Tuesday, July 31, 2012

The Best Photo of the Day

Art Daily News
LONDON.- The statue of Admiral Lord Nelson is decorated with a hat and an Olympic torch, designed by Sylvia Fletcher of Locke and Co., the company famed for making Nelson's original bicorn hat, as part of an art event in central London's Trafalgar square, during the 2012 Summer Olympics, Monday, July 30, 2012. The "Hatwalk" event, brings together 21 emerging and established designers to showcase British millinery in some of London's most iconic statues. 
AP Photo/Lefteris Pitarakis.

A High Holy Whodunit

Michal Chelbin for The New York Times
The Aleppo Codex, the oldest, most complete, most accurate text of the Hebrew Bible, in its vault at the Israel Museum.
  • One day this spring, on the condition that I not reveal any details of its location nor the stringent security measures in place to protect its contents, I entered a hidden vault at the Israel Museum and gazed upon the Aleppo Codex — the oldest, most complete, most accurate text of the Hebrew Bible. The story of how it arrived here, in Jerusalem, is a tale of ancient fears and modern prejudices, one that touches on one of the rawest nerves in Israeli society: the clash of cultures between Jews from Arab countries and the European Jews, or Ashkenazim, who controlled the country during its formative years. And the story of how some 200 pages of the codex went missing — and to this day remain the object of searches carried out around the globe by biblical scholars, private investigators, shadowy businessmen and the Mossad, Israel’s intelligence agency — is one of the great mysteries in Jewish history. 

  • Michal Chelbin for The New York Times
    Michael Maggen, the head of the paper-conservation lab at the Israel Museum.

News from Publishing Perspectives:

The iBookstore is about to open in Latin America, using the Falkland Islands and Guyana to originate sales, but Apple and its suppliers aren't making it easy.
Read more »

Apple may end up being the first of the big international e-book players to launch in Latin America, but will high prices stop it from taking full advantage?
Read more »
The Big Three may dominate Swedish publishing, but innovation is happening on the periphery at start-ups like short-form publisher Novelix and POD provider Dejavu.
Read more »

Publishing innovators are springing up in increasingly unexpected places. Publishing Perspectives wants to hear your story. Tell us about yourself or another.
Read more »

Mexico's new Carlos Fuentes International Prize for Literary Creation offers one winner $250,000 cash and brings the country coveted cultural cachet.
Read more »
From the Archives:
In 2010 Latin America produced nearly as many books as Spain yet absorbed 20% of Spain’s overall production, while Spain took in just 2% of Latin America’s.
Read more »

Writing competition considers the role of science in our future

Writers are being invited to submit their thoughts about the contribution of science to the future of New Zealand in this year’s Royal Society of New Zealand Manhire Prize for Creative Science Writing competition.

This is New Zealand’s only literary award for science writing, and carries cash prizes of $2500 for each of the non-fiction and fiction categories. The winning entries will be published in the New Zealand Listener.

The theme for the 2012 competition is inspired by the late Sir Paul Callaghan who saw the transit of Venus in June as symbolising a new chapter in New Zealand’s history.  His vision was to make this country a place “where talent wants to live”.

Prize-winning poet and fiction writer, Bill Manhire(left), after whom the competition is named, says: “The Transit of Venus Project was started by Sir Paul soon after he became ill in 2008.  Paul was passionate in his belief that only science and scholarship will achieve our desired economic, social and environmental futures.  As science was intertwined in the history of our nation, so it will forge its future.

The writing competition has been running since 2007 and aims to encourage exciting science writing. Entries are judged on their literary merits and how accessible they are to the general public.
Past winners of the competition include Dave Armstrong, Alice Miller and Tina Makereti. This year’s judge is Steve Braunias, author of books and TV series, columnist, journalist and editor.

The Manhire Prize Creative Science Writing competition is a partnership between the Royal Society of New Zealand, the New Zealand Listener Magazine and the Institute of Modern Letters at Victoria University.

Entry forms can be found in next week’s Listener Magazine and on the Royal Society of New Zealand website. Closing date for entries is 5 October 2012.

An e-book of all past winning entries is available from the Royal Society of New Zealand website.

Eating Dirt by Steve Gurney

Steve Gurney loves to live at the edge of his comfort zone; it’s when he feels most alive. And in his new book Eating Dirt he challenges others to do the same.

