Thursday, February 17, 2011

Author of The Help Sued

Kathryn Stockett, author of the bestselling novel The Help is being sued by her brother's maid. Ablene Cooper has been a maid for Stockett's brother for several years and alleges that Stockett used “an unauthorized appropriation of her name and image" in the novel. Ablene is referring to one of Stockett's main characters, Aibilene Clark. Cooper is suing for $75,000.

See the full article at the New York Times.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

The Girl With the Fourth Stieg Larsson Book

Stieg Larsson's Girl with the Dragon Tattoo trilogy has been incredibly hot. Over 50 million copies have been sold, movies have been made in Sweden and will be made in America. When Larsson died in 2004, a dispute erupted between Larsson's family and his partner of 30 years, Eva Gabrielsson, over the rightful beneficiary of Larsson's estate and proceeds. Since Larsson and Gabrielsson were not legally married, the money has been given to his family, although she was recently awarded a $2.7 million settlement. Gabrielsson claims that money is not the issue, that she is more concerned with the changes that have been made to the original novel in translations and the movies. The rumor has been that Larsson started a fourth novel in the series but did not finish it before his death. Gabrielsson just published her own memoir in Europe in which she says she plans to finish the fourth novel. But, she will only finish the work when she is given "undisputed rights" to Larsson's estate.

Before Larsson wrote his novels, he was a journalist and one of the founders of the anti-fascist magazine Expo. A former colleague of Larsson's, Kurdo Baksi, recently published a book, Stieg Larsson: Our Days in Stockholm: A Memoir of a Friendship. Baski contends that as a reporter Larsson used to rig the facts and his work needed extensive editing. Gabrielsson claims that the work is slanderous and should be withdrawn.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011


I just finished reading the book Elsewhere by Gabrielle Zevin which is a teen book about a 14-year old girl named Liz.  Liz is killed in a hit and run accident and this book describes her afterlife.  I'm not sure exactly how I feel about this title yet but it reminds me of The Lovely Bones by Alice Sebold.  Sometimes books are so similar that I wonder why no one ever thought to say "hey, ya know, I think someone did that already?"  Then again, I guess that would knock out a lot of vampire books...

I don't know whether to laugh or cry...or vomit.

When I heard that Snooki was given a book deal, it was like a little piece of me died inside. I can take the factory fiction that certain authors endlessly churn out. The ridiculous celebrity memoirs, like Kardashian Konfidential. The commentaries from "political figures" I can't stand. I could even take the Nicole Richie novels. But this? Too far! Is this what we've become? Is this what young people are reading? You think I'm being dramatic? Overreacting? Here is a good article from which includes a nice summary and a few excerpts for your reading pleasure.

Friday, February 11, 2011

The Face on the Milk Carton?

Many readers can name the books that were their favorites growing up and can explain in detail the story.  Many people can explain years later exactly why they loved or hated a book.  Personally, I have an amazing ability to quickly forget the details of a story but always retain the vague feeling of "thumbs up" or "thumbs down".  Professional right?  Well, it's the reason why I chose to read Look Again by Lisa Scottoline.

I distinctly remember reading the book The Face on the Milk Carton by Caroline B. Cooney when I was growing up.  I know it was a story about a girl who notices a missing child picture on the side of a milk carton and decides she is that missing girl.  That's about all I remember about the story.  I do, however, remember wondering if that could possibly ever happen to me and I would sadly find out that my parents had actually kidnapped me as a child.  This kinda sticks as a "thumbs up" book for me.  Side note--I'm very happy my parents didn't kidnap me.  Anyway, this random fascination stuck with me and I found myself reading the blurb for Look Again thinking "It's like the grown up version!".  A must read.

Right off the bat I have to tell you, when it comes to being the grown up version of The Face on the Milk Carton, it didn't disappoint.  Ellen Gleeson is a single mother to her adopted son, Will.  She adopted Will when he was abandoned in a hospital as a sick one year old.  Four years later, Ellen receives a missing child postcard in the mail with a picture that looks shockingly similar to her son.  You may be able to guess what happens but the how, what, where, when is pretty entertaining.  Look Again moves really quickly in a James Patterson super short chapters sort of way and has a great balance of characters to root for as well as against.  There is a little bit of violence towards to end but is quite minimal for what I was expecting.  If you're looking for a really in-depth, heart-pounding thriller then this may not be the choice for you.  If you're interested in a quick, engaging missing child mystery-go for it! 

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Sami Rohr Prize Finalists Announced

The Jewish Book Council announced the five finalists for the 2011 Sami Rohr Prize for Jewish literature. The prize honors the contribution of contemporary writers in the exploration and transmission of Jewish values and is intended to encourage and promote outstanding writing of Jewish interest in the future. And the nominees are...

Allison Amend – Stations West
Nadia Kalman- The Cosmopolitans
Julie Orringer—The Invisible Bridge
Austin Ratner – The Jump Artist
Joseph Skibell –A Curable Romantic