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

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Blog entries on '25 November 2005'

Friday 25 November 2005


I'm kinda done for today, so I think I'll indulge myself and take a proper look at Craig's Theoria blog (which I just found via the matchless and marvelous wood s lot) which looks very good indeed.

Posted by Mark Thwaite

Friday 25 November 2005

Dai Vaughan Non-Return

I've failed to mention some exciting news! Dai Vaughan's latest novel Non-Return (Seren) is out. You should certainly go out and buy a copy right now but, before you do, please take the time to read my interview with Dai and Dai's review of John Sommerfield's 1936 novel May Day. Whilst you are at the shops, do pick up Dai's previous novel Totes Meer (named, of course, after Paul Nash's haunting, remarkable painting) and, if you don't mind, bring something warm back for me.

Posted by Mark Thwaite

Friday 25 November 2005

13-digit ISBN

Are you guys interested in this kind of thing? I am, but it is a little ... erm ... specific! PN Online have a good article about the forthcoming changeover to 13-digit ISBNs. I guess if the 10-digit ISBN that sits on the back of all your books holds no fascination for you, you should just quickly move on and forget I even mentioned it:

With little more than a year to go to the deadline of 1 January 2007, how well prepared is the international book trade for the changes to the ISBN? The simple answer is that no one really knows. The sheer scale of the task is a big part of the problem. The ISBN is used in more than 160 countries around the world and is embedded in every conceivable book trade system and application.

Posted by Mark Thwaite

Friday 25 November 2005

New paperbacks from the New Press

Four new paperbacks, from The New Press, have just arrived at RSB Towers: Dale Peck's Hatchet Jobs; James Marcus's Amazonia; Christian Parenti's The Freedom: Shadows and Hallucinations in Occupied Iraq (which an Amazon reviewer called a "superb study of a brutal, illegal occupation") and Esther Kaplan's With God on their Side ("essential reading for anyone concerned about America's direction under the second administration of George W Bush").

I know that Peck has ruffled countless feathers Stateside, but I'm still actually rather fascinated to read at least one or two of his supposedly quite brutal book reviews. Amazonia interests me because, for my sins, I worked for Amazon (the UK branch) for five long years. I think it is fairly obvious why both Parenti's and Kaplan's books suggest themselves.

Posted by Mark Thwaite

Friday 25 November 2005

Put About

This looks good (from the good folk at Book Works):

Put About: A Critical Anthology on Independent Publishing presents a timely discussion about independent publishing and publishing by artists, focusing on books where the makers keep control of every aspect of production through to distribution. Combining an interest in what and why publishers and artists feel compelled to deliver such materials, together with the economic models, audience and networks of association that can give independent productions a wider cultural presence, this book features a broad range of written and visual pieces alongside 'case-studies' from a selection of contemporary international publishers. Contributors include: John Baldessari, Simon Bedwell, Michael Bracewell, Andrea Brady, Cabinet Magazine, Bonnie Camplin, Maurizio Cattelan, David Dibosa, Matthew Higgs, Stewart Home, Lucy Lippard, Emily King, Gunilla Klingberg, Jakob Kolding, John Miller, Paul D. Miller aka Dj Spooky, Aleksandra Mir, Stéphanie Moisdon, David Osbaldeston, Raymond Pettibon, Lynne Tillman, Nicolas Trembley, and Axel John Wieder.

Posted by Mark Thwaite

Friday 25 November 2005

The Human War

Lee Rourke reviews Noah Cicero's angry and timely The Human War (Fugue State Press):

There is obviously an element of Holden Caulfield about Mark [the narrator], which is unavoidable I suppose. What is refreshing about him though is the vitriol he possesses for his homeland and the people it has purposely moulded into the drones around him. America and its obsessions has driven him to despair, it has turned him not only against Bush and God but his very own species. Mark sees no way out. He can never escape this thought, so he gets drunk and he gets angry, knowing it is not the solution.

(For all of Lee's review of The Human War)

Posted by Mark Thwaite

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-- Mark Thwaite, Managing Editor



As you sow, so shall you reap. The bags packed,
Umbers and gold swollen between the purse-strings,
Getaway cars nose on a hot scent.
Under striped canvas the patrons gather,
Staring at blue, incorrigible seas.
The stubble burns a hole in summer's pocket;
Upon the baked crust of their world, the mice
Scatter their ashes to the harvest moon.

-- Peter Scupham
(Carcanet Press)

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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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