Book Recommendations Ebooks Monday Miscellany Publishing

Monday Miscellany

Sick Of Young Adult Lit? 3 Books For The Whiz Kid

In this issue of NPR’s “three books” series, Adam Mansbach reflects on which books he read in childhood have stuck with him:

The ones I continue to love now, a quarter-century after first mauling their spines, tend to confront complex social issues bravely, convey emotions with tremendous, empathetic clarity, and rest on compelling narrative voices. In other words — the very elements that draw me into novels today.

Read his homage to these three works:

  • The Moves Make the Man by Bruce Brooks
  • Father’s Arcane Daughter by E. L. Konigsburg
  • The Flight of the Cassowary by John Levert

What’s In Store: 3 Tales Of A Terrifying Future

In this next issue of NPR’s “three books” series, Drew Magary muses on fictional presentations of the apocalypse.

I think there’s probably a point to which civilization will evolve, and then all the gas and water will run out and we’ll spend the rest of eternity trying to get back to the awesome times when we had, you know, food to eat. I really hope I’m not alive when that turning point arrives, because it will be bad.

See what he has to say about these books:

  • World War Z by Max Brooks
  • I Am Legend by Richard Matheson
  • Robocop by Ed Naha

E-books’ popularity is rewriting the sales story

“It’s been a watershed year for e-books,” says Tina Jordan of the Association of American Publishers. “Any publisher will tell you that a best-selling title from a branded author can run upwards of 30% to 40% in digital sales.”

Despite surges in new technology and strong e-reader and e-book sales, print books are holding their own; publishers see them as key for the future. They want consumers to have many choices in reading formats and ease of buying.

According to this article, publishers will continue to invest in new titles.  And the publishing industry is waiting to see how digital and print sales play out in the upcoming holiday season.

The 5 Worst Workers in Literature

I’m a little late with this one, but it’s not my fault–really. This post, in honor of Labor Day here in the United States, didn’t appear on the PW blog until the day after Labor Day.

Anyway, here’s a look at the five worst workers in literature:

1. Ignatius J. Reilly from A Confederacy of Dunces by John Kennedy Toole

2. Tom Mota from Then We Came to the End by Joshua Ferris

3. Jim Dixon from Lucky Jim by Kingsley Amis

4. Henry Chinaski from Post Office by Charles Bukowski

5. Bartleby from Bartleby, the Scrivener by Herman Melville

All-TIME 100 Best Nonfiction Books

Time magazine has chosen “the 100 best and most influential written in English since 1923, the beginning of TIME … magazine” in the following categories:

  • autobiography/memoir
  • biography
  • business
  • culture
  • essays
  • food writing
  • health
  • history
  • ideas
  • nonfiction novels
  • politics
  • science
  • self-help/instructional
  • social history
  • sports
  • war

10 Can’t-Miss Nonfiction Books For Fall

Kirkus Reviews recommends books to curl up with by the fireplace this fall. There should be at least one here to appeal to just about everyone.

The Article Everyone Who Loves Books Should Read

Keith Gessen’s new Vanity Fair e-book, How a Book Is Born: The Making of “The Art of Fielding” (available for Kindle and Nook), is a thorough and riveting study of books and their business, and anyone with an interest in writing should do themselves a great favor by buying it right now. It’s $1.99 well spent.

Gabe Habash, who wrote this post, also says:

At 17,000 words, Gessen’s article is long-form journalism done right (something e-books are really starting to figure out)–it’s long enough to bury you in its story but also short enough (and told briskly enough) to fight off any inclinations toward boredom. It’s overall message: content is king. For all of the brisk narration Gessen engages in, and for all the uncertainty creeping into the publishing conversation, it still comes down to the fact that people want to read good books. And Gessen’s piece is a really good article about a good book.


Author News Book News Book Recommendations Censorship Monday Miscellany Publishing

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.

Author News Literary Criticism Monday Miscellany

Monday Miscellany

Weirdest Writer Deaths

“Here are some of the most bizarre ways that writers have had their story end.”

