Frank is back! He’s spent the past week either on vacation, or reading Charles Darwin’s complete works online (hope your screen’s a good one, Frank), or both. Welcome back, Frank.
Clare in her blog Keeper of the Snails writes so many interesting and varied posts that it is hard to highlight one. Here she discusses The Cambridge Encyclopaedia of Language by David Crystal. Clare’s aside in that post about whether one has a compulsion to blog or check email if getting out of bed in the middle of the night has been picked up and chewed over in entertaining fashion at the deblog, but as well as that, read the meat of Clare’s post, about how the electronic medium has changed the nature of communication. Blogs are likened by this linguist to a kind of neo-Chaucerism, as the language evolves quickly without the stabilising moderation of publisher or editor. Another linguistic benefit of the internet is that it helps to keep threatened languages alive. Great stuff.
Have you ever wondered what a Pundy House is? Bill Liversidge (fondly known as Liversausage) tells us why he has named his blog by this moniker here. Bill posts on his blog in spurts. I’m always delighted to read him when he’s on the roll of writing as he’s so poignantly funny — and the comment sections have their own parties. Here, for example, is his formula for the projected publication date of his novel.
Ichabod is Itchy highlights a beautiful site called LIFE: a journey through time — a collection of photographs of Earth since its beginnings. Apparently the site also has useful links to various natural history resources.
Robert Barnard has won the 2006 CWA short story award, reports Eurocrime. Barnard is an excellent, and under-rated, novelist. His output is prodigious, and almost all his novels are readable (to those who like crime fiction). He rings the changes, writing some series, some stand-alones on a range of themes. He is also an active member of the Bronte society (which provides material for one or two of his books).
While I’m on awards, Rap Sheet announces "America’s top sleuths" (TV, that is). The winner? Magnum, P.I. Read the incredulity over at the link. Also at Rap Sheet and on awards, Robert Crais has won the 2006 Ross Macdonald award. Crais is not an under-rated novelist, but he’s jolly good and I am sure deserves this success. His books are certainly in the same ball park as Ross Macdonald’s, so the prize seems particularly appropriate.
Rap Sheet also reports on Crime Scence Scotland’s second issue, by the way, for those who like their noir tartan.
Susan Hill announces that she is publishing two children’s books. Her editorial criteria exclude most of the books my children like or have liked (Rowling, Potter, Snicket, J. Wilson, Pullman, Julia Golding, Cornelia Funke, etc). They also exclude all those awful-sounding "horrible sharks with nits ate my underpants" type of books. I shall await news of the two titles with interest — as Jenny is now reading books like "Little Women" and "Ballet Shoes", and Cathy has been reading any level of book (adult or teen) for a while now, I suspect I may not see them being read by my own children, but I’ll watch out for them in the bookshops. But if you want a recommendation of good, solid children’s books, Susan Hill provides a list here (created with the help of Jeanette Winterson, who has herself recently written a children’s book.)