Tuesday, 14 May 2013

News: MPH Warehouse Sale, Grammar, And Dan Brown's Inferno

MPH Distributors is having its annual blowout sale from 21 to 26 May, 8am to 6pm at its premises at 5, Jalan Bersatu, Section 13/4, 46200 Petaling Jaya. Come one, come all, and avoid all that post-GE13 unpleasantness.

And glad to see that Fixi is doing well.


  • "...it haunted my office for a decade in the form of a file cabinet labelled "DAB" – the Damned Africa Book. Into that cabinet I stuffed notes, clippings, photographs, character sketches, plot ideas, anything that struck me as relevant to the huge novel I wished I could write. I did not believe I would ever be writer enough to do it. So the files grew fat, in proportion to my angst about the undertaking." Barbara Kingsolver talks about that "Damned Africa Book", The Poisonwood Bible.
  • "Tourism is down in Florence by 10%, and if this new book does well, we will get that 10% back." Eugenio Giani, head of the city council of Florence, Italy, is apparently banking on Dan Brown's latest book, Inferno, to set the city's tourism industry ablaze. Never thought of Brown as a tourist site resuscitator.

    Speaking of Dan Brown: seems the translators working on Inferno had a taste of Hell because the publisher(s) wanted to keep a lid on the book before its simultaneous worldwide release. It's just one of some crazy ways publishers enforce a code of silence.

    Before I forget: here's twenty of St Dan's worst sentences, just in case you're wondering what to expect in Inferno - thank you, Daily Telegraph. After all, dude sells millions. Maybe half of that are editors and English teachers looking for case studies.
  • Candace Bushnell, author of Sex and the City, became a victim of a hacker who posted excerpts of her new novel online. Someone suggested (forgot who) that Bushnell use the hacking as publicity for said book but, hey, we can't all be like Paulo Coelho.

    Bushnell's case, however, is nothing compared to the angry reactions to how Charlaine Harris ended the Sookie Stackhouse saga. Death threats and suicide threats over the ending of a book? SRSLY?
  • The art of translation, examined via the response to Haruki Murakami's latest.
  • How different is book-signing in the digital age, and are signed e-books just as much relics as signed hardcopies? (the short answer is "yes", I think). Also: a brief history of the pantelegraph.
  • How John Scalzi packs for a three-week book tour. Even then, he admits he's no expert. Mary Robinette Kowal can pack as many days worth of clothing into a carry-on as I can, and still — unfathomably — have space for a ball gown."
  • Dude's writing about comics, but he brings up a good question: Will fretting over production details mean that professionals in publishing - editors, writers, book-makers, etc - will enjoy reading less?
  • The Guardian asks, "Is good grammar still important?" Comedian and author Charlie Higson spars with Daily Mail columnist and sketchwriter Quentin Letts over whether the grammar Nazis have had their day. Maybe some rules need not be adhered to, but here are some grammar rules 'everyone' should follow. Or not.

    Recent news about the ancient Egyptian pyramids makes the case for some flexibility in language. Thanks to their precise engineering, the expansion and contraction of the limestone blocks due to temperature changes led to the outsides cracking and eventually crumbling. Without room for improvisation, language may end up the same.
  • 'Discarded lines' from Robert Palmer's "Simply Irresistable". Sounds like parody because ♪ the writer sounds irascible, yeah yeah... ♫
  • This 7-minute, research-based workout plan leaves you with almost no excuse not to exercise. And here's a handy guide on storing your favourite foods. What to keep on the shelf, fridge or freezer. Not exactly book-related, but handy.


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