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Monday, February 16, 2004

President's Day Update 

Chances are good the page views will be down b/c many of you are taking advantage of.....the cold weather in store for you today. Well, at least if you're on the East Coast. Anyway, the news:

It's getting all too predictable. Monday morning, check the NYT, and look! Maslin's reviewing another thriller. This time it's Reed Arvin's THE LAST GOODBYE, which is supposedly this month's winner of the HypeMonster (TM) Award based on the amount of buzz 'n marketing this baby's got. She likes it but feels it could use some closer editing.

Mel Gussow interviews Anne Tyler by email, making it sound like it's somehow not a "real" interview if you use that over the phone or face-to-face. Hey, if it gets your questions answered, it's a viable format....

Jonathan Yardley champions the work of African-American writer James Baldwin, author of novels like GO TELL IT ON THE MOUNTAIN.

The Guardian picks up the Amazon reviewing "scandal" and asks some British writers whether they've engaged in the practice of anonymous "reviewing" or not.

Patrick Anderson is another convert to the Cult of Ian, calling A QUESTION OF BLOOD "the most impressive of the Rebus novels [he's] read" and that "it can certainly bear comparison with the best of today's American crime writing." Heady praise, indeed. And since Rankin will be heading out on tour very soon, don't forget to ask him what it was like to visit a crime scene in his neighborhood!

After more than 3 years in the position, Sharon Murray will vacate her post as general manager of Foyles, the largest independent bookshop in London.

Edwin Morgan has been named Scotland's first National Poet. Sadly, Morgan is suffering from terminal cancer, but he's still writing poetry.

In the Glasgow Herald, Ron Ferguson talks to Mark Salzman, who spent much time teaching prison inmates about the craft of writing, and has written a book about the experience. Meanwhile, Rosemary Goring confesses she much prefers libraries to bookshops.

What's Canada's answer to the BBC Big Read? Why, Canada Reads, of course, which stirred much heated debate last year on radio and television. It's back for a new edition this year.

Robert Birnbaum's latest author interview is with Tibor Fischer, talking about his Hungarian roots, particular features of his novels, and why he lives in England.

Peter Lovesey is interviewed by Anne Perry in the latest of Mystery Readers Journal's "At Home" series.

Barbie and Ken are splitsville. But, as Andrea King Collier asks, what about the fans? How will they cope?

And finally, Quentin Tarantino, president of the Cannes Festival jury? Could make for some interesting choices....

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