Rate This Article: What’s Wrong with the Culture of Critique

The Internet-begotten abundance of absolutely everything has given rise to a parallel universe of stars, rankings, most-recommended lists, and other valuations designed to help us sort the wheat from all the chaff we’re drowning in.

Chris Colin suggests that the ubiquity of rating systems for everything in the world is harming more than helping us:

There’s an essential freedom in being alone with one’s thoughts, oblivious to and unpolluted by anyone else’s. Diminish that aloneness and we start to doubt our own perspective.

When we’re overwhelmed by everyone else’s opinion about something, it’s hard to focus on, or even articulate, what our own opinion really is.

There’s an essential freedom in being alone with one’s thoughts, oblivious to and unpolluted by anyone else’s. Diminish that aloneness and we start to doubt our own perspective.

‘Mad Men’ fashion line debuts

Oh, hey, remember how we told you AMC is eager to keep its hit series Mad Men in your consciousness even though the show has been on extended hiatus during contract negotiations? Well:

“Mad Men” has gone beyond a fashion fad. The AMC show about a 1960s ad agency — in which style is as important as the characters and plot — continues to influence runways and retailers with a new branded collection at Banana Republic. . . . The new clothing line also provides a temporary fix for “Mad Men” devotees awaiting the show’s return in 2012. No new episodes of the show aired this year.

Read how the new clothing line marries the fashion of the 1960s to the fabrics and comfort demands of today.

Bad Romance: History’s Ill-Fated Literary Couples

Writers who marry or woo other writers — it’s a bold move, considering the egos involved and the social isolation necessary to get a decent amount of good work done. And yet the authors below tried to make it work; some stayed together for months and some were even able to make it last years. Many of the following authors even acted as mentors to their younger paramours, giving their careers a boost by introducing them to editors and other important members of literary circles. If you’re interested in learning more about writers’ affairs of the heart, Katie Roiphe details some of the following relationships in her book, Uncommon Arrangements: Seven Marriages.


Author News Book News Book Recommendations Ebooks Monday Miscellany

Monday Miscellany

Great Authors To Follow On Twitter

These eight writers are sometimes hysterical, sometimes insightful, and are sure to give you words for thought in 140 characters or less.

Of interest to both readers and writers.


Authors, critics, and editors on “great books” that aren’t all that great.

Some of these may surprise you. Or perhaps they’re also the books that you secretly love to hate.

Back-To-School Reads: 13 Big Books To Read While The Leaves Fall

Beach-reading season is just about over. NPR checks in with a lucky 13 suggestions of books to curl up with this fall.

Discworld’s Terry Pratchett On Death And Deciding

If you’ve read the Discworld novels by popular fantasy writer Terry Pratchett, you’ve surely encountered Death. He’s an actual character — a skeleton in a black hood who’s portrayed as not such a bad guy after all.

So maybe it’s not so surprising that at 63, Pratchett — who has been diagnosed with early-onset Alzheimer’s — speaks openly about causing his own death.

NPR discusses assisted suicide with author Terry Pratchett.

Deciding on a Book, and How to Read It 

Recently several people who know I have a Kindle have asked me whether they should buy one. I love my Kindle, but it may not be the correct choice for everyone. So if anyone else asks me in the future, I’m going to point them to this article in the New York Times, in which Nick Bilton compares several reading options:

I set out to try them all, reading a chapter on each: the Amazon Kindle, the first- and second-generation Apple iPads, the Barnes & Noble Nook, an iPhone, a Windows Phone, a Google Android phone, a Google Android tablet and a laptop computer. To be fair, I also read a chapter in that old-fashioned form — a crumply old print paperback.


Author News Book Recommendations Libraries Monday Miscellany

Monday Miscellany

Like Books? Like NPR? We Invite You To Explore The New NPR Books!

NPR has spent 18 weeks significantly redesigning its books coverage. It looks like there’s a lot more information that’s a lot easier to find. This is a welcome change when print sources are cutting back on books coverage.

