At a time when we need diverse books more than ever, Hong Kong is losing their last independent bookstore (independent of the government’s heavy-handedess, that is). The People’s Bookstore was forced to close its doors, the last doors open to readers wanting books banned by the Chinese government. And anyone who has read 1984 knows how this go. The Guardian tells the full story here, and please remember to support independent bookstores and independent thought for as long as you can!
Any bookish person who has moved knows the problem—books are heavy, and when you pack several into a box, it’s hard to carry. In other words, books are a pain to move. But when you’re a bookstore and have lots of book lovers who can help, moving becomes easier. In a small town in England, October Books moved from one location to another with a little help from their friends. A human chain passed books from the old store to the new one, making quick and easy work of the move. I was thinking that I wish I could have been there to help, but I probably would have just slowed things down, stopping to read them all one by one. Anyway, NPR has the whole story here, so you can see how a community can help save a local bookstore.
The amazing Tana French of the Dublin Police Series and her latest, a stand-alone mystery novel called The Witch Elm, says that as humans, we’re all unreliable narrators. In an interview with Molly Odintz of CrimeReads, French talks about whether her writing is feminist, writing male characters, and that beloved unreliable narrator telling us stories. For the full interview, click here, and be sure to check out her award-winning novels!
In my lifetime, the whole world of journalism has changed so drastically. Where it’s now all computers and instant news posts, it used to be all about the newsroom. The noise, the chaos, the excitement of writing the articles that everyone would be talking about the next day—the newsroom was everything. And though they seem to be dying out, they love on in our stories, and Wallace Stroby writes about it all in this CrimeReads article. Check it out!
Authors Julian Barnes, Tom Stoppard, and Clive James got together for a chat, and we all get to listen in, thanks to the New Statesman. You can read the whole article here, but expect publishing insider info, writer humor, and chicken on sticks.
Crime writer Ian Rankin was recently asked why do we humans keep doing terrible things to each other. The creator of character John Rebus talked to The Star about what makes murder such a compelling story subject and about how much he’s really worth. Check the article out here, and then check out Rankin’s latest Rebus novel, In a House of Lies, out in the states in December.
David Grann, author of Killers of the Flower Moon that everyone is talking about, also wrote a story that became a screenplay that became what might be Robert Redford’s last movie. Everything I have heard so far about The Old Man and the Gun, a movie starring Redford that’s about a gentleman bank robber and master prison escapee, has been glowing. I can’t wait to see this movie, and you can check out the story that Grann wrote right here, courtesy of The New Yorker.
Read it Forward asked chef Eric Greenspan (more on his cookbook here; trust me, you want to know more!) to pair some of his amazing grilled cheese sandwiches with classic novels, and he came through with some phenomenal ideas. You can see the full article here, and the recipes for the sammiches you can find in his new cookbook The Great Grilled Cheese Book.
Lit Hub put together a list of 31 short stories that Hollywood made into full-length films. It’s amazing to think of how a 10 or 15 page story can take you on enough of an emotional journey to make it possible to create a 90 minute movie from it, but it happens all the time. Check out the full list here, and let’s all be grateful for the storytelling prowess of both authors of the stories and the films.
Signature has put together a list of top 10 long series that are worth your time to read through, and there are some really good ones on this list. There are the Sue Grafton alphabet books (one of my all-time favorite series!), Lee Child’s Jack Reacher, and a series by Alexander McCall Smith. You can see all their recommendations here, and stock up for those long winter nights of snuggling in and reading.
Sometimes it’s hard to know when to break up with a book. Do you stick it out, or do your end the relationship and move on? Bustle has put together a list to help, 14 signs that it’s time to put that book aside and try another. You can see the full list here, and please leave a comment below if you think there are any they missed.
Author Kate Moretti took a look at several books that ask if killers are born or made. Is it nature, or is it nurture? CrimeReads posted her full list here, and you can check it out and see if these books sway you to think of psychopaths as being born with their killer instinct or if the challenges they come across in their lives change them into bad people.
When the Oregon author of How to Kill Your Husband actually killed her husband, the bookternet went wild. What could be a better story? But there is also tragedy to this, as her husband was actually shot, and she is currently in jail awaiting trial. You can read more about it here in The Washington Post’s story, and remember not to anger the writers you know. They may know how to write you an alternate ending.
There are a bunch of really good books that are coming to our television sets starting this fall. Insider put together a list so that readers can get ahead, and you can check out the full list here. Personally, I’m super excited for the Lin-Manuel Miranda adaptation of Patrick Rothfuss’s Kingkiller Chronicles, which my boyfriend got me sucked into.
We have all heard the statistics that we are far more likely to be killed by someone close to us than by a stranger, so what’s better than thrillers that start and end right inside our homes? CrimeReads.com brings us a really good list of some of the best books based on that intimate partnership of marriage and everything that go wrong within its boundaries.
Is listening to audiobooks as good for us as reading books? Time Health took a look at that complex question and answered all your questions about listening vs. reading here. For me, I like them both, but I don’t like all books equally both ways. Sometimes I fall especially in love with an audiobook (or the narrator), and sometimes I want the simplicity of good, old-fashioned print. What are your thoughts?
The British Library has put the Man Booker Prize archives online. and the Guardian is talking about all the behind-the-scenes drama. A prize decided by a coin toss? Judges saying "over my dead body" about a book? Or saying a book is "scandalously bad," "grossly over written" or formulaic? It's all in this article, and you can see it all here. I think this article was fascinating and made me feel like I could judge a Booker contest too!
Most girls who devoured the Nancy Drew books as kids understood that Carolyn Keene was a pseudonym. But who wrote the books? The original writer was Mildred Wirt Benson, and Smithsonian dug up all the reasons she created such a curious, adventurous, intelligent lead character at a time when girls' books just didn't do that sort of thing, and you can read all about it here.
Author Rhys Bowen was recently asked how real her Royal Spyness series is, and she went into detail about what she pulls from history and what she makes up. Criminal Element got the whole story here, and there's even a link to an excerpt from her latest, Four Funerals and Maybe a Wedding.
Off the Shelf asked a bookseller from Nashville which books she'd recommend people read over and over again. She came up with a list of 5 excellent books, and you can see if they're books you'd want to read or reread here.