February 13, 2008

Barack Obama Joins the Red Room - Social Network for Writers

Recently, I joined the Red Room - a social network and professional hub for writers, after I reviewed the site here on WritersCrunch. But unfortunately, I haven't been 100% active with the social network for reasons beyond my control. I've been a member since 4 weeks.

Today, I recieved an email from the Member Services Manager of Red Room. No not what you're thinking...I wasn't about to be reminded that I've not logged in for weeks. Nor was my membership about to be cancelled for not using the service.

It was an announcement that Senator Barack Obama, the Illinois Senator and U.S Presidential Candidate had joined the Red Room community. As you know, Barack Obama is an accomplished writer and was recently awarded his second Grammy Award last Sunday for 'Best Spoken Word Album' for the audio recording of his bestseller, The Audacity of Hope: Thoughts on Reclaiming the American Dream.

In his author's page, you will find his blog, media speeches, reviews, published works, etc. Check out Barack Obama's Red Room page here.

February 01, 2008

Novels Of The Month: February 2008

As the month of February begins today, I'm happy to be sharing this month's book releases. Most of the books will be released on February 7. If you have any book in mind that is not on this list, please feel free to comment about it.

Happy reading!:-)

We Are Now Beginning Our Descent is James Meek's follow-up to his acclaimed historical novel, The People's Act of Love. This is a contemporary tale of love, hubris and misunderstanding as a war reporter takes his own baggage to Afghanistan, hoping to turn the elusive, unpredictable Astrid into girlfriend material, and the turmoil of political events into material for a bestselling thriller. The world, needless to say, will not bend to his will, but the resulting novel is as gripping and acute as its predecessor.

In Out of Breath, Julie Myerson conjures a spare, absorbing tale of children on the run from threatening adult reality into the summer nights of the English countryside and their own imaginations: her trademark combination of emotional honesty and supernatural suggestion makes it near-impossible to put down.

Helen Dunmore continues the vogue for all things Latinate in Counting the Stars, which tells the story of the poet Catullus's love for his secret mistress, set against the backdrop of Julius Caesar's Rome.

John Edgar Wideman's new book"Fanon," is the Brown University professor's first novel in 10 years, about the legendary author of "The Wretched of the Earth", Frantz Fanon.

Steven Millhauser, Pulitzer Prize–winning author for Martin Dressler, packages a dazzling new collection of darkly comic stories united by their obsession with obsession. In Dangerous Laughter, Steven Millhauser transports us to unknown universes that uncannily resemble our own.

Debut Authors

In Submarine, young newcomer Joe Dunthorne's cheerfully peculiar 15-year-old narrator is a worthy successor to Adrian Mole.

Sadie Jones tells how a troubled young man kicks out against the hypocrisy and repression of 1950s society in The Outcast.

Novelists with a subcontinental focus

Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni comes with The Palace of Illusions, a novel relevant to today’s war-torn world, but takes us back to a time that is half history, half myth, and wholly magical. Narrated by Panchaali, the wife of the legendary Pandavas brothers in the Mahabharat, the novel gives us a new interpretation of this ancient tale.

Following his spectacular debut, The Death of Vishnu, Manil Suri returns with a mesmerizing story of modern India, richly layered with themes from Hindu mythology. The Age of Shiva is at once a powerful story of a country in turmoil and an extraordinary portrait of maternal love. The book will be released on February 4.

Via: Guardian Unlimited

Grisham: Presidential primaries and elections can be bought

As fiction readers like me welcome the release of John Grisham's latest legal thriller, The Appeal (now in stores ) the best-selling author comments in a Q&A session where he suggests that the ongoing U.S Presidential primaries could be bought with over one billion dollars floating around the campaign. Read more here

The Appeal is a powerful, timely, and shocking story of political and legal intrigue, a story that will leave readers unable to think about the U.S electoral process or judicial system in quite the same way ever again.

If you're thinking what I'm thinking, then Grisham might just be working on a future political thriller that cuts deep into a U.S presidential primary revealing the political-money-floating-around kind of plot on the road to the White House. In The Brethren, Grisham portrays a cynical view of presidential politics where he traces the rise of presidential candidate Aaron Lake, a 'puppet' created by CIA director Teddy Maynard to fulfill Maynard's plans for restoring the power of the agency.

I can see the title: The Candidate. That would be a large chunk to swallow! Can't wait...

January 24, 2008

Write To Done: Leo Babauta's Unmissable Articles About Writing

I'm wondering if anyone noticed that I took a voluntary break in writing WritersCrunch...I've been really busy with some projects that I'm starting off February 1st. These projects took me away from being online and have been more of brainstorming, research and writing offline. More gists later.

I took a peep today at my Reader and found that I've got lots to catch up with. My first look was at Zen Habits, where I discovered an interesting new blog Write To Done by Leo Babauta. The author of the ebook Zen To Done, created the new blog as a way to share some of what he has learned as a professional writer, as well as helping writers improve their craft and art of writing.

Write To Done is aimed at writers from professionals to people who want to be writers or enjoy writing, bloggers, aspiring novelists and poets to freelance writers. The blog will be covering many topics such as journalism, blog writing, freelance writing, fiction, non-fiction, getting a book deal, the business of writing, the habit of writing. And so on.

I found the post: How to Write First Thing in the Morning very practical for me. What about you? What did you find interesting in the new blog?

January 15, 2008

And The 2007 T.S. Eliot Prize Goes to...Sean O'Brien for The Drowned Book!

British poet, Sean O'Brien has claimed the 2007 T.S. Eliot Prize for Poetry with The Drowned Book after winning the Forward prize for best collection an unprecedented third time following Ghost Train in 1995 and Downriver in 2001, making him the first author ever to take the UK's two top poetry awards in the same year.

The T. S. Eliot Prize is the biggest cash award in UK poetry, inaugurated in 1993 to celebrate the Poetry Book Society's 40th birthday and honor its founding poet and is awarded annually to the author of the best new single-author collection of poetry published in the UK or Ireland. View the 10 poets shortlisted for the award here.

O'Brien, who is professor of creative writing at Newcastle University, received a cheque for £15,000 at Monday night's ceremony, held at the Wallace Collection in Central London. The other shortlisted poets also received cheques of £1,000 each, in recognition of their work.