Book blogs weekly round-up (August 6)

1) NPR audience picks top 100 Killer Thrillers

A taste:

1. The Silence of the Lambs by Thomas Harris

2. The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo by Stieg Larsson

3. Kiss the Girls, by James Patterson

4. The Bourne Identity, by Robert Ludlum

5. In Cold Blood, by Truman Capote

6. The Da Vinci Code, by Dan Brown

7. The Shining, by Stephen King

8. And Then There Were None, by Agatha Christie

9. The Hunt tor Red October, by Tom Clancy

10. The Hound of the Baskervilles, by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle

(Byrt note: interesting that the top 50 have all been made into movies – chicken or egg?)

2) Richelle Mead’s stargazing at Comic-con

A taste:

…during my last night in San Diego, I ate at a restaurant with some folks from Penguin, and the place’s second floor hosted a big Entertainment Weekly/SyFy Channel party. There was a red (well, purple) carpet out front jammed with photographers, and the party guests had to walk through the bar to get to the second floor. So, being the geeks we were, we hurried to the front of the bar with our cameras to find out who we could see and capture on camera.

3) Fascinating interview with the author of The Murder Room, a non-fiction book out next week

A taste:

It sounds like a fictional thriller: great detectives from five continents meet once a month in secret chambers to ponder–and hopefully solve–cold cases over a gourmet lunch. But it’s not fiction. In The Murder Room: The Heirs of Sherlock Holmes Gather to Solve the World’s Most Perplexing Cold Cases(Gotham Books, $26, 9781592401420/1592401422, August 10, 2010), Michael Capuzzo tells the story of the Philadelphia-based Vidocq Society, a group with 82 members–one for each year of the life of Eugène François Vidocq, the first modern detective–and more than 100 associate members drawn from all over the world.

4) Anne Rice quits Christianity

A taste:

Anne Rice, the author of “Interview With the Vampire” and its sequels, has decided that her Christian faith no longer fits with the Christian church. She announced this very personal decision on Facebook on Wednesday, generating more than 2,000 comments on two posts that went up within five minutes of each other.

5) Tamora Pierce on why she writes girl heros

A taste:

A friend’s link on Facebook took me to another link which took me to this: author Hannah Moskowitz’s discussion of the need for boy characters for teens and her feeling that publishers and writers are fixated on girl books and girl characters. For the most part she is discussing contemporary books, though she did ask where science fiction is–one of her commenters pointed out the recent rise in science fiction publications. I tried to post my answer several times, but either due to the length (and I did try to break it up into two posts) or due to the length of the comments in general, and after losing part of the post, I gave up trying to answer Ms. Moskowitz directly. I’m hoping that Google search will bring her here, or that a friend will, because I want to post my response.

6) Famous authors’ last words

A taste:

Terry Breverton (from The Guardian) selects some of literature’s most memorable farewells, from Samuel Johnson to James Joyce.

7) An agent’s notes on tidbits and insights gleaned from editors at RWA

Interesting and quick notes on what editors are seeing these days.

8 ) The Gilded Age – the dystopian novel that’s turning China upside down

A taste:

Chan Koon-Chung’s novel Shengshi Zhongguo 2013(which roughly translates to “The Gilded Age: China 2013”) has gone from being a marginalized, underground text — which couldn’t even get published in Mainland China — to becoming a major sensation among China’s intellectuals. And according to an essay in China Beat by Professor Zhansui YuShengshi Zongguo 2013 “has changed the way that Chinese define political fiction,” and its success is due to the fact that it exposes “the shocking darkness behind [China’s] dazzling economic miracle

9) More on The Gilded Age and China’s tradition of politically charged Sci-Fi

A taste:

The significance — and uniqueness — of the novel is that it is a work of social science fiction, a subgenre that has become virtually nonexistent since the establishment of the People’s Republic. Such keen reader interest in visions of China’s political future is remarkable — and reveals a pent-up appetite among readers. Take a look at recent issues of the popular ChineseSci-Fi World magazine, published in Chengdu, or at Internet rankings of today’s most-read Chinese sci-fi stories, and you’ll find every kind of plotline you might find in Western sci-fi literature — time travel, space voyage, robot battles, you name it — but social or political criticism, as you might read in books like George Orwell’s 1984, is almost completely lacking.

10) Book Depository launches live map

It’s hypnotic – it shows you who is buying what book and where they are in the world.