Fictional characters you would like to meet

Link: Carla Nayland Historical Fiction: Fictional characters you would like to meet.

Carla Nayland (link above) writes a variation on a meme that she’s done previously. Her variant is : three fictional characters you’d like to meet, three fictional characters you’d never want to meet, and three fictional characters who scare you.

I’d like to meet:

"Doc" from Cannery Row ; Albus Dumbeldore ; Marian Halcome.

I wouldn’t like to meet:

William Boldwood; Mrs Jellyby; Titus Andronicus.

Three who scare me:

Ralph (Lord of the Flies); Mr Brocklehurst; Madame Defarge.

(Note: Mr Collins and Mrs Danvers may have been up there, but Carla had already chosen them).

Please do undertake this "meme" yourself; I’d be interested to know your selection.

Books high, low and virtual

"Deliver books to readers one piece at a time so they can read it on their cell phone, BlackBerry, etc, when they have a few minutes to spare." That’s what DailyLit claims to do, and Joe Wickert thinks it is a great idea. I am not so sure. "The next time you see me in a meeting "checking my Blackberry for new messages I might really be reading today’s installment of Ben Franklin’s autobiography", writes Joe. Yes, quite. I can imagine it all too well.

Via Bookglutton, London is about to have its first literature festival — seems hard to believe that there hasn’t been one before.  "Nobel laureate Wole Soyinka joins Hari Kunzru, Pat Barker, Blake Morrison, Helen Oyeyemi, Jacqueline Wilson, Lauren Child and a host of other stars for the South Bank Centre’s inaugural London literary festival, due to begin on June 29."

I wasn’t shocked by The shocking truth about the slush pile. "I thought the piles of unsolicited manuscripts it was my job to sift through would contain undiscovered gems. Reader, I was very wrong", writes Jean Hannah Edelstein. It’s a good article, though, about what it is like to have the job of reading it. There are loads of comments, including one I particularly appreciated, about the most important job of the publisher being that of editing the book. Right on!

Tim Coates provides his usual blindingly obvious advice to the various UK library authorities, this time on how to reduce the piles of books waiting to be "processed" instead of being put on the shelves for people to read. Hope they are listening, whoever "they" are.

Ending this post on a lofty note, both spiritually and literally, Martin Wainwright describes the high-altitude launch of his book on hill walking in the Lake District. (And no, he is no relation to "the" Wainwright, so don’t expect suggestions of walks suitable for your granny.)

Harry Potter at the Natural History Museum

Link: Rowling to sign off last Potter book under moon-Arts & Entertainment-Books-TimesOnline.

From The Bloomsbury website:

To celebrate the publication of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows on 21st July 2007, JK Rowling will be signing the night away at the Natural History Museum in London. 

Ten years after publication of Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone, the launch of this, the final book in the series, returns to where it all began: with a book, the author and her readers.

1,700 fans will have the opportunity to meet JK Rowling and have their book signed at the Natural History Museum. The first 500 randomly selected winners will attend the midnight reading.  The subsequent signing is expected to last until dawn.  Every ticket holder will receive a free book from Bloomsbury Publishing.

Tickets to the event are free and will be available by prize draw (go to the Bloomsbury site) which will run from 23rd May to 11th June.  Winners will be notified by 18th June.

Residents of the US should contact www.scholastic.com.  Residents of English-speaking territories may also have the opportunity to apply for this event.  An announcement will be made at a later date.

According to the Times, Ms Rowling said: “It has been a long time since I’ve done a signing and had the chance to speak to readers individually so I’m delighted that we are launching the book in this way. It will be wonderful for me to get the chance to speak to people who have already read a few chapters in the queue.”

The Times also reported the unsurprising information that the book is expected to break publishing records, with advance sales of 1.5 million on Amazon.