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Thursday, December 18, 2003

A late morning update 

I love sleeping in. Actually, I don't, but sometimes it's necessary. Supposedly, working from home means that I'm free of deadlines like getting into the car and going to work. If only it were that simple...

Anyway, the news, a little later than usual:

Mario Cuomo sues! A 15 million dollar libel lawsuit has been issued against Greg Palast, author of "The Best Democracy Money can Buy" for "improperly influencing a federal judge to throw out a multibillion-dollar verdict against a utility company." Oooh, this could be fun. Well, maybe not, but I'm sure the New York media will find a way to make it so.

Peter Olson sent out his annual report to Random House employees, as he is wont to do on the 3rd Tuesday of December. I've only seen highlights, but since I know that there's a RH employee who faithfully checks in here, a copy would be most lovely, if possible. Drop me a line at the email address to the side.....

Janet Maslin doesn't really get Tracy Chevalier's new book THE LADY AND THE UNICORN. Of course the plot is slim and there's not a lot of momentum. It's about characterization and beautiful writing. Like I said before, I didn't love it as much as GIRL WITH A PEARL EARRING, but I'm a huge fan of Chevalier's writing style. Economical yet gorgeous.

A new award for journalism has been named in honor of fallen journo (and former editor in chief of the Monthly) Michael Kelly. It will honor those "whose work exemplifies a quality that animated Michael Kelly's own career: the fearless expression and pursuit of truth." My guess is that Jayson Blair won't be included in the longlist....

The M6 toll road is starting to crack. How was it fixed? Why, by shoving two and a half million copies of old Mills & Boon novels to smooth things out:

"Ironically the books are renowned for their slushiness but when pulped they help to make the road solid and to hold the Tarmac and asphalt in place."

In other news, Harlequin says their books would have fixed the crack with only two million copies.

Cover art guru and author Chip Kidd is interviewed for the second time by Robert Birnbaum. Much discussion is centered about the parallels of his book with Marion Ettlinger's recent one of her author photographs, and how the two of them are inexorably linked.

The whole Google Print thing is fascinating, but somewhat confusing. Michael Cader (who originally broke the news on Publisher's Lunch) has more details in the New York Sun. (link from Moby.)

You want power? Meet Sessalee Hensley. She's the fiction buyer for Barnes and Noble, and so she decides what books, and how much, get stocked. Authors moan. Publishers cajole. Talk about a pressure-filled job. (also from Moby.)

And finally, the Golden Globe nominees are out. The only reason anyone likes these awards is that the celebs get an unlimited supply of liquor throughout the show and get monumentally trashed by the end. Always makes for fun entertainment for the masses...

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