September 24, 2010

David Foster Wallace's Archive On View at UT's Harry Ransom Center (for Researchers)

David Foster Wallace's books and papers and notes and doodles and all that other stuff -- it's all there for everyone to eyeball at the Harry Ransom Center at the University of Texas at Austin (my alma mater). 

However, the DFW archive is open only to researchers.  The rest of us have to make do with checking out the images that have been provided online -- and they've got lots of things to ponder. 

Like his reading list for his lower-level college class: he had them read Carrie by Stephen King; the Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe, by C.S. Lewis; and Rock Star by Jackie Collins. among other works.  You know this makes Jackie Collins proud on so many levels, right? 

His handwritten notes are available in these books, as well as lots of papers - things like the first handwritten draft of Infinite Jest, etc.  Hard to read the felt-tip pen remains, but you're welcome to give it a go. 

September 21, 2010

Janet Evanovich's Wicked Appetite Is Out: is Diesel the new Stephanie Plum?

Published by St.MartinsPress
read an excerpt here.
I saw the new Janet Evanovich book prominently displayed in my local Barnes and Noble this week: Wicked Appetite appears to be selling well and lotsa folk seem to like it, too (at least one did in Roanoke, Virginia -- Amazon right now is showing as many giving it five stars as are giving it one star).

The star of the book?  Diesel, whom we have met in the Plum series already.  Apparently, Diesel is getting his own series with this debut and we can look forward to another 6 or 7 books here.  The twist?  It's got a paranormal vein -- Diesel is one of the "Unmentionables," a group of humans with special (magic!) abilities.

My take?  I love Janet Evanovich as a writer, she entertains me.  She makes me laugh, guaranteed.  And that's important -- laughter at the ready.  I'll read Wicked Appetite.  However, Mrs. E is also astute in following the marketplace. 

She's tipped her hat to Nascar fever with another series (Alex Barnaby).  She's also taken a stab at graphic novels.  And, we all know she began in romance and has seen her romance work reissued over the past few years. 

So, while I look forward to the Diesel series as a reader, I'm also pondering Diesel as a writer.  Humor and paranormal, meshing?  Where else is this happening, or is it?  Is this Janet E's taking note of the success of the Twilight series?  of Harry Potter?

(Which brings to mind the mash-ups, particularly the Austen ones, but that's a different post for a different day.)

UPDATE:  I read Wicked Appetite, and I was disappointed.  Read my review over at Amazon if you want to know why. 

Texas Book Festival 2010 - List of Authors

The Texas Book Festival is set for October 16 - 18, 2010, and the list of authors has been finalized and published online at the Festival website. 

Click on the name of an author in this list, and you'll be taken to an individual bio page, like this one for Meg Cabot

September 18, 2010

National Talk Like a Pirate Day - September 19, 2010

How time flies!  It doesn't seem like a full year has passed since last year's Talk Like a Pirate Day, does it? (For details, check out the holiday's International Official Web Site.)

For help in learning nuances - as well as some grammar rules and nifty vocabulary - in Talking Pirate (this is pretty funny), check this short video out on YouTube (thanks to Mental Floss for sharing it):