Archive for the ‘People’ Category

Return to Hogwarts!

Friday, September 13th, 2013


And now, for some REALLY happy news: J.K. Rowling is taking us back to the world of wizards. She will be writing the screenplay for a movie based on her book “Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them,” one of the Hogwarts textbooks she created. And it gets better: This is supposed to be the first of a series!

Rolling into Downton?

Wednesday, September 11th, 2013


From Entertainment Weekly: The Rolling Stones on “Downton Abbey”? Five hilarious scenarios of how that could happen.

R.I.P. Seamus Heaney

Tuesday, September 3rd, 2013

Seamus Heaney

Irish poet Seamus Heaney, who won the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1995, has died. He was 74. See coverage in the Record-Courier.

R.I.P., Elmore Leonard

Tuesday, August 20th, 2013


Crime novelist Elmore Leonard has died. Here are some links:

The New York Times obit

The Detroit News obit

Leonard’s rules on writing

His novels (listed on his website)

Gloria Steinem to receive Medal of Freedom

Monday, August 12th, 2013


From Shelf Awareness:

Activist and writer Gloria Steinem was one of 16 people named by President Barack Obama to receive the nation’s highest civilian honor, the Presidential Medal of Freedom, which is presented to “individuals who have made especially meritorious contributions to the security or national interests of the United States, to world peace, or to cultural or other significant public or private endeavors.” This year’s recipients will be honored at the White House later this year.

Steinem was praised as “a renowned writer and activist for women’s equality. She was a leader in the women’s liberation movement, co-founded Ms. magazine and helped launch a wide variety of groups and publications dedicated to advancing civil rights. Ms. Steinem has received dozens of awards over the course of her career, and remains an active voice for women’s rights.”

President Obama observed that the medal “goes to men and women who have dedicated their own lives to enriching ours. This year’s honorees have been blessed with extraordinary talent, but what sets them apart is their gift for sharing that talent with the world. It will be my honor to present them with a token of our nation’s gratitude.”

Oh, no. No more Amelia Peabody.

Friday, August 9th, 2013


Sad news. Author Barbara Mertz has died. This is a personal loss for me, because her Amelia Peabody mysteries set in Egypt are among my all-time favorite books.

From USA Today:

She wrote more than 35 mysteries under the name Elizabeth Peters, and 29 suspense books under the name Barbara Michaels….
Under the Peters name — a combination of her children’s first names — she produced several mystery series, including 19 books about Peabody. When the series began, with Crocodile on the Sandbank in 1975, Amelia pursued her adventures while pregnant. The series continued until her son, Ramses, was grown.
“Between Amelia Peabody and Indiana Jones, it’s Amelia — in wit and daring — by a landslide,” Paul Theroux wrote in a New York Times appreciation.
Mertz described the character to the AP as a sentimental woman who solved mysteries by guessing but nonetheless thought of herself as logical: “I want to kick her sometimes.”
As she wrote about her forceful heroine, Peters said she became more like her. Once, she said, “I was mealy mouthed, timid, never spoke up, let people push me around.”
… In 1998, Mertz received the grandmaster lifetime achievement award from the Mystery Writers of America, the top award from the mystery writers group….

Bezos buys Post

Tuesday, August 6th, 2013

Amazon Washington Post

Amazon founder Jeff Bezos is buying the Washington Post. What do you think this will mean for the Post? for Amazon? for readers?

Sweet prince

Tuesday, July 23rd, 2013


Welcome to the world, little prince. (Associated Press photo)

An author by any other name

Monday, July 15th, 2013


Check this out: J.K. Rowling had a book published under another name.

Neil Himself takes a sabbatical

Wednesday, June 19th, 2013

From The Guardian: Author Neil Gaiman says he’s going to take time off from social media to work on his day job, “making things up.”

Happy birthday, Paul!

Tuesday, June 18th, 2013


Happy 71st birthday to Paul McCartney! Thanks for being a part of my life since 1963.

‘Diana’ movie preview

Friday, June 14th, 2013


The trailer for the forthcoming movie “Diana” starring Naomi Watts has been released. Click on the image below to watch it.


The most hated celebrity is …

Monday, April 22nd, 2013

gwynethGwyneth Paltrow.


Yep. Apparently, people hate her for being “arrogant,” “pretentious,” and “condescending.”

Imagine that — according to HuffPost, in a poll, she beat out the Kardashians, John Mayer, and Lindsay Lohan as most hated.

I’ve always liked her. Hunh. Go figure.

Indies Choice Awards

Friday, April 19th, 2013

From Publishers Lunch:
The American Booksellers Association has announced a popular set of Indies Choice Award winners for 2013:
Fiction: The Round House: A Novel, by Louise Erdrich (Harper)
Nonfiction: Wild: From Lost to Found on the Pacific Crest Trail, by Cheryl Strayed (Knopf)
Debut: The Snow Child, by Eowyn Ivey (Little, Brown)
Young Adult: The Fault in Our Stars, by John Green (Dutton Children’s). John Green also won their “Indie Champion Award”
Middle Grade: Wonder, by R.J. Palacio (Knopf Books for Young Readers)
Picture Book: Extra Yarn, by Mac Barnett, Jon Klassen (Illus.) (Balzer + Bray)
In each category they named five honor books as well–including recent Pulitzer-winner The Orphan Master’s Son, plus five books first previewed in last year’s Publishers Lunch Buzz Books 2012 (The Dog Stars; The Orchardist; The Yellow Birds; Every Day; and The Last Dragonslayer).

