Monday Miscellany

The 10 Most Powerful Women Authors

Forbes contributor Avril David has put together a list of “10 women [who] can tell (and sell) a good story”:

Although there are many more women throughout history who have proven to be powerful authors, this list is limited to those who are living, with a focus on personal narrative and fiction writers.

She emphasizes that this list is a matter of personal opinion, so I guess she has the right to set whatever parameters for inclusion she wishes. But Joyce Carol Oates and Danielle Steel on the same list?

Top Earning Authors

Another list from Forbes, this one based solely on profits and including both men and women. How many can you guess before looking at the list?

Sherlock Holmes Banned from Reading Lists for Being Anti-Mormon

The Albemarle County School Board in Virgina has voted to remove Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s Sherlock Holmes tale  A Study in Scarlet from sixth-grade reading lists because it portrays Mormonism in an unfavorable way. Although the book was found not to be age-appropriate for the sixth grade, it will continue to be available to older students. According to this news story:

Not everyone was happy about the removal of the book from sixth grade reading lists. Apparently “more than 20 former Henley students turned out to oppose the book’s removal from the lists.”

Book battles heat up over censorship vs. selection in school

U.S. schools have banned more than 20 books and faced more than 50 other challenges this year, the American Library Association reports, and many more are expected this fall.

USA Today has a round-up about censorship in schools.

Sleuthing Around Dublin’s Darkest Corners

NPR talks with Irish author John Banville, who publishes mysteries under the name Benjamin Black.

“If you are going to write noir fiction, Dublin in the ’50s is absolutely perfect . . . All that poverty, all that fog, all that cigarette smoke, all those drink fumes. Perfect noir territory.”

Black’s mysteries feature sleuth Quirke, a consulting pathologist in a Dublin morgue:

“He has a very dark and troubled past,” Black explains. “He was an orphan. When he looks back to his earliest years, he sees only a blank, which is I think what drives him. What drives his curiosity. His itch to know about other people’s lives, other people’s secrets.”

Black describes Quirke as the exact opposite of Sherlock Holmes:

“In these books, nothing is ever resolved,” Black says. “The baddies are not put away. Poor old Quirke is as dumb as the rest of us, you know.”

Five essential books about 9/11

As the tenth anniversary of the event that changed the world as we knew it approaches, The Los Angeles Times offers a list of five books that memorialize it.

My own addition to this list is the novel Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close by Jonathan Safran Foer.