Dipping the toe in

Just time for a quick toe-dip tonight before my reeling head gets a break from the screen.

Since seeing the intriguing posters for it all over the tube for ages, I’ve read quite a bit about The Thirteenth Tale and people seem to like it. Karen at Euro Crime posts here; Frank Wilson of Books, Inq. has read it and likes it, but so far (I think!) has not reviewed it; and the Guardian’s Culture Vulture has a swipe at the publisher’s strategy of "bribing bloggers". Personally I think that the (huge) advertising and marketing budget has a lot more to do with the book’s initial success than what the bloggers say about it. But nevertheless, it sounds like a good one.

While on the topic of the Guardian, Lyn Gardner has posted the second entry of her Culture Vulture blog about her book Into the Woods. She writes about the whole business of publishing a children’s book being dominated by adults, and the thrill of her first actual fan (aged 10). Actually Jenny read the book the day it was published, but as I said in Lyn’s comments, she probably does not count as the first fan as she didn’t review the book on her blog or write to the author about it. Shucks.

Back on-topic, Debi Alper posts about Mystery Women, a magazine for the promotion and enjoyment of crime fiction. Sounds as if it is worth a subscription — my only hesitation is acquiring yet more titles of books I want to read. But I agree completely with Debi’s heartfelt sentiments.

Speaking as a sub at heart, I love this Critical Mass post "The Unsung Copyeditor" (and links therein). Some good examples of how that sub saves the day – every day. There is no substitute for a good editor.

And a couple of "blog advice" posts I quite liked: "Be honest: how good are your entries?" at 9 rules network blog — I’ve read quite a few blogs like the one described in this post, but not for long. And manic Problogger: "How do you manage your blog?" — you can probably guess that the answers are to do with things like good time-management skills, prioritising skills, etc. Well, Darren’s answers, anyway — there is no reason why you can’t enjoy blogging by doing it all day in an unfocused, undisciplined way I’m sure (not that I’d know!).

And a couple of off-the-wall articles to finish off: Larry Page’s phone call from outer space (an astronaut phones you and you ask her what she forgot to pack?) and top 100 celebrity baby names, posted by Tom of Random Thinking. Can "Raspberry Danish" and "Venus Flytrap" actually be real?

Harrius Potter et Philosophi Lapis

Harrius_potter Jenny’s recent purchase of Harrius Potter et Philosophi Lapis has elicited some interest. You can read the blurb over at the publisher’s site.  Here’s an excerpt from the chapter ‘Speculum Erisedii’:

Harrius iam tam propinquus erat speculo ut naso imaginem paene tangeret.

‘an tu es matercula?’ susurravit. ‘an tu paterculus?’

ei tantum eum spectabant, subridentes. et lente, Harrius vitus ceterorum in speculo inspexit et alia paria oculorum viridium similium suis vidit, nasos alios similes suis, etiam homunculum senem qui videbatur genua nodosa Harrii habere — Harrius familiam suam spectabat quam nunquam prius tota vita viderat.

Potteri Harrio subridebant et manus iactabant et ille esuriens respiciebat, manibus planis contra vitrum pressis quasi speraret se recta per id lapsum ad eos perventurum esse. intus habebat desiderium magnum, quod erat mixtura gaudii et meastitiae terribilis.

quamdiu ibi staret, nesciebat. imagines non evanuerunt et usque spectabat dum sonus longinquus eum in mentem pristinam revocavit. non poterat ibi manere, via retro ad lectum ferens ei ivenienda erat. oculis a matria facie avulsis, susurravit, ‘redibo’, et e conclavi festinavit.

Translation of this passage into English is at Loopholes of Retreat, my commonplace book blog.