Desmond Tutu is honored

Friday, April 5th, 2013

DesmondTutubookFrom Publishers Weekly:

Desmond Tutu, former Anglican archbishop of Cape Town, South Africa, has won the Templeton Prize, the Templeton Foundation has announced. Known for his transformative opposition to aparteid, Tutu was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1984. He went on to lead the Truth and Reconciliation Commission, advocating “restorative justice” for the human rights violations of the aparteid regime. In 2007 he helped form The Elders, a group of global leaders such as former President Jimmy Carter and U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan who work for world peace and human rights.

Tutu is the author of numerous books, including No Future without Forgiveness (Image) and God Is Not a Christian: And Other Provocations (HarperOne).

The Templeton Prize “honors a living person who has made exceptional contributions to affirming life’s spiritual dimension,” according to a statement from the foundation. Others honored include Mother Teresa, the Dalai Lama, and Billy Graham. It has been the world’s largest annual monetary award for the past 40 years, currently valued at $1.7 million. A celebration of the prize will take place April 11 in Cape Town at St. George’s Cathedral, where Tutu served as archbishop from 1986 to 1996. The prize will be formally presented to Tutu in London on May 21.

Authors berate themselves

Wednesday, April 3rd, 2013

JulianBarnesAndBooksFrom The Guardian: Literary self-flagellation — Leading writers such as Anne Enright, Richard Ford and Rachel Cusk publish bad reviews about their own work. (Shown: Julian Barnes)

Hugo Award nominees

Monday, April 1st, 2013

From Publishers Lunch: The Hugo Award nominations have been announced. (Click link for full list.) Nominees include:

Best Novel

  • 2312, Kim Stanley Robinson (Orbit)
  • Blackout, Mira Grant (Orbit)
  • Captain Vorpatril’s Alliance, Lois McMaster Bujold (Baen)
  • Redshirts: A Novel with Three Codas, John Scalzi (Tor)
  • Throne of the Crescent Moon, Saladin Ahmed (DAW)

Best Novella

  • After the Fall, Before the Fall, During the Fall, Nancy Kress (Tachyon Publications)
  • The Emperor’s Soul, Brandon Sanderson (Tachyon Publications)
  • On a Red Station, Drifting, Aliette de Bodard (Immersion Press)
  • San Diego 2014: The Last Stand of the California Browncoats, Mira Grant (Orbit)
  • “The Stars Do Not Lie”, Jay Lake (Asimov’s, Oct-Nov 2012)

Best Dramatic Presentation, Long Form (787 nominating ballots cast)

  • The Avengers, Screenplay & Directed by Joss Whedon (Marvel Studios, Disney, Paramount)
  • The Cabin in the Woods, Screenplay by Drew Goddard & Joss Whedon; Directed by Drew Goddard (Mutant Enemy, Lionsgate)
  • The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey, Screenplay by Fran Walsh, Philippa Boyens, Peter Jackson and Guillermo del Toro, Directed by Peter Jackson (WingNut Films, New Line Cinema, MGM, Warner Bros)
  • The Hunger Games, Screenplay by Gary Ross & Suzanne Collins, Directed by Gary Ross (Lionsgate, Color Force)
  • Looper, Screenplay and Directed by Rian Johnson (FilmDistrict, EndGame Entertainment)

RIP, Mr. Dursley

Friday, March 29th, 2013

richard-griffithsBritish actor Richard Griffiths died Thursday. You would probably remember him as Mr. Dursley in the Harry Potter series.

Sue Grafton talks about her life

Tuesday, March 19th, 2013


The Guardian interviews author Sue Grafton.

Being dead doesn’t keep them off Twitter

Monday, March 18th, 2013


From HuffPo: Dead authors still active on social media

New Paulo Coelho book

Friday, March 15th, 2013


Paulo Coelho has a new book coming out in April, “Manuscript Found in Accra.” This link will take you to a video of Coelho talking about the book.

Ramona Quimby’s house for sale

Thursday, March 14th, 2013


From The Oregonian:

“The childhood home of children’s author Beverly Cleary, in the Northeast Portland neighborhood that’s also home to Cleary characters Ramona Quimby and Henry Huggins, is up for sale. …”

Where the literati would hang out

Friday, March 8th, 2013


From Flavorwire: Ten legendary haunts of writers and artists

The Pope’s last day as pope

Thursday, February 28th, 2013


PopeRedShoesToday the world says goodbye to Pope Benedict XVI, born Joseph Ratzinger in Bavaria. As he steps down, he will also step out of his red Prada shoes and into some nice, practical brown shoes to become the emeritus pope.

He is, of course, well loved around the world as the head of the papacy, but what I want people to remember is that he’s been a prolific author.

Although he will be “hidden away from the world,” I wish him peace, health, and joy.



Tweeting authors

Wednesday, February 27th, 2013

bluebirdtwitteroldFrom Kirkus Reviews: The 10 best writers to follow on Twitter

First Lady, term 2

Thursday, February 21st, 2013


Ahhhh. First Lady Michelle Obama’s official White House portrait for the second term, bangs and all!

Learned Owl sold

Tuesday, February 19th, 2013


Learned Owl Book Shop employee Kate Schlademan has purchased the Hudson store from former owner Liz Murphy. Kate takes over as of March 15.

You can send congratulations to Kate on Twitter @LearnedOwl.

Paid to talk

Tuesday, February 19th, 2013

JKRowlingFrom the Huffington Post: Authors who demand steep speakers’ fees.

The Hat of the Cat

Thursday, February 7th, 2013

catinthehatFrom The New York Times: The story behind Dr. Seuss and his closet full of hats

What did you do, Agatha?

Tuesday, February 5th, 2013


From The Guardian: Why was Agatha Christie investigated by MI5?