Good morning, bookies. Stand by for news.

Coming soon and good bets for Christmas gifts:
Titanic’s Last Secrets: The Further Adventures of Shadow Divers John Chatterton and Richie Kohler by Bradford Matsen. Look for this one October 1, that’s tomorrow. Remember the TV show Deep Sea Detectives? These are those guys. I remember seeing Richie in a submarine exploring the wreck of Titanic and thinking ‘yo, there’s a book in there, somewhere.’ Looks like I was right.

Kill Bin Laden by Dalton Fury. No idea what it’s about, I just like the title.

The Brass Verdict by Michael Connelly. Perhaps the greatest crime writer of our generation, so any new book from him is an event. Connelly likes to combine characters from different series, so in this one you get not only Mickey Haller from The Lincoln Lawyer but Harry Bosch as well.

Warren Buffett and the Interpretation of Financial Statements by Mary Buffett and David Clark. The guy is rich beyond measure, reading this can’t hurt.

Today’s cool, freebie site: http://librivox.org

Book copyrights only last so long and when they expire, the books are in the public domain. That is, anybody can use them in whatever way they choose. You could, if you wanted, publish a new series of Sherlock Holmes editions without paying anyone anything for doing so. Librivox takes advantage of that. Volunteer readers read books in the public domain. Sure, the quality of the readings is uneven sometimes, but for goodness’ sake, it’s free! You can download in MP3 format for your MP3 player, or to your computer so you can burn them to CD. I’m listening to The History of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire Part II by Edward Gibbon.

There are at least half a dozen careers and skills I could see immersing myself in and being quite happy. Historian, writer, editor, bookseller, sex symbol…and bookbinder. I can only imagine how neat it would be to mold the bits of material and glue and leather and arcane matter into a gorgeous book, or to repair a rare but precious book and give it not only new life, but new glory. Just yesterday I found a new home for a rare book, a home in Ireland, no less, but the book could use some restoration. How I wish I could have been the one to give it. And so I read today’s first story and wish that, in one alternate universe at least, it was me:

http://www.brooklyneagle.com/categories/category.php?category_id=18&id=23456

If you live in Kansas, or anywhere close, there is a place that is very close to my own heart. Although not strictly a book thing, it’s a museum and I consider places that are havens for research to be in the same category. If you’re a World War II buff, or have a relative who fought in the war and want to know more about it, or just want to wind up some places off the beaten track while in Kansas, give the WWII history center a try.

http://www.wwiihistorycenter.org/index.htm

I often wonder whether or not we here in the good old USA still have freedom of speech or not. And, if we do, what that means. Well, as we all know, the US economy is doing pirouettes these days and the Congress stayed over the weekend, supposedly to deal with the crisis. So Saturday night the House of Representatives passed legislation to shield American authors from foreign lawsuits because the foreigners might not like what we wrote. In other words, if I wrote a book saying that the kimchee in South Korea is better than in the North, theoretically I am now protected for giving my opinion. This sounds silly but might actually be important. For as more real world example, in the USA it is legal to deny the Holocaust happened. In most of Europe, however, they will get you thrown in jail. Ask British author David Irving, who was given a three year prison sentence in Austria for Holocaust denial. One presumes that the legislation passed by the House would protect an American from such a fate.

http://europenews.dk/en/node/14533

Thanks for reading, bookies. Good day!