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Book News for Friday, June 23, 2006

  • We can't link to it because the Oregonian has a lame website with the most inadequate search engine in history, but there's a story in the print edition that poet Scott Poole has resigned as executive director of Portland's celebrated Wordstock literary festival. The article states that "the 2007 festival may be pushed back from May to sometime in the fall" — but festival founder Larry Colton assures, "Wordstock will still go on."
  • Chicago police have charged a 21-year-old homeless woman with setting the fire that burned almost 100 library books in the gay and lesbian section. Officials claim it was not a hate crime, though no alternate motive has been presented yet.
  • The Lord of the Rings musical, which premiered last year in Toronto, will debut in London next May, replacing the long-running musical of The Producers. One of the show's producers says it will be the most expensive production ever mounted in the West End. Also, the third act will be rewritten.

    Presumably, Sauron and his armies will still be defeated, though Sauron may or may not sing "Feelings" as the final musical number.

  • John Updike thinks he should have whupped author Toni Morrison's beloved heinie on the New York Times Book Review's heavily disputed list of the most important works of American fiction of the past 25 years:

    When he finally spotted his "Rabbit" books at third place, he breathed a sigh of relief. But not for long.

    "Sometime later," he tells me, slipping into second person, "you wonder why these other books came first."

    You gotta love a man who has won nearly every prize the literary world has to offer and who can still angst like an insecure debutante.

    Yes, you just gotta. Unless you don't.

  • Slot machines, comped drinks, Wayne Newton, a parking lot full of motor homes, and author readings — is there any reason not to spend every day in a casino?
  • Fans of Now who miss Bill Moyers will be heartened to know that he's returning to PBS with a seven-part series called Faith & Reason. In tonight's premiere episode, Moyers has a sit-down with favorite Salman Rushdie, discussing such matters as fear, intolerance, and freedom of expression. Future guests include Margaret Atwood, Martin Amis, Mary Gordon, and Richard Rodriguez. Check local listings.
  • The Bay Area Reporter offers some suggestions for summer reading by gay writers. Selections include The Choir Boy by Charlie Anders (which earned the 2006 Lambda Literary Award for the Transgender/GenderQueer category), Dennis Cooper's God, Jr. and The Sluts (which won the Lambda Award for Gay Men's Fiction), and Richard Siken's poetry collection Crush.
  • Kinky Friedman for governor of Texas? Let's all move to Austin now so we can vote!

÷ ÷ ÷

Brockman is the head writer for the daily Book News posts on the blog. In his free time he's hard at work on his fictional memoir, which changes titles daily.

The views and commentary posted by Brockman are entirely his own, and are not representative of the whole of Powell's Books, its employees, or any sane human being.

Books mentioned in this post

  1. Terrorist: A Novel
    Used Hardcover $9.95
  2. Beloved
    Used Trade Paper $7.95

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