Summer’s Over ~ Show September 19 and 20

FEATURED BOOKS PREVIEWED

“The Marriage of Opposites” by Alice Hoffman
“Tiny Little Thing” by Beatriz Williams
“The Book of Speculation” by Erika Swyler
“Saint Maizie” by Jami Attenberg
“Among the Ten Thousand Things” by Julia Pierpont
“In the Country” by Mia Alvar
“Who Do You Love?” by Jennifer Weiner

INTERVIEW
Beatriz Williams, Author

TUNE IN TO THE PROGRAM FOR
With autumn just days away, Elaine previews new titles that offer an escape from fall’s frantic pace. These stories offer up a literary romp back to the beach and the lazy days of summer. Beatriz Williams introduces us to her new book, “Tiny Little Thing.”

Listen to The Book Report at your convenience. Go to https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/the-book-report/id540205917?mt=2, or at bookreportradio.com, click on Archived Shows

Classic Titles Narrated By Top Actors ~ Show July 18 and 19

FEATURED BOOKS PREVIEWED

“Go Set A Watchman” by Harper Lee: performed by Reese Witherspoon
“To Kill a Mockingbird” by Harper Lee: performed by Sissy Spacek
“The Member of the Wedding” by Carson McCullers: performed by Susan Sarandon
“Being There” by Jerzy Kosinski: performed by Dustin Hoffman
“The Heart of Darkness” by Joseph Conrad: performed by Kenneth Branagh
“The Sheltering Sky” by Paul Bowles: performed by Jennifer Connelly
“The End of the Affair” by Graham Greene: performed by Colin Firth

INTERVIEW
Marja Mills, Author

TUNE INTO THE PROGRAM FOR
Elaine spotlights new performances of classic titles narrated by Hollywood’s top actors. Marja Mills shares her experiences as Harper Lee’s neighbor – timed to coincide with the Lee’s release of “Go Set a Watchman.”

Argentina Is World Capital Of Bookstores

ARGENTINA IS WORLD CAPITAL OF BOOKSTORES
All across Argentina’s capital, lodged between the steakhouses, ice cream shops and pizzerias, is an abundance of something that is becoming scarce in many nations: bookstores. From hole-in-the-wall joints with used copies of works by Jorge Luis Borges, Miguel de Cervantes and Gabriel Garcia Marquez to elegant buildings with the latest children’s books in several languages, Buenos Aires is filled with locales that pay homage to print.

The city has more bookstores per capita than any other major city in the world, according to a recent study by the World Cities Cultural Forum, an organization that works to promote culture. With a population of 2.8 million people within the city limits, there are 25 bookstores for every 100,000 people, putting Buenos Aires far above other world cities like London, Paris, Madrid, Moscow and New York. The closest is Hong Kong, which has 22 bookstores per 100,000 people.

“Books represent us like the tango,” said Juan Pablo Marciani, manager of El Ateneo Gran Splendid, an immense bookstore in the affluent Recoleta neighborhood where 7,000 people visit each week. “We have a culture very rooted in print.” Behind the high number of bookstores, 734 by last count, is a combination of culture and economics. Culture boomed along with the economy in the early part of the 20th century, and even if the economic path grew rocky, ordinary Argentines embraced and stuck to the habit of reading. To this day, many across the region call the Argentine capital the “Paris of Latin America” thanks to its architecture, wide streets and general interest in the arts. During the Spanish civil war in the 1930s, many top writers fled to Argentina, further cementing the country as a literary capital and powerhouse for printing.

In 2014, there were 28,010 titles in circulation and 129 million books were printed in the country, according to the Argentine Book Chamber, making it one of the most prolific book printers in Latin America. Many stores carry rare books that are hundreds of years old. At Libreria Alberto Casares, bookworms can gaze at a collection that includes a French translation of Spanish poet Garcilaso de la Vega from 1650 and Gregorian chants on papyrus dating to 1722.

In buses and subways, parks and cafes, it’s common to see people flipping pages of whodunits, histories and poetry, or most recently, new books about the mysterious death of prosecutor Alberto Nisman, a case that has rocked the country since he was found shot dead in his bathroom Jan. 18. “I was born with paper books and I’ll die with paper books,” said Aida Cardozo, 65. “Computers are for responding to emails and using Facebook, but not to read a novel,” she said.

