Wednesday, November 12, 2003

Wednesday morning QB 

Although I am probaby the only person in blogworld not to have viewed the Paris Hilton Sex Tape (besides, I'd love a gender breakdown of who's watchin' it. Somehow I doubt it approaches the usual 52:48 skew towards women....) that doesn't mean I don't have pithy news to offer instead.

Seems that while 9/11 books are selling briskly, books about the war in Iraq simply aren't doing so well. Reasons? Perhaps that "books about the countries involved tend not to sell until there is a resolution."

Meanwhile, Iraqi doctors dispute the claim that Private Lynch was raped, as such an act "could have killed her." Oh, the media storm continues on....

Saw this yesterday but didn't get to it till now, but Jonathan Yardley presents a wonderful tribute to the works of John D. MacDonald, who is most noted for his Travis McGee series set in Florida.
(thanks to Mark Sarvas for reminding me to post about it.)

In interviews, Hugh Nissenson is profiled at January, and Robert Birnbaum's latest subject is Janette Turner Hospital, author of the eerily prescient (as it was written prior to 9/11) DUE PREPARATIONS FOR THE PLAGUE.

When one thinks of a Russian novel, Tolstoy, Bulgakov, or Turgenev come to mind--dense tomes that plumb the deepest meanings and highest emotions. But in the new Russia, pulp thrillers reign supreme. However it was lovely to see such positive mention of Boris Akunin, whose first novel THE WINTER QUEEN was finally translated into English and released here last summer. The next book to be translated is actually the third in the series, LEVIATHAN. Look for it next April. (link from Collected Miscellany.)

Anne Perry whines that she can't escape the shadow of her past--granted, it's a most salacious past, as her real name is Juliet Hulme, and her story is the basis for the movie HEAVENLY CREATURES. OK, so you helped kill someone, but Kate Winslet got to play you in the movie and you're making oodles of money with the two-book-a-year pace you're on. What's to complain about?

Jimmy Carter is the first President of the United States to write a novel and get it published. It's historical fiction, and hey, it might actually be pretty good.

Tupac Shakur has been dead for seven years now. Isn't it time to declare him legally dead too so that this madness of releasing posthumous work can stop already?

Stephen Hunter's latest book gets a favorable review from USA Today. I've been hearing lots of other good things about this book, which is good since I'll be getting it in the mail soon....

The Miami Book Fair was held recently, and turnout was very strong--400,000 folks showed up. Shows that literary life is alive and well in Miami, and thriving at that.

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