Euro Crime: New reviews and more

Link: Euro Crime: New reviews this week & mid month competition reminder.

If it is Sunday it must be not Belgium but Euro Crime’s new competitions, news and reviews. See the link above for the sort of competition (unlike Waterstone.com’s current offering in the previous post) that is actually worth doing for the prizes — books.

You can also find reviews of four new crime novels by European authors, including mine of Lee Child’s latest, Bad Luck and Trouble. (I thought it was great.)

Prizes and promotions

Waterstones.com (as it calls itself) is currently featuring several competitions. You can win dinner for two at the Savoy; "Ingo" necklaces; a Nintendo WII; Butler and Wilson (who they, ed?) gifts; dinner with someone called Judy Corbett with two nights in a castle thrown in; and a personal consultation with some other person called Glenn Harrold. (Never heard of either of them.) Most bizarre of all, you can win a selection of Agent Provocateur "goodies" — which seem to be gift vouchers or books rather than underwear. Here is the link for all of these tempting prizes (not, in my case).

Marginally, but not much, more useful is that Waterstones.com is offering 30 per cent off Manga titles, including Fruits Basket (highly recommended by Jenny of about 6 months ago, but losing out nowadays in favour of Sims), and 50 per cent off the new Wilbur Smith, which I shan’t be reading even if they give it away.

But the best offer of the lot by far is the chance to attend the "world wide launch" of The Children of Hurin,  which in case you’ve been on a desert island for the past few weeks, is the new Tolkien novel. The event takes place on 17 April (Tuesday), and is billed as "a day long extravaganza of readings, competitions & activities, including illustrator Alan Lee signing the novel. Please contact the store for further details at (+44) 02078512400." I’m fairly tempted to go, to see the marvellous Alan Lee. But I think I probably won’t.

There is an interesting review in yesterday’s  (Saturday) Times of the new book: one feels that the reviewer, Jeremy Marshall,  is completely steeped in Tolkien. It is quite hard to find the review in the online version, partly because of the wall-to-wall Wills/Kate rubbish, and partly because the Sunday Times review of the same book, by Tom Deveson, which is very negative, seems to prevail over the more sympathetic Marshall take. But you should be able to get to both reviews via the links in this paragraph.

John Gribbin’s science and literature

Link: Campaign for the American Reader: Scientific works that are also literature.

I discovered a couple of things from the above blog post. First, John Gribbin’s The Fellowship is or is just about to be published in the USA. The book has been out for six months or more in the UK and is recommended by Malcolm, who is in it (the fellowship, that is). The book, he says, is not so much a history of the Royal Society (as it had been billed pre-release in the UK) but an account of how it was set up, complete with all the scientific rivalries of the time. He thoroughly enjoyed it.

The other thing I learned from the "Campaign for the American Reader" blog is that Gribbin, a well-known scientific author and journalist, has recommended five scientific works that, in his view, are also literature. His list: Micrographia by Robert Hooke; On the Lodestone and Magnetic Bodies by William Gilbert; Six Easy Pieces by Richard Feynman; On the Origin of Species by Charles Darwin; and  Fragments of Science by John Tyndall.

Here is John Gribbin’s article (The Opinion Journal of the WSJ), containing the list and why he chose each title.

Other books by John (he must have written more than 100, surely) that have been appreciated at Petrona Towers include Science: A History and, an earlier work, In Search of Schroedinger’s Cat. Another of his many books, which I think I have somewhere but haven’t read (yet?) is The Science of His Dark Materials (coauthored with Philip Pullman himself and Mary Gribbin). John’s latest book, not yet published, is The Universe: A Biography.