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Archives: February 2011

Black History Month Books

As February comes to an end, people who have already read The Autobiography of Malcolm X and My Bondage and My Freedom might need more book suggestions for Black History Month. Bluewater Productions has released a comic collection called Black History: Leaders to celebrate.

Here’s more from the press release: “The 96-page anthology includes the unabridged issues featuring Barack Obama, Colin Powell, Oprah Winfrey, and Condoleezza Rice. These biographies were previously published as individual issues of Bluewater’s biographical comic titles Female Force and Political Power.”

Flashlight Worthy released a book list by Denise Fawcett Facey entitled: “Books About African Americans That Aren’t Just for Black History Month.” Below, we’ve recommended more titles. What books are you reading to celebrate Black History Month?

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Waiting for Godot Video Game

Last June, Vector Belly released a video game version of Samuel Beckett‘s classic tragicomedy, Waiting for Godot. As you can see by the video embedded above, the game evokes the surreal inactivity of the source material.

In addition, The Washington Post has uncovered more details about The Great Gatsby Nintendo game we linked to last week. Allegedly discovered at a yard sale, the four-level video game features 8-bit graphics and tinny soundtrack.

Here’s more from the article: “The San Francisco developer, Charlie Hoey, actually created, coded and published the game with the help of his friend Pete Smith as a tribute to their nostalgic love of old NES games. The duo started working on the game almost a year ago, beginning with the iconic Gatsby cover.” (Via Andrew Sullivan)

Secrets, Clutter & Radicals: Coming Attractions

Here are some handpicked titles from our New Books section. Want to include your book? Just read our Facebook Your New or Upcoming Book post. Don’t forget to include your title’s exact release date and a link.

Nobody’s Fool: Everybody Has Secrets by N. Alexzander Smith: “What happens when the perfect family has secrets that can not only destroy them, but could end up killing them?” (January 2011

Clutter by Donna Butler: “Although Kitty and Misty were raised as sisters, they couldn’t be more different. Kitty, an over-achiever, plays by the rules, following the traditional path on her journey to the American dream, while Misty, an unapologetic tramp breaks every rule she can. Kitty basks in the glory of one success after another while Misty sulks in background until tragedy turns the tables in a surprising way.” (February 2011)

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L. K. Madigan Has Died

YA author L. K. Madigan passed away yesterday after a battle with pancreatic cancer. Follow this link to find out how you can donate to a college fund for Madigan’s son.

In January, the author described her medical fight in a heartbreaking post. On her website, Madigan once confessed: “I have more story ideas than time to write them all.”  She published two novels: Flash Burnout and The Mermaid’s Mirror.

To remember this author, here is her advice for aspiring writers: “The main thing is to WRITE. Some days it might be 2000 words. Some days you might tinker with two sentences until you get them just right. Both days belong in the writing life. Some days you may watch a ‘Doctor Who’ marathon or become immersed a book that is so good you can’t stop reading. Some days you may be in love or in mourning. Those days belong in the writing life, too. Live them without guilt.” (Via Colleen Lindsay)

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Could Bad Publicity Help Book Sales?

Stanford Graduate School of Business professor Alan Sorenson and Wharton Business School professor Jonah Berger studied an unexpected question: “Can bad publicity boost book sales?”

They discovered that a popular author’s books can suffer from bad publicity, but a lesser-known writer’s titles can actually benefit from it. According to The Stanford Daily, three mini-studies were conducted to analyze this phenomenon.

The second study examined the long-term effects of bad publicity on well-known books versus obscure titles. While negative reviews affected a buyer’s desire to purchase a popular author’s book, they didn’t influence a buyer’s decision to purchase a lesser-known author’s work.

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Queen of Christian Fiction Inks 10-Book Co-Publishing Agreement

New York Times bestselling Christian novelist Karen Kingsbury (pictured, via) has signed a ten-book co-publishing agreement with Simon & Schuster’s Howard Books imprint.  Dubbed the “Queen of Christian Fiction” by Time magazine, Kingsbury has written more than 50 novels–including Like Dandelion Dust and Unlocked.

Howard Books editor-in-chief Becky Nesbitt negotiated the deal with Alive Communications president Rick Christian. Pocket Books will produce the titles in mass market paperback and Simon & Schuster Audio will take charge of the audiobooks. The first book is scheduled for 2012.

Kingsbury had this statement in the release:  “Simon & Schuster has shown a tremendous commitment to me, my reader friends and my fiction. I am thrilled to be working with such a talented team and the novels ahead will be some of my biggest and best ever.”

The Book Beast Nominated for Digital Ellie Award

The American Society of Magazine Editors named The Book Beast (the books section at The Daily Beast) as a finalist for the Digital Ellies in the “Online Department” category.

Book Beast features GalleyCat content every day in its “Other News” section, listed alongside some great literary sites: BookForum, NY Observer, and The Millions.

Here’s more from Jacket Copy: “In its category, the Book Beast will face off against the culture-focused Vulture from New York Magazine, Fast Co.’s Co. Design, Foreign Policy’s AfPak (documenting the ongoing conflicts in Southeast Asia) and National Geographic’s reader-submitted photo blog YourShot. Congratulations to the Book Beast for the recognition, and for keeping books so well-represented in the mix of what makes the Internet interesting.”

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Chicken Soup for the Soul Co-Creator on Social Media: ‘Figure It Out For Yourself’

Chicken Soup for the Soul co-creator Dr. Mark Victor Hansen has seen his popular nonfiction series sell 167 milion copies. The author and entrepreneur had some simple social media advice for writers: “figure it out for yourself.”

In a mediabistro.com interview with GalleyCat contributor Jeff Rivera, Hansen talked about his new book, U R the Solution and offered tips for aspiring writers.

Here’s an excerpt: “What didn’t work was hiring a lot of the consultants especially about social media, who say they know stuff and for the most part, they do not and they charge a lot. In my experience, all of them are making money selling their experience, but they are not turning it into dollars. I had to figure it out by myself which is probably the best way. Go to the seminars, listen to what they have got to say, and then figure it out for yourself.”

‘Old Man’s War’ To Be Adapted by ‘The Perfect Storm’ Director

John Scalzi‘s Old Man’s War will be adapted by The Perfect Storm director, Wolfgang Petersen. According to DeadlineDavid Self will write the script and produce for the science fiction adaptation.

Scalzi discussed the news on his blog: “The movie that is eventually made of Old Man’s War will be an adaptation of the book — not the book itself. The filmmakers are going to have to make changes…I wanted filmmakers I felt could best adapt what I wrote.”

Scalzi is a two-time Hugo Award-winning writer. After releasing Old Man’s War (2005), he followed up with three sequels: The Ghost Brigades (2006), The Last Colony (2007), and Zoe’s Tale (2008).

Michael Showalter Shares His Bookshelf

While promoting his new book (Mr. Funny Pants) actor and comedian Michael Showalter gave Stacked Up a peek at his library.

The founding member of The State and star of Wet Hot American Summer had a long and varied reading list. Highlights included: Manhunt: The 12-Day Chase for Lincoln’s Killer by James L. Swanson, The Official Preppy Handbook edited by Lisa Birnbach, and Final Cut : Art, Money, and Ego in the Making of Heaven’s Gate, the Film That Sank United Artists by Steven Bach.

Here’s more from the site: “Stacked Up TV thinks writers are rock stars. A mashup of MTV’s Cribs, Oprah’s Book Club and The Paris Review, each five-minute Stacked Up episode features one of your favorite writers giving an insider’s tour of his or her library. We’ve found the best way to know writers is by the books they keep.”

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