Gurney believes that New Zealand society has morphed into an ‘OSH culture’; one where children are ‘cotton-wooled’ and everything is over-regulated, including adventure sport. His challenge to us is to let children take risks — even if that means they fall out of trees occasionally — ‘eat dirt’ during a game of playground bull-rush and make mistakes, so that they’ll know how to find their limits in later life; as he has done.

Gurney is the living embodiment of a ‘V commercial’: high octane and fun. His adventures are extreme, his innovations are pioneering, his dreams are big. He is also very resilient. Like many Cantabrians, he lived through the major Christchurch earthquakes, lost property and had to take stock of his life. This journey led him to connect with his local community in surprising new ways and inspired him to undertake extensive research into the area of resilience, so that he could share his practical tips for recovery after any crisis.

Eating Dirt takes up the story where his bestselling autobiography Lucky Legs (2008) left off. Here, we find Gurney about to undertake his latest extreme adventures, including a world-record crossing of the Sahara Desert by kite-buggy, while trying to avoid land mines, terrorists, corrupt border officials, gear breakages and bone-breaking rocks — one of which almost took him out — and climbing Aoraki Mount Cook the hard way.

Eating Dirt encapsulates Gurney’s philosophy for winning in adventure and achieving those important life goals before it’s too late. His grit, determination, candour and humour resonate throughout and inspire the reader to make mole hills out of mountains.

About the author:
Steve Gurney is an adventurer, inventor and motivator. A qualified engineer, he is an ex-professional adventure athlete turned professional motivational speaker. Gurney won the ‘Coast to Coast’ race a record nine times and twice raced mountain bikes for New Zealand at the world champs. He once waxed his entire body for ‘Dancing with the Stars’ and was awarded an MNZM for his services to Endurance Sport. Eating Dirt is Steve Gurney’s second book.

Eating Dirt,
Random House - $39.99
Publication 3 August.

Hunter from the Heartland

I talked (enthused) with Jim Mora about this title on Radio NZ National this afternoon.
Here is the recipe from the book which I mentioned in our discussion.

Easy Fish Curry with Bananas and Prawns


1 onion, sliced
1 clove garlic, finely chopped
cooking oil for frying
1 red chilli, finely chopped
1 spring onion, finely sliced
3cm knob ginger, julienned
2 tablespoons curry powder
1 tablespoon fish sauce
1 × 400ml can coconut cream
2 × 200g snapper fillets, cubed
12 prawns
2 bananas, sliced
1 bunch coriander, finely chopped
salt and pepper
1 lemon

When a workmate introduced me to curry with bananas, I wasn’t sold at first. It sounded weird but after trying it, I loved it.
Sweat down onion and garlic in a medium-hot frying pan in a little oil. Add chilli, spring onion and ginger and cook for 2 minutes. Sprinkle over curry powder and cook for another 2 minutes. Then add fish sauce and coconut cream, and bring to the boil.
Turn down the heat to a gentle simmer. Add snapper and poach for 4 minutes. Add prawns and bananas and simmer for another 4 minutes. Add chopped coriander and gently stir through. Season to taste with salt and pepper and a squeeze of lemon juice.
Serve with steamed rice.

Dead simple and delicious, like all of his recipes.
A special book, great fun with as much space given over to his stories as to recipes and cooking. The perfect gift for Fathers Day I reckon. Published this coming Friday 3 August.
Published by Random House $49.99

Successful fundraising bid enables Speed Dating with a twist to reach Porirua

The Book Council has drawn on community support through a two-month crowdfunding appeal to successfully fund a Speed Date an Author workshop for young writers in Porirua next term.

Teaming up with Pledge Me, the Book Council raised almost $4000 with 31 generous donors pledging their financial support for Speed Date. Donors included one very generous local woman who read of our plight in the Kapi-Mana News and pledged to meet the shortfall just before the fundraiser closed.

These open-hearted donations mean that this event will be free for all participants. Chief Executive of the Book Council Noel Murphy says:

‘We are touched by the display of generosity which enabled our success in this Pledge Me campaign. Our schools programmes are hugely valued and an inspiration to the children and teachers who take part. It’s wonderful that this appeal has enabled us to extend this inspirational programme into Porirua. We will certainly look to run other fundraising appeals using this method.’ 

