Twitter Updates for 2009-08-28

Aug 28, 2009 by

  • RT @donnyyap:Unseen for 60 years, the Mail proudly presents Agatha Christie's lost masterpiece, The Capture of Cerberus: #

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Another Austen Mashup – Sense and Sensibilities and Sea Monsters

Aug 19, 2009 by

From the publisher of Pride and Prejudice and Zombies comes another Jane Austen action adventure extravaganza!  Quirk Classics is following up that infamous amalgam of classic literature with otherworldly monsters with Sense and Sensibility and Sea Monsters.

From Amazon:

Sense and Sensibility and Sea Monsters expands the original text of the beloved Jane Austen novel with all-new scenes of giant lobsters, rampaging octopi, two-headed sea serpents, and other biological monstrosities. As our story opens, the Dashwood sisters are evicted from their childhood home and sent to live on a mysterious island full of savage creatures and dark secrets. While sensible Elinor falls in love with Edward Ferrars, her romantic sister Marianne is courted by both the handsome Willoughby and the hideous man-monster Colonel Brandon. Can the Dashwood sisters triumph over meddlesome matriarchs and unscrupulous rogues to find true love? Or will they fall prey to the tentacles that are forever snapping at their heels? This masterful portrait of Regency England blends Jane Austen’s biting social commentary with ultraviolent depictions of sea monsters biting. It’s survival of the fittest—and only the swiftest swimmers will find true love!

To my surprise, this book isn’t written by Seth Grahame-Smith, who was the writer for Zombies; instead, it’s by one Ben H Winters.  This means Quirk is going full scale with this sub-genre, and with Grahame-Smith’s contracted 2 follow-up books, soon there’s going to be a flood of these things.

Actually, I thought that Zombies was pretty darn funny from what I’ve read, but there’s going to be only so much spilled guts over the quiet English countryside that one can take.  I suppose.

Anyway, back to this.  Not only do they have the Amazon snippet, they have also prepared what is now a trending phenomenon in the book publishing world: book trailers (Pynchon did one for this latest, Inherent Vice).  Here’s the one for this book:

This book will be released September 15, 2009.  Check the Amazon listing here.

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Bookbabble Episode 34: Hard Times for Literature in Schools

May 22, 2009 by

Bookbabble Episode 34: Hard Times for Literature in Schools
Recorded 17 May 2009
Bjorn, Gem, Renee, Donny with guest Emma Sutcliffe


The babblers are joined by a guest today, the affable Emma Sutcliffe from Blackburn, England, as they talk about literature that is part of the school syllabus.  What’s being taught in schools in the babblers’ countries, whether it needs to be changed and why.  Plus, Emma spills on the book that scarred her during her schooling years.

Show Length: 86:24 mins



Download the show here.

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Books about the Good Book?

Mar 18, 2009 by

One of the podcasts that’s constantly in my playlist is Slate’s Political Gabfest (I don’t know why I like listening to discussions on the American political landscape.  Maybe because I like getting confused, or that I’m in love with the notion that there are places in the world where we can discuss openly, publicly and intelligently on national politics without the repercussions of being arrested, or maybe I just like intelligent discussions, or maybe