State of Denial
Bob Woodward's new book, State of Denial, comes out this week -- today, in fact. It is subtitled 'Bush at War, Part III', and it is clearly an important contribution to the Iraq war debate.
Leaks from State of Denial began to emerge last week, with CBS leading the way. Woodward has recorded a 60-minute TV interview with Mike Wallace, due to be broadcast yesterday. You can find a text reference to it, and a clip, on the CBS site.
Most readers of this blog will know of Woodward's long and honourable history as a journalist, and it will be fascinating to see what sort of a reception this latest book receives. (Link from Publishers Lunch.)
Maud Newton provided the link to an excellent article on copyright in the Columbia Journalism Review.
I didn't much like the tone of this piece when I began to read it, but it soon settles down and begins to talk sound common sense. Not, I have to say, that much of what it has to say is new -- you may have come across many of the ideas on this very blog, and in other sources that I have pointed to from time to time. But overall this article is an excellent contribution to the debate, and it constitutes a useful summary of the present position.
Are you a Da Vinci Code enthusiast? Do you yearn to know the secrets of the Rosslyn chapel? If so go to The Rosslyn Hoax? web site for details of a new book which reveals (it is claimed) some startling facts. Note: the Rosslyn Chapel was already the subject of much speculation long before Mr Brown wrote his famous book.
The joy of academe
Martin Rundkvist explains what fun it is to write academic papers and reviews, and then have to wait a year to put your own stuff on your own web site.
Roger Morris makes money
Roger Morris, you may recall, was one of Macmillan New Writing's first half dozen. And now he's had his first royalty statement, which is analysed on his blog:
Number of copies sold: 1,804.
Income generated by the book: £10,429.76.
Roger's earnings (20% of the above): £2,085.95.
Now that strikes me as very respectable. Of course there was a flurry of excitement and press coverage of the early MNW authors, but even so, not at all bad for a hardback.
Carla Nayland kindly pointed me towards a post on the Poddy Mouth blog, in which Poddy points out that being an author is getting to be less and less fun.
Today, 2 October, is the official publication date for Michael Barrymore's book Awight Now -- Setting the Record Straight, which I discussed on 3 August.
In that post I also mentioned a related book, Not Awight Now -- Getting Away with Murder, which has the ISBN number 0-9546949-1-0. The book deals with the death of Stuart Lubbock at Michael Barrymore's home.
I mention the ISBN of that second book because some of the other details are a bit obscure. For instance, on Amazon the authors are listed as Terry Lubbock, Andrew Simmons and Harry Cichy (editor). But if you blow the cover illustration up to the 'larger image' size you will see that the cover gives the Simmons first name as Alan. The title is also slightly different from the book's heading on Amazon.
Mr Cichy told me, in an email, that Alan Simmons is a pen-name. Harry Cichy is listed by Amazon as the publisher. And he is also the Chairman of the Lubbock Trust, which was, reportedly, set up to promote further investigation into the death of Stuart Lubbock.
The whole Lubbock/Barrymore history is extremely murky, and on the whole it seems unlikely that either of these two new books will reveal the whole truth about the death of Stuart Lubbock. And while some of us don't care, some people obviously do care. Very much.
How many books are there about Thomas Hardy? Five hundred? Anyway, there are some new ones out, and the Financial Times discusses three of them. The most important, I suspect, is Claire Tomalin's, and she has her own article to plug the book in the Sunday Times. There's also an extract, dealing with Hardy's peculiar funeral.
Mrs GOB is still trying to recover from the shock of hearing that the National Trust is going to let out Hardy's home as a holiday cottage.
Buy a friend a book
It's Buy a Friend a Book Week again -- October 1-7. Debra Hamel decrees them quarterly, and why not.
You may have heard of the movie Death of a President, wherein an Arab kills the current American President.
But what if every American wanted to do the same? If you want to read a 352-page screenplay describing such a situation, in the '24th year of the war on terror', then Assassination Street is the place to go.
Robert Charles Wilson won a Hugo for Spin, which I liked too, and Dave Langford of Ansible got one as best Fan Writer.
Thirteen is not a number
Thirteen is allegedly a state of mind. So say Myrmidon Books anyway. Myrmidon are new guys in publishing and they're based up north, which makes a change.
Thirteen is the title of one of their first books, by Sebastian Beaumont. He got an Arts Council bursary to write it, which normally makes me deeply suspicious, but in this case the book looks quite interesting.
A test of survival
Speaking of interesting books, here's another one: A Test of Survival. It's published by iUniverse, but, as we all know by now, if we've been paying attention, that does not mean that we can dismiss it with a sniff.
The four-paragraph description of the book is, quite simply, the best blurb that I've read in a long time, from any publisher. The author's early background was in journalism, which I regard as promising. And if you want to make up your own mind about the book, you can read the first three chapters online.
You can also read the evaluations of three professional editors in response to a submission from a literary agent. These editors decided against buying the book because they believed that the science got in the way of the story and would not attract sufficient readership.
Whether you buy A Test of Survival or not, this web site is a valuable case study in modern publishing.