Reading the Booker

Further to my earlier post about the Booker shortlist's lack of readers (thanks to the non-selection of popular authors on the longlist such as Salman Rushdie) Amitav Ghosh's Sea of Poppies (John Murray) has had 9,646 lifetime sales to date —27.5% of the six shortlistees' combined sales, according to the Bookseller blog. The Bookseller notes that "Linda Grant's The Clothes on Their Backs (Virago) proved the most popular purchase through the market last week with a sale of 1,008 copies, more than double the amount of its nearest rival, Philip Hensher's The Northern Clemency (Fourth Estate), with a sale of 519 copies. Combined sales of all six shortlisted titles through the market to date total 35,096—some 90,096 copies less than Katie Price's latest work of fiction, Angel Uncovered (Century)." The prizewinner is announced tonight.

Someone who has read most of the shortlist is Dovegreyreader scribbles, so if you want a quick summary, see here for a post about that (and Cliff Richard). We shall hear the results of the £10 bet in due course.

A vote for science

Via The Great Beyond, I learn of “A Vote For Science”, in which scientists video themselves explaining who they will be voting for in the US election next month. Daniel Cressey writes: "So far only one video is available on their YouTube site, but it’s a big fish: new Nobel laureate Martin Chalfie (as featured in a Nature interview published yesterday). Chalfie has previously announced that he will be backing Barack Obama. In his new video he says: 'I’m a scientist and I am voting for Barack Obama'. Hear why in the video" [Video embedded in the Great Beyond post.]