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Archives: September 2010

Write the First Page of Snooki’s Novel So She Doesn’t Have To

Yesterday, out of a sense of general decency and empathy for all the aspiring writers in the audience, we neglected to tell you that Jersey Shore star Nicole Polizzi (a.k.a. Snooki) scored a book deal to write a new novel.

Today, a piece of Snooki-related news broke that we had to share with you. Gawker has sponsored a contest to write the first page of Snookie’s novel.

Here’s more from Gawker: “We know that Snooki’s novel, A Shore Thing!, will be about a girl who goes to the Jersey Shore to find love on the boardwalk. The first page of your work should stick with that premise and really capture the reader’s attention with insight and detail. … Leave your work in the comments section of this post. Whoever comes up with the best first page of Snooki’s novel will win a big box of books. (Advance copies sent to us by publishers and new releases, mostly.) We’ll select a winner tomorrow afternoon. Good luck, and remember, America’s literary legacy rests in your hands.”

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Naomi Novik Takes Flight with ‘Tongues of Serpents’

Reviewed by Clea Simon
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Dragons, anyone? With her sixth Temeraire novel (Tongues of Serpents) in hardcover and a Peter Jackson film deal in the works, Naomi Novik may have finally stepped out from the ranks of guilty pleasuredom into full-fledged cult status.

As many of us already know, Novik is a master of history-based fantasy, a onetime Brown history major who has transformed the Napoleonic wars through the addition of mythological creatures, from sea serpents to dragons.

Her series focuses on one of the latter, an intelligent, sometimes oversensitive beast named Temeraire, who has bonded with an unlikely human counterpart, a onetime sea captain named Will Laurence.

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Ruth Reichl Scores Book Deal & Editor-at-Large Spot

Former Gourmet magazine editor-in-chief Ruth Reichl will publish three books with the Random House and take a new role as editor-at- large at the publisher.

Random House publisher Susan Kamil will edit all three titles: The Tao of Ruth cookbook, a memoir about her work at Condé Nast, and her debut novel, Delicious! The new editor’s previous books include: Tender at the Bone, Comfort Me with Apples, and Garlic and Sapphires.

Here’s more from the release: “In her Random House capacity as Editor-at-Large, Reichl will continue to work with established and debuting authors who are expanding our food horizons.   She will acquire, edit, and advise on the marketing of her list of books, with broad potential in a variety of print and digital-publishing formats. As Editor-at-Large, she reports to Susan Kamil.”

Jonathan Lethem Named David Foster Wallace’s Professor Successor

lethem author.JPGNovelist Jonathan Lethem (pictured) will be taking over the late David Foster Wallace‘s position as as the Roy Edward Disney Professor in Creative Writing at Pomona College on the sunny west coast of California. Quite a change considering the “Bard of Boerum Hill” often incorporates the influence of Brooklyn in his writing.

At a New York Public Library event, Lethem explained to the audience: “Hard to imagine Lethemless Brooklyn…I have been living, for the last three years, on the street I grew up on. It’s almost embarrassingly fetishistic. But I always liked looking out the window and seeing the pavement on which I played stickball, the shape of the buildings, and the physical feeling of the tree-lined streets and the crooked pavement. It means a lot to me in ways that are inexpressible.”

Wallace came on board at Ponoma College in 2002 as the first Roy Edward Disney Professor in Creative Writing. Looking over the comments on the website Rate My Professors, Wallace was hailed “an unbelievable teacher” from several students. No pressure to fill those big shoes, Mr. Lethem. (Via the New York Post)

Andrew Malkin Explores eBook Content at Zinio

Yesterday we launched a new video series with Movable Type Literary Group.

Entitled “The Book Futurists,” the series will feature interviews with ten digital publishing pros. The first interview is embedded above, as Andrew Malkin explores eBook offerings at Zinio.

Here’s more from eBookNewser: “Over the next twelve weeks, we’ll introduce you to people across the digital publishing industry who are at the cutting edge digital book publishing. From design and marketing to editorial and journalism, these folks are turning the wheels of the eBook revolution. In the first video, Jason Allen Ashlock, Principal at Movable Type Literary Group, interviews Andrew Malkin, VP of book content at Zinio. Malkin addresses Zinio’s eBook content distribution platform, the future of eBooks and the potential of hiring from outside of the publishing industry.”

