Tuesday, December 16, 2003

News you may or may not use 

Due to pesky obligations like getting fingerprinted, I suspect blogging will be much reduced on this fine, chilly day. Also, my email is crapping out and I don't know why, but it's being looked into.

A scientist at MIT has made the world's largest book according to the Guinness World Book of Records--133 pounds, 5 by 7 feet and yours for the very low price of 10K. Yikes.

Children's books are challenging enough, but what about trying to distill the essence of scientific pursuits for the minds of young ones? The New York Times examines this growing industry and the difficulties the authors face. God knows I had to unlearn a lot of concepts in high school that I'd "learned" wrong as a child....

Shopping for a diehard Asterix fan this Christmas? You can now get them the 1,250 page Dictionnaire de Goscinny. No doubt it will become the classic that the Klingon dictionary is now.

In the aftermath of the Big Read winner, Zoe Williams asks why anyone would bother asking "What is your favorite book?" I'm inclined to agree as that question certainly makes me break out into all sorts of hives.
And speaking of holidays, looks like retailers aren't getting as many customers as they want, and there's a bit of a panic going on. What to do? Slash prices, of course.

Courtesy of the London Review of Books is a thoughtful essay on crime writer Ruth Dudley Edwards' latest book--not a novel of fiction, but a non-fiction tome about Hugh Cudlipp and Cecil King, the men who made the Daily Mirror into the bastion of tabloid journalism that it once was, and tries so hard to be these days.

A man pens a roman a clef about his coworkers, barely disguising their traits. He gets fired when word gets out (and 850 copies sell.) But now he's 50 000 pounds richer, thanks to mediation court. Perhaps every cloud does have a silver lining after all....more info at the Scotsman.

Chris Lehmann feels that Thomas Hechtte's THE ARBORGAST TASTE could do with a bit more consistency and tightening of themes, but that it's still worth checking out.

Boy am I glad I didn't link to the "Madonna getting her PhD" story. Maud has informed us that the story's a fake, started by "a funny friend of hers."

And finally, in spite of all this stuff, I pretty much agree with Mark that it's a slow news day. But do read his piece about Pat Barker, an author I've long been meaning to try.

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