With the movie version of The Bourne Legacy arriving in theaters August 10, consider checking out the latest installment of the Jason Bourne saga, The Bourne Imperative by Eric Van Lustbader before you head to the movies.
Just released this June, the novel unfolds as Jason Bourne rescues a man out of the ocean whose gunshot wound to the head has nearly killed him. The man wakes with no memory, reminding Bourne of his own amnesia and setting him off on a journey to learn a secret that could alter the future of the world forever.
Watch the book trailer by Hachette Book Group:
What do you think of the latest Jason Bourne novel? Do you see a movie adaption in its future?
This afternoon, we received the sad news that our effervescent Author Enablers columnist, Kathi Kamen Goldmark, died today in San Francisco. With her husband, Sam Barry, Kathi dispensed witty advice for writers in a monthly column for BookPage and in a book, Write That Book Already!, published in 2010 by Adams Media. She was also a founding member of the Rock Bottom Remainders, the all-author rock band.
Bubbly, full of life and always brimming with ideas, Kathi was a delight to work with. All of us at BookPage mourn her loss and send sincere condolences to Sam, the other members of her family and her many friends across the country.
TIME Magazine has just released their 2012 Time 100 Poll inviting readers to "[c]ast your votes for the leaders, artists, innovators, icons and heroes that you think are the most influential people in the world." The reader's choice will be published in TIME's April 17 issue, along with the full editor-selected Top 100 list.
The list of candidates is varied and long, but by my quick count, 54 of them fall in the "artist" category. Of those 54, only 4 are primarily known as authors—Suzanne Collins, Pamela Druckerman, George R.R. Martin and Ann Patchett—although Collins and Martin are on the list mainly because of film and TV adaptations of their work. There are 5 more contenders with a literary connection—Jaycee Dugard, Stephen Colbert, Bill McKibben, Ree Drummond and Jeff Bezos. If you count all 9, that's just 16% of the list.
Well, you might think, literary culture these days is so fractured that it's difficult to call a writer "influential." Seems like a decent argument, until you look at some of the other artists. Is there really no one in publishing these days who is more influential than LFMAO? Ashton Kutcher? Or even Daniel Craig, no matter how good he looks in swim trunks? If so, perhaps the industry really is doomed.
Is there an author or publisher you think TIME should have added to their list? Or do you feel this level of literary representation is fair?
p.s. If you want to cast a vote for any of the literary contenders, click on their names. The poll is open until April 6.
guest post by Rick Lenz
Not having been exactly a megastar actor, I knew my memoir North of Hollywood would have to be different—unstereotypical. I share with you some of the guidelines that came to me in a scalding blast of inspiration as I considered this.
Okay. First of all, make sure you have nothing to say. If you have something to say, it means you’ve already begun organizing it, which—if you’ve done that before you begin writing—is death. Un-stereotypical writing has to be completely fresh.
Two: you can’t be unorganized either. Once you’re sure you have nothing to say and have said it inventively, make sure you then put it all in a sensible order. Just because you’re capable of covering a canvas with a coat of red paint doesn’t make you Rothko. Unconventional writing—just like anything else in the creative arts—had better have a lot of structure if it's going to be accessible unconventional writing.
Three: Make sure you’re at peace with yourself. Chaos never creates anything but a mirror image of itself. Don’t commit the day-to-day mess in your mind to paper. If you do, people will have firm evidence that that’s what’s in your head and they will not pay you for it.
Four: Make sure your writing is crystal-clear and avoid clichés like the plague.
The fifth, and perhaps most important, rule of unconventional writing is never to forget that everyone else is trying to be unconventional. We live in a time in which it seems as if we’ve watched too many absurdist comedies in a row. Our frames of reference have gotten bent around to the point that everything seems preposterous and nothing provokes surprise.
Ergo, at this very moment a million authors are thinking, “How can I shock the pants off them?”
Well, most readers’ pants are already down around their ankles.
To illustrate: an increasingly large proportion of writing in the 21st Century is for the Internet and television. If my late mother were to watch network TV today, she’d faint within a minute. The next night, she’d faint again.
But eventually, after some nasty falls and a few bruises, she’d make sure she was sitting in an easy chair when she turned on the television.
Then, gradually, her responses would turn into little more than faintly raised eyebrows.
Finally, she’d just stare at it like everyone else.
Meanwhile—and this more of a caveat than a rule—never forget we live on a continent that was only recently (in the big scheme of things) populated by people who deeply believed that plants, rocks, fire, water, as well as animals and people were imbued with a sacred inner life by the Great Spirit. Compare and contrast that with the man (also on television), warning men to seek medical help if their erections last longer than four hours.
To sum up: In order to write in an unstereotypical way, do not know what you’re talking about, but organize it well. Be peaceful (a lobotomy is permissible). Be lucid and remember that everyone else is trying to break the stereotypes too.
Maybe the best thing to do is simply to write old-fashioned, cleanly- stated prose and not worry about anything beyond that—unless you want to count being interesting and honest.
Rick Lenz has been acting on Broadway, TV and film since 1965. In his memoir, North of Hollywood—on sale today—he talks about a life spent acting alongside the likes of Walter Matthau.
It's that time of year again—we're launching the 2012 BookPage Reader Survey!
We want to know all about your reading preferences, hobbies and habits so we can make BookPage better for you. Best of all, if you answer the survey, you'll be entered to win some fantastic prizes:
• One Second Prize Winner will receive a Nook Color with a preloaded one-year subscription to BookPage.
• Ten Runner-Up Winners will receive a $20 Books-A-Million gift card.
*BookPage editors will be picking out the books to specifically fit your reading taste, so you know they'll be good reads.
