Friday news round-up

by Nikki Tranter

8 February 2008


Hobbit first edition up for auction
A signed first edition of Tolkien’s book, complete with black and white sketches by the author, will go under the hammer at London’s Bonhams auction house in March. It’s estimated the book could draw bids of up to $US70,000. This article, published in The Age, notes that over 100 million copies of the Hobbit have been sold, with “the US Library Association declaring the novel to be the most significant children’s book of the century”.


West Virginia Record calls John Grisham a hypocrite
On tour with his latest book, The Appeal, Grisham has apparently spent much airtime slagging of West VA for alleged high court corruption. The Record fights back in this article that claims Grisham isn’t one to throw stones:

Grisham continues to defend convicted judge-briber and ex-Scruggs associate Paul Minor, sentenced last October to eleven years in prison. Once president of the Mississippi Trial Lawyers Association, Minor was found guilty of a range of charges, including racketeering and bribery of two judges presiding over his cases.

Grisham’s Flat Earth Society analysis: “I never saw what the crime was.”

When it comes to trial lawyers, especially ones he likes, he can’t see well at all.


James Patterson is the UK’s most borrowed author
No shock there, really. This article tells us that Patterson’s works were borrowed from UK libraries in the vicinity of 1.5 million times in one year. He is the UK’s most popular author, while At Risk by Patricia Cornwell is the most popular book. Ugh. Re:Print readers are well-aware I’m a reformed Patterson fan. So, I find it hard to stomach the rate at which folks lap up his mini-chapter pomposities. I was once like you, Great Britain! If I grew out of it, so can you!


Man attempts to mail gun parts inside books
Seattle Police, so says this article in the Seattle Post-Intelligencer, are hunting a man who attempted to mail gun parts to France hidden inside books:

Searching the books, officers found a disassembled Beretta handgun, three loaded magazines and two boxes of 9mm ammunition hidden in hollowed copies of Richard Tarnas’ “Cosmos and Psyche,” Isaac Asimov’s “Chronology of the World” and a communications text.

Read further and the whole things sounds like a Bond film in the making. Apparently the sender was an elderly man with liver spots on his face and a slight French accent.

Art exhibit showcases unloved books
I love this story. The Birmingham Free Press reports on an art exhibition featuring sculptures and other works created using the remains of branch-room library books, those old, unloved tomes no-one has borrowed in too long a time. Cut, pasted, bent, and burned, the books have been refashioned to give them new, the article says, “a second life”. The exhibition, titled “Un-shelved: An Altered Book Project” features 60 pieces and is on show at the Birmingham Bloomfield Art Center and the Cranbrook Art Academy’s student gallery.

When some pictures are available, Re:Print will take a closer look at this one.

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