Archive for March, 2009

RIP, Tooticky

Published on March 21, 2009

  The woman who was the inspiration for a beloved character in Finland’s famous Moomin books — because her partner was the Moomins’ creator Tove Jansson — has died at age 92, according to Finnish news site Uutiset: “Tuulikki Pietilä, a major figure in Finnish graphic art, was most widely known for projects in collaboration [...]

Half Price Goes Green

Published on March 11, 2009

Half Price Books is going green. The nation’s largest family-owned discount-new and used bookstore chain announced on Monday that it is purchasing pollution-free wind energy for thirty stores and other facilities in its home state of Texas over the next three years. Planning to purchase about 11.3 million kilowatt-hours (kWh) of wind power a year, Half Price [...]

Turning Japanese

Published on March 10, 2009

Had a lovely chat Saturday night with an author at yet another author’s book-launch party. To celebrate her fun but also incredibly informative new book Crazy fror Kanji: A Student’s Guide to the Wonderful World of Japanese Characters, Eve Kushner hosted a Kanji Festival at a Japanese restaurant in Albany, California, complete with music, games, a [...]

Now It’s Four Guys

Published on March 9, 2009

The Three Guys One Book blog has added … another guy. Novelist Jonathan Evison joins industry vets Dennis Haritou, Jason Chambers and Jason Rice. In their welcome-to-Jonathan post, they tell us: “It’s exceptional to encounter a personality so strong, so open to new ideas that you become friends, even though that friend lives 3,000 miles away and you have [...]

Unscrupulous Book Vendors on the Loose

Published on March 8, 2009

I can’t resist that headline: “Unscrupulous book vendors on the loose.” Unfortunately it’s a real headline, appearing in today’s Business Daily Africa. Academic performance and test scores have plummeted lately in Kenya, and one cause for this has been identified. “Textbook pirates” print up cheap and incomplete or outright fake versions of school textbooks — [...]

Author Arrested in Prostitution Sting

Published on March 6, 2009

Ouch. A popular Nashville TV personality/radio host/author has been arrested in a prostitution sting. According to The Tennesseean, 73-year-old Teddy Bart was one of nine men who responded to an Internet offer of sex-for-pay: “They were cited after agreeing to pay a female undercover officer for sexual activity.” A staple on the Nashville broadcast scene [...]

Matt Haig Brings Death to Life

Published on March 4, 2009

British novelist Matt Haig has a knack for capturing death: not as, say, a writer of mysteries or thrillers or horror fiction would, but in a bitingly, achingly realistic way, in non-genre novels whose darkness takes on a million subtle colors and textures. Haig’s debut novel, The Dead Fathers Club – published in 2007 – enters [...]

Make Kids Read Whole Books, Expert Says

Published on March 3, 2009

  A noted children’s-literature advocate, author and radio host has lashed out against how literature is now being taught to primary-school kids in his native UK. The situation is similar in the US as well: Kids are not asked to tackle entire books. Michael Rosen said that it was “absurd and pathetic” that reading assignments [...]