Reading, writing but not arithmetic

Much talk on the blogs today about the whittled-down Booker shortlist. (I haven’t read any of them I am afraid to say— my reading tastes are too lowbrow these days.) Kimbofo at Reading Matters has been posting an excellent series of profiles of all the longlisted authors. You can read about her efforts here, and follow the link to the profiles from there. Well done, Kim!

Skint Writer managed to drag himself away from blogging for a couple of hours, so he challenged himself (and anyone else) to write a story in those two hours. Last I looked, he was linking to those brave and creative souls (Minx, natch) who took him up on it, so see the link for updates.

Amy of Books, Words, and Writing highlights a website to celebrate women writers. Back to 3000 BC, no less.

David Montgomery of Crime Fiction Dossier is compiling the 10 best detective novels ever written. Talk about rash. He got to seven before he got stuck — good going. I agree with four of his choices (glad he chose Michael Connelly, an excellent author). For a fifth, I agree with his choice of author (who could not?), Dashiell Hammett, but I personally prefer The Dain Curse (slightly flawed plotwise but the most emotionally mature of his ouevre in my opinion) or The Glass Key/The Thin Man to the Maltese Falcon (David’s choice). I think many people, I am sure not David, are influenced by the iconic movie in judging "Falcon" in comparison with Hammett’s other books.  I would not go along with David’s choice of Parker and Mosley, based on the one of each I have read (no wish to read more of either author). For David’s final three (open) choices, I’d go for something by Harlan Coben, Val McDermid, Mary Higgins Clark or one of the excellent Scandinavian authors I like — Liza Marklund, Arnaldur Indridason, Karin Fossum or Henning Mankell.  Denise Hamilton is a good suggestion, as would be Elizabeth George. There are plenty of suggestions in the comments at Crime Fiction Dossier (I am very glad the blog is now open for comments).

Jenny wants her computer back now, so I’ll have to stop. Good night.

Shiver me timbers

Pirates have set sail in the blogosphere. The deblog’s post "Books for a nifty pirate" highlights a Library Thing competition to submit a picture of a pirate-themed pile of books. Debra’s photo entry can be seen here — beautiful! I have only read "Master and Commander" of the selection on Debra’s pile, but if I were to pile up all the books that feature or are related to pirates that are in this house, I think the result would be about as tall as the actual house. (Johnny Depp merely tapped into a pre-existing nautical context.)

Jenny D of Light Reading and Phil of Brandywine books both bring news that, as Jenny D puts it:  Peter Jackson has optioned Naomi Novik’s delightful Patrick O’Brian-meets-Anne McCaffrey Napoleonic Wars-with-dragons Temeraire.

And Isabella at Magnificent Octopus reviews Alatriste, which she’s just finished reading, in a lovely pictorial post . She also links to the movie trailer, which I had better not go to look at (as the film features Viggo Mortensen).

Jenny (I, not D) has loaned me her computer as mine has finally died for real. While I write she is watching that classic movie The Princess Bride while she eats her tea. For about the 50th time. (Cathy has probably clocked up 100 views, but she’s out at the moment.)