Archive for the ‘state of the thing’ Category

Friday, October 28th, 2011

October Interviews: Susan Orlean and Richard Brookhiser

This month’s State of the Thing, LibraryThing’s monthly newsletter of features, author interviews and various forms of bookish delight, should have made its way to your inbox by now. You can also read it online.

Our author interviews this month:

I talked to author Susan Orlean about her new book, Rin Tin Tin: The Life and the Legend. Find out how she got interested in Rin Tin Tin, which of her animals would make the best movie star, and about how Twitter has affected her work and her interactions with readers.

Read the full interview with Susan Orlean.

I also chatted with Richard Brookhiser; his newest biography, James Madison was published recently by Basic Books.

Asked what surprised him most about Madison, Brookhiser wrote “Everyone knows he is smart. I was interested to discover he was tough. Madison never quit. When he lost a fight, which happened often enough, he always thought: what next? what now? how do I go on from here? This is why he generally prevailed in the end. The history of the early republic is littered with the broken careers of people who got in his way.”

Read the full interview with Richard Brookhiser.

Catch up on previous State of the Thing newsletters.

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Labels: author interview, state of the thing

Wednesday, September 21st, 2011

September Author Interviews

This month’s State of the Thing, LibraryThing’s monthly newsletter of features, author interviews and various forms of bookish delight, should have made its way to your inbox by now. You can also read it online.

Our author interviews this month:

I talked to acclaimed historical fiction author Sharon Kay Penman about her latest novel, Lionheart, a rich tale of Richard I and the Third Crusade. Find how about her research process, favorite historical sources, and how she feels about George R.R. Martin’s A Song of Ice and Fire series.

Asked which of the characters from Lionheart she’d most like to spend a day with, Sharon replied “I’d like to hang around with Richard’s nephew, Henri of Champagne. I’d also like to spend a few hours with Richard’s sister, Joanna, and his queen, Berengaria, and if there was still time to spare, I’d be happy to visit with Saladin’s brother, al-Malik al-Adil, whom I found even more interesting than his more famous sibling. Oh, and Richard, of course, provided that he was in camp at the time and not out fighting Saracens; I’d want to see if my fictional Richard and the real Richard were compatible.”

Read the full interview with Sharon Kay Penman.

I also chatted with Charles Frazier, whose third novel, Nightwoods is out next week from Random House (and is already garnering favorable reviews on LT, including one from me; I had a difficult time putting it down).

I asked Charles “Are there any lines or scenes in the book of which you are especially fond?,” and very much liked his response. He wrote “I kind of like the way the first three sentences set up the main characters and suggest something about the tone and style of the book: ‘Luce’s new stranger children were small and beautiful and violent. She learned early that it wasn’t smart to leave them unattended in the yard with the chickens. Later she’d find feathers, a scaled yellow foot with its toes clinched.'”

Read the full interview with Charles Frazier.

And we have a fun third interview for September: Lisa Carey talked to author/illustrator Chris Van Dusen about his work and his latest work King Hugo’s Huge Ego. Lisa introduced the interview this way: “Chris is one of our favorite local children’s authors. Liam, our five year old, loved The Circus Ship so much that he memorized it and set it to a song, then sang the whole thing for Chris at the Maine Festival of the Book. After the event, Liam told me he wanted to be just like Chris Van Dusen when he grew up. I said that sounded like a great idea. Living on the coast of Maine, drawing every day, writing books, sounds like paradise. I hope he lets us live with him!”

Read Lisa’s full interview with Chris Van Dusen.

Catch up on previous State of the Thing newsletters.

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Labels: author interview, authors, state of the thing

Tuesday, June 28th, 2011

June State of the Thing

This month’s State of the Thing, LibraryThing’s monthly newsletter of features, author interviews and various forms of bookish delight, should have made its way to your inbox by now. You can also read it online.

This month I talked to award-winning author Bharati Mukherjee about her latest novel, Miss New India. Find how about her research visits to call centers in Bangalore, whose plays she memorized as a child, and what she’s reading now. Read the full interview.

I also talked to Kate Parkin of Hodder & Stoughton about the new flipback book format being released in the UK later this week. I started a Talk thread to discuss flipbacks as well, so feel free to join the conversation!

Read previous State of the Thing newsletters.

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Labels: authors, state of the thing

Monday, April 25th, 2011

April State of the Thing

This month’s State of the Thing, LibraryThing’s monthly newsletter of features, author interviews and various forms of bookish delight, should have made its way to your inbox by now. You can also read it online.

For our author interviews this month, I talked to former prosecutor Marcia Clark about her debut novel Guilt by Association, recently published by Muholland Books. Read the full interview.

I also chatted with Jessica Speart about her new book Winged Obsession: The Pursuit of the World’s Most Notorious Butterfly Smuggler (published by W.W. Norton and up for requests in this month’s Early Reviewers batch). Speart talks about the lengthy research process the book required, and about how the smuggler tried to make her his “front man” in a butterfly transaction. Read the full interview.

And we have a great third interview this month: Lisa Carey talked to Susan Conley (pictured at left) about her new memoir The Foremost Good Fortune, published by Knopf in February. Conley discusses her writing style, offers some sound advice for memoirists, and gives us a sneak peek inside her forthcoming novel.

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Labels: author interview, state of the thing

Wednesday, March 23rd, 2011

March State of the Thing

This month’s State of the Thing, LibraryThing’s monthly newsletter of features, author interviews and various forms of bookish delight, is on its way to your inbox, if it hasn’t arrived already. You can also read it online.

