Sunday Links, September 1, 2013

ArchaeologyThe Association for the Recognition of Excellence in Science Fiction and Fantasy Translation announced the winners of the 2013 Translation Awards.

Kirkus has named nine of the most overlooked books of the year so far. As I haven’t even heard of a single one of them, and I follow what’s being published fairly closely, I guess they’re right about the “overlooked” part. I’ve added several of them to my “books to read” list (which is so enormous I’d probably be better off merely listing the books I don’t want to read), and I purchased Jake Arnott’s The House of Rumour for my Kindle (it’s only $4.99; how could I resist?). Which ones make you salivate?

The Sandman OvertureIt’s going to be a great autumn for comics. If you’ve never read anything in this genre, I dare you to give them a try. Start with Neil Gaiman’s The Sandman Overture; I haven’t read it yet, but I can confidently assert that you’re unlikely to be anything but thrilled.

ParasiteThere’s a lot of great science fiction, fantasy and horror being published this fall. Here is Bookish’s list; I’ve already read Mira Grant’s Parasite, and I can confirm that it’s a great read. And who could resist a book called Dangerous Women? io9 has its own list, which has a lot of overlap, but also adds a few books that will give your brain something good to chew on. My Bookish Ways has yet another list, again with overlap but again adding some books the other lists don’t mention. Library Journal joins the fray with a list that’s also a commentary. It’s an embarrassment of riches, and I’d like one of each, please.

If mystery and suspense are more your style, My Bookish Ways has a list for that, too.

It’s a terrible confession for a reviewer to make (or maybe it’s a bit of bragging on a reviewer’s part; you decide), but I have an inability to permanently put down a book that isn’t working for me. I’m not the only one; 38% of readers will finish a book no matter what. You’d think life is simply too short for such an attitude, but, well, I just refuse to die until I’ve read all my books.

the diving bell and the butterflyBuzzfeed says these 32 books will actually change your life. I’m not so sure about that, but I do know that the books on the list that I’ve read affected me profoundly, starting with the first one listed, The Diving Bell and the Butterfly by Jean Dominique Bauby. The list tempts me with a few authors I’ve never gotten around to — yet! — and some books that have been lying around my house for years, if not decades.

Paste Magazine gives us a look at the 12 best fictional libraries. I’ve always wanted the Beast’s library from Disney’s Beauty and the Beast; heck, if I were Belle, that library would have made me fall in love with the Beast on the spot.

Barnes & Noble has some updates on Jane Austen’s work that you might not have come across. (And is it just me, or is the Barnes & Noble blog much better than it used to be? I hope it’s a sign that Barnes & Noble refuses to give up despite economic troubles.)

And speaking of my favorite writers (yes, Pride and Prejudice makes my all-time list of top ten books), this tribute to Stephen King is a lovely read. I’d not really thought about King as a quintessentially American writer, but this article makes the case well.

The Winner's CurseI read a lot of fiction designated as “young adult” these days. I thought it was just because the designation has grown to swallow a lot of books that used to be published simply as fiction, but Marie Rutkoski finds other reasons why adults love young adult fantasy. I’m looking forward to reading her new book, The Winner’s Curse.

I’ve been thinking of joining a book club here in my new home —after two years in this house, it may be time. This article about annoying book clubbers may have put me off, though. How do you find a good book group where everyone really reads the book and there’s a good, knowledgeable person leading the discussion?

English departments are shrinking at colleges and universities all over the country. Parents are looking askance at any child who threatens to major in English. And business schools are booming. But isn’t there more to life than learning how to be an engineer? Adam Gopnik makes a case for the teaching and studying of literature.

Book Riot has some synopses of Nicholas Sparks’s work, so you know where to start reading his substantial backlist. Though really, some of these plots sound a little . . . odd.

My husband and I didn’t meet on eHarmony, but we did meet through a personals ad. He was attracted to me, he says, because I could write complete sentences — something he’d found scarce among his emailers. I fell for him when he wrote to me with great enthusiasm about all aspects of books and writing. We’re a match made in heaven, or at least in the internet. eHarmony says there are good reasons to date a writer. I have to agree that it’s pretty wonderful to be wooed with words, and to be a writer’s muse (as well as to have a muse of my own easily to hand).

And if your relationship doesn’t go as you’d hoped after you date that writer, you can always read about the 17 most screwed-up relationships in books. Heathcliff and Catherine get my vote, though really, Lolita and Humbert Humbert? I wouldn’t call that a “relationship,” any more than any other rapist and his victim can be considered to have a “relationship.” Ick.

at the mountains of madnessI think this may be old, but it’s still great — and appropriate, as we’ve just celebrated H.P. Lovecraft’s birthday. Here are some selections from H.P. Lovecraft’s “brief tenure as a Whitman’s sampler copywriter.” If you don’t laugh, you need to get yourself At the Mountains of Madness as soon as you are able.

When it comes time to put the book down and rest your eyes with a little television, io9’s guide to the fall’s science fiction and fantasy shows might help you decide how to find something worth watching. I’m rather curious about “Sleepy Hollow,” myself.

Book sculptorDo you need to live in New York to succeed as a writer? Lev Raphael seems to think that it would at least make your life a bit easier. Me, I’d like to live in New York just to be surrounded by culture. So anytime someone wants to rain $1 million per year on my head, let me know and I’ll call the movers. I’d be so incredibly good at being rich, really, supporting the arts like mad. Let’s make it happen, people.

Edinburgh’s book sculptor is at it again, this time with 30 sculptures created in tribute to the late Iain Banks. They’re utterly gorgeous.

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1 Comment to Sunday Links, September 1, 2013

  1. Amy's Gravatar Amy
    September 2, 2013 at 1:14 pm | Permalink

    I’ve given up on my most book clubs for many of the reasons in that post (and in the comments on that post). Here in MN, we have Books and Bars (www.booksandbars.com), which is run by one guy, and it mostly works much better, IMO.

    Oooh, that Kirkus list is full of temptation.

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