Speed Date an Author will involve six of New Zealand’s top authors, and 60 of Porirua’s top young writers aged 11-14 (years 7-10). Each author will inspire and encourage the young writers to improve particular aspects of their writing, during six 20 minute long sessions during the event. The students will then move into their chosen groups to complete writing exercises with these writers, further deepening their learning. Writers Kate De Goldi, Mandy Hager and Karlo Mila have already agreed to lead this event in the last week of October, and three other authors will join them. 

This event will be run with the support of the Porirua Writers’ Walk committee, with the aim of enhancing the creative output of top students in the run-up to the Porirua-wide writing competition planned for Term 2 2013. This competition is to be run in correlation to the development of the Porirua Writers’ Walk.

Porirua schools will receive a fax-back registration form in the next few weeks, but schools already interested in the event are encouraged to reserve their spaces through Sarah on the contact below.
The Book Council would like to unreservedly thank all of our wonderful donors and supporters for believing in Speed Date an Author, and supporting the power that writing has to open up the imagination. 

Get your hammock out - it's Tuesday Poem with experimental poet Terry Moyle.

The Tuesday Poem

This week Tuesday Poem offers up something that might make you think again: poetry as you may not have seen it before. It's The Hammock by Terry Moyle. Moyle is a vector artist and experimental poet, and this week's editor Orchid Tierney says: 

"What I particularly enjoy about Terry's work is his diversity.  Ranging from comic strips to 3D milk cartons, his work pushes poetry off the page into real life tangible artefacts. In this way, his experimental works are suggestive of new forms of literacy where text, image and object are inextricably related.  Yet, if I can sum up briefly, I want to suggest that works like Terry's are conversations that challenge binary demarcations of high and low art."

Go and read - you won't be disappointed. 


We are now calling for entries for the 2012 CLNZ EDUCATIONAL PUBLISHING AWARDS, in association with PANZ.

Entries close at 5pm Thursday 16 August.

All enquiries to edawards@publishers.org.nz.

The awards will be announced at a ceremony on 15 November 2012.

Author Maeve Binchy dies aged 72

Maeve Binchy

Irish author Maeve Binchy had sold more than 40 million books worldwide - BBC

Best-selling Irish author Maeve Binchy has died aged 72 after a short illness.
Binchy, born in Dalkey, Co Dublin, has sold more than 40 million books. Her works were often set in Ireland and have been translated into 37 languages.
They include The Lilac Bus as well as Tara Road and Circle of Friends, which were both adapted for screen.
Binchy trained as a teacher before moving into journalism and writing, publishing her first novel - Light a Penny Candle - in 1982.
She had written the novel in her spare time from her day job as a journalist at The Irish Times.
BBC Dublin correspondent Ruth McDonald said Binchy's warm, witty, perceptive stories, were read and enjoyed around the world.
Our correspondent said the author was renowned for her generosity and support of others, writing in a guide for aspiring writers: "The most important thing to realise is that everyone is capable of telling a story.
"It doesn't matter where we were born or how we grew up".

In a 2001 interview with the BBC after she had won the WHSmith Book Award for fiction, Binchy described the five rejections she received for her first novel as "a slap in the face".
She said she was glad she persevered and sent the book to a sixth publisher.
"It's like if you don't go to a dance you can never be rejected but you'll never get to dance either," she said.
The author said that her secret was to write the way she spoke.
"I don't say I was proceeding down a thoroughfare, I say I walked down the road.
"I don't say I passed a hallowed institute of learning I say I passed a school.
"You don't wear all your jewellery at once - you're much more believable if you talk in your own voice," she said.
Lifetime achievement award In 2000, Binchy was ranked third in the World Book Day poll of favourite authors - ahead of Jane Austen and Charles Dickens.
Binchy received a lifetime achievement award from the Irish Book Awards in 2010, the same year her last novel, Minding Frankie, was published.
She published a personal message on her website thanking fans who had praised the work:
"My health isn't so good these days and I can't travel around to meet people the way I used to. But I'm always delighted to hear from readers, even if it takes me a while to reply," she said.
Binchy is survived by her husband, writer Gordon Snell.
Irish politicians paid tribute to the author on Twitter after news of her death.
Meath East TD Regina Doherty tweeted: "Godspeed Maeve Binchy RIP lovely warm gentle lady brought much joy through all her work."

