Not in the mood

Not in the blogging mood just now, so I’ll just highlight one or two items I’ve read recently that have caught my interest. (My mood in general is not helped by the fact that the rest of the people in the room are listening to Queen’s greatest hits at high volume while cooking a Mexican meal.)

First a few internetty posts:

Maya Reynolds summarises the 28 articles in Forbes‘  special issue on The Power of Networks. I’d really like to read this issue, if I can ever find the time.

You know that feeling of being bored (especially at work)? I don’t, but I’ve heard about it — when people experience it, they do things like play Solitaire, that handy game that seems to come free with all computers. Well, this activity now has a name, "spare cycles". Read all about them, and their power, at Chris Anderson’s Long Tail blog.

And if you haven’t set up an rss reader yet, this article may persuade you of its ease and usefulness. It is about the Google version (Google Reader), and its useful new "email" feature, which is great, but there are lots of other rss readers, eg Bloglines. Highly recommended as a way to organise your online life.

Moving over to book-related posts:

Susan Hill announces the Long Barn Books first novel competition for this year. The prize is publication, in 2008. The 2007 winner is Chris Ewan’s Good Thief’s Guide to Amsterdam, which has been enthusiastically reviewed over the past few weeks, and is apparently doing very well. In the first year of the competition, the winner was Helen Slavin for The Extra Large Medium: about to be published in mass market paperback by Simon and Schuster.

Jessica Ruston interviews Sophie Hannah, author of Little Face. And Lars Walker of Brandywine books tries John Sandford’s latest, a non-Lucas Davenport novel called Dead Watch.  Verdict: mixed. (Brandywine books is down at the moment, so I have not been able to link directly to Lars’s post. I’ve linked to the main blog page, so when it is up, scroll to 5 May, if you’d like to read the review.)

Strangers and other books

Link: Euro Crime: New Reviews & May competition details.

Eurocrime’s weekly collection of book reviews, news and competitions is at the link above. Among the reviews are mine of Strangers, by Carla Banks, about which I had "mixed views". Other books reviewed are Lee Child’s The Hard Way and When the Devil Holds the Candle by Karin Fossum. And the competitions are worth checking out: one of the prizes is Peter James’s latest thriller, Not Dead Enough.