Books also receive help when it comes to staving off the digital deluge. There are no sales taxes on books, notable in a country where most products get 21 percent slapped on top of the sticker price. And heavy import taxes on books, and electronics such as e-readers, help keep the local printing industry strong. While Argentines are increasingly glued to their mobile devices, customers who want to use foreign retailers like Amazon have to pay a 35 percent surcharge on their peso-denominated credit cards. The use of e-readers like the Kindle is still relatively low. Less than 10 percent of the 1.2 million people who attended the city’s annual book fair last year said they used electronic devices to read books, according to a fair survey.

Ignacio Iraola, the Southern Cone editorial director for publishing house Grupo Planeta, said the economic factors make printed books an attractive business for bookstores and make books a popular gift in tight economic times. “A book costs 200 pesos ($23) compared to 400 pesos $46 for a shirt,” said Iraola. “And the perceived value of a book is much higher.”

Listen to The Book Report at your convenience. Go to https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/the-book-report/id540205917?mt=2, or at bookreportradio.com, click on Archived Shows

James Patterson Donates $100,000 To Bookstores In Australia And New Zealand

JAMES PATTERSON DONATES $100,000 TO BOOKSTORES IN AUSTRALIA AND NEW ZEALAND

In his first visit to Australia in 11 years, Patterson announced a $100,000 donation from which Australian and New Zealand book sellers with dedicated children’s sections could apply for cash grants of up to $5000. The donation was timed for Patterson’s arrival in Sydney for a series of Writers’ Festival events and promotion of Rafe’s Aussie Adventure, his Middle School pre-teens collaboration with writer-illustrator Martin Chatterton.

The greatest challenge facing society, warned Patterson, was getting bright children to read more broadly and at-risk kids reading competently. One in three Australian high school students could be considered functionally illiterate. Patterson’s hope was that Australia might follow Germany’s lead and set up a ministerial foundation to support and acknowledge the importance of independent booksellers as missionaries of children’s literacy. Were Amazon to locate its operations in Australia, Patterson predicts half the local bookstores would close.

Patterson has been one of the loudest voices in the book world warning about the pressure of online discounting and e-book retailing on the local bookstore. Retailers, who applauded Patterson’s assistance, have been lobbying for the imposition of GST for all online purchases and a review of international parcel delivery agreements.

Patterson holds the Guinness Book of Record for Number One New York Times bestsellers. Total worldwide sales exceed 300 million, of which he has sold 4.5 million copies in Australia.

A former copywriter, Patterson’s prodigious output includes one or two standalone thrillers each year in his name and seven or eight books which he commissions by way of detailed 50 to 80 page synopsis, edits and, if necessary, rewrites. To criticism of his methods, “my answer is Simon and Garfunkel, Lennon and McCartney, Stephen King and Peter Straub and the Coen brothers”.

As a commissioning editor and co-author, Patterson has branched into the genre of young-adult and children’s fiction, collaborating in six children’s book series. Chatterton describes his partnership as a “pain-free” experience, and Patterson as a precise and conscientious editor. “I strive for the highest common denominator,” Patterson says.

Patterson’s passion for child literacy began with his son’s reluctance to read. One summer he cancelled Jack’s chores and told him his only obligation was to read for one hour a day. “Give them stories that they’ll gobble up like chocolate pudding and ask for more,” says Patterson of the secret to enthusing reluctant readers. The only bad book was one that put a child off reading for life.

Listen to The Book Report at your convenience. Go to https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/the-book-report/id540205917?mt=2, or at bookreportradio.com, click on Archived Shows

Green Eggs And Ham Coming To Netflix

GREEN EGGS AND HAM COMING TO NETFLIX

Netflix is cooking up “Green Eggs and Ham” with help from the estate of Dr. Seuss, executive producer Ellen DeGeneres and Warner Bros. TV Group. A 13-episode animated TV series will be adapted from the classic 1960 children’s book, continuing the adventures of some of its characters.

