Not believing the papers

Great post here in London Underground Tube Diary – Going Underground’s Blog about yesterday’s Central Line "accident", which was being repeatedly announced in doom-laden tomes as I made my way home yesterday evening.

In a post entitled "regular reader on derailed tube", one of Annie Mole’s readers wrote:  "Hi Annie. I was on the train that derailed at 40mph between Mile End and Bethnal Green yesterday morning – only one person had a sprained ankle to show for it on the whole train apparently and no one was scared although a bit shaken up (Dunkirk spirit and all that)."

And the newspaper headline? "Commuters thought it was another 7/7" (72 pt, natch).

From the comments to Annie’s post:

—BBC report that "Safety checks are under way on the Tube’s storage facilities after a dislodged roll of tarpaulin landed on the tracks, causing the derailment."

–It really winds me up when newspapers (i.e., people) do this – invoke 7/7 at the drop of a hat. Scary though it must have been for the passengers, this was NOTHING like 7/7, where the train literally was blown apart.

Old is the new black (or silver)

This is the kind of post I like, over at The Book Depository. Silver Surfers are the new cool. Yes, we are the target internet demographic that companies want to woo. And as Mark Thwaite explains, while young people may need to have it explained to them why they "need" a product [please note this is an ironic way of putting it], us oldies just need to be told that a certain book exists, and we’ll head right out and buy it. (I have never met Mark Thwaite but he strangely seems to have hit the nail on the head where I am concerned.) Mark concludes, correctly in my opinion:

"And that is the key thing, publishers need to understand current online activity and learn to interact with it. I fear they’ll find this difficult. Recent attempts by publishers to reach out to bloggers have unfortunately come off as attempts by suits to co-opt bloggers and not to communicate with them. It has certainly not been a model of how to reach out to the online world. Web 2.0 is about transparency, honesty, community — or so it would like to think; corporate interference not only goes down very badly, it is surprisingly easy to spot and, potentially, very brand damaging.

And, remember, your older reader is wise and savvy: a sales pitch will fall on ears that can very easily pretend to be deaf!"

Some more sites about books

I haven’t posted for a while about many of the interesting articles I’ve read while surfing the blogosphere (can one "surf" the "blogosphere"?) but you can go to my shared Google Reader items if you want to see the raw collection. I would like to mention a couple of new (to me) sites.

First (via Peter of Detectives Beyond Borders) is Dave’s Fiction Warehouse is a new blog, that of Dave Knadler, "notes on a life of crime". Check out the best book he’s read all year, the [second] worst book he’s read all year, and which woman author he thinks can write (he’s right!). Anyone in doubt about whether women can write crime fiction can be cured by reading this Petrona "favourite women detective novelists" posting, by the way.

Second (via Grumpy Old Bookman) is The Compulsive Reader , "reviews of some of the hottest writers working today, exclusive author interviews, literary news and criticism". The site has several contributors, first listed is Magdalena Ball, whose novel Sleep Before Evening is due for publication by BeWrite Books in 2007.  From the blurb: "Marianne is teetering at the edge of reason. A death in the family sends her brilliant academic career and promising future spiraling out of control until resentment towards those who shaped her past leads her on a wild and desperate search for the truth about herself."