Book Report: Getting Buzzed in The Library, Harper Lee: Scandal and Sales, Embracing Three Star Reviews & More!

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Library Bars
Apparently there are 16 libraries in London that feature bars, and vice versa.

Lego Libraries & Bookstores 
We all loved Lego as kids, and here are some impressive libraries and bookstores made out of Lego.

Fear the Reading 
Here’s a survey of the top ten scariest books people have read; Stephen King makes most of the list.

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“Legion: Skin Deep” by Brandon Sanderson (Subterranean Press, 2015)

Legion Skin Deep
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As bestselling author Brandon Sanderson takes a break from writing his epic fantasy novels, he turns to his ongoing novellas. Readers first learned of Stephen Leeds in Legion, a man who has the unique ability to create hallucinatory manifestations that only he can see who aid him in life and answer the questions he has. When he is done with them, they do not disappear but remain to aid him in his freelance work in solving mysteries and the occasional police case.
In Legion: Skin Deep Leeds is hired by Innovative Information Incorporated to recover a stolen corpse whose very DNA contains new technology and information that will change the world; whether for better or worse depends on how quickly he finds that body. In return he will be made far richer than he already is and will no longer have to worry financially.

The second installment into Legion brings a great story and more insight into this enigmatic character, as well as laying some important groundwork for where Sanderson wants to go next with his character, and revealing there is plenty more story to tell.

Originally written on November 14, 2014 ©Alex C. Telander.

To purchase a copy of Legion: Skin Deep from Amazon, and help support BookBanter, click HERE.

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Legion

Book News: Bookstore Customer Profiling, Powells is Eternal, Best Video Games For Readers & More!

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Name of the Wind News 
One cool thing to come out of Comic-Con was a bidding war for Patrick Rothfuss’s epic The Name of the Wind.

Best Video Games for Readers 
If you’re really into both reading and videos games, here are some entertaining games you might want to check it when you put that book down.

Being a Reader 
Here are 20 things annoying people say to readers and those who love books.

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Guest Post with M. E. Parker: “Secondhand Steam”

At odds with my environmentalist leanings, I admit that I have a soft spot for road trips and driving cars, preferably a five-speed junker from another era, a car with stories to tell. My favorite of these was a Volkswagen camper van I purchased in 1990 from its ninth owner that had already clocked over three hundred thousand miles and chewed up two engines, all under one coat of paint. By the time I got the van, the factory sunflower yellow had baked into Melba Toast umber, and the “Volkswagen smell” (anyone who has ever owned an old Beetle will know this right away) had ripened into a new odor, a mashup of a Rif Valley hashish lab masking a whiff of pine needles and vodka.  The van also came with a spectrum of stains on the carpet, rips in the seat, and, of course, a collage of stickers so thick on the back windows that I was positive people followed me just to finish reading them. They were a patchwork life story of the van in countless languages: stickers from camping sites, cities, beaches, almost everywhere it had been in twenty-plus years. I had some memorable times camping in orange groves, creek beds and beaches, cruising through Madrid, Lisbon, and St. Tropez, but I have always been drawn to the stories of the van before I got it, the ones I don’t know, yet the van produced them in my mind.

Books are the same for me, where the story takes me once my eyes trail off the edge of the page. What world has the composition and the color conjured in my imagination? What stories spin out from its orbit. How the town down the road that is never mentioned celebrates the onset of spring, or what sort of treasures I could find in the basement of the house next door to where the main character lives.

Jonesbridge was written under a layer of existing dust, within the relics of memories from childhood and dreams. I invite you to remove the cushions from that twenty-year-old sofa in the basement. See the crumbs and detritus, three generations of ink pens and fast food toys, wrappers, the unidentifiable snack remains, dried and petrified, some still moist, and coins of all denominations. Throw the cushions aside and curl up in the debris with a copy of Jonesbridge.

Book News: King’s Thrills, A Scout Sampling, Bookstores Eh & More!

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Go Set a Watchman 
The sequel to Harper Lee’s To Kill a Mockingbird, Go Set a Watchman, now has the first chapter available for free.  The book drops July 14th.

Decorated Lockers
In one particular high school some cool teachers decorated the students’ lockers as book covers, and the battle for the Twilight locker begins!

A Richer Reading Life 
Here are some tiny tasks that seem simple that will make you reading life all the more richer and fruitful.

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Book News: More Literary Adaptations, James Patterson Donates to School Libraries, Brazillian and Lesbian Lit & More!

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Zombies! 
You’ve no doubt seen your fair share of zombie movies and TV series, and likely zombie-related books. Well here’s a breakdown on the philosophy behind the walking dead.

American Gods Update 
In other good news about the American Gods TV series adaptation for Starz, Neil Gaiman will be writing some of the episodes.

Lesbian Literature 
So if you’re interested in enjoying some lesbian literature, here’s a great list!

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Guest Post with Carolyn Ives Gilman: “Writing the Book That Wants to be Written”

How many times can a book be given up for dead, and still survive? If my book Dark Orbit were a person, it would be interviewed on TV for having survived so many near-death experiences. I first started it over 20 years ago. When it didn’t gel, I cannibalized it, and used the viewpoint character in a different book. In the late 1990s I started over, writing an entire new first draft, then threw it all out. The feeling that there was something worth saving kept nagging at me. Then, a few years ago, my thoughts started coalescing around a new set of ideas related to cognition and the brain, and I realized that Dark Orbit would be the perfect story for exploring them. At a writers’ retreat in Madison, after attending Wiscon, I spread out all my notes in a bed and breakfast, and re-plotted the entire novel. I had to take my main character and lop her apart into two different people, and invent a civilization of the blind—not because I wanted to, but because that was the logic of the story. I have always felt that, however hard it is, an author is obliged to take the story where it wants to go, not where it is convenient or easy to go.

Maybe the hardest thing I had to do was to reject the conventional wisdom that you can’t fit too many ideas into one story. This book has always been dense with ideas. Editors and agents over the years have told me that the proportion of sex and violence to ideas has to be pretty high to succeed. I always suspected they were underestimating the science fiction audience, but I tried to follow their advice. It killed the story. In the end, the only thing that made it possible for me to finish was deciding to forget commercial motives, and simply follow the story in the most interesting directions. Strangely, once I let myself write the book that wanted to be written, it turned out to have quite a high proportion of adventure to idea. It even had some sex and violence.

Because Dark Orbit has survived so many resurrections, it is impossible for me to answer the question everyone asks—what inspired it. It is partly an exploration adventure inspired by all the classic science fiction of my childhood. It is also inspired by cutting-edge science on the nature of space and dimensionality, by research into how sight works, and by the intersection between quantum physics and mysticism. Even my colleagues at work inspired it with their quirky personalities and obsessions. It never wanted to be quite like any other book, and I am happy that I let it be itself.

CAROLYN IVES GILMAN is a Nebula and Hugo Award–nominated writer of science fiction and fantasy. Her novels include Halfway Human and the two-volume novel Isles of the Forsaken and Ison of the Isles. Her short fiction appears in many Best of the Year collections and has been translated into seven languages. She lives in Washington, D.C., and works for the National Museum of the American Indian.