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Monday, May 24, 2004

The Victoria Day Update 

Yes folks, today's a holiday that's unique to my fair country, but because I'm a) a dork b) taking off way too much time lately or c) a lazy girl who's taken off much time lately, I'm working from home. Really, I am. Can't you tell? Oh, the levels of justification I must go through to prove that I should draw a paycheck. Anyway:

There are too many books published. I went into some of the mystery shops over the weekend and saw about ten books I wanted to read, but my eyes glazed over at the prospect of lugging all those little bastards home (customs: "you spent 800 dollars on books?" me: "er, well, yeah."). But oddly enough the one book I didn't see was this new one by John Weisman, which is reviewed in the WaPo by Patrick Anderson. Too bad, because anything that's "Award-Worthy" (you'll see what I mean) might be worth checking out for a few minutes here and there. Although I must ask Mr. Anderson this: are you sure you should be giving out your award so early in the game? Never know if there'll be other candidates that top this....

Abigail Vona, whose upcoming memoir BAD GIRL:CONFESSIONS OF A TEENAGE DELINQUENT is due to be published in August, is embroiled in quite the mess. Let's see if I get this straight: the 19 year old was dating 48 year old Douglas Dechert, but when she dumped him, he tossed her clothes out on the street and then fired off an email to her publisher, impersonating his ex, to say that they were sabotaging things and just generally making muck. He claims he's due 15 percent of everything that is ever associated with the book. Ah, sordid book stories....

I like publisher catalogs. A lot. But evidently, Penguin UK has decided that mailing them out is just too much of an expense so they are doing away with them, and will only make the information available online.

As teens move away from books and more towards well, other stuff, teachers are fighting back by teaching contemporary literature and non-fiction in the classroom. The funny thing is, this might work--and maybe kids will discover classics and realize they are actually good reads instead of dissecting them every which way...(link first seen at Beatrice.)

Louis de Bernieres, in Sydney for the Writer's Festival, has some fun looking at signs with bad grammar and making fun of Mills & Boon novels. Although considering his "favorite phrase," I'm inclined to agree with the mocking....

Evidently writing a biography of P.G. Wodehouse is no piece of cake, as Robert McCrum, whose tome about the famed comic author will be out on September 2nd (and will be thrown on the TBR pile in due course), is finding out. Related to this, Jaime expounds on a point that many Wodehouse readers and fans may have missed: how much a sense of parody pervaded his work.

What? Something about Dan Brown I did not know? (Actually, there's a lot I probably don't know but since I've long stopped caring about much to do with THE DA VINCI CODE, perhaps I'm just not paying attention.) Evidently, he was the author of the 1996 song "Peace in Our Time" that was performed at the Atlanta Olympics. No word if Eric Rudolph heard the song and factored that into his decision....

A couple of items that Jiro has reported on: Lowen Clausen has won the Spotted Owl Award given by the Pacific Northwest-located Friends of Mystery; and Sue Grafton has won the Marlowe Award from the SoCal MWA chapter. More importantly, for those who still read her Kinsey Millhone books, R IS FOR RICOCHET will be out later this summer.

Irvine Welsh goes house hunting? Evidently that is the case, as he was spotted in the New Town area of Edinburgh with some papers and looking at "to let" signs.

And finally, yes, my country is responsible for unleashing her upon the US. Not that she's bad or anything, just....ever-present. Meet the woman Canadians have known for years from her "Sex with Sue" show.

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