Good morning bookies! Stand by for news and comment.

I’m still feeling the effects of whatever weird sickness has overcome the household. I’m thinking it’s likely a space-born virus that is the advance guard of an microbial alien assault on Planet Earth, and if I can beat it then Mankind will be saved. That seems the most likely possibility, anyway.

*** Heroes Con is a family friendly comics convention held in Charlotte, NC. Attendance this year was quite good, which surprised some folks but not me. As the economy continues to ooze like cold molasses people are looking for new and cheap entertainments for the whole family. Conventions are a good choice.

Heroes Con has heroic turnout

*** I’m sure it comes as no surprise to anyone that our government seems to have a limitless capacity for wasting time and resources on utterly meaningless ventures. However, just in case you think more government is a good thing, consider this: the FTC is now going to investigate book bloggers who are either paid/compensated/given free books to see if they violate some obscure rule or another. And, of course, this happens to be a book blog. Does this mean the government is investigating me to see if I’m being paid for doing this? I guess it’s possible. And that is, of course, patently absurd. I suppose the concern is along the lines of the radio Payola scandal of the 50’s, that bloggers are paid to write good reviews of books and should disclose this fact.

Okay, I guess that sort of makes sense. But in my entire time of doing this I have been sent exactly one book, unsolicited, which I haven’t read yet. (But it IS in the queue) But if there are bloggers with so much power they can generate large enough numbers of sales by their recommendations, then I haven’t read them. And if by bloggers they mean professional reviewers, isn’t it understood that reviewers in major outlets like newspapers are paid for their work? I’m not, of course, but for those whose work is syndicated I would think that goes without saying.

Anyway, I can think of a lot better uses for our tax money than worrying about whether some blogger got a free book or not.

Big Brother will now be reading over your shoulder

*** A novel about Hemingway in the years just after World War One sold at auction for more than half a million dollars. Which is insane. Without knowing the quality of this book, and for all I know it could be fabulous, one has to wonder why Hemingway’s life needs to be novelized. Indeed, his world was so incredible that it seems far-fetched, even though we know it was real.

Can a novel about Hemingway comes close to matching real life?