And from Hachette NZ:
Hachette NZ is saddened to learn of the death of much-loved Irish author Maeve Binchy.

Maeve Binchy was one of the loveliest writers you could tour,” says Managing Director Kevin Chapman, who remembers her fondly. "She was not only a marvelous writer, but a marvelous person. It's a great loss to storytelling.”
 Maeve will be remembered by the Hachette NZ team for her generous spirit. She regularly communicated directly with New Zealand booksellers and was incredibly well regarded across the book trade.
 Maeve touched readers all around the world throughout her long career and leaves a legacy of best-selling novels.

Michael Morpurgo – war child to war horse

by Maggie Fergusson – Harper Collins - $39.99
Reviewed on Radio NZ National this morning.

Let me say straight up that I do not normally choose to read biographies but I couldn’t resist this one.

Michael Morpurgo is of course an English author, poet, playwright and librettist,best known these days for his work in children's literature especially of course for War Horse although I hasten to add that he has been shortlisted four times for the Carnegie Medal and he won the 1993 Prix Sorcières (France): King of the Cloud Forests and all of the following:

So he has a considerable body of work in addition to his most famous title; in fact he has written over 150 books for children dating back to 1974,(a full list appears at the back of the book). 

He was the third Children's Laureate having been very involved in setting it up in the first place, inspired by his friend the late Ted Hughes.. 

I guess though it is War Horse (originally published in 1982) for what he will long be remembered. The book sold modestly well but after becoming a play at the National Theatre in 2007 and then a Spielberg movie in 2011 it has sold close to two million copies and has now been translated into more than 40 languages. In a way it is appropriate that this should be the case as that book is particularly about reconciliation, remember the opposing soldiers meet in no-man’s land because he admits in this biography that reconciliation is what he “yearns for most”.

The biography  reveals the troubled relationships which Morpurgo has with his children and which have yet to be repaired.
Although his daughter was interviewed for the book both of her brothers declined any involvement and in the biographer’s list of acknowledgments they are conspicuous by their absence.
Although Morpurgo has a close relationship with all six of his grandchildren,(there is a lovely photo of them together in the book), the biography reveals that his troubled relationship with his sons remains a source of regret which, he says in the book, "lasts longer than any kind of pleasure that comes from success."

The book describes how in 1975, his children were then 12, nine and eight, Morpurgo and his wife Clare,(who by the way is the eldest daughter of Penguin Books founder, the late Sir Allen Lane, but that is another whole strand in the book that I could discuss at length), moved to a 50 acre farm, Nethercott House, in Devon where they set up a charity,Farms for City Children, which provided city children with the opportunity to experience life on a farm for a week.
Working three seven-day weeks in a row before taking a weekend off, the couple channelled huge energy into looking after the visiting city kids so that they were unable to fully devote themselves to their own family.This and being sent away to boarding schools may be behind the subsequent difficulties between the father and sons. He also had a rather difficult upbringing himself not getting to know his birth father until he was almost an adult.

I should mention that the Morpurgo’s farm experience for city kids charity has been most successful and there are now properties in Gloucestershire and Wales with a fourth planned for Scotland. Princess Anne is its patron. They are justly proud of it.

Biographer, Maggie Fergusson is Director of the Royal Society of Literarure and a literary editor. She has previously written a well-received biography of the poet George Mackay Brown.
In this biography she and her subject employ a technique I have not come across before – at the end of each section of the book Michael Morpurgo responds to it with a new piece of fiction so you get a biography and seven previously unpublished short stories. I found it appealing although occasionally distracting.
Clearly Maggie Fergusson has got to know her subject well and seems to like him but the book is no hagiography – Morpurgo is a really complex man with many moods and outbursts recounted – “the colour of your shirt is appal­ling”, he snapped at a deeply embarrassed small girl, who’s asked him a question about where his stories come from, after a reading at a school. I was appalled when I read this.
But the difficul­ties of his nature, the strength of his feelings, the complications of his upbringing, his charitable generosity, his wonderful and energetic work as Children’s Laureate, along with a long and largely happy marriage, (they celebrate 50 years next year and Michael talks of having a church wedding to make up for the registry wedding of long ago, this because neither sets of parents approved and Clare was pregnant), are what make him and his writing so appealing and in particular the biography most entertaining and absorbing. 
My only complaint? No index! Unforgiveable in a major non-fiction work.

