Book links, etc

I’ve managed to return to bring you the second "half"of the posts that I’ve enjoyed over the past week or so — with a bookish theme.

Shameless reviews one of the Macmillans New Writer books, Selfish Jean, a rather derivative title (think Richard Dawkins), and cover art that is a mash-up of DNA helix and chick-lit. Despite these poor omens, the book sounds both good and short — so one for the list on both counts, perhaps.

Moving from the nascent to the fully matured, here’s a link to Powell books on Echo Park, Michael Connelley’s latest. Sounds fab. It will come out in paperback before I’ve got my act together to get to the library and order it, so I’ll have to wait a year or so to join in the fun.

Despite what anyone says about him, I’m a long-term fan of Mel Gibson. Even though he hasn’t got a clue about William Wallace, I still think Mel is OK. Here is a brave library that won’t take his picture down. Good on you, Illinois.

I posted a while ago about Into the Woods, Lyn Gardner’s first novel for "8-12 year olds". Big A little a posts about it here, including a link to Lyn’s "Culture vulture" Guardian blog for the book. Some pretty upfront comments to Lyn’s post –bit of a dilemma, what to do if you get a novel published and you are a Guardian journalist. Do you post on the blog or not? Damned if you don’t, damned if you do, it seems.

Hastily moving on, Anecdotal Evidence ruminates on that most admirable of explainers, Charles Darwin. Although Patrick Kurp is right to agree that some of Darwin’s sentences may have been as convoluted as a folding protein, plenty were not. If Darwin had not had his bulldog (Thomas Huxley) to promote his radical agenda on his behalf, would the Richard Owen fraternity have prevailed? I’ll post some of Darwin’s comments on this topic at Loopholes of Retreat if I can.

"Today more novels are published in one week than Samuel Johnson had to deal with in a decade." So says M.J. Rose, in her post Storytelling. And while on the subject, if you like interviews, or even if you don’t, read Elaine Flinn’s latest "on the bubble" on Murderati, with M.J. herself. A real treat.

If you can make head or tail of this article by Marylin Stasio in the New York Times, let me (and the Rap sheet) know. Crime (detective) fiction isn’t an academic subject, it is a slippery octopus, just like any other genre. Best not to try to pin it down, as they’ll always be exceptions. Still, gotta sell those newspapers, I suppose.

And while we are at genre definition, are Britons from Christie, Americans from Chandler? if you know, let Detectives without Borders have the benefit of your views.

Kimbofo of Reading Matters has completed John Baker’s longstanding meme.

It’s a Crime! has news of the latest awards.

Last  but by no means least, see here for Frank Wilson’s blog and link to his review of a new translation of The Three Musketeers.

Thanks for reading — I hope you’ve found something of interest in my magpie collection of the week.

Technolinks for the weekend

As you may have noticed I have had a bit of a computing marathon this weekend, so what follows is a rather quick list of links to what caught my interest among my mushrooming blog subscriptions. (A look at my full blogroll will reveal that I’ve now had to make a special category for crime fiction in view of the new blogs I’ve discovered in the past week).

I’ll cover technology-ish links in this post and (if I’m lucky enough to quarry the time), book-related links in a second later on.

First up, Geeking with Greg predicts the demise of Froogle, Google’s shopping channel. I’ve tried Froogle a few times but never found it that useful, probably because I live in the wrong bit of the physical world for it.

Bloggers blog asks whether Facebook, Technorati or YouTube be the next big Web 2.0 sale, the story being pegged to Yahoo’s interest in buying Facebook. I quite like Technorati at the moment as Petrona is now in the top 3 per cent of its indexed blogs, but I have no intention of buying it, so Rupert Murdoch and co can rest easy.

Barry Graubert at Content Matters has given the New York Times reader a test drive. I wish Malcolm would do something like that instead of going out and giving cars a test drive, which he’s doing at the moment. Sadly, the prospect of buying a new vehicle is rather more likely than that of me buying YouTube et al.

Eva of the scientific blog Easternblot has found a museum of scientifically accurate brain art which features knitted brains. There is a picture at the link (on Eva’s blog) for the curious.

Eva also draws attention to the upcoming triangle science bloggers’ conference next month, for anyone interested and who is in striking distance of North Carolina.

And the geekiest of all the science bloggers, MarkCC (quite an achievement), asks whether we should miss Basic? Ah, takes me back. Mark’s blog is called Good Math Bad Math, with a subtitle that is one of my favourites even if I can’t always or even often understand the content of the blog itself: "finding the fun in good math; shredding bad math and squashing the crackpots who espouse it".

More later.

Family blogging update

Beta blogger has stimulated Cathy and Jenny to update their blogger blogs, which have fallen into some disuse owing to other attractions on the Internet (MySpace and Millsbury, respectively).

Oasis now has a moody blue new look, and Little Hibiscus Fairy has migrated into trademark turquoise.

I’ve played around a bit myself with beta blogger, but because I don’t have a blogger blog any more I had to create a new one. It is still a work in progress, but it is a ‘commonplace’ book called Loopholes of Retreat (title idea from Hazlitt via Patrick Kurp) .

Comments, advice, opinions welcome — Cathy and Jenny love to receive comments on their blogs.

Typepad book author promotion

A nice new feature from Typepad, hoster of Petrona: a website dedicated to authors of books written by Typepad bloggers. From the Typepad newsletter:

"After our great conversations with Chris Anderson and Seth Godin about their new books, we decided it was time to make a home to show off all the great books that come from TypePad bloggers:  It will collect biographical information, interviews and the podcasts we record all in one place.  We also used Amazon’s new aStore feature to put together a simple bookstore that makes it easy to browse and buy books by TypePad authors."

A different book (and author) will be featured each month, and you can sign up for an rss feed to be alerted when the site is updated. The current featured author is Shari Caudron, author of Who Are You People?, a look at fanatical obsession across the United States.