Cindy Holland, Netflix’s VP of original content, channeled Dr. Seuss’ famous meter in announcing the deal:

“We think this will be a hit
Green Eggs and Ham is a perfect fit
for our growing slate of amazing stories
available exclusively in all Netflix territories.
You can stream it on a phone.
You can stream it on your own.
You can stream it on TV.
You can stream it globally.”

A Sendak Museum?

Three years after Maurice Sendak’s death, his western Connecticut hometown of Ridgefield is pursuing a museum honoring the author of “Where the Wild Things Are.” The town has its sights on a vacant modernist building in walking distance from the village center, a glass structure designed by acclaimed architect Philip Johnson as corporate offices for an oil exploration company that left in 2006.

A panel of local arts figures recently received endorsement from the town and Sendak’s foundation to explore the proposal. Members say they have found overwhelming support for the idea to honor a man whose influence went far beyond that of a children’s book author. “The fact is, he loved the community, and the legacy of supporting all the arts was and is important to him and all those around him,” said Lloyd Taft, a local architect.

Sendak, who died in May 2012 at the age of 83, was born in New York City but spent the last four decades of his life in rural Ridgefield. Best known for the tale of naughty Max in “Wild Things,” his work included other standard volumes in children’s bedrooms such as “Chicken Soup With Rice,” a book about the different months in a year, and “Brundibar,” a folk tale about two children who need to earn enough money to buy milk for their sick mother. He also illustrated his own work, created costumes for ballets and staged operas, including the Czech opera “Brundibar.”

His 18th-century farmhouse is being preserved as Sendak left it. “That is going to stay just the way it is and be a study center and a place for scholars, artists and others to see how Sendak worked during his lifetime,” said Donald Hamburg, a New York attorney who is a member of the Maurice Sendak Foundation’s board.

Listen to The Book Report at your convenience. Go to https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/the-book-report/id540205917?mt=2, or at bookreportradio.com, click on Archived Shows

England Votes On Best Opening Lines To A Book

Peter Pan is the book with England’s favorite opening line, according to a new poll.
‘All children, except one, grow up,’ wrote J M Barrie in his children’s classic which scooped 20% of the vote in a poll commissioned to mark World Book Day next month.

But it’s not just childhood fairy tales that adults have fond memories of, as the opening lines from classic 19th Century novel “A Tale of Two Cities” by Charles Dickens scored second place, while George Orwell’s “1984” completed the top three.

One in five of those polled admitted they will put a book down if the first line isn’t engaging.
However, one in four said they will continue reading a novel to the end even if they don’t enjoy it and, with complete disregard for the opening line, 15% admit jumping to the last chapter first to find out a book’s ending.

Here are the top 10 selections:

1. ‘All children, except one, grow up.’ – Peter Pan

2. ‘It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness, it was the epoch of belief, it was the epoch of incredulity, it was the season of Light, it was the season of Darkness, it was the spring of hope, it was the winter of despair.’ – A Tale of Two Cities

3. ‘It was a bright cold day in April, and the clocks were striking thirteen.’ – 1984

4. ‘When Mr Bilbo Baggins of Bag End announced that he would shortly be celebrating his eleventy-first birthday with a party of special magnificence, there was much talk and excitement in Hobbiton.’ – The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring

5. ‘Alice was beginning to get very tired of sitting by her sister on the bank, and of having nothing to do: once or twice she had peeped into the book her sister was reading, but it had no pictures or conversations in it, “and what is the use of a book,” thought Alice “without pictures or conversation?”‘ – Alice in Wonderland

6. ‘It is a truth universally acknowledged, that a single man in possession of good fortune must be in want of a wife.’ – Pride and Prejudice

7. ‘Mr and Mrs Dursley, of number four Privet Drive, were proud to say that they were perfectly normal, thank you very much.’ – Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone

8. ‘Here is Edward Bear, coming down the stairs now, bump bump, on the back of his head, behind Christopher Robin.’ – Winnie-The-Pooh

9. ‘My father got the dog drunk on cherry brandy at the party last night.’ – Adrian Mole

10. ‘The sun did not shine, it was too wet to play, so we sat in the house all that cold, cold wet day.’ – The Cat in the Hat

Listen to The Book Report at your convenience. Go to https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/the-book-report/id540205917?mt=2, or at bookreportradio.com, click on Archived Shows