JK takes on JRR in top books list

writes "This Story Says
Lord Of The Rings and the Harry Potter series were tipped for the top in the run-up to the national survey of the top 100 books of all time, which will be whittled down to a top 20 in the autumn.

After a six-week wait while votes flooded in, book-lovers finally got their first glance at the BBC Big Read's Top 100 books on Saturday and we asked our readers what they would have in their top ten.


Read it and weep

writes "Next week, the BBC reveals the results of a poll to find the nation's top 100 novels. But one man's masterpiece can be another's claptrap. Here, leading figures choose their literary bugbears, with an introduction by John Walsh


How Prague Bible survived to tell of great flood

Someone writes "This Article tells of A flood-damaged 500-year-old Czech Bible, regarded as one of the jewels of central European Christianity, which has been saved by British and other experts in a painstaking restoration project using freezers and vacuums to bring them back to their old glory.

The Bible is one of the most precious items among a vast array of books, manuscripts and ancient maps waterlogged after the worst floods in 200 years swamped the Czech capital, Prague, last August. "


Davis drops library book checkout-fee proposal

"Though Gov. Gray Davis is wrestling with a $38 billion deficit, he has dropped a controversial budget proposal that would have forced local libraries to impose a checkout fee of up to $5 a book in certain cases, Davis' aides confirmed Wednesday."

"The proposal, contained in his original spending plan unveiled in January, was deleted from the May revision of the proposed 2003-04 budget after an ANG Newspapers report on the issue spurred complaints throughout the Bay Area and across the state."

"We're very happy about it going away," said Linda Krause, director of the Peninsula library system. "By trying to impose charges -- that goes against the whole idea of what free libraries are about." (from San Mateo County Times)


\"Hip-hop of the publishing industry\" sparks debate

This morning\'s Publishers Lunch pointed to an AP story about a popular new fiction genre being called \"Street Life\" or \"Ghetto Lit\". Authors like Shannon Holmes and Teri Woods are gaining a huge following with their unflinching tales of inner-city life. Views differ:

The prose can be as crude as the subject matter, but booksellers say they appeal to at least tens of thousands of young people who, like Perez, might not otherwise be reading.

...and on the other hand:

\"It\'s drugs and thugs,\" Villarosa says. \"It\'s the hip-hop of the publishing industry. I have mixed feelings about it. I\'m concerned about the subject matter and the glorification of it.\"


San Francisco is No. 1 -- in books and booze

Bob Cox writes "according to a new federal survey, San Franciscans spend more on alcohol and books than residents of any other U.S. city.

The two-year study of spending habits, released by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, found that New Yorkers spend the most on clothes, Bostonians spend the most on tobacco, Chicagoans spend the most on utilities and Washingtonians spend the most on entertainment -- not counting admission to sessions of Congress, which is free.

Full Story "


Overdue for 37 years, book returned to library

At only 37 years overdue, This One seems barely news-worthy, but, The Violin Family by Sheila M. Nelson, was 37 years overdue when it showed up two weeks ago at the Deerfield, Florida, Branch library as part of the county's "Thank you, Sam" amnesty week.
At the 1966 library rate of 2 cents a day, the man could have owed the library more than $270.


Want mustard on that pastillum botello fartum?

Bob Cox writes "The Vatican has published a dictionary that contains Latin translations for thousands of modern phrases -- from dishwasher to rush hour to organized crime -- that did not exist when the Roman Empire ruled the world.

Nationalpost Has The Story

See Also, and This has weather forecasts in



Paid facilitators introduce reading groups to more sophisticated literature

\"On a gray Monday morning, 10 women have gathered at a Greenbrae home to talk about the novel \"Cane\" by Jean Toomer. Eight of the women have paid the ninth, Carol Benet, to lead the discussion.\"

\"Benet, 63, is one of a new breed: the paid book club facilitator.\"

\"The very words \"book club\" can bring to mind the peace of a bright living room, where women balance plates on their knees, listening eagerly to one another\'s opinions, not letting anything distract them from serious literary discussion.\" (from SFGate via Bookslut)


History textbook tells buried military past

A National Post Story says The first high school textbook on Canadian military history, published by Edmonton's school board because existing school books largely ignored the subject, has proven so popular they cannot be printed fast enough.

''I want the kids to be aware of the impact of technology on war, to understand why World War I was such a bloodbath. The important lesson to learn is that it was civilians who predicted that. If only military people know military history, then the military becomes the experts on itself and civilians have to take their word,''



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