Ashton Wylie Book Award 2012 Finalists Announced


The New Zealand Society of Authors (PEN NZ Inc), in association with the Ashton Wylie Charitable Trust, is delighted to announce the seven finalists for the Ashton Wylie Charitable Trust Book Award.   The Book Award offers one of the largest monetary prizes for literature in the country with an award of $10,000 for a published work which embodies the mind, body, spirit genre.

Maggie Tarver, Chief Executive Officer for the NZSA, says the Book Awards always attracts an impressive number of entries and 2012 was no exception.

“The Ashton Wylie Charitable Trust Literature Awards attracts much interest from the literary community and  we have received over 50 entries in the published book category,” says Ms Tarver.

The Book Award finalists are:

Robin Kelly – The Human Hologram
Bernadette Logue – Pinch Me – How Following the Signals Changed My Life
Alan Dawe – The God Franchise
Keith Hill – Secular Spirituality
Martin Herbertson – The Sleeping Messiah
Glenys-Kay O’Byrne – Metaphysics 101:  Buckle Up For The Wildest Ride of Your Life
Cliff Harvey –  Time Rich, Cash Optional : An Unconventional Guide To Happiness

The Ashton Wylie Children’s Book Award 2012 was run for the first time this year but the selection panel elected not to declare finalists or a winner for this award.  However an award of merit has been given to Marnie Anstis for  “The Millennium Tree.”

The award winners will be announced in a ceremony at the Ashton Wylie Charitable Trust’s own venue, the Hopetoun Alpha in Auckland on Friday 24 August 2012.  A day of Children’s Writing Workshops will follow on 25th August featuring Joy Cowley, Martin Taylor, Maria Gill and Sandra Morris. For booking information contact www.awct.org.nz

Construction begins on new Wellsford Library

 Auckland City Libraries News

Construction on a new Wellsford War Memorial Library is underway. We expect the building to be complete by late April 2013, with the opening of the new library planned for early June 2013.

The new Wellsford War Memorial Library will be a purpose-built public library for the local community. It is being built in the War Memorial Park in Wellsford, adjacent to the Albertland and Districts Museum.
The new library development will include an upgraded and expanded car park for both the library and the museum and relocation of the helipad. The plaza that will connect the two buildings is designed as an entry court for both library and museum, and will be an attractive open space.
The park’s war memorial gates and flagpole will be repositioned in the plaza, giving a generous setting for ANZAC day commemorations.
Local artists from Te Hana are working with the project team to integrate artworks and design elements into the building that reflect Wellsford’s historic connection with the Kaipara Harbour.
The future use of the original library building has not yet been decided.
New Wellsford War Memorial Library - perspective from plaza.

New services

Once complete, the new library will be five times the size of the existing library, and will offer more space for reading, study, events like story time for children and book groups for adults, meeting space and room for more book collections.
It will have dedicated areas for children, teenagers and adults; space where digital media can be watched, listened to and enjoyed; enough room for growing library collections and a public meeting room. WiFi and more public computers will also be available.

The Book We're Talking About This Week

"The Violinist's Thumb: And Other Lost Tales of Love, War, and Genius, as Written by Our Genetic Code"
Little, Brown - US$25.99

What is it about?
The story of DNA, and the scientists who discovered what we know about it. The book is written in a very informal tone, sharing incredible tales of our own existence woven in with gossip about the people who first told them.

Why are we talking about it?
Public interest in genetics has reached an all-time high, as advances in gene-based medicine and detailed DNA sequencing hits the headlines. Kean’s book, which is getting an initial print run of 75,000 copies, promises to be this summer’s must-read nonfiction book. Plus, it’s fun to read.

Who wrote it?
Sam Kean is a writer based in Washington, DC. His first book, The Disappearing Spoon, was about the history of the periodic table, and was a bestseller.

Who will read it?
Fans of Bill Bryson, Radiolab, readers of Mental Floss; people who might otherwise have picked up Jonah Lehrer’s book.

What do the reviewers say?
Click here to read the rest of this article.

