Thursday, July 26, 2007

News Bits, In Brief

The most fearless paper in America, The Weekly World News, is dead. The always entertaining and informative supermarket tabloid was 28 years old. Send all sympathy cards, floral arrangements and cash donations to 'Bat Boy.'

Popular Mechanics has a list of The Top 5 Harry Potter Gadgets We Want (and Where You Can Find Them). While time-turners and magic wands are still only a thing of fiction, flying cars are only four years and $500,000 away.

Via Boing Boing: "Spiderman fan Andrew Farago was browsing...San Francisco's KAYO Books when he stumbled upon a Planned Parenthood issue of The Amazing Spider-Man from the 1970s...Thankfully, Andrew scanned and posted the whole comic."

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

News Bits, In Brief

Sniff, sniff. No, that's not the sound of someone crying. It's the sound of Keith Richards celebrating. According to, Richards' autobiography is said to be the hottest book up for auction this summer. Publishers Harper Collins and Little, Brown are presently the leading bidders. The current marker? $7.1 million.

Authors looking to tour something besides bookstores and Wal-Marts are now visiting the offices of multi-million dollar corporations. Microsoft, Starbucks, Yahoo and Google are some of the US companies offering regular book events for employees. (We're never gonna get our class war, are we?)

What's the one thing on an airplane that's germier than the complimentary pillow and blanket? It might be the book that you just bought in the terminal! The Chicago Sun Times has announced that Powell's Books is now buying and selling used books at three of their international airport locations. Store manager Martin Barrett says, ''A lot of airport employees and airline crew members take advantage of this, but if a passenger shows up with a suitcase full of books to swap, that's fine, too." I read somewhere that Maxim and Penthouse are the two top selling magazines in airports. I really hope that they're not selling those secondhand, too.

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

News Bits, In Briefs, Boxers and Panties...

Although HBO's Sex In The City never took off in the Middle East (due in large part to Sarah Jessica Parker's camel-like bone structure), sex-centric chick lit is all the rage in Saudi Arabia. Inspired by the success of Rajaa Alsanea's 2005 novel, Girls of Riyadh, 'The Land of The Two Holy Mosques' has seen an explosion in the number of young female writers being published. According to the Reuters article linked to above, the literary output of Saudi Arabia has more than doubled in the last two years, with this hot new trend in 'veiled fiction' (wink, wink) accounting for much of the growth. has named Luke Janklow their Hottest Straight Man In Book Publishing. Surprise, surprise: he's a rich, white New Yorker. But that's not all there is to this handsome heartthrob. He's apparently a rebel and a rock star, too. According to a March, 2004 article in W magazine, Janklow thumbs his perfectly sculpted nose at the book world's tweed-heavy traditions by wearing sneakers to the office(!), putting said sneaker-clad feet up on his desk(!!) and leaving an electric guitar lying around in plain sight of his adoring interviewer(!!!). Swoon.

Via The Advocate's list of The 100 Best Gay Novels. The only problem? The list was made in 1999. In other words, no Fight Club.

Monday, July 23, 2007

News Bits, In Brief

Insurance agent wins Hemingway look-alike contest. Larry Austin of Palm Harbor, FL took home the coveted honor. Runners up got promised part time Santa jobs in their local shopping malls.

Failed novelist succeeds as a prankster & plagiarist. A London lad looking for his fifteen minutes of fame sent eighteen publishers minutely altered chapters of Jane Austen novels. They were rejected or ignored by all but one publisher. I guess Austen's brand of writing is simply too Hollywood for today's literary world.

Speaking of Hollywood, since the Pirates of the Caribbean films have made them billions, has anyone thought to ask Johnny Depp to star in a film about book piracy? Sure, Depp's Secret Window and The Libertine weren't great book-related flicks, but what about Before Night Falls and Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas? Those were ill!

This last link is for The Inkwell's newest employee, Molly. It's An Adrian Tomine interview at Read it when you get home, though. We're not paying you to play on the computer, damn it.