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Friday, March 05, 2004

Thank Heaven for little Fridays 

Actually, I hate the song, but I do have a weird fondness for the "young" Maurice, of Love Me Tonight and The Smiling Lieutenant fame. Lubitsch and Mamoulian rock. But let's get to the news of the morning, shall we?

First, the Independent's big interview is with David Peace (I did say he was one of my favorite authors, right? Well, I'll say it again), whose new novel, GB84, deals with the Miner's Strike that devastated good portions of England in 1984/85. Evidently his portrayal of certain persons in fictionalized form made his agent and editor nervous--but he stuck to his guns nonetheless. I really do have to get a hold of this book....

Edward P. Jones has won the National Book Critics Circle Award for his novel THE KNOWN WORLD, while Studs Terkel received a Lifetime Achievement Award. (story first linked by Chicha.)

Ah, the Book Babes. Now they actually respond to the petition started by The Elegant Variation (and signed by a number of notable bloggers, including yours truly) and still manage to miss the point completely. We're not against your name or your appearance; it's what you write and how little substance it really has that gets people riled up, and rightly so.

The town of Blenaevon has undergone some serious economic hardships but last year, they got the idea to turn nearly every shop into a bookshop to revive its former glory. Just in time for World Book Day, it seems, at least, to be working....

Another UK cabinet minister jumps on the memoir bandwagon, and this time, it's Clare Short, who famously disapproved of Tony Blair siding with the US entering Iraq.

Gillian Slovo is profiled in the Guardian, talking about her own life and that of her parents, who were strong anti-apartheid supporters even while living in Leningrad in the 1930s, and are the basis for her new novel, ICE ROAD.

Robert Browning's love letters to Julia Wedgewood, a pottery heiress 21 years his junior, fetched the tidy sum of 84 000 pounds. Not bad at all.

So really, the only question anyone wants to know is: Was Helen Stapinski a music groupie? USA Today doesn't exactly answer this question.

What books would have kept your children enthralled during World Book Day (and thereafter)? Georgia Byng offers up a top ten list that includes some of the usual suspects...JK Rowling....Roald Dahl....Philip Pullman....Yann Martel's LIFE OF PI? Wha..?

The Winter issue of Hardluck Stories is now up. Thomas Deja is the guest editor, picking stories by the likes of Stephen D. Rogers, Graham Powell, and Robert Tinsley that have a recurring theme: homage to the unjustly forgotten PI Shell Scott, who was once a force to be reckoned with back in the Gold Medal Paperback days.

I stumbled across the Manchester Evening News' site and have found some interesting new crime reviews, including one of Anthony McGowan's debut STAG HUNT and a lukewarm take on Massimo Carlotto's THE COLUMBIAN MULE (which, obviously, I don't agree with.)

The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel dug Daniel Silva's new Holocaust-themed thriller A DEATH IN VIENNA, which debuted this week at #5 on the New York Times' list.

And finally, happy birthday, Danny. Hope you're feeling better this morning.

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