For our author interviews this month, I talked to much-acclaimed debut novelist Téa Obreht about The Tiger’s Wife, recently published by Random House. Find out what inspired this haunting tale, learn about Obreht’s writing practices, and find out where she picked up some Hemingway first editions! Read the full interview.

I also had the chance to interview Charles Cumming, whose fourth spy novel The Trinity Six is just out from St. Martin’s Press. I asked how he got interested in the Cambridge Spy Ring, which spy he liked best, and what books on Cold War espionage he recommends. Read the full interview.

Read previous State of the Thing newsletters:

http://www.librarything.com/wiki/index.php/State_of_the_Thing

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Labels: state of the thing

Monday, February 28th, 2011

February State of the Thing

This month’s State of the Thing, LibraryThing’s monthly newsletter of features, author interviews and various forms of bookish delight, should have arrived in your email inbox now! You can also read it online.

This month I talked to memoirist Wendy Burden about her book Dead End Gene Pool, just out in paperback from Gotham Books. I asked her about her collecting habits, her bookshelves, and her next book. Read the full interview.

We also have an interview with translator Alexander O. Smith about his recent translation of Keigo Higashino’s The Devotion of Suspect X and the translation process in particular. Many thanks to the LTers who assisted with this interview! Read the interview.

Read previous State of the Thing newsletters:

http://www.librarything.com/wiki/index.php/State_of_the_Thing

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Wednesday, September 22nd, 2010

September State of the Thing

State of the Thing logoIn your inbox, you should be getting this month’s State of the Thing, LibraryThing’s monthly newsletter of features, author interviews and various forms of bookish delight.

This month we have 2,708 free books, a meetup, our fifth birthday, an exclusive interview with Jane Smiley, a podcast with Mary Roach and a list of the popular books this month.

Check your inbox or read it online.

I got to chat with Mary Roach, about her new book Packing for Mars: The Curious Science of Life in the Void. We discuss her tenacity in getting interesting details out of astronaut interviews, her zero-gravity experience, a couple of marriage proposals from LibraryThing members, cross-stitched fly swatters and more. You can hear the podcast here.

We also have an interview with Jane Smiley, about her latest novel, Private Life, a study on choosing a mate who turns out to be an ill fit. Jane talks about her characters and their foibles (a polite term–extreme eccentricity would also work), navigating marriage, and about her writing process. She muses on the Nobel prize for literature and the books that were a special writing experience. As a bonus, she told me what she’s knitting!

Read previous State of the Thing newsletters:
http://www.librarything.com/wiki/index.php/State_of_the_Thing

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Tuesday, August 24th, 2010

State of the Thing: August edition

State of the Thing logoI’ve just sent out the State of the Thing, LibraryThing’s monthly newsletter of features, author interviews and various forms of bookish delight.

We have 1,779 free books, new publisher pages, a photo contest, news on our foray into the Dewey system, a few site improvements, and a list of the popular books this month.

Check your inbox or read it online.

This month’s edition has an interview with David Mitchell, about his new book The Thousand Autumns of Jacob de Zoet. Abby asks him about the challenges of writing about Dutch and Japanese in English, as well as about how a monkey led to a “cute meet”.

We also have a podcast interview with Dr. Larry Rosen, about his new book Rewired: Understanding the iGeneration and the Way They Learn. Dr. Rosen and I talk about how children (and all of us) are able to learn while multitasking, and what technologies may be able to do for education. Is it a big deal that your teen wants to listen to music and chat online while doing homework? Dr. Rosen says not as much as you’d think. You can hear the podcast here.

Lisa Grunwald, author of The Irresistible Henry House, shares with us her summer reads, including The Right Stuff, by Tom Wolfe and The Puzzle King by Betsy Carter. Her own book Henry House has been touted as one of this summers must-reads, and is a New York Times Editor’s Choice as well as an Oprah Magazine “Book to Watch For.” Amazon and Audible each name Henry one of the “Best Books of 2010 — So Far.”

Read previous State of the Thing newsletters:
http://www.librarything.com/wiki/index.php/State_of_the_Thing

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Tuesday, July 27th, 2010

State of the Thing: July edition

State of the Thing logoOn Monday, we sent out the July State of the Thing, LibraryThing’s monthly newsletter of  features, author interviews and various forms of bookish delight.

We have a round-up of updated and new features, the start of the t-shirt sale, information about the Early Reviewer program and popular books this month.

Check your inbox or read it online.

Backseat Saints coverThis month’s edition has an interview with Joshilyn Jackson, about her new book Backseat Saints. We talk about how a minor character can grow like kudzu until she needs a book of her own. We also find out about writing an honest-but-readable account of physical abuse, Joshilyn’s recent reads and suggestions for other Southern lit novels. Did you know Joshilyn plays World of Warcraft?

Anthropology of an American GirlHilary Thayer Hamann offers author recommendations for her book Anthropology of an American Girl, including Atlas Shrugged and A Tree Grows in Brooklyn. Author recommendations are the author’s suggestions for other books you might like, if you like their book. You can also decide if you might like her book, based on her recommendations.
Anthropology came out in May. You can chat with Hilary about her book in her author chat, ongoing till August 5th.

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Wednesday, June 23rd, 2010

June State of the Thing

State of the Thing logoIn your inbox, you’ll find the June State of the Thing, LibraryThing’s monthly newsletter of features, author interviews and various forms of bookish delight.

Check your inbox or read it online.

This month’s edition includes two author interviews:

http://www.librarything.com/wiki/index.php/State_of_the_Thing

If you don’t get State of the Thing, you can add it in your email preferences. You also have to have an email address listed.

Labels: state of the thing