Thursday, October 29, 2009

Horror Classics Reworked - Readings for the Season

Halloween has been growing in popularity and extravagance for quite a while now. Costume parties are held; homes are strewn with orange lights and scary creatures; everyone looks forward to a fine and scary time. Maybe it’s because we all like a good scare? Whatever the reason, and just in time for this creepy season, three different authors have produced re-worked versions of some truly unsettling horror classics.

Professor Charles Robinson (professor of English at the University of Delaware), has gone back to the earliest surviving manuscript of Mary Shelley’s work and produced two “new” versions of Frankenstein, the story of a created monster gone horribly wrong. In this new edition, you get to “hear” Mary Shelley’s young voice and can even see what additions and changes were suggested by her husband, Percy Shelley.

Peter Ackroyd is also dealing with Frankenstein’s monster in his new book The Casebook of Victor Frankenstein. This brilliantly imagined novel is written (purportedly) by Dr. Frankenstein himself and Mary Shelley and Percy B. Shelley are characters in the novel. Publisher’s Weekly calls Ackroyd’s novel a “brilliant riff on ideas that have informed literary, horror and science fiction for nearly two centuries.”

The Vampire Archives, edited by Otto Penzler, is the biggest, “undeadliest” collection of vampire stories ever (weighing in at 1056 pages!), with an accompanying comprehensive bibliography of vampire fiction. As the blurb on the cover says, The Vampire Archives is “dark, stormy, and delicious. Once it sinks its teeth into you there’s no escape.” Meg
[This post is based on an article in BookPage by Michael Alec Rose.]

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

National Book Awards 2009

The National Book Award finalists for 2009 were just announced last week. The NBA is an award given yearly to writers by writers. Awards are given in 4 categories: fiction, non-fiction, poetry and young people’s literature. The first award was presented in 1950.

Works are submitted for consideration by publishers: judges are selected (five in each category): finalists are annouced. This year over 193 publishers submitted 1,129 books for consideration. There were 236 fiction titles, 481 nonfiction titles, 161 works of poetry and 251 titles of literature for young people.

Fiction finalists are: American Salvage by Bonnie Jo Campbell; Let the Great World Spin by Colum McCann; In Other Rooms, Other Wonders by Daniyal Mueenuddin; Lark and Termite by Jayne Anne Phillips and Far North by Marcel Theroux. (For a list of finalists in all four catergories and a list of the judges, check out the National Book Awards website.)

The winners will be announced at the 60th annual National Book Awards Benefit Dinner and Ceremony, which will take place at Cipriani on Wall Street in New York City on November 18th. Cipriani’s is a famous New York landmark and venue for events. The Master of Ceremonies for the awards banquet will be Andy Borowitz, author, comedian, satirist and film actor. Meg

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Harlequin turns 60!

Let me tell you a story…or, how a small Canadian publishing company became one of the world’s most renowned publisher of romance novels.

Harlequin Enterprises was founded in Toronto, Canada in 1949 and began publishing reprints of British novels for Americans, including detective stories by Agatha Christie and Arthur Conan Doyle.

Mills and Boon was a British company founded in 1908 by Charles Boon and Gerald Mills. They began by publishing British authors, such as P. F. Wodehouse, but soon discovered there was a need for books written “for women, by women, from a woman’s perspective.” These types of books (or genre) were to become incredibly popular during the Great Depression when women needed something to make their lives a bit more bearable.

In 1957 Harlequin took over the rights to publish romance novels originally published by Mills and Boon. Harlequin would re-edit these romances for the American market, making them a bit more “racy” than their British counterparts. And Harlequin continued to re-issue British titles until in 1975 they published their first American author who wrote “about American characters for an American audience.” This author was Janet Dailey.

Today Harlequin, one of the largest publishers of romance novels and series, encompasses many divisions including Silhouette, Spice, Mira, Steeple Hill, Red Dress Ink and Luna. All of these divisions publish different flavors of romance for a total publishing record of over 500 titles per month.

The library has a large paperback Romance novel collection and many of these titles are published by Harlequin or one of its divisions. Some titles include:

Moonstruck by Susan Grant (a HQN paranormal romance)
An Accidental Hero by Loree Lough (a Steeple Hill inspirational romance)
Dying for You by Beverly Barton (a HQN romantic suspense title)
The Italian by Elaine Coffman (a Mira historical romance). Meg


blogger templates | Make Money Online