Sunday, 13 January 2013

News: Fisking Online Trolls, And Various Miscellany

It seems Robert Fisk has had enough of the "digital poison" spewed by "gutless" anonymous Internet trolls.

"Anonymity on the Net is as pathetic as the anonymous 'sources' that have contaminated the gutless journalism of the New York Times or CNN or the BBC for decades. And the innocent must be able to seek redress in cyberspace as well as in print. Poison-pen letters are illegal. ... So why should we be forced to drink poison on the Net?"

A Tumblr of lousy book covers are such a hoot, as is this blog about lousy Polish book covers. The cover for this book (G*d, Amazon will sell anything) is strangely compelling, and if that's not a big enough red flag, there's the book description and author background. Oh, and here's a blog about very bad sci-fi/fantasy novel covers.

"I had no idea. LITERALLY no idea that bananas could be sliced. For MY ENTIRE LIFE I have simply peeled and chewed bananas. BUT NOW...NOW...I can have my bananas SLICED. perfect little banana discs!!!!"

Love the Amazon review comedy around the Chef'n Bananza Banana Slicer.

In other news:

  • A new law in Turkey quietly lifts ban on 23,000 books. It's always the lifting of bans that are done so quietly ... unless it's an election year, perhaps.
  • Author dumps "bullying" publisher over e-book royalties and starts his own publishing house - which also sells his own books, of course. Speaking of 'bad' publishers: Is Edmund Curll (c. 1675–1747) the worst publisher of all time?
  • Abandoned Ship, a book on a honeymooning couple's nightmare after the Costa Concordia capsized.
  • Keep your highlighter - it doesn't help you learn. Try flash cards and recall instead. Some of the best and worst learning techniques, outlined.
  • Here are three books said to explore the delights of the indie bookstore. Now that's an idea: stories - fiction or non-fiction - revolving around small bookshops. That would make an interesting collection.
  • Christopher Tolkien thinks Peter Jackson and company "eviscerated" his dad's book. So, not everybody is fond of the LoTR movies.
  • It's that time of the year again: the hunt for the 2013 Hatchet Job of the Year. As expected, ZoĆ« Heller's takedown of Joseph Anton is there, and Ron Charles's scathing review of Martin Amis's Lionel Asbo. It'll be a long wait for the results.
  • It seems UK publisher Transworld has dropped Going Clear, Lawrence Wright's book on Scientology. Was the potential for legal tussles with the notoriously litigious group too much to think about?
  • "'s an uneasy business, reading a friend's book." When a friend writes a novel, how should you handle the disappointment?
  • The poetry of Pablo Neruda, as 'read' by cats. And here are some bookstore cats, cat-alogued. Another reason why bookstores shouldn't close.
  • In Mumbai, book piracy is not only socially acceptable, some Indian authors "see it as a stamp of mass popularity." Not sure what that means to the child pedlars who hawk these books.
  • Research suggests racial bias rooted in lazy thinking, makes people closed-minded and less creative. Well, DUH.


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