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Thursday, March 04, 2004

The World Book Day Roundup 

And let's lead off with a teeny bit more info on everybody's favorite blogger-turned-author, Belle de Jour. According to the Telegraph, her book "Diary of a London Call Girl" (yo, Tracy Quan, can you sue for title appropriation?) will be published just in time for Valentine's Day next year. So get your sweetie some flowers, champagne....and some anecdotes on the mundane life of a courtesan. Um, yeah.

A group of 40 authors, including JK Rowling, has teamed up to fight the abolishment of recommended prices on book jackets. Because if those disappear, then booksellers and chains can price the books however they like which could affect what kind of royalties the authors get per book. Is it really so important to let the supermarkets rule the day?

Walter Yetnikoff was the president of CBS Records from 1975 to 1990 (i.e., right after Clive Davis) and, it seemed, spent much of that time in a drunken and drugged stupor. He's written a memoir dishing the dirt on his life of debauchery.

Mark Sanderson's Literary Life column focuses on the growing--and somewhat disturbing--trend of celebrities and adult authors who turn their hand to children's books. Ian McEwan? Peter Ackroyd? Who'd have thunk it?

An interview with George Pelecanos is not unusual at this time, since he does have a new book out, HARD REVOLUTION (and a fine book it is.) But an interview with him in a Greek paper, Ekatherimerini, is a little more off the beaten trail. Here, he chats about his views on Iraq, whether he's coming to Greece anytime soon, and oh yeah, the books.

Which profession is tops amongst those who read for pleasure? Not MPs, not teachers, but...accountants, according to a study commissioned for WBD.

Does publishing one's writing online allow for greater exposure and nurturing talent? That seems to be the case in China, according to a number of area writers there.

The shortlist for the Authors' Club Prize for Best First Novel has been announced: some of the usual suspects (DBC Pierre, Mark Haddon, Dan Rhodes) and some not (Elizabeth Garner, William Newton, Kym Lloyd.) And a special congratulations to blog reader Babs Horton on her nomination for the award as well!

Speaking of awards, Audrey Thomas was the recipient of the $15 000 Matt Cohen Trust award for writing; but she wouldn't let herself believe it till she had the envelope in her hands.

And finally, WaPo senior Book editor Michael Dirda took questions from the peanut gallery yesterday--and based on some of the questions, we'd venture to guess that he'll be checking out our friends at the Literary Saloon on a regular basis from now on.

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