Harry Benson, The Beatles, Collector’s Edition

 Published: July 2012
New Zealand Price: price on application
Hardcover in a clamshell box, 440 x 312 mm, 272 pages; Multilingual Edition: English, French, German
Collector’s Edition of 1,764 numbered copies, signed by the photographer.
Published by TASCHEN and distributed in New Zealand by New Holland Publishers


The Fab Five: Behind Beatlemania

These photos convey a really happy period for them and for me. It all comes down to music, they were without a doubt the greatest band of the 20th century, and that’s why these photographs are so important. – Harry Benson, 2012

In early 1964, Harry Benson was getting on a plane for a foreign assignment in Africa, when he got a call from the photo editor of London newspaper The Daily Express. He was now going with The Beatles to Paris to document French Beatlemania and what followed was the biggest (ticket to) ride of his life.

Benson was warmly welcomed into The Beatles’ inner sanctum, resulting in some of the most intimate photographs ever taken of the band, then on the cusp of world domination. In Paris, he took the famous photograph of the Fab Four having a pillow fight at the George V Hotel; he shot their groundbreaking first visit to the United States, the full impact of New York hysteria, their famous appearance on The Ed Sullivan show, the band in Florida, including their surprising encounter with Cassius Clay; as well as on the set of A Hard Day’s Night. The relationship continued in 1966, including George’s honeymoon in Barbados and their notorious US tour, under the shadow cast by Lennon’s comment that the Beatles were “bigger than Jesus Christ.”

Benson’s luminous black and white photographs show at close quarters The Beatles composing, performing, encountering their fans, relaxing, and engaging with each other, while trying to cope with their increasingly isolating fame. In addition to hundreds of photographs, many previously unseen, there is an introductory essay by Benson as well as quotes and newspaper clippings from the period.

The photographer:
Glasgow-born Harry Benson has photographed every US President since Eisenhower, the Civil Rights movement, and was next to Robert Kennedy when he was assassinated. As well as The Beatles, he has shot some of the biggest personalities of the last 50 years, including Michael Jackson, Elizabeth Taylor and Her Majesty The Queen. In 2009, he was made Commander of the British Empire (CBE). 

The Beatles is Taschen's 1000th title. Congratulations Taschen.

YA author Inks Erotica Book Deal

By Maryann Yin on Galley Cat, July 30, 2012

YA author Andrea Cremer has landed a book deal with Penguin Group (USA)’s Dutton imprint to write an erotica trilogy for adults. The not-yet-titled first book will be available in October 2013.
Cremer established her career as a YA author with the Nightshade trilogy, a fantasy series starring teen werewolves. The new adult books will be set in this Nightshade universe.

According to Publisher’s Weekly, Dutton publisher Brian Tart negotiated the deal with InkWell Management literary agents Richard Pine and Charlie Olsen. Associate editor Jessica Horvath will edit the books.

Fan fiction writers have certainly been known to add an erotic spin to some of their favorite books. What do you think?

Philomel Books, an imprint at Penguin Young Readers Group, published all three original Nightshade books. In August, Cremer will release a Nightshade prequel called Rift. A second prequel called Rise will follow in summer 2013. Prior to her full-time writing career, Cremer worked as a history professor. (Photo Credit: Gina Monroe)

Don Donovan's World

Ramblings of a much published New Zealand author - 31 July 2012

Great Works Re-visited 65.


The 10 best… closing lines of books

The most memorable literary payoffs, from the chilling to the poetic
Virginia Woolf
English novelist and critic Virginia Woolf: good with a decisive ending. Photograph: George C. Beresford/Getty Images

The Great Gatsby by F Scott Fitzgerald

"So we beat on, boats against the current, borne back ceaselessly into the past."
Fitzgerald hypnotises successive generations of readers with this tale. Nick Carraway's signing off after the death of Gatsby is my favourite last line in the Anglo-American tradition – resonant, memorable and profound. It hovers between poetry and the vernacular and is the magnificent chord, in a minor key, which brings this 20th-century masterpiece to a close. Somehow, it sums up the novel completely, in tone as much as meaning, while giving the reader a way out into the drabber, duller world of everyday reality.

