As Harper Lee celebrates her 88th birthday today, she unexpectedly announced an eBook version of To Kill A Mockingbird would be published this July. Until today, To Kill A Mockingbird and Salinger’s Catcher in the Rye were the two white rhinos that still eluded the eBook library’s collection of classics. [Guardian]
J.K. Rowling was the guest editor of BBC Radio’s Women’s Hour this morning, and she spoke about her mother’s battle with Multiple Sclerosis. Rowling’s mother died at age 45 from complications of the autoimmune disorder, and in memoriam, the author has helped to fund the Anne Rowling Regenerative Neurology Clinic at the University of Edinburgh. Sadly, Rowling’s mother never got to witness her daughter’s success. “My mother was a passionate reader, and she would have been excited whatever I did, if I succeeded at anything, but particularly to be a writer, she would have considered to be a very valuable thing,” she said. But “she never knew about Harry Potter – I started writing it six months before she died, so that is painful. I wish she’d known.” [Guardian]
A research project just doesn’t feel finished until you’ve been to the library to scour the microfiche late at night. That opportunity is a rarity these days, since so many libraries are pitching out their newspaper catalogs. But not the British Library! They spent $56 million renovating a new facility for newspaper clippings – available in microfilm and digital. [New York Times]
Two new novelists have participated in the comic strip campaign to celebrate the British Library’s comic collection: Dave Eggers and Margaret Atwood. Eggers wrote a short comic about a buffalo that rallied his captive brethren and broke free of their shackled lifestyle to reclaim their heritage of roaming the wild plains, sort of, they had plans to do that, tomorrow maybe. Atwood - yeesh - Atwood went dark. She went The Handmaid’s Tale multiplied by an STD apocalypse.
It seems fitting that the British have an annual Bad Grammar Award to chastise the worst offenders of the King’s English. This year some of the unlucky parties shortlisted for the “award” are: Tesco (UK Costco), the National Health Service, historian and MP Tristram Hunt, the Army Careers Office, and a handful of primary schools. To give you an idea of the mistakes, Tesco printed this well meaning slogan on their toilet paper: “Same Luxury. Less Lorries.” Tesco also described its orange juice brand as the “most tastiest.” But the real winner is BBC judge Jeremy Paxman, who had this to say, “People who care about grammar are regularly characterised as pedants. I say that those who don’t care about it shouldn’t be surprised if we pay no attention to anything they say – if indeed they’re aware of what they’re trying to say.” Zing. [Guardian]
Alicia Silverstone has put out another parenting book and many are saying it’s totally clueless. (Cheap pun.) Her book, The Kind Mama: A Simple Guide to Supercharged Fertility, a Radiant Pregnancy, a Sweeter Birth, and a Healthier, More Beautiful Beginning, has garnered quite a few side-eyes from people who are skeptical of her advice against using tampons, diapers or vaccinations. [NY Daily News]