Librarian finds digital divide has changed his job

A librarian in the Seattle Public Library system discusses how his job has changed in the 26 years since he got his master’s degree in what was then called library science.

Vonnegut Sold Saabs: 11 Author Day Jobs

We all have that same romanticized image of The Writer: sitting alone, hunched over his/her desk, pen in hand, thinking deeply about Writing before putting the pen to the page and Writing. But, unfortunately, doing this for long stretches of time doesn’t pay the bills

Contemporary Books I Wish I’d Read as a Kid

Josie Leavitt writes, “man, there are books I would have devoured had they been written in the 1970s and early 1980s.” See what books are on her list of books she wishes she could have read as a kid.

 10 Books You Really Should Have Read In High School: An Alternate List

This list, which riffs off a selection from last week’s Monday Miscellany, includes a diverse list, from Susan Sontag’s Against Interpretation to Orson Scott Card’s Ender’s Game.

Literature from Librarians: Great Reads Written by the Experts

The authors on this list range from the top dogs at the Library of Congress to folks who have worked at the national libraries of Argentina, France and Sweden, and people who have checked books in and out at public and school libraries.

 Famous Books Inspired By Dreams

five examples of famous novels that were inspired by their author’s sleeping mind

 Mark Twain House employee embezzled $1 million

An employee of the Mark Twain House and Museum in West Hartford, Conn., has admitted in court to embezzling $1 million from the organization that maintains the author’s historic home. The Mark Twain House, like the homes of some of America’s other best-known writers, has faced financial difficulties. Most, however, were not systematically plundered.

My first reaction when I saw this story was “The Mark Twain House doesn’t HAVE $1 million.” Like the recent warnings about Poe’s house in Baltimore, the Mark Twain House is periodically threatened with closure because of lack of funds. But the former staff member managed to amass $1 million by spreading her theft out over 8 years.

Attention, Bookworms! Here’s Your Mad Men-Inspired Summer Reading List

AMC doesn’t want you to forget about its hit series Mad Men, which has been on extended hiatus because of contract negotiations. So to keep you up to speed, they’ve assigned you homework with their list of books that have appeared on the show’s first 4 seasons. And if you finish your reading early, you can get extra credit by purchasing from the AMC store and reading a few books ABOUT Mad Men. Offerings include Sterling’s Gold: Wit and Wisdom of an Ad Man by Roger Sterling.

Cool New Websites Every Bookworm Should Bookmark

We’ve been excited about all the new literary and creative nonfiction websites in the past year that have sprung up in order to show us that the big bad Internet didn’t kill reading after all — it improved it.

Ten informative resources you might not have yet heard about.

Awards & Prizes Book Recommendations Film Monday Miscellany

Monday Miscellany

Why Do We Care About Literary Awards?

Mark O’Connell answers his own question:

By and large, awards like the Booker are intended to promote solid, well-written, more or less middlebrow fiction — the kind of books that broadsheet newspapers tend to give coverage to. And that’s surely a good thing for the publishing industry, for the literary editors of papers that still have books pages, for the small number of writers who get the nod, for booksellers and (I would guess) for the manufacturers of those stickers that get slapped with startling speed onto the dust jackets of shortlisted titles. But does it really matter at any other level — at the level, for instance, of literary culture as opposed to the publishing industry? I’m not convinced it does.

His conclusion:

They’re great for the publishing industry, they’re great for the handful of writers who win them, and they’re great for the readers who would not otherwise have discovered those writers. But I don’t think anyone in their right mind should be looking for them to accurately reflect what’s really happening — what is truly vital and new and exciting — in contemporary fiction.

What about you? Do literary awards prompt you to read one book over another? How seriously, as a reader, do you take these awards?

 10 books you really should have read in high school

Declaring that there are “books that it would be a shame to go through life not reading,” NBC’s Today show offers its choice of titles here.