Ulysses by James Joyce

"I was a Flower of the mountain yes when I put the rose in my hair like the Andalusian girls used or shall I wear a red yes and how he kissed me under the Moorish wall and I thought well as well him as another… then he asked me would I yes to say yes my mountain flower and first I put my arms around him yes and drew him down to me so he could feel my breasts all perfume yes and his heart was going like mad and yes I said yes I will Yes."
Joyce is the master of the closing line and this is his most famous and most suggestive. Compare it with the end of The Dead, his short story that concludes Dubliners: "His soul swooned slowly as he heard the snow falling faintly through the universe and faintly falling, like the descent of their last end, upon all the living and the dead."

Middlemarch by George Eliot

"But the effect of her being on those around her was incalculably diffusive: for the growing good of the world is partly dependent on unhistoric acts; and that things are not so ill with you and me as they might have been is half owing to the number who lived faithfully a hidden life, and rest in unvisited tombs."
Middlemarch is many readers' favourite Eliot novel, with so many quotable passages. This passage is almost a credo – a lovely, valedictory celebration of Dorothea's quiet life, after she has renounced Casaubon's fortune and confessed her love for Ladislaw.

Heart of Darkness by Joseph Conrad

"The offing was barred by a black bank of clouds, and the tranquil waterway leading to the uttermost ends of the earth flowed sombre under an overcast sky – seemed to lead into the heart of an immense darkness."
Conrad's merciless short novel (fewer than 40,000 words) opens on the Thames and ends there, too. The last line of Marlowe's astounding confession is an admission of his complicity in the terrible events he has just described as a reluctant witness. It also executes a highly effective narrative diminuendo in an extraordinary fictional nightmare. Compare George Orwell's chilling return to the status quo in another nightmare, Nineteen Eighty Four: "He loved Big Brother."

Read the rest at The Guardian.

Self-Published Bestsellers List for July 30, 2012

By Jason Boog on Galley Cat, July 30, 2012 

Erotica author Sara Fawkes climbed our Self-Published Bestsellers List this week with her new book, Anything He Wants 4: Collateral Damage. The release also drove sales of the first book in the series.
To help GalleyCat readers discover self-published authors, we have compiled lists of the top eBooks in three major marketplaces for self-published digital books: Amazon, Barnes & Noble and Smashwords.
We update these lists every week, tracking how writers perform inside these booming marketplaces.
You can read all the lists below, complete with links to each book.
If you are an author, check out our Free Sites to Promote Your eBook post and our How To Sell Your Self-Published Book in Bookstores post.

Amazon Self-Published Bestsellers for Week of July 23, 2012
(Last week’s rank in parentheses)
1. Slammed by Colleen Hoover: “Following the unexpected death of her father, 18-year-old Layken is forced to be the rock for both her mother and younger brother. Outwardly, she appears resilient and tenacious, but inwardly, she’s losing hope.” (2)
2. Our Husband by Stephanie Bond: “Three women from different walks of life–a doctor, a socialite, and a stripper–find out they have one thing in common: a husband!” (6)
3. Point of Retreat by Colleen Hoover: “Layken and Will’s relationship persevered through hardships, heartache and a cruel twist of fate, further solidifying the fact that they belong together.” (8)
4. Anything He Wants by Sara Fawkes: “Lucy Delacourt’s temp position isn’t quite her dream job but it pays the bills…barely. The highlight of her day is riding the elevator in the mornings: she always manages to time it so that she sees the handsome stranger every day.” (9)
5. Anything He Wants 4: Collateral Damage by Sara Fawkes: “When Lucy Delacourt signed a contract with Jeremiah Hamilton, she had no idea she’d be caught up in an assassination plot against the billionaire.” (-)
6. Training Tessa by Lyla Sinclair: “Tessa Greer is so desperate for work she leaves Michigan and travels to Houston. She’s thrilled to land the ‘Receptionist Plus’ position at Maddox Brothers Inc. Now she can continue to pay the bills for her mentally ill mother’s care facility.” (10)
7. A Deadly Blessing by Kathy Bennett: “The critically ill daughter of the governor of California has been kidnapped. LAPD Detective Maddie Divine is assigned to find her before it’s too late. But this high-profile case comes with secrets on every side: cops, politicians, even the innocent.” (-)
8. Love Unscripted by Tina Reber: “Ryan Christensen [is] the most sought after film star on the planet. Taryn Mitchell has been feigning contentment while running the family pub. Her peaceful life is tossed upside down when Ryan [takes] a shortcut through Mitchell’s Pub.” (-)
9. Easy by Tammara Webber: “A girl who believes trust can be misplaced, promises are made to be broken, and loyalty is an illusion. A boy who believes truth is relative, lies can mask unbearable pain, and guilt is eternal. Will what they find in each other validate their conclusions, or disprove them all?” (-)
10. Bedding the Billionaire by Ruth Cardello: “Lil Dartley’s life is upside down. Her previously steadfast and predictable sister is marrying an influential billionaire and needs help planning the wedding of the century in less than a month.” (-)

