Granny Spice becomes queen of the libraries

Guardian Unlimited has this story about a popular children's author who has reigned at the top of the Public Lending Rights figures in the U.K.

"... Every author is thrilled to know their books are selling, but I share
with many authors an almost greater thrill when your books are borrowed
from libraries". ..."

Also in this article is a listing of "Most-Borrowed Authors."

FYI, PLR is an organization in the United Kingdom that pays authors "...payments from government funds for the free borrowing of their books from public libraries in the United Kingdom."



Appeals court says writer can bring copyright case against AOL

Pete writes "According to,
a three-judge panel of the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals on Tuesday partially reversed a lower court ruling that dismissed Harlan Ellison's copyright infringement case against AOL.In his April 2000 lawsuit, Ellison alleged the Internet service provider violated his copyrights by allowing unauthorized copies of his work to remain on its Web servers for two weeks even after he tried to notify them of the problem."


Send your Valentine a text message poem

The Scottish Poetry Library (SPL) has commissioned six of Scotland's leading poets (including laureate Edwin Morgan) to compose love poems suitable for text messaging, just in time for Valentine's Day. Ananova tells the story.

SPL director Robyn Marsack says, "There is a vast swathe of people aged between 18 and 35 who do not think poetry has a lot to offer them. Looking at all the people texting furiously on the train from Edinburgh to Glasgow, we thought of using mobile phone technology to make them reconsider." Marsack also said the poets were intrigued by the challenge of writing within the constraints of 140 characters, including spaces.

The poems can be downloaded from the Scottish Poetry Library website and sent anonymously on February 14.


Manuscript reveals dark side of Lawrence of Arabia's sex life

Charles Davis writes "An unexpurgated version of T E Lawrence's
Seven Pillars of Wisdom has fuelled claims
that the author was a sado-masochist.
The original 1922 edition of the wartime
masterpiece to be published next month
includes a lengthy account of Lawrence of
Arabia's rape by Turkish forces which
scholars believe may have been invented for
his own "delectation".
Much of Lawrence's life is the subject of
debate but signs of his alleged sexual
deviancy first emerged when letters showed
he paid a man to beat him with birches. Philip Knightley, a Lawrence expert,
believes the rape scene in the latest version, which is 200 pages longer than
the 1926 original, bears the hallmarks of a fantasist.
Story at The Independent"


Literary world tantalised by prospect of more Frame books

With Janet Frame's funeral over, the literary world is waiting to see what she may have left for publication after her death - with speculation there might even be a fourth volume of her autobiography.

Frame published her last novel, The Carpathians, in 1988 and finished the third volume of her autobiography in 1984 - but it traced her life only to the mid-1960s.

She was a compulsive writer of poetry, but had not published a poetry volume since 1967.

Her biographer, Michael King, said she was writing until as recently as three months ago, and was believed to have made a new will in the last few months when she knew she was dying.

Full Story.


National Writers Union on Amazon's "Search Inside the Book"

The NWU Online Activity Center has an open letter to National Writers Union Members on the "Search Inside the Book" program. They say although Amazon has disabled the ability to print the book pages
from Search Inside titles, it is very easy to extract discrete
information from books.
As more people get
broadband access to the Internet, looking up something on Amazon
may become widespread. What is more, pirating of entire books is
now childishly simple. All it takes is spending a little time on

The National Writers Union's Grievance and Contract Division and
Book Division recommend that all book authors consider contacting Amazon with a DMCA complaint and contacting their publisher in writing.
They are also concerned that is reportedly considering
a book search feature, which they say might similarly infringe writers'
copyrights. They caution to keep in mind the need to
obtain permission from holders of electronic rights for
distribution of their works.


Neil Gaiman to be on ALA poster

Neil Gaiman, writer of the Sandman series of graphic novels, as well as American Gods and Coraline, talks in his journal about his photo shoot for an upcoming ALA poster session:

The photographer explained that she was going to do a straightforward photo (which she took), and that later she wants take some more imaginative ones -- me looming from the darkness, me with paint or ink dripping from my hand, that kind of thing. And then she mentioned that she wanted to also take a photo of me as the mythological or literary character of my choice, and wondered who I'd like to be.

"Red Riding Hood's Wolf," I said, because I went perfectly blank, and that was the first thing that popped into my completely blank head. So I'm going to be Red Riding Hood's Wolf in a photo, although this may not be obvious to anyone except the photographer and me.

Afterwards, she asked why...


ALA Awards Newbery, Caldecott at Midwinter

The big deal event at ALA's Midwinter meeting is the announcement of several book awards, most notably the Newbery and Caldecott. People start lining up outside the room an hour before the ceremony, and through the convention center walls, from the adjoining room, I could hear shouts and applause and jubilation as I sat in the Cognotes office typing up a story. Listening to the ceremony from another room was akin to standing outside a sports bar during the Super Bowl. I'm pretty sure no one was drunk at the 9 a.m. ceremony, though--just hopped up on $4.00 double-shot Starbucks and the supernatural energy inherent in youth services librarians. Kate DiCamillo got word Monday morning about her Newbery award for The Tale of Despereaux: Being the Story of a Mouse, a Princess, Some Soup, and a Spool of Thread, and burst into tears, according to this USA Today story. Mordicai Gerstein, illustrator and author snagged the Caldecott for "The Man Who Walked Between the Towers."


Seussentennial Festivities

Every year on March 2, the nation's readers mark Ted Geisel's birthday with "Read Across America." This year is extra special: it's the 100th anniversary of the birth of The Man Who Would Be Seuss.

The Seussentennial Imagination Tour, which kicked off January 3, will visit more than 40 cities, with performances, readings, and interactive Imagination Workshops.

Here are some suggestions for ways libraries can participate in the observance.

The National Education Association offers a resource kit on "The Many Hats of Ted Geisel" -- teaching materials to help K-12 students learn about the man behind the pseudonym (scroll down to find it; for some reason it's the last item in the box).

Read the Geisel biography on the Seussville web site.

Finally, watch for the March 2 release of the Theodor Seuss Geisel commemorative U.S. postage stamp.


British bestseller about punctuation

Steve Fesenmaier writes "So it has been a shock to the rarefied system of Ms. Truss, 48, that her book "Eats, Shoots & Leaves: The Zero Tolerance
Approach to Punctuation," has become this year's surprise No. 1 best seller here. Among the legions of the surprised are the
executives at her publishing house, Profile Books, who ordered a modest initial printing of 15,000 books, but now have
510,000 in print; and Ms. Truss's friends and family.
NYTimes Has The Story."

I wonder what she has to say about "Colons: When Is Enough, Enough" or "Colons: The Spam of Punctuation"



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