Thursday, 31 March 2016 09:08In case you hadn't noticed, the novel seems to be getting longer and longer, some of them clocking in at 600-700-800+ pages.
I've never met a reader who doesn't like short novels.... For me, the opportunity to sit somewhere for two hours and read a book from start to finish—to submerge myself in it—is a thrilling experience. A short novel makes a straightforward demand: give me this time.Readers don't buy books by the the pound, Jones points out. And publishers should get over their obsession with longer works. "The only thing to be taken into account should be the impact a piece of writing has," says Jones. Amen, we say.
Tuesday, 17 November 2015 10:03
We love books, and we love movies. And we REALLY love movies that come from books.
Book clubs say, over and over, that a favorite club activity is attending movies based on books—especially if the book is a club selection.
That's why LitLovers has decided to partner with Screen Thoughts.
SCREEN THOUGHTS takes the book-to-movie connection a step beyond. They read the book . . . see the movie . . . then create a 20-minute podcast about their impressions.
Hollister and O'Toole, the voices behind the mic, are smart, knowledgeable, and engaging. They review the films and ask the questions we care about:
♦ Is the film true to the book?
♦ Are the actors right for the book's characters?
♦ Do you prefer the book to film . . . or film to book?
Click HERE for Screen Thoughts podcasts—or go the top of the LitLovers homepage. Listen on your own . . . or listen as a group in your book club—they're sure to spark discussion. Who's right—Hollister or O'Toole? Both? Neither?
Each month you'll find a new book-to-movie podcast. So be sure to listen in.
Thursday, 22 October 2015 12:38
Wednesday, 23 September 2015 07:46It might be time to remove BOOKSTORES and LIBRARIES from the list of endangered species!
Sunday, 13 September 2015 07:39
Ah, Pinterest—all those lists and photos of the BEST PLACES TO READ...inside, outside, in cities around the world. But the novelty's wearing thin.
And that got us to thinking—perversely—about where you DON'T want to be caught with a book. So we put together our own list. This one is about . . .
THE 7 WORST PLACES TO READ
1 — Job Interview
Terrific resume. Great experience. Top-notch references. And there you sit, peering down at a book—just to prove you can multi-task. Gee, how could they not hire you?
2 — Lunar Landing Craft
You wanna screw this up? Your one big shot at making history? The world is watching, so put the book down—now—and land this baby.
3 — Parent-Teacher Conference
You think you're showing off your reading skills—which have rubbed off on your gifted kid. But while you sit there with your nose in a book, the teacher?...well, she thinks differently.
4 — Speeding Traffic
Eyes on the road; hands on the wheel. Do we really need to explain this one?
5 — Tax Audit
That's right, just keep on reading. Nonchalance implies innocence. He'll see right through you.
6 — Real Bedroom
This isn't on Pinterest—because this is LIFE. Picture yourself curling up here with a book and a Pinot. You can't, can you?
7 — Empire State Building
You could accidentally drop your book from the Observation Deck—you would see it accelerate at (32 ft. per sec.)2, hitting the ground in 15 sec. at a terminal velocity of 50 mph. And THAT would crack the book's spine—which everyone knows is a crying shame.
So, dear reader, you tell us...what's YOUR worst place to read?
Thursday, 10 September 2015 07:19
Hardy (or hearty?) congratulations go to STEPHEN KING and JUMPHA LAHIRI, who are to be awarded the prestigious Medal of Arts by President Obama. The presentation will take place at a White House ceremony today.
The National Endowment for the Arts awards medals each year to a wide range of individuals in the arts—actors, authors, dancers, film makers, musicians, and visual artists (painters and sculptors)—recognized for their "outstanding contributions to the excellence, growth, support and availability of the arts in the United States."
A (tiny) sampling of previous recipents includes such luminaries as Saul Bellow, Rene Flemming, Clint Eastwood, Earnest J. Gaines, Dizzy Gillespie, Ray Bradbury, Jacob's Pillow Dance, Roy Lichtenstein.
Below is what the White House has to say about the choice of King and Lahiri:
Stephen King for his contributions as an author. One of the most popular and prolific writers of our time, Mr. King combines his remarkable storytelling with his sharp analysis of human nature. For decades, his works of horror, suspense, science fiction, and fantasy have terrified and delighted audiences around the world.
Jhumpa Lahiri for enlarging the human story. In her works of fiction, Dr. Lahiri has illuminated the Indian-American experience in beautifully wrought narratives of estrangement and belonging.
Wednesday, 22 April 2015 09:17
By Molly Lundquist—
Daisy Goodwin's The Fortune Hunter just came out in paperback, so given the hype (see NY columnist Liz Smith's review for one) I took a look...and I loved it.
The novel centers on a romantic triangle populated by actual historical characters: an Austrian empress, British heiress, and dashing cavalry captain. Some of Goodwin's story is true, some imagined. Sound like fun? It is.
Young Charlotte Baird is heiress to the Lenox fortune and considered quite a catch during her debut in London. Like many a good heroine, Charlotte defies convention much to her family's dismay. Yet it's that very independent streak that attracts the eye of handsome Captain Bay Middleton.
Unfortunately, Bay himself catches the eye of visiting royalty: Empress Elisabeth of Austria who has come to Britain for the hunting season. Famed throughout Europe for her beauty, Sisi, as she is known, intoxicates Bay, who is now torn between two women. (Photos left: Charlotte? and Bay)
The story, though, offers more than a standard romance: we get an insider's view of the Victorian class system and the burdens it imposes, not on society's lower rungs but, in this novel, on the upper ones—even on royalty.
For as much as Americans are titillated by all things Downton Abby, Goodwin shows us a darker side. We see the demands for mindless conformity, especially for women. We watch how those not quite up-to-snuff (the untitled) face stinging humiliation by their "betters" (the titled). And we're privy to the tacit understanding that women are mere commodities in a cynical marriage market.
The book holds a particular interest for me. A couple of years ago, I stumbled across a 1962 movie with Romy Schneider (anyone remember her?) as Sisi, the lovely 16-year-old girl who captured the heart of the Emperor of Austria-Hungary. (Photo right: Empress Sisi)
The Fortune Hunter picks up 22 years after that romantic coupling to show the toll that royal life—with its sycophantic courtiers and stultifying dullness—has taken on Sisi. That part is true, too, and so is this—unhappy at home, Sisi traveled a good deal to remove herself from the rigid confines of the Austrian court.
This is a delightful, engaging read: and it's an easy one, too. Goodwin has drawn her secondary characters broadly; they're rather cartoonish, but that only makes them more fun to loathe. The author has taken more care, however with her leads, lending them a degree of depth. She also writes in wonderful, rich detail when it comes to riding to the hunt, the new-fangled photography, and the beauty regimes of royalty (which involve slabs of veal...I'll say no more).
Read and have fun. I did. Oh, and don't miss our Reading Guide for The Fortune Hunter, complete with discussion questions.
* This review is sponsored by St. Martin's Griffin, publishers of the Fortune Hunter. The content of the review is an objective opinion by LitLovers.
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