I’ve read this week about two lawsuits currently pending. They both concern the work of authors who have died. And in both cases it’s one part of the family suing another part.
One of the lawsuits concerns the work of John Steinbeck. The other is about Tom Clancy.
What happened to preserving the legacy of authors once they die? So many times lawsuits are filed almost immediately upon the death of an author. I guess this is no different from other types of celebrities who leave their families to fight over large estates. But it’s still a bit disappointing.
I think Robert B. Parker did it best. He left his series in the hands of other authors he knew. Though I’m not sure I’ll ever be able to read a Spenser or Jesse Stone novel written by another author, at least there was no fight when Parker died unexpectedly.
Do you think it immediately becomes all about the money involved once an author dies?
They’re everywhere. Every time I read a story about a new show or miniseies it appears to have been adapted from a book. I’m trying to figure out if this has been the case for decades or if I’m just more aware of it now.
Think of movies. Think of TV series. Think of what you see created by Amazon, Hulu, and Netflix. So much of their content is adapted from books. Cable networks and streaming services seem more likely to adapt books into something else, but broadcast networks jump into the mix too.
This isn’t meant to be a criticism. Authors are wonderful. But it makes you wonder if there are authors more concerned with the adaptability of their work than the quality of it.
Michael Connelly is coming to Houston next month in support of his new book. I haven’t had the chance to meet him before. I’m thinking I might want to. But of course my schedule has to allow me to.
Meeting authors is always interesting. You gain insight and persepective you can’t obtain any other way. Social media is nice, but it just isn’t quite the same as having them right in front of you speaking about their experience and writing.
I’m thinking I’ll likely meet him. I mean, he created Harry Bosch.
I spent dome time at my local Half Price Books last week and I discovered a new Murakami book among the new releases. Is it new? Anyone know?
I don’t own any of his previous work, but I did study something he wrote in college? I think? I could be mistaken and it was written by someone else. But I remember very much enjoying the writing. Perhaps it was Murakami, perhaps not. But since then I’ve held him in high regard, at least in my head. I could be crazy and not giving some other writer their due credit. OH WELL.
Have you ever read any Murakami? Also, since “allegedly” studying his work I’ve felt he should win EVERY award.
We all know celebrities get trolled on social media daily, unfortunately it seems it happens worse to women because there are some real idiots in the world. In my experience seeing this unfold and discussed the trolls are just ignored. Mostly. But don’t come at JK Rowling thinking you’re getting off that easily.
She’s been outspoken on Twitter for as long as I can remember. And I don’t even follow her. I don’t think it would come as any surprise that she’s been outspoken against Trump.
People have said they’re burning their Potter books or they make up some nonsense about the message her series really sends because she’s being political. And SO OFTEN she shoots them down like Katniss in the arena. It’s hilarious when someone will comment about what’s in the books when they haven’t even read them. Oh boy.
Do you follow any authors on social media who tend to hit back when idiots throw nonsense their way?
Yesterday’s post sparked an interesting discussion. Another blogger claimed to not understand why Americans idolize Ernest Hemingway. Nothing really special there. I proceeded to ask which of his works brought about this negative opinion. This is where our paths diverted from one another. She hasn’t read him. Not at all.
My stance on this is that anyone can have an opinion on any particular topic, but if you are willing to share your opinion about an author and their work, then you should have read them. Maybe I’m crazy. This is how I think of it. Imagine taking a class on 20th century American Literature, right? And then finding out your professor had never read any 20th century literature. Would you still think you’re getting your money’s worth? I wouldn’t.
For the record, the other blogger didn’t claim to be an expert on anything. It’s just how a visualized it.
Now I pose the question to you. Is it necessary to read an author before sharing your opinion of them, their work, or their legacy with someone else?
I say yes. You should have read their work if you’re sharing your opinion of them with someone else. If I said, “I don’t understand why Jane Austen is always assigned in school.” I don’t think it’s unreasonable to expect me to form that opinion AFTER exposing myself to at least some of the author’s work.
Remember this is about one’s opinion being credible. It isn’t about forming an opinion without familiarizing yourself with the topic. We all do that at some point.
Tell me your thoughts!
I’m pretty well read, right? But obviously I’m not one of those individuals who reads hundreds of books a year. I’ve also worked in a bookstore for the last 11 months. I’m aware of a great number of books and authors, whether I’ve read them or not. During the course of my work responsibilities and my own reading I still discover new books and authors on a regular basis. Which is one of the things that makes being a reader so great. It’s an established fact that as humans there will always be books we simply won’t have time to read during our lifetime. It’s interesting to see this play out every time I discover a new book or author I was previously unaware of. And sure maybe I won’t be interested in most of the books I discover through someone at my store or through a tangent internet search, but there are always plenty that fall right into my wheelhouse.
This post is meant to show how great it is to have the freedom to discover and read whatever we like. Because many people around the world do not have the ability to do so.
Do you have any stories about how you first discovered a favorite author of yours?
I’ve said it before that Gaiman is one of the most recommended authors to me, and American Gods is one of the most recommended titles of any author I’ve ever known of. Well I’m now understanding why. He’s actually a rockstar.
I know this because he recently released a new book and the store carried it. Our new releases are usually 20% off the cover price. Which is less of a discount than other booksellers, but that’s what it is. So when customers see the price of $20 or $22 they sometimes decide to go elsewhere for their book. But not for Gaiman. His books were signed and we got enough to take up an entire shelf on our new releases display (probably 12-16 books) and I think all but one has sold.
Not bad, Mr. Gaiman. You little rockstar.
We also did the same with Anderson Cooper’s new book recently.
Do you agree? You think Neil Gaiman is actually a rockstar?
We have a running joke at the store about James Patterson whenever the person running the mystery or paperback sections gets a little mouthy. That we’ll buy ALL the James Patterson. It’s funny because it basically happens already.
But summer is our busiest time of the year and now we’ve hit a snag. We’re low on Patterson! Ha! In our daily meetings we’ve been told to buy more Patterson (and a few other authors) because we’re very low on his books. Welp. Some things you just don’t expect to hear.
But to my knowledge, Janet Evanovich and John Grisham are still crowding our shelves. *sigh*
Today’s video discusses two specific cases regarding authors’ freedom of expression. Both cases are current and involve Salman Rushdie and Ahmed Naji. Maybe you know one or both of them, but maybe you don’t. Regardless of what you might think of either one of them as a person or their work, these two men are unfairly being targeted and singled out for their work. I’d rather talk about them and bring a little bit of awareness to their cases than just sit back and say nothing.
Take a few minutes to watch and let me know what you think of authors’ freedom of expression in the 21st century.