Publishing and reading round-up

Sarah Weinman at Confessions of an Idiosyncratic Mind blog discusses a piece at the Pittsburgh-Tribune Review on the pros and cons of self-publishing. Although it can be a way to find a market for books that otherwise may not get discovered, she writes, Sarah isn't keen on them overall. "Genova, Daniel Suarez, William P. Young may be success stories, but they are the exceptions that prove the rule. And unless traditional publishing changes radically soon, which it won't because there's not enough economic incentive yet to do so, they will remain exceptions proving the rule for some time to come." "Genova" refers to Lisa Genova, who achieved New York Times best-seller status with Still Alice, self-published and very energetically self-marketed. One blog that I've recently discovered and whose posts I am very much enjoying is How Publishing Really Works – it is one year old today. Happy birthday!

Via email and spotted on numerous blogs already, the shortlist for the Theakston's Old Peculier crime novel of the year has been announced (12 male authors, 2 female). Despite the sad lack of translated fiction on the list, I've voted – have you?

Aargh, it's that time of year again – the Chicago Sun-Times has published its "summer reading picks" on 1 June (actually published on 31 May)….. three more months of this to go. Among the recommendations are Red Hot Lies by Laura Cauldwell (a new legal series), Joseph Finder's Vanished (David Montgomery's pick), Stieg Larsson's The Girl who Played with Fire, and Free Agent by Jeremy Duns (reviewed by Michelle yesterday at Euro Crime). 

A few more reviews:
Bernadette of Reactions to Reading reviews The Black Monastery by Stav Sherez, one of the books I bore away from CrimeFest (via the ever-kind Karen), still to read.

Glenn Harper of International Noir Fiction writes very interestingly on My Soul To Take, Yrsa Sigurdadottir's second novel, and compares her output with that of a compatriot, the superb Arnaldur Indridason.

Rafe McGregor explains why the rationale for inclusion in Favourite Sherlock Holmes stories is flawed. (My advice: just buy the collected works – or apparently, don't even buy them, as Rafe writes that they are in the public domain. I'd still buy them, though, they are certainly worth it and you can always pass a book on to your children, grandchildren etc, to remind them of what a printed page looks like.)

Based on Books reviews the most recent movie of The Importance of Being Earnest– quite a good film, apart from Reese Witherspoon's irritating fantasy sequences. Colin Firth, Judi Dench and Anna Massey, in particular, turn in performances that stick in the memory.

Finally, I know this is a bit mad, but I just had to smile at this response by the Times to the Ruth Padel (Oxford Professor of Poetry emerita) resignation: top ten smear campaigns.


4 thoughts on “Publishing and reading round-up

  1. Thanks for the mention Maxine. And I agree about the collected works for Holmes – I have a very dog-eared copy here that I bought many years ago and have treated rather shabbily (falling asleep on it, moving house, splashing spaghetti sauce on it…basically it can tell you my life story).

  2. The top ten smear campaigns item was fascinating.
    I thought when it was in the headlines that Valerie Plame was the least likely secret CIA operative I had ever seen.

  3. Thank you for drawing attention to the announcement of the Theakstons Old Peculier Crime Novel of the Year Award shortlist.
    Just to clear up the point made regarding the lack of novels in translation on the shortlist, the Theakstons Old Peculier Crime Novel of the Year award is only open to books written in English by authors with a current UK or Ireland passport which explains the absence of any translated works, as well as the lack of any Australians, Americans or Canadians!
    All awards have their own submission rules. Equally, you will not see translated works on the Man Booker Prize Long and Shortlist as the prize is awarded only to books written by a citizen of the Commonwealth or the Republic of Ireland.
    The aim of the Theakstons Old Peculier Crime Novel of the Year is to promote the wealth of British and Irish talent currently writing within the genre, and we believe the award has been and continues to be successful in achieving this.

  4. Thanks for the comment, Erica, and what a pity. The festival itself is also sadly lacking in authors who don’t write (initially) in English. I think Yrsa Sigurdadottir is the only one this year. It would be such a good opportunity for readers to hear some great authors. Johan Theorin and Jo Nesbo were two of the stars last year.

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