Naseem Rakha’s Journalistic Instincts Influence Her Novel Writing

Naseem Rakha author of The Crying Tree.jpgAuthor Naseem Rakha became the only American on the UK’s coveted Richard & Judy’s Book Club list with her book, The Crying Tree. Her debut novel explores issues connected to capitol punishment, mercy, self-reflection, atonement, and forgiveness.

GalleyCat caught up with Rakha for an interview about the book club, the incarcerated, and the human ability to forgive.

Q: What was your reaction about receiving recognition from Richard & Judy’ s Book Club in the UK?

A: They’re very nice people … I had to go off of what my British publisher, they were absolutely off the charts and so excited. They were telling me, ‘Naseem, this is the Oprah-equivalent in the UK.’ Of course, I had never heard of Richard and Judy. So I was delighted, it meant I got to see London for the first time. And as I started researching them and researching what this meant and learning that The Crying Tree was the only title they chose from the United States at all. I was really really stunned and incredible honored.

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Writing Professor’s Email Generates 75,000 Hits on Gawker

jth_pic.gifYesterday Gawker published the complete text of an email written by author and Columbia professor Janette Turner Hospital (pictured, via). They called it “the world’s haughtiest email,” sparking a debate about relations between MFA programs around the country.

The email invited University of South Carolina students to attend writing events at Columbia University, but angered USC students in the process. Go to Gawker to read the complete text. What do you think?

Here’s Gawker’s take: “She sent MFA students at her old school, the University of South Carolina, the following note about their inferiority. It is amazing. Hospital sent this note to all of the MFA students on the University of South Carolina listserv. More than one of them forwarded it to us. ‘We’re all enraged,’ one MFA grad from USC tells us.”

Tea Party Coloring Book for Children

TeaParty.jpg

Really Big Coloring Books has published the most political children’s book of the year–The Tea Party Coloring Book for Kids!. Sample photos are included above.

The 32-page book retails for $3.59, introducing children to the growing political movement championed by bestselling authors like Glenn Beck and Sarah Palin. It includes puzzles, mazes, connect the dots, word search, and many other pages to color.

Here’s more about the book: “A wonderful book of The Tea Party for Kids! Teaches children (and parents) about the origins of the Tea Party and what it involves. A very pleasant song, coloring and activity book on Liberty, Faith, Freedom and so much more! Get involved, participate, self reliance, freedom of choice, work, government-of-for-by the people, Leadership, Ingenuity, Jobs and responsibilty!” (Via Jezebel)

Preston Bailey Launches Four Websites for Four Books

preston_photo.pngEvent designer and author Preston Bailey has launched four new sites to support his event planning books. EDITOR’S NOTE: All four sites are attached to the same author homepage, not independent entities.

Bailey’s four book titles are (with corresponding websites in parentheses): Design for Entertaining (Entertaining), Fantasy Weddings (Weddings), Inspirations (Inspirations), and Celebrations (Celebrations).

Bailey intends each site to be “a multi-faceted online destination, expanding upon his four best-selling books to create a new kind of engaging digital experience that will hopefully spark more sales and/or allow loyal readers to take an online deep dive beyond his books’ pages… [with] daily blogs, photo galleries, interactive tools, original videos, community and more.”

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Lauren Myracle Tops Most Frequently Challenged Book List

crop_sm_dc_rally.pngLauren Myracle (pictured at an ALA advocacy rally) has been singled out as the chart-topper on 2009′s top 10 most frequently challenged books. Her Internet Girls series have spawned a writer in many “un-fans” as she calls them. Myracle receives at least 10 “un-fanmail” pieces per day. She’s been accused of satanism, pedophilia, and youth corruption.

in a Guardian article, Myracle took issue when one media figure described these “un-fans” as “prudish, small-minded, and self-righteous, and they need to get over it.” She doesn’t want to install an “us versus them dichotomy.” The author explained that she respects everybody’s individual moral compass, and if that includes an inclination to disliking her books, then okay.

Myracle wrote: “Grown-ups who care about what kids read aren’t the enemy. Name-calling isn’t going to get us anywhere. My goal, lofty as it is, is to be a bridge, not a fence. So when angry adults approach me about the ‘wrongness’ of my books, I try not to bristle, and I try not to make fun of them. I’m pretty good at the first; I’m still working on the second. I try instead to initiate a conversation about books and age-appropriateness and selection processes. About the importance of intellectual freedom.”

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