Still rather exhausted by end of term logistical challenges and the heat, so some rather lethargic (or do I mean perfunctory) postings of one or two things that caught my interest.
On Galleycat, I read about Measuring the World, "A book about the relationship between two old men – specifically, astronomer and mathematician Carl Gauss and Alexander von Humboldt, journeyer through jungles – hardly seems like bestseller material. But take historical figures, add a dash of magical realism and Germany’s upheaval in post-Napoleonic time and what you get is a book that’s been on the country’s bestseller lists since its release last fall."
Yet another ‘unknown to me’ crime-fiction author to investigate, via Dick Adler of Paperback Mysteries. He says: "I’ve raved at length about Scottish writer Denise Mina, whose books have led some to anoint her as the latest heir to the Ruth Rendell/Minette Walters/P.D. James crown. Now we have another contender, Morag Joss, whose mysteries about cellist Sara Selkirk, set in the lovely Regency city of Bath, have been extremely readable without breaking any genre boundaries." I loved Denise Mina’s Garnethill trilogy and her subsequent standalone, but I felt her last book, Field of Blood, was weak . Apparently it is the start of a new series, so I am reserving judgement. Morag Joss sounds worth checking out.
Via Philobiblon’s Friday Femmes Fatales, discovered a new blog, written by Female Science Professor. Rather a mouthful of a title: Science+Professor+Woman=Me, but looks well worth reading from my first visit. Her description of herself: "I am a full professor at a large research university, and I do research in the physical sciences. The physical sciences include chemistry, physics, astronomy, environmental science, geoscience, oceanography, and related fields. I am married, have a young child, and manage a research program. I teach both graduate and undergraduate courses, even though some undergraduates (and others) have trouble believing that I am a *real* professor. I have the greatest job in the world, but this will not stop me from noting some of the more puzzling and stressful aspects of my career as a Female Science Professor." Why is this the case? The reason: "Women professors in the physical sciences: a few. Women professors in the physical sciences at research universities: even fewer. Women full professors in physical sciences at research universities, especially mine: very very few, miniscule (sic), microscopic, a nano-amount. But we exist!" Too right.
Here’s a sample of the many annoying questions she has received in her career:
"Q. So you’re doing a Ph.D.? Couldn’t you find anyone to marry you?
Fantasy Answer 1: Nope, they just don’t make wives like they used to.
Fantasy Answer 2: I’ve already been married 6 times. I’m taking a break."
The blog Reading War and Peace (previously Reading Middlemarch) should perhaps be renamed "Subediting War and Peace". Isabella is taking the reading assignment very seriously and has found many inconsistencies. I always find it annoying when a book is carelessly edited, it breaks the spell for the reader. Shame that this should be the case for what many consider to be the greatest book ever written. But if the errors were in the original, should the translator and editor leave them in or correct them, muses Isabella?
The crime department of the blogosphere has been saturated with Spillane coverage all week, some of it very good, but inexhaustible. The inestimable Sarah Weinman has posted a list of links to all the coverage. She’s also written another post linking to many newspaper obits, stories and songs about the man. Very useful if one wants to write a PhD thesis on the guy. Personally I found the Times’s obituary very readable and informative, and sufficient, but Sarah’s posts are perfect for those who prefer a more comprehensive approach to life. Seems to me from the Times piece that Spillane had that rare talent, to recognise when he had "enough" and could get on with living his life instead of striving after or flaunting yet more wealth.
Finally, for tonight, Skint’s proofs have arrived! Take a look, and if you feel inclined, make a suggestion in his comments for another book for him to publish.
The above may seem like a long post, but I had more than 300 unread postings in my bloglines "book related" subscriptions before I started out on this post, and now I have none, so I reckon the length of this post is not bad under the circumstances.