Around the Web: Shakespeare, Tolkien in the headlines

by G. Robert Frazier

The New Oxford Shakespeare edition of the playwright’s works — which will be published by Oxford University Press online ahead of a worldwide print release — lists Christopher Marlowe as Shakespeare’s co-author on the three “Henry VI” plays, parts 1, 2 and 3. It’s the first time that a major edition of Shakespeare’s works has listed his colleague and rival as a co-author.

Thomas Mullen, who I interviewed for BookPage at the Southern Festival of Books in Nashville, charts whether you are a Southern writer or a Brooklyn writer.

Any Tolkien fans in the house? Then you’ve probably already heard the news that a new book from the Hobbit writer is about to hit bookshelves in 2017. Beren and Lúthien, the story of the love between a mortal man and an immortal elf, will be released by HarperCollins in May, 100 years after it was first written.

Paul Beatty has been named this year’s winner of the Man Booker Prize for his novel, The Sellout. It was the first time an American has won the award. Beatty’s book takes a satirical look at the issue of racial identity and justice.

Interest in psychological suspense in the tradition of Gillian Flynn’s Gone Girl and Paula Hawkins’ The Girl on the Train, is holding steady, according to Publishers Weekly.

Women buy 80 percent of the 21 billion crime books sold every year. Despite this, Killer Women co-founder Louise Millar, speaking at the group’s London crime festival, feels women’s voices aren’t always acknowledged or celebrated.

Signature-Reads recently listed 27 of the best books on writing. I have several of these books that I refer to from time to time. No matter where you are in your writing, you’re bound to find some valuable tips and incentives to help elevate your craft and your career. So check them out.

In the 1920s, dime store novelist William Wallace Cook painstakingly diagrammed and cataloged his personal writing method—“Purpose, opposed by Obstacle, yields Conflict”—for the instruction and illumination of his fellow authors. His efforts resulted in 1,462 plot scenarios and PlottoThe Master Book of All Plots was born. A how-to manual for plot, Plotto offers endless amalgamations to inspire limitless narratives.

New Yorker columnist David Sax explains what Barnes & Noble doesn’t get about bookstores.

Bad review on your book? Don’t panic. That’s the advice from LitHub.

Tom Waits and Bruce Springsteen expressed their congratulations to Bob Dylan on being named the recipient of the 2016 Nobel Prize for Literature. Dylan’s silence on the award is a bit disappointing and makes me wish that The Boss had actually received the award instead.

There’s quite a debate across the pond about the value of public libraries in the face of budget shortfalls and whether they should get a free pass. As a member of the La Vergne Public Library Board, I am a staunch supporter of libraries and their worth in the communities they serve. Library Director Donna Bebout and I have talked about how our city library is much more than a place to borrow books. It is a community hub, offering education for readers young and old alike, a place for fellowship, learning, and empowerment. But it is also constantly evolving, changing to meet the needs of a diverse and growing populace, as well as adapting to new technologies affecting the publishing world. The library is a place of community pride and is fortunate to have the support of our elected government leaders. I would think that in the face of drastic budget cuts, a library might become even more vital to the community it serves, not the first thing to be put on the chopping block.

Publishers Weekly has just listed its 150 Best Books of 2016 across all categories, from comics to poetry and everything in between. Cool to see The Underground Railroad by Colson Whitehead and Redemption Road by John Hart on the list, as I had the opportunity to see both authors at events in Nashville this year. By the way, you can likely find many of these at your public library.

In Memoriam:

Mystery Scene magazine founder and author Ed Gorman has passed away.

LitHub remembers author Thom Jones.

Got interesting book news or articles on writing?  Share a link in the comments!

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