 Stranger than fiction: 5 chilling true-crime books

More recommendations from NBC. I’m glad to see that one of my favorite books, In Cold Blood by Truman Capote, is on this list.

 7 Worst Film Adaptations

My own addition to this list would be Clint Eastwood’s film adaptation of David Baldacci’s first thriller, Absolute Power. I loved the book and had such high hopes for the film because it was, after all, Clint Eastwood. Alas, Eastwood decided he also wanted to star in the film and so had to significantly change the plot the keep himself on camera. And this change completely ruined the film.

What would you add to the list?


Author News Book News Ebooks Film Monday Miscellany Oddities

Monday Miscellany

Stephen King’s ‘Bag of Bones’ to be A&E Miniseries, Starring Pierce Brosnan

Pierce Brosnan is set to star in the miniseries adaptation of Stephen King’s 1998 bestseller, Bag of Bones. The James Bond actor will return to television for the four-hour, two-night Sony Pictures Television event on A&E. Kelly Rowland and Annabeth Gish (as Jo) will also join the cast of this supernatural thriller.

Bag of Bones introduces readers to novelist Mike Noonan. After Noonan’s wife dies suddenly, he finds himself unable to write. Fortunately, in previous years he had written prolifically, and he now has 4 earlier manuscripts stashed away. One by one he doles these out for his annual best seller. But once the manuscripts are gone, Noonan is still unable to produce anything new. Moreover, he has begun having nightmares about a summer home from his past. Thinking that the dreams must hold some meaning for him, he returns to the house to face his fears.


Stieg’s Stockholm

A couple of weekends ago my husband and I plowed through all three Swedish film versions of Stieg Larsson’s Millennium trilogy. We had seen each one separately before, but it was fun seeing them in order, one right after the other. During one scene when Blomqvist was walking through a busy intersection, I thought, “I bet at least one company is offering Stieg Larsson tours of Stockholm.”

In this article in the Paris Review Daily Elisabeth Donnelly describes that very thing, a tour she and her father took on a recent trip to Stockholm. I was especially interested to learn that Lisbeth Salander’s 25-room penthouse actually exists, although Donnelly and her father didn’t actually get inside. Donnelly also offers some interesting facts about Larsson’s life that I didn’t know, such as this:

Larsson also wrote science fiction, was an accomplished illustrator, and traveled to Africa the year after he finished his mandatory Swedish military service to teach female guerrilla fighters in Eritrea how to handle arms. The trip to Eritrea shaped the theme of female warriors in the third book, The Girl who Kicked the Hornets’ Nest.


 Death & Authors: The 12 Weirdest Stories

No additional commentary needed.


 Missouri School District Bans ‘Slaughterhouse-Five’ and ‘Twenty Boy Summer’

The school board in Republic, Mo., voted 4-0 to eliminate Kurt Vonnegut’s “Slaughterhouse-Five” and Sarah Ockler’s “Twenty Boy Summer” from the high school curriculum and library, respectively, after a local man led an effort to deem the novels inappropriate.

It’s not just the censorship that bothers me, it’s the arrogant ignorance:

Of the members of the school board who voted on the issue last Monday, according to UPI, only one — Melissa Duvall — had actually read either of the books in question.


E-books Rapidly Increasing in Reading Groups

 Reading group members nationwide are increasingly choosing e-books and e-readers over traditional print books, according to a survey by Reading Group Choices (RGC). The survey shows that 25% of reading group members are using e-books, up 10 percentage points from 2009.

More facts from the report: Most people (59%) reading ebooks are using Amazon’s Kindle, with Barnes & Noble’s Nook in second place (26%).  “The Nook is rapidly catching up, however—up from just 7% in 2009. Usage of tablet computers as e-readers is also on the rise.” But overall, the majority of readers still prefer printed books over ebooks. “Currently, romance fiction is the genre most frequently read in e-book format (60% of all titles purchased in e-book format.)”


The best 100 closing lines from books

There’s also a link to the best 100 opening lines.


