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One of the Guardian Unlimited Books' top 10 literary blogs: "A home-grown treasure ... smart, serious analysis"

The Bookaholics' Guide to Book Blogs: "Mark Thwaite ... has a maverick, independent mind"

Blog entries on '01 June 2006'

Thursday 01 June 2006

The Book Depository

Back on the 19th May, Steve mentioned The Book Depository. Well, I'm thrilled to say that I am The Book Depository's web-editor!


Fantastically, I have complete and utter editorial discretion and can feature whatever books I like. Most certainly, The Book Depository is a commercial site, but my job there is to surface forgotten, ignored and marginal books, as well as -- for reasons of topicality -- those that have become Books of the Moment by being, for example, Book of the Week over on Radio 4.


At the moment, if you visit The Book Depository site, you may get a wee bit of a sense of déjà vu: a good deal of the content (book reviews and interviews) have come from RSB. But, going forward, there will be lots and lots of unique content on The Book Depository that will be quite different to what you'll read here.


I'm thrilled to be helping The Book Depository folk out. I used to work with the Big Boss (Andy) back in my Amazon days and I know how committed he is to extending the range of books that are easily available -- and at a great price (free shipping on everything!)


I'll also be blogging for The Book Depository over on my Editor's Corner. I'll be focussing more on trade-/publishing-related news and, again, on books (crime, graphic novels, erotic, plainly bonkers) that I don't focus on here - RSB being, after all, a literary site.

Posted by Mark Thwaite
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Thursday 01 June 2006

Librarians Without Borders

Librarians Without Borders is:


an organization that was born in February 2005 by a group of socially-minded librarians who wanted to address the vast information resource inequity existing between different regions of the world. Our vision is to build sustainable libraries and support their custodians and advocates -- librarians.

Via Booksurfer.

Posted by Mark Thwaite
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Thursday 01 June 2006

jPod

jPod, Douglas Coupland's new book, has an official site:


Coupland's latest novel updates Microserfs for the age of Google. Six programmers are bureacratically marooned in jPod — meet them here, read an extract, read an interview with Douglas Coupland, download a podcast, order the exclusive signed special edition ...

Posted by Mark Thwaite
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Thursday 01 June 2006

Ten Poems from Hafez

Sylph Editions have just sent on a copy of the absolutely gorgeous, sumptuously produced book: Ten Poems from Hafez (translated by Jila Peacock). Lovely to see such a fine edition of medieval Farsi poetry.


Hafez (d. 1390) is Iran’s premier and most quoted lyric poet. His status in his own country, and his universal appeal, can be compared with that of Shakespeare in the English-speaking world. The painter and printmaker Jila Peacock has chosen ten love poems from Hafez and following the footsteps of the great Islamic calligraphers, has produced ten shape-poems that sit by her own translations from the Persian. Accompanied by Robert Hillenbrand’s erudite introduction and a foreword by Parvin Loloi, this book is an exceptional achievement, a celebration of the marriage between word and image.

Posted by Mark Thwaite
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Thursday 01 June 2006

In Hora Mortis

James Reidel's translation of Thomas Bernhard's poems In Hora Mortis / Under the Iron of the Moon (PUP) is out any moment now. Franz Wright, winner of the Pulitzer Prize for poetry, endorses the book thus:


Already recognized as a champion of neglected genius, Reidel continues his admirable project by providing American readers with the early verse works of the modern prose master, Thomas Bernhard. This is a beautiful and necessary book. The translations themselves immediately strike me as both accurate and inspired, and are accompanied by a highly readable and erudite introduction which vividly brings to life the young Bernhard and his efforts (alongside older contemporaries such as Krolow, Eich, Bachmann, and Celan) to recreate for literary and moral purposes the great language the Nazis destroyed.

Posted by Mark Thwaite
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Thursday 01 June 2006

Describing books' condition

Do you buy a lot of secondhand books online? I do! And I get very annoyed when the books are not exactly as described. I don't mind at all if a book is battered, but I want to know that before I buy it, so I don't get a nasty surprise. Anyway, here is a good grading system for books from the Independent Online Booksellers Association (via BookLad).

Posted by Mark Thwaite
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-- Mark Thwaite, Managing Editor

Serendipoetry

Memorial Tablet

Squire nagged and bullied till I went to fight,
(Under Lord Derby’s Scheme). I died in hell—
(They called it Passchendaele). My wound was slight,
And I was hobbling back; and then a shell
Burst slick upon the duck-boards: so I fell
Into the bottomless mud, and lost the light.

At sermon-time, while Squire is in his pew,
He gives my gilded name a thoughtful stare:
For, though low down upon the list, I’m there;
‘In proud and glorious memory’... that’s my due.
Two bleeding years I fought in France, for Squire:
I suffered anguish that he’s never guessed.
Once I came home on leave: and then went west...
What greater glory could a man desire?

-- Siegfried Sassoon
Collected Poems (Faber and Faber)

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Word of the Day

The Dord, the Diglot, and an Avocado or two

Pre-order Anu Garg's new book: The Dord, the Diglot, and an Avocado or Two: The Hidden Lives and Strange Origins of Common and Not-So-Common Words (ISBN 9780452288614), published by Penguin more …

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October's Books of the Month

The New Spirit of Capitalism The New Spirit of Capitalism
Luc Boltanski; Eve Chiapello
Horizons Touched: The Music of ECM Horizons Touched: The Music of ECM
Steve Lake, Paul Griffiths

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