Image: The Daily Mail
Baseball's mid-season classic is over with the American League prevailing and marking (sort of) the half season mark. The summer days seem sweetly long. And temptation lures us to sit under a tree, or on a bench with a book in hands, transporting us to other worlds and times. Summertime, oh, yes.
Earlier this week a memoir by Marja Mills concerning the author Harper Lee and titled The Mockingbird Next Door was released. And to quite a bit of controversy. Although not quite as reclusive as, say, Thomas Pynchon, Ms. Lee does keep to herself. And she is not happy with this book. More here.
But not so fast, says Ms. Mills. Both Harper Lee and her sister Alice knew that a book about them was in the works and both Ms. Mills and her publisher, Penguin Press, stand by the book.
The whole affair opens up other, old, controversies. Did Harper Lee, who has published only one book in her life, really write Mockingbird, or did her friend Truman Capote have a hand, maybe a heavy hand, in its composition? Frankly, anyone who has ever read Capote and Mockingbird shouldn't have any doubts. To Kill a Mockingbird reads NOTHING like a Capote story or novel. That he may have made a suggestion or two, sure. The folks over at LiberaLand have this take on the whole can of worms here. H/T to Lucian! Harper Lee: You Don't Know Me.
That authors, like Capote and Lee, should seek each others company and advice shouldn't be any surprise. Literary history has many such examples and Claire Fallon at HuffPo examines a few of them here. Author Friendships
The world being such as it is, and because we all need a chuckle from time to time, Jason Diamond has put together a list of 25 books that will make you laugh out loud. There are some missing here....
Which the staff at Publishers Weekly makes up for with this list that includes both James Thurber and Catch-22. PW's Funny Book Staff Picks.
Fortunately, humor is not a verboten area for writers. At least not yet. But are there still taboos in the world of publishing and subject matter. Francine Prose and James Parker ponder the question at the New York Times. The Last Literary Taboos.
As a kid, I was much more of a DC comics guy. I liked Superman, Batman, the Flash, Green Lantern. All those guys. But once I exhausted the monthly issues of those super-heroes, I would catch up on Riverdale's own Archie Andrews and wonder what did he ever see in Veronica. Alas, Archie has grown up and is scheduled for a noble death, saving the life of his best friend.
On a sadder note, the South African novelist and Nobel Laureate Nadine Gordimer passed away this week at age 90. The Guardian had this appreciation of both her life and her work here.
And to top of this fine summer day's post, and for those of us taking a staycation this year, take a gander at this list from Eilsabeth Donnelly at Flavorwire detailing a non-fiction tour of the US of A with an eclectic and delightful selection of books.
Enjoy your day in the sun and please let us know what you are reading these days. We'd love to hear from you.