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.
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.