Code-breaker reveals a diarist to rival Pepys

Charles Davis writes "A Puritan's journal written in cryptic shorthand to
foil the King's men paints a vivid picture of 1600s
London, reports Will Bennett

A remarkable million-word account of life in late 17th
century England which is as vivid as Samuel Pepys's
diary has been transcribed by experts after lying
largely forgotten for more than three centuries.

A specialist
code-breaker was
brought in to crack
the shorthand that
Roger Morrice, a
Puritan minister
turned political
journalist, used in
part of the diary to
stop the King's
agents reading it.

More at


Book swaps under fire

"A US-based website that encourages the lending of books by leaving them in public places has come under fire from UK authors for denting new book sales and royalty payments."

"Jessica Adams, Transworld author and editor of the War Child anthologies, claimed that the website,, devalued books by co-ordinating lending for which no royalty was payable. "The site's growth should be a worry for authors and for charity bookshops who rely on secondhand books for their income." (from The Bookseller)


Wisdom Of The Sands

Lee Hadden writes "Geographical, the magazine of the Royal Geographical Society, has an
interesting article in the September 2003 issue, pages 37-41. "The Wisdom
of the Sands," photographed by Catherine Hanson, describes how small
private collection of Arabic manuscripts are held in the Sahara. The name
for these small libraries is "Khizanat." These rare and ancient books are
in danger of loss and decay, and are being preserved by the Euro-
Mediterranean (Euromed) Heritage.
See the Geographical site at:"


Check Out: Biblia's Guide to Warrior Librarianship

You may know Biblia from her web site [] already, but did you know she wrote a book as well?
Biblia's Guide to Warrior Librarianship: Humor for Librarians Who Refuse to Be Classified (Don't like amazon? More Options for purchase).

"Examining the lighter side of librarianship, this book presents a combination of outrageously funny cartoons, commentary, and wit. Globally known as Biblia, the Warrior Librarian, Amanda Credaro has teamed with cartoonist Peter Lewis and produced a book that expands on her award winning Web site, Warrior Librarian Weekly, the product of many years of experience in librarianship.


Picture books

The Age Looks At what happens when a book becomes a film.
Novelists adopt various strategies for dealing with the process. Sometimes they're involved in the adaptation themselves. Sometimes they've had screenwriting experience, sometimes they come to it with the barest of notions of what it entails. Sometimes they have their own suggestions - Raymond Chandler liked the idea of Cary Grant as Philip Marlowe, for example.


Author McMurtry Makes Texas Town a Used Book Oasis

Bib Cox spotted an interesting Washington Post Story on Archer City, Texas, into one of the preeminent places in the United States to search for used books. Larry McMurtry's store called Booked Up, fills four buildings in the town square and has between 200,000 and 300,000 books on the shelves.
In some respects, McMurtry's store is a throwback to a different time.

After customers select their books, they are expected to walk across the street to the complex's lone cash register in building No. 1.


Fox lose over Franken's 'Lies' book

CNN Reports a federal judge, saying, "This is an easy case," Friday ruled against Fox News in its lawsuit asserting that a new book by liberal satirist Al Franken violates their trademarked slogan, "fair and balanced."

Fox was seeking an injunction to halt distribution of Franken's book, "Lies and the Lying Liars Who Tell Them: A Fair and Balanced Look at the Right."


'Captain Underpants' jockeys for attention

"For parents shrinking under a barrage of terrifying labels about their substandard offspring — attention deficit disorder, learning-disabled, hyperactive — one name should leap into their brains: Dav Pilkey, the writer/artist who masterminded the Captain Underpants series published by Scholastic Books."(from USA Today)


How They Sell Now - Classic Bestsellers

Here's A Neat Chart from BookMagazine that shows how well the "classics" are selling these days. It's a look at the best selling classics in 2002, according to BookScan.
The top 5 are: The Hobbit, Catcher in the Rye, Red Tent, To Kill a Mockingbird, and Lord of the Flies.
Thanks again to Bob Cox.


A Treasure Hunt for Lost Memories

An interesting
NYT article [reg req'd] on recent scholarship concerning Uruguay's Jewish population. From the article: "Uruguay's Jewish population has dwindled from 40,000 after World War II to an unofficial estimate of 15,000 now, primarily because of economic woes in this country of 3.4 million. But it has produced a stream of memoirs, academic treatises, oral histories and novels. The most commercially successful to date, Mauricio Rosencof's autobiographical novel "The Letters That Didn't Come" ("Las Cartas que no Llegaron"), will be released in English translation in the United States in 2004 by the University of New Mexico Press."



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