Britain’s Telegraph ordered to pay $100,000 over book review

The Daily Telegraph’s parent company was ordered Tuesday to pay more than $100,000 in damages over a book review. The British newspaper lost a lawsuit for libel and malicious falsehood in the high court.

This initially looks like scary stuff, but it’s not so alarming once you read the whole story.



Book Recommendations Monday Miscellany

Monday Miscellany

The Millions : Good Luck, Memory

Michael H. Rowe laments that he often has trouble remembering details about books he has read.

There isn’t any inherent reason to worry about forgetfulness, of course. Reading is reading; what you remember can seem a gift and what you forget just one of many things that, slipping away, never did you any harm.

I have tried to get around this problem by keeping a database of books read. Ideally, writing some notes about the book should help cement its most significant elements in my memory.

But even that often doesn’t help. This is especially true for the mystery series I routinely follow. What happened in John Sandford’s Winter Prey, as opposed to in Sudden Prey? In which Michael Connelly mystery did detective Harry Bosch first meet FBI agent Rachel Walling?

So I choose to take comfort in one of the comments on this page: “forgetting can be a good thing, because when you re-read a book, it will be almost as if you’re discovering it again.”

Top Facebook Pages for Book Lovers 

As an added bonus, this article ends with a link to The Top 5 Twitter Feeds for Book Lovers.

And, of course, you can always follow ME on Twitter:

Famous for the wrong book

Recommendations for better books by the likes of Joseph Heller, Kurt Vonnegut, Evelyn Waugh, Kazuo Ishiguro, Salman Rushdie, and William Golding.

Bad Classics: Classic Books We Think Are Overrated

Ever read a classic and asked yourself, “What’s the big deal?” There are thousands of books the world considers classics, from Shakespeare to Salinger. But while some classics deserve their esteemed place in literary history, others might have left you wondering what all the hype was about. Here are some of the classics you might want to skip out on reading.



Book Recommendations Ebooks Monday Miscellany Publishing

Monday Miscellany

How we read now

Amanda Katz writes in the Boston Globe about the quickly advancing trend of digital reading, or ebooks.

And this is the hitch. For the last 1,500 years or so, the idea of the book and the book as object have been indivisible. We readers respect and adore long-form writing, whether it is argument, explanation, history, how-to, or story – and there’s no reason why that shouldn’t take digital form. But digital immigrants are used to the book being something else, too: a tangible object, and a symbolic one. We kiss our holy books; we build beautiful libraries, temples of learning; we scan the shelves at our friends’ houses and strike up conversations with book-reading strangers. We want books to fit comfortably in our hands. We gaze at our shelves to remember what we’ve read, and make stacks on bedside tables of the books we’ll devour next.

The Price of Typos

Anyone who reads a lot has noticed the increased frequency of spelling errors over the past few years, even in best-selling books from major publishers. Virginia Heffernan writes about these errors in this opinion piece in The New York Times. Readers castigate publishers for getting rid of the ranks of copy editors and proofreaders who used to correct these errors. Publishers tend to blame writers, saying that manuscripts from authors are much longer and messier now. Some even say that writers had gotten sloppier and now think that they can count on spellcheck to clean up their errors.

More interesting here, though, is how Heffernan extrapolates from the fact of more typos in published material:

Bad spellers are a breed apart from good ones. A writer with a mind that doesn’t register how words are spelled tends to see through the words he encounters — straight to the things, characters, ideas, images and emotions they conjure. A good speller, by contrast — the kind who never fails to clock the idiosyncratic orthography of “algorithm” or “Albert Pujols” — tends to see language as a system. Good spellers are often drawn to poetry and wordplay, while bad spellers, for whom language is a conduit and not an end in itself, can excel at representation and reportage.

Why every novelist is holding out for a hero

Only by creating an enduring character can a writer entertain thoughts of a literary career

Has plot driven out other kinds of story?

