Of battleships and DeathStars

Good morning bookies! Stand by for news.

*** In the category of both ‘I’ll-believe-it-when-I-see-it’ and ‘now-I’ve-heard-everything’, it appears there is a movement afoot to re-float the largest battleship ever built, Imperial Japanese Navy Musashi, and turn it into a tourist attraction. Uh-huh. Now, I’ll be the first to admit that if such a thing were ever done I’d be all over seeing it, damn the cost. But come on! Musashi went down on Oct. 24, 1944, in a blizzard of bombs and a school of torpedoes during attacks from Admiral Bill Halsey’s mammoth fleet of aircraft carriers. Aside from weighing more than 70,000 tons, how are they going to plug all of the holes and get them much weight to the surface? Are the turrets still attached? Because if you don’t lift the main batteries to the surface you won’t have much of an attraction. The whole thing sounds like a scam to me. But you be the judge.

And yes, I know it’s not book related.


*** The Tales of Beetle the Bard, J.K. Rowling’s latest book, will be released in Scotland on December 4, with all sorts of special editions, collector’s editions, non-collector’s editions, you name it, scheduled for every nook and cranny in the known world. And one hopes that books such as this will continue spurring young people to read, even if one gets a bit cynical about the marketing end of things.

*** Support is pouring in for Italian anti-Mafia author Robert Saviano, whose expose of organized crime in the Naples area has left him marked for death. It seems the Italian government hasn’t been all that excited about protecting him, leading 6 Noble prize winners to sign a petition drive urging the Italian government to keep him alive. Good luck with that. Salman Rushdie says Saviano is in far more danger than he ever was. All he had to endure was a fatwah from some barbarians, Saviano is up against the Mob. My thoughts are that as long as he’s in Italy, he’s in deep doo-doo.

*** Never let it be said that your friendly neighborhood bookguy isn’t constantly on the lookout for new, innovative and terminally yummy products to compliment your book addiction. Think about it, the winter winds are curling and swirling outside, a light freezing mist is falling, a fire is crackling in the hearth and you’re comfortable in your favorite chair with a terrific book and a chocolate covered bacon bar. How could life be better?


*** I Like ‘Star Wars’ as much as any non-fanatic-general-public kind of guy, I like Carrie Fisher as Princess Leia, I have nothing against her. And, since tell-all Hollywood biographies aren’t really my reading matter of choice, I doubt I’ll ever read Ms. Fisher’s apparently very gossipy biography. But if I did want to read something trashy this certainly sounds like it would do the trick.


*** As the financial markets tanked people turned to the one thing that reminded them the world was not, in fact, coming to an end: books. Yep, people are reading more now that they can’t afford the latest gizmo (or the electricity to run it). Good news. Gizmos come and go but books are forever. The snots in their ivory towers will intone about the masses reading drivel and what a shame it is that serious writers can’t get noticed (by serious writers, they mean them) for all of the drek, the science fiction, the witches and goblins and comic books and other opiates for the under-educated. I know they will say this because they always say this as way of explanation for why nobody wants to read anything they write.

But your friendly neighborhood bookseller has a different view of things: if you like it, read it. Who gives a damn what anybody else thinks about it?


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