Good day bookies. Stand by for news.

*** Churchill bribed Franco’s generals? I like that image, Winnie with a cigar clenched in his teeth offering 100 pound notes to a Spanish general, maybe while sipping whiskey. Cool. INstead, however, we are told that he used an intermediary. Or, at least, that’s the gist of a new book, Juan March: The Most Mysterious Man in the World by Pere Ferrer. The review listed below makes one wish for time to read this, as it looks fascinating. Like most WW2 buffs/scholars, I have always believed that the cagey Franco was smart enough not to get sucked in by Hitler’s tempting request to join the war in return for Gibraltar. But maybe there was more to it than that.

*** Reports from the Frankfurt Book Fair indicate a rather mundane, business-like affair. It’s October, they probably just can’t wait to hit the beer halls.

*** The Man Booker Prize was won by Aravind Adiga for his debut novel The White Tiger.

*** There are reports in every news service I’ve seen about Maureen McCormick’s biography, focusing mainly on the titillating news that she traded sex for drugs. It will probably sell a gazillion copies.

*** According to preliminary estimates from the Census Bureau, bookstore sales rose 5.4% in August. Huh. College book sales may have helped here, or maybe people are turning to the cheapest (and still the best) form of entertain-per-dollar available: books.

*** Ridley Scott has signed on to film Joe Haldeman’s classic SFF novel, The Forever War. Having read (and enjoyed) the novel lo, those many years ago, it seems that Scott is likely the right man for the job. At least it isn’t Paul Veerhoven completely re-writing and destroying Heinlein’s classic Starship Troopers.

Once again, bookies, if you have any book news, suggestions or comments, please let the man behind the curtain know.