Archive for June, 2006

I Nearly Died in 7/7 Subway Bombing, But I’m Not Innocent, Writes Prof Who Sobbed Over Pix of Suicide Bombers

Published on June 30, 2006

If he had been blown to bits last July 7 — as desired by young Mohammad Sidique Khan, who stood three feet away from him and set off a bomb in a London subway car — then sociology professor John Tulloch wouldn’t have been able to write a book about his experiences on that fateful [...]

Yet Another Celebrity Memoir: This Time, It’s Pervez Musharraf

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The next celebrity who’s busy writing a book (in line after Teri Hatcher, whose depressingly titled Burnt Toast advises fortysomething women about life) is Pervez Musharraf. Pakistan’s head of state is now at work on an autobiography, according to In Line of Fire is expected in bookshelves this fall. “Musharraf may go to town [...]

Author of Books Featuring Mr. T Was Living in Squalor in a House Full of Smelly Exotic Animals

Published on June 29, 2006

A peculiar odor was emerging from the Illinois home of prolific 77-year-old author Charlotte Towner Graeber, and police entering the building on Monday discovered that it was full of live animals kept in “atrocious” conditions, according to Nearly two dozen exotic birds and a “two-foot-long reptile” were among the creatures removed by mask-clad inspectors [...]

Journalists and Jail

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Yes, journalists do get sentenced to jail time for what they write. According to Turkish site, Istanbul reporter and author Murat Yetkin is on trial, facing a 4.5-year sentence, for “attempting to influence a fair trial” by criticizing in his paper, Radikal, the court case of Orhan Pamuk. Once beloved in his native Turkey [...]

Overdue Library Book Leads to Arrest

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Cops in Baytown, Texas pulled Joanne Ibarra over for disregarding a traffic sign, then wrote her a citation for having neither a driver’s license nor insurance. Then she was clapped into handcuffs when it was discovered that she had not returned a library book. According to, local Channel 10 news, not returning a library [...]

Online Book Sales, Sea Mammals: But Why?

Published on June 28, 2006

If you’ve ever sat there gazing at’s URL while waiting for its pages to load slowly, then you’ve probably noticed that it contains the word “obidos.” Some of us were well aware that Óbidos is the name of a Portuguese town, and figured that head honcho Jeff Bezos’s ancestors might have hailed from there. [...]

Kim Jong-Il and the Evangelical Pastor: Who’s Using Whom?

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Nearly 22,000 attendees arrive every week at evangelical pastor Rick Warren‘s 120-acre Southern California church complex. Warren, whose book The Purpose-Driven Life has been dubbed a 21st-century Christian manifesto, plans to use the Korean edition on his upcoming visit to Pyongyang, where reports that he “has been invited to preach this summer to some [...]

Alexander McCall Smith Amuses Africans

Published on June 27, 2006

Alexander McCall Smith’s lighthearted mystery novels featuring plump female detective Precious Ramotswe have introduced the African country of Botswana to readers worldwide. The author is also a bassoonist (his wife plays the flute), and his first-ever concert in Botswana drew an enthusiastic crowd, according to Mmegi, a Botswanan paper. Dressed in a kilt and other [...]

Osama’s Sex Slave, or Topless Opportunist? You Choose

Published on June 26, 2006

She’s Osama bin Laden’s ex-sex slave, she’s topless and reading a Bible in one of the photographs that appears on her own web site, and she wishes people would stop calling her a Republican. Sudanese hottie Kola Boof, author of such books as Diary of a Lost Girl, Flesh and the Devil and Long Train [...]

Márquez’s Hometown Refuses to Adopt Fictional Name

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Residents of Gabriel García Márquez’s Colombian hometown, Aracataca, failed last weekend to summon the energy to change its name to Macondo — the name of the fictionalized town in which the Nobelist’s novel One Hundred Years of Solitude took place. A majority of voters approved the proposal on Sunday — 3,342 locals voting for the [...]