Barnes & Noble Self-Published eBook Bestsellers for Week of July 30, 2012
1. Weekends Required by Sydney Landon
2. Slammed by Colleen Hoover
3. Not Planning on You by Sydney Landon
4. Ryan’s Return (3/5/2011) by Barbara Freethy
5. Point of Retreat by Colleen Hoover
6. For His Honor by Kelly Favor
7. Reason to Breathe by Rebecca Donovan
8. Sand Castles by Antoinette Stockenberg
9. Ecstasy by Bella Andre
10. For His Pleasure by Kelly Favor

Smashwords eBook Bestsellers for Week of July 30, 2012
1. Wisdom by Amanda Hocking
2. The Last Shaman by William Whitecloud
3. Fairest by Chanda Hahn
4. Bedding the Billionaire by Ruth Cardello
5. Point of Retreat by Colleen Hoover
6. The Great Convergence by Joseph Lallo
7. The Battle of Verril by Joseph Lallo
8. The Phoenix Rising by Richard L. Sanders
9. Slammed by Colleen Hoover
10. The Grey God by Lizzy Ford
These three eBook lists were recorded on Monday, July 30, 2012.

For the Amazon list, we found the highest ranked self-published bestsellers in Amazon’s Top 100 Paid Kindle Books list. For the Barnes & Noble list, we highlighted the bestselling PubIt! eBooks from self-published authors. Finally, the Smashwords list was drawn from the bestselling titles in the company’s fiction list. None of these companies have released actual sales figures for the individual books.
If you believe your book should (or should not) be included in our rankings, feel free to email GalleyCat with your concerns. Our list will not include writers attempting to game the system by using the names of famous authors. (Image via Horia Varlan)

Hobbit's tale grows in the filming

Tom Cardy  - stuff.co.nz -  31/07/2012

More filming for The Hobbit will be done in Wellington after Sir Peter Jackson confirmed the movie will be split into three.

The film-maker today announced plans for the third film, with more shooting for the US$500 million (NZ$639m) project planned in the capital next year. The third, as-yet-unnamed part will be released in mid-2014.
Jackson said the decision to the turn the two-part film into a trilogy was based on "the richness of the story of The Hobbit, as well as some related material in the appendices of The Lord of the Rings".

Full story at stuff.co.nz

While Galley Cat saw it this way:

Peter Jackson Makes The Hobbit a Trilogy

Oscar-winning director Peter Jackson revealed today that his adaptation of J. R. R. Tolkien‘s The Hobbit adaptation will be a trilogy.
Here’s more from the director:
We were really pleased with the way the story was coming together, in particular, the strength of the characters and the cast who have brought them to life. All of which gave rise to a simple question: do we take this chance to tell more of the tale? And the answer from our perspective as the filmmakers, and as fans, was an unreserved ‘yes.’ We know how much of the story of Bilbo Baggins, the Wizard Gandalf, the Dwarves of Erebor, the rise of the Necromancer, and the Battle of Dol Guldur will remain untold if we do not take this chance.
Jackson discussed his upcoming film adaptation of The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey at San Diego Comic-Con.
The Wall Street Journal reported that convention attendees received a 12 minute-preview of both Hobbit movies which included scenes that featured “Bilbo Baggins (Martin Freeman), the wizard Gandalf (Ian McKellen), royal elf Galadriel (Cate Blanchett), 13 dwarves and the ring-obsessed creature Gollum (Andy Serkis, who also served as the production’s second unit director).”
Check out this photo album to view pictures from the event. So far, New Line Cinema has uploaded seven behind-the-scenes video blogs on The Hobbit‘s official Facebook page.