Archives For Books

Truman Capote Reads From Breakfast At Tiffanys

Very few authors, especially the unpublished, can resist an invitation to read aloud. I made us both a drink and, settling in a chair opposite, began to read to her, my voice a little shaky with a combination of stage fright and enthusiasm: it was a new story, I’d finished it the day before, and that inevitable sense of shortcoming had not had time to develop.
– Truman Capote, Breakfast at Tiffany’s: A Short Novel and Three Stories

This reading from Breakfast at Tiffany’s by Truman Capote was recorded in New York City at the 92nd Street Y on 7 April 1963. Before the reading, the Y’s Poetry Center Director John Malcolm Brinnin introduced the author saying:

In the very curious sociology of these times, the name of Truman Capote has become a household word . . . He no longer has to write a book to make news, but simply to be Truman Capote. No one is surprised anymore to learn that this young American writer has been quietly dining with Princess Margaret, or that he has been spirited off on the yachts of Greeks richer than Mycenaes, or that he has recently flown to Amsterdam to have a tooth filled.

But let us be wary of the disguises of genius. Anyone who knows Truman Capote knows that the columnists capture the details but miss the point. Beyond the public image of Truman Capote there stands a very private man, who owns one of the toughest, most resourceful and surgically adept minds in modern letters. And if we now must note that the boy wonder has become the prodigal son, that is all the more reason why I am happy to invite you to join me in welcoming him.

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As we explained in last year’s F. Scott Fitzgerald eBooks Collection post, Australian copyright law means that the works of many 20th century authors are freely available in the public domain, despite being still under copyright in the United States and elsewhere. This is because until 2005 Australia had a ‘life of the author plus 50 years’ copyright rule, making the writing of any author who died before 1955 freely available.

Thanks to the University of Adelaide, readers in Australia now have access to free and legal eBooks archive of works by George Orwell. The books are available to be read online, downloaded as ePub files (suitable for most eReaders), and in a format accessible on Kindles.

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George R.R. Martin’s A Song of Ice and Fire series has sold over 25 million copies in North America alone. With each volume weighing in at close to a thousand pages or more, writing each instalment is quite a time consuming process. On Conan O’Brien’s late-night talk show last month, Martin shared why, despite his phenomenal success (or perhaps because of it), he still uses a computer from the 1980s.

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In the United States in 1984 a gallon of gas cost $1.10 and the average house price was $86,730. Beverly Hills Cop was the highest grossing movie and Amadeus won Best Picture at the Academy Awards. In the world of books Ironweed by William Kennedy won the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction and Hotel du Lac by Anita Brookner took out the Man Booker Prize. Neither of these titles topped America’s popular bestseller lists though where family sagas and crime thrillers were the order of the day.

10. Lincoln by Gore Vidal Lincoln by Gore Vidal

Lincoln is the second sequential book in Gore Vidal’s Narratives of Empire series that was released between 1967 and 2000 (though Lincoln was actually published fourth). The series interweaves the lives of fictional characters with significant historical figures. This volume was adapted for television in 1988 and starred Sam Waterston as Abraham Lincoln and Mary Tyler Moore as Mary Todd Lincoln.

9. The Life and Hard Times of Heidi Abromowitz by Joan Rivers Continue Reading…

Annabel Smith is Western Australian based author. In this guest post, Annabel shares the story of how her novel Whisky Charlie Foxtrot came to be written and published.

What a crazy little thing a book is. It begins as an idea in one person’s mind, and eventually ends up on a whole host of strangers’ bookshelves. But what happens in between? I’m not too sure how it works for JK Rowling, for instance, but I can tell you how it’s happened for me, with my second novel Whisky Charlie Foxtrot.

There are a number of steps on the journey to a book, most of which are at best gruelling, and at worst soul-destroying. Sounds like a blast, hey? So what are we waiting for?

Step 1: Write the damn book!

I think Ernest Hemingway described this step in the process quite succinctly:

Ernest Hemingway Quote

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Are you looking for your next great read? This infographic/flow chart from USC Rossier might be able to help. It covers some of the best fiction, non-fiction and children’s titles released so far this century and was put together using bestseller lists from Amazon and Goodreads.

The graphic’s origins have perhaps resulted in some biases (we would have loved to see more Australian titles included for example). What books do you think are missing? Share some of your favourites from the past fourteen years using the comments field below.

Best Books of the 21st Century Infographic

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Back in May 2013 we shared Understand the Key Book Publishing Paths, an infographic from Jane Friedman,  former publisher of Writer’s Digest and the current web editor of Virginia Quarterly Review. Jane has just released an updated version of the infographic that we have posted below.

The Key Book Publishing Paths Version 2

Click image to enlarge and to download PDF

Below are the website links to the popular tools and services for producing e-book files, and to the valuable tools and assistance, as mentioned in the bottom section of the infographic:

Popular Tools & Services for Producing e-Book Files

Valuable Resources & Assistance