“An emphasis on strong plot and the rejection of fiction‘s digressive powers seems to be the order of the day,” writes John Lucas in the U.K. Guardian. A “relentless focus on plot” has given us books that, like films, depend on fast-moving action, to the detriment of fiction: “Film focuses on plot: on external action. The novel can do something different: it can show us how we think.”

My nomination for the kind of book Lucas is referring to is Disturbances in the Field by Lynne Sharon Schwartz.

ThrillerFest VI: How To Become a Thriller Writer in 13 Easy Lessons

We all have a book in us, as the saying assures us. If your book happens to be a thriller, you could benefit from the wisdom that Barbara Hoffert picked up at the recent International Thriller Writers conference.

Author News Literary History Monday Miscellany Writing

Monday Miscellany

This post introduces a new feature, Monday Miscellany, a conglomeration of intriguing literary items that have found their way to my monitor.

Remembering Stieg Larsson

In The New York Times, David Carr reviews ‘There Are Things I Want You to Know’ About Stieg Larsson and Me, by Eva Gabrielsson. Gabrielsson is the woman who lived for 32 years with Swedish  Stieg Larsson, author of the enormously popular Millennium Trilogy: The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, The Girl Who Played with Fire, The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet’s Nest.

Famous only in death, Larsson was a fervent feminist, an author of numerous books and articles about right-wing Swedish extremism, and a socialist to his core. As Gabrielsson explains, much of his life’s work was embodied in Expo, a small political magazine that struggled to stay afloat. The crime novels were “like therapy,” she writes. “He was describing Sweden the way it was and the way he saw the country: the scandals, the oppression of women, the friends he cherished and wished to honor.”

Related Post:

After 50 Years, Remembering Hemingway’s Farewell

On July 2 NPR marked the 50th anniversary of Ernest Hemingway’s death by suicide.

Ernest Hemingway was 61 years old. He was a boxer, a boozer, a philanderer and big-game hunter who wrote some of the most sublime prose of the English language: short, sharp, piercing sentences that told stories about soldiers, lovers, hunters, bravery, fear and death.

5 Must-Read Books on Words & Language

The Writer As Detective

Writer Roger Rosenblatt believes that “writing makes life occasionally beautiful, nearly tolerable.”

As a writer, you create characters who act differently than you ever supposed, circumstances that change shape and direction, sentences that seem to emerge from a trance. Ideas occur to you that you never knew you had, opinions you never knew you held. Only reluctantly do you concede that the mystery must eventually get hold of itself, and come to order.

And he says that writers are in cahoots with readers:

A nice conspiracy is afoot here, as readers, too, revel in mystery. Writers get better at the craft once we learn to assume that the reader will do much of the work for us, filling in the blanks with their own experiences and lives. Plant a few key pieces of evidence, and your reader will dream up the connections.

“All writers are mystery writers,” Rosenblatt declares.

There is an underlying purpose to a writer’s detective work, I believe, which has to do with catching bad guys. I know this may sound like an extravagant claim, corny too, but I think that we writers enjoy tromping around in the murky zones of good and evil, right and wrong, justice and injustice, so that in the long run, we may settle on the good, the right and the just. . . . we want to rescue our reader-clients, however surprised we may be to rediscover our innocent sense of honor every time we string words together.

And isn’t that exactly why we read?

How E.B. White Spun ‘Charlotte’s Web’

From NPR:

In a poll of librarians, teachers, publishers and authors, the trade magazine Publisher’s Weekly asked for a list of the best children’s books ever published in the United States. Hands down, the No. 1 book was E.B. White’s Charlotte’s Web. Now, a new book called The Story of Charlotte’s Web explores how White’s masterpiece came to be.


In this talk delivered during the 2010 Book Expo America conference, science fiction writer William Gibson muses that the best science fiction is always about the time when it was written. And here’s how he describes the relationship between authors, books, and readers:

A book exists at the intersection of the author’s subconscious and the reader’s response. An author’s career exists in the same way. A writer worries away at a jumble of thoughts, building them into a device that communicates, but the writer doesn’t know what’s been communicated until it’s possible to see it communicated.