As 2011 comes to a close, I think it's nice to take a few minutes and reflect on a year's worth of reading.
Are you the type of reader who makes a reading list and sticks to it? Or do you pick up whatever happens to interest you at any given moment? Make any conscious effort to balance new books with old books? Fiction with nonfiction?
Besides what I read for BookPage and book club, my "fun" reading is more of the "seat of my pants" variety. I love going to used bookstores and libraries, and picking up whatever catches my eye. And I really do get a lot of my reading recommendations from my co-workers' "What we're reading Wednesday" blog posts.
This vacation, I'm reading a bunch of fiction: The Submission by Amy Waldman; Commencement by J. Courtney Sullivan ('cause I read Maine over the summer and loved it); Little Bee by Chris Cleave ('cause I can't believe I haven't read it yet). In the car, I'll be listening to Girls in White Dresses by Jennifer Close. If I decide that I want to freak myself out, I'll probably jump into Mo Hayder's novel coming out in February 2012, Hanging Hill.
As far as my own reading resolutions, I can have several: I want to read more nonfiction; more backlist books from authors I've recently discovered (I'm looking at you, Geraldine Brooks!); and I want to reread books by Madeleine L'Engle in honor of the 50th anniversary of A Wrinkle in Time.
What are your reading resolutions for 2012? Let us know in the comments!
A highlight of my year has been talking to librarians about what they do and why they love their jobs—both at the ALA Annual Conference and at the Arkansas Literary Festival. So, it was a special thrill to speak today with Sharon Saye, the Director of the Bridgeport Public Library in Bridgeport, WV, a town of 8,000 in north-central West Virginia. The BPL is a municipal library with 18,000 registered borrowers—pretty amazing considering the city's population. ("Location, location, location," said Sharon; the library is near a mall off of I-79.)
I called Sharon because she featured BookPage in her November 10 weekly "Library Lowdown" column in the Bridgeport News (see below). Sharon has been writing this column since the mid-1970s, and she will celebrate her 40th anniversary as Library Director in March of 2012!
In her column, she writes book reviews and highlights library programs. She mentions BookPage about three times a year and always near Christmas. Her patrons often ask her for recommendations for books to give as gifts, and she directs them to our holiday catalog.
It was fun to talk to Sharon about how she and her patrons use BookPage. Since she orders books for the library far in advance, she reads the publication as a reminder for what's actually coming out in a particular month. Her patrons read it, of course, to find new books to check out. (Although sometimes they get frustrated if, say, the new Ian Rankin isn't in circulation on the day it is published!)
"[BookPage] is very handy," said Sharon. "A lot of people pick it up. Patrons want to know what's new. It's easy for desk staff to hand it off. It's nice and compact and out the door. And we don't find a lot of them in the parking lot!" (That's a compliment, since apparently the same can't be said for all handouts from the library, unfortunately.)
We also chatted about eBooks—Sharon said last year she looked to see how many eBooks were checked out on OverDrive in December. Thanks to all those eReaders under the tree, the number tripled on Christmas Day.
Finally, I asked Sharon what book she's excited about right now. "The new Janet Evanovich," she said. "She certainly makes you laugh, and that's a good thing."
Thanks again, Sharon, for writing about BookPage!
Find out if BookPage is carried in a library near you on our website. Are you a librarian interested in carrying BookPage or a patron who'd like to see it in your local branch? Click here for information on how your library can receive two free trial issues of BookPage. Also: Whether you're a subscriber or not, anyone can sign up to receive our free e-newsletters.
As faithful blog readers know, here at BookPage we produce a daily (M-F) e-newsletter called Book of the Day. The newsletter is, essentially, a book review a day—delivered straight to your inbox.
We often get replies from readers who tell me why they're looking forward to a particular book that's featured—which I love. Here's an example:
I am an avid reader of the daily book reviews I receive via e-mail . . . Today I placed a hold on Donna Johnson’s Holy Ghost Girl before the local public library has received its copies, assuring that I will not have to wait for dozens of others to check out the book before I can read it. The short format of the daily book reviews makes it possible for me quickly to choose those I wish to read.
Current subscribers: What do you like about receiving a daily book review newsletter?
Eve Silver's Body of Sin was one of our top romances for September—columnist Christie Ridgway described this passion-filled paranormal adventure story as an "exciting, imaginative read."
Now, Silver has a new project in the works besides her Otherkin series (of which Body of Sin was #4). She will write a teen series for HarperCollins' Katherine Tegen Books about "a girl who finds herself inside a 'game' where she must hunt aliens, or be hunted by them." The first book is called Respawn, and there will be at least three books in the series.
Are you a fan of Silver's work? Are aliens the new zombies?
Banned Books Week runs from September 24 until October 1. Here's some more info from the American Library Association's website:
Banned Books Week (BBW) is an annual event celebrating the freedom to read and the importance of the First Amendment. Held during the last week of September, Banned Books Week highlights the benefits of free and open access to information while drawing attention to the harms of censorship by spotlighting actual or attempted bannings of books across the United States.
There's also something about BBW that makes reading "subversive" books cool and exciting. I still remember when my library branch distributed bookmarks that listed various banned books. As a teen, I would take that bookmark then march straight to the stacks and check out challenged books from Judy Blume and Ray Bradbury. (Click here to see a list of Frequently Challenged Books.)
We can all celebrate BBW by reading a challenged book or attending a library event—but I thought it would be fun to figure out another way of showing support for banned books. I saw these awesome accessories that incorporate banned books, and I had to share. Click the images to go to the vendors' websites.
Have you seen any cool project ideas or products for sale that get you excited about banned books? Have you ever DIY'd something banned books-related? Please share in the comments!