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Tuesday, March 02, 2004

Yet Another Morning Roundup 

And let's start with Ian Rankin, a favorite of this blog (although I'm woefully behind on the Rebus series--a sad case of backlist-itis at work) and currently on tour for his newest novel. The Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel interviews him and asks him about his place at the head of "Tartan Noir" and what he's working on now.

Laura Lippman updates her site with her take on some of the news of old but more importantly, her thoughts on the passing of "friend-in-law" Robert Colesberry, whose unexpected death at the age of 57 robs the entertainment world, and most recently, THE WIRE, of one of its important players.

Myrna Blyth, the former editor of Ladies' Home Journal, has written a book that attacks the world of women's magazines she once was at the forefront of. Not surprisingly, this is not making other folks very happy.

Chris Lehmann is awfully impressed with Lucy Ellman's DOT IN THE UNIVERSE, calling it a "wry and blisteringly compassionate novel" that more authors should be doing more of. Sure sounds like it to me....

The oldest copy of Shakespeare's HAMLET is up for auction. The expected fetching price? Oh, maybe 2 million pounds.

What o what will happen to Reed Elsevier, the largest publisher of scientific journals? They want to make money, but scientists want open-access journals where everyone gets the information for free. Now the company has to defend their practices in front of a UK parliamentary committee.

The Christian Science Monitor ponders whether Nancy Drew--newly revitalized for the 21st century--should be taught in the classroom.

Isabel Wolff, author of OUT OF THE BLUE and MAKING MINTY MALONE (and several other chick lit books) has taken up the cause of defending romance fiction. I wish her a lot of luck, considering how little respect the genre--which is much broader than people realize--gets, even while the sales such books rack up garners a hell of a lot of envy.

The Thor Kunkel controversy, and first reported in the Guardian a few weeks or so ago, is picked up by the New York Times. To recap: he's written a book about the Nazis that his German publisher has decided to withdraw, and there's a firestorm of criticism about it.

Sarah Dunant has been garnering some very nice notices for her Italian-based novel THE BIRTH OF VENUS, and the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review hops on the bandwagon accordingly.

Penguin UK had a very strong year in 2003, with 840 million pounds of sales overall, mostly in part due to their line of classics and the BBC Big Read books. There's lots more about how the company is faring at this link.

This year marks the centenary of Margery Allingham, one of the earliest of the British "cozy" writers. Several events are being planned by the Allingham society to mark this occasion.

Over the weekend (but missed by me until now) Jim Fusilli's crime column in the Boston Globe featured reviews of books by Kris Nelscott, John Dunning, and Michael Dibdin.

And finally, I'm 100% evil, according to the Germitriculator. (thanks Ed!)

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