Neil Pearson at the Hay festival

Link: It’s a Crime! (or a mystery…): Serious book collecting at Hay, in a fun way, with Neil Pearson & Rick Gekoski.

CrimeFicReader (of It’s a Crime!)  has been writing some wonderful posts about the Hay festival, full of her usual wit, insight and knowledge. She’s excelled herself at the link above, though — I have to admit that I am strongly predisposed to the subject matter, Neil Pearson, but even if you are misguided enough not to be an admirer of this courteous, funny and extremely handsome gentleman, it’s a fascinating post about Pearson in his guise as Not Martin Amis, a book collector and the author of a book about Jack Kahane and his Obelisk press (the book includes a bibliography of the books, or "smut", that was published ).

CrimeFicReader’s two earlier posts about the Hay festival can be read here (part 1) and here (part 2). As she’s mentioned in an earlier post, she’s had some difficult times recently, which makes these wonderful accounts all the more admirable. Thanks, CrimeFicReader!

Bronze Inside and Out, by Mary Scriver

Via Dave Lull, from the University of Calgary Press website:

"Bronze Inside and Out is a literary biography of sculptor Bob Scriver, written by his wife, Mary Strachan Scriver. Bob Scriver is best known for his work in bronze and for his pivotal role in the rise of “cowboy art.” Living and working on the Montana Blackfoot Reservation, Scriver created a bronze foundry, a museum, and a studio – an atelier based on classical methods, but with local Blackfoot artisans. His importance in the still-developing genre of “western art” cannot be overstated.
Mary Strachan Scriver lived and worked with Bob Scriver for over a decade and was instrumental in his rise to international acclaim. Working alongside her husband, she became intimately familiar with the man, his work, and his process. Her frank and uncensored narration includes details that give the reader a unique picture of Scriver both as man and as artist. Mary Strachan Scriver also provides a fascinating look into the practice of bronze casting, cleverly structuring the story of Bob Scriver’s life according to the steps in this complicated and temperamental process. She lives in Valier, Montana. She has worked as a teacher, a writer, and a Unitarian minister."

She blogs as Prairie Mary.

You can read Brian W. Dippie’s foreword to Bronze Inside and Out at Librarian’s Place, as well as a pithy account of how the book came to be published, by Mary Scriver herself.

You can order the book here.

Mostly about Peter James

Do you, like me, get confused between Peter Temple, Peter James and Bill James? I have got Peter James fixed in my mind, at least, because I’ve read his past three books.

My review of his latest, Not Dead Enough, was posted to Euro Crime last weekend. Karen’s summary of my review is that the plot is not too taxing but I’m still addicted to the series. Spot on. See here for Euro Crime’s other new reviews of last week: Pat Austin on The Reckoning by Sue Walker (I’m not reading her again after her disappointing first, but Pat is positive about this one); Karen on the audio version of Blood on the Wood by Gillian Linscott; and Mike Ripley’s latest crime file round up. And there are lots of new competitions, so head on over.

There is an interview with Peter James on Material Witness blog — PJ, like me, is a fan of Desmond Bagley’s Running Blind and of Red Leaves by Thomas Cook, but I have to say that Scarlett Johannsen is not the first person who leaps into my mind to play PJ in a movie about his life, even with the recommended props.

If you are quick, you can listen to Mark Lawson interviewing Peter James on BBC radio 4 — until Monday, says Karen. If you don’t get the chance to listen, or even if you do, there is a review of the interview at Material Witness, again.

Now I must go and read some of the Bill Jameses and Peter Temples in my bookshelves to get them clear in my mind, too.

Frank Wilson on what to read this summer

Link: CRITICAL MASS: The Philadelphia Inquirer’s Frank Wilson on What to Read This Summer.

Frank is taking part in the US National Book Critics’ Circle current project in which writers are asked to recommend a book by a non-US author. You can read Frank’s choice at the link above. I won’t reveal it here, but if after reading Frank’s piece you want to read more about the book (synopsis and reviews), here is a link to its Powell’s page.

Frank Wilson is book review editor of the Philadelphia Inquirier and blogs at Books, Inq. You can find his collected book reviews for the paper via the link in the right-hand column of Petrona, under "sites I like".  Here is a link to an earlier interview with Frank, on the Critical Mass blog.