, and what self-help craze did she start? A Guardian article provides the answer and lots of valuable information.

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Should we learn about authors’ lives before we read their works of fiction?  Some people argue that literary works should stand on their own merits while others believe that knowing about authors’ lives gives us invaluable insights into the meaning of their works.  Does knowing about the life of Charles Dickens (especially his early childhood) help us to understand why he wrote the novels he wrote?  On the other hand, would knowing more about the life of William Shakespeare add to our understanding and appreciation of his plays?  Believe it or not, there is debate – even among authors – about the answer to those questions.  “Bookends,” a feature in The New York Times book section was devoted to this issue a few years ago.

“The Private Life,” a short story by Henry James is mentioned in the Times article.  Read the short story here.

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The Underground Railroad

The 2017 Pulitzer Prizes in journalism, letters, drama and music have been announced.  All of the winners in those categories (along with a brief explanation as to why they were chosen) can be found at the Pulitzer website.  You will also find a list of the finalists for each award and links to the Pulitzer awards for previous years.

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Fans of The X-Files TV series are in for a treat.  On July 18 Audible Studios will release an  audiobook featuring the original stars of the TV series, Gillian Anderson and David Duchovny, in a new X-Files case.  Some information on the upcoming audiobook is available in a Vulture article and additional information is available at Audible.

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Did you ever wonder where authors get their inspirations for the settings of their novels?  Bustle shows us nine places that inspired famous novels.

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the Immortal Life

The incomparable Oprah Winfrey is turning Rebecca Skloot’s The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks into a movie for HBO.  Winfrey recently discussed the project in an interview with NBC.

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On April 26 an adaptation of Margaret Atwoods dystopian novel The Handmaid’s Tale will begin airing as a series on Hulu.  The book’s author and Elisabeth Moss, the star of the Hulu series, recently sat down to discuss the project for Time magazine. You can watch a trailer for the series here.

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The tragic marriage of Sylvia Plath and Ted Hughes is once more in the news with the discovery of some letters that Plath wrote to her therapist.  The last of the letters was written exactly a week before she committed suicide at the age of 30.  A Guardian article about the letters – and much, much more – is a must-read for all Plath fans.

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