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Category: Harry Potter

A bit of this and a bit of that

Good morning bookies! Stand by for news and comment.

*** Anyone who has read The Hobbit or The Lord of the Rings knows that Professor Tolkien was a genius, but was he also an archaeologist? If the findings concerning the so-called hobbit found on the Indonesian island of Flores are correct, it would seem so. Will we soon find the mummified remains of tall hominids with pointy ears? Or huge reptiles with wings? Heck if I know, but wouldn’t that be fun?

I wonder if scientists have any way of discovering whether this little fellow had an English accent.

The remains of a Took or a Baggins, perhaps?

*** The English have a new hobby: guessing what books are on Tony Blair’s shelves. It seems that the Blairs had their Christmas card taken in front of their bookshelves, so now there’s a fad trying to read the titles to see what they read.

How many can you identify?

*** As always, if there is anything you would like to see more or less of in this blog, let me know. No guarantees, of course, our budget for purchasing new material is fairly small, but I’ll do what I can.

*** BBG has to admit that he’s not a Harry Potter reader. It’s not that I have anything against Harry, on the contrary, I love the movies, but for some reason I never felt the need to read the books. I suspect that I might have found myself comparing them to LOTR and that would not have been fair, Rowling isn’t Tolkien, nobody is, but that should not even be an issue. Anyway, I haven’t read them but I greatly admire Rowling for what she has done. And with The Tales of Beedle the Bard she has turned her fame into a great boon for children in need.

Rowling raises big bucks for kids

If you happen to live in Edinburgh, or are visiting, a drop in to see the hand-written version of this book on display is a must.

*** Nothing is sacred. First came the sequel to Gone With the Wind, then the makers of the ‘Lord of the Rings’ movies had the elves show up at the Battle of Helm’s Deep and now Victor Hugo has the ignominy of having his classic Les Miserables spawn two sequels, additions that are now officially approved by a French court. Good grief. What’s next, Sherlock Holmes books written by others than A. Conan Doyle?

Oh, yeah, that’s right. There are lots of those. I even like some of them, the ones by Laurie R. King.

Okay, but still, Les Miserables? It seems heretical.

Victor Hugo spinning like a top six feet under

Harry, MAC and the Kings

Good morning bookies! Stand by for news.

Today is election day in the USA, but this blog is non-political. I have very strong feelings regarding the outcome, but don’t look for them here, they will appear in my political blog and that’s not open to the public. Now, on to book stuff.

*** Australian writer Jacob Rosenberg has died at age 86. He wrote a number of books about World War II, most notably the novels East of Time and Sunrise West, both set in the Lodz ghetto in Poland. He lost his entire family at Auschwitz.


*** Those who know me know that Max Allan Collins is one of my top five favorite crime writers, although my favorite series of his, the Nate Heller books, has been dormant since 2001’s Angel in Black. My review of his first collaboration with Mickey Spillane, The Goliath Bone, is in this month’s iloveamysterynewsletter

The astute bookie will also have noticed that I just finished Black Hats written by MAC under the nom-de-plume of Patrick Culhane. And so along comes a very timely interview with this prolific and exceedingly creative guy. I found it quite enjoyable.


*** The family of Martin Luther and Coretta Scott King are squabbling over her personal papers and, of course, there is a pot-load of money at stake. What a shock, relatives fighting over their inheritance. One has signed to write a book for $1.4 million, the others have the papers, who knows who believes what. It’s a mess.

*** Wheels within wheels, as Bertie Wooster would say. Not only is Harry Potter still an avalanche of hype, now comes the definitive work on the fan and cyber worlds that go along with such a phenomenon. Melissa Anelli first gave up her life to run the second largest English language Potter site out there, and now she has turned obsession into prose with Harry, a History: The True Story of a Boy Wizard, his Fans, and Life Inside the Harry Potter Phenomenon.

This is my kind of story, by the way. Nothing better than a good obsession and to make a buck out of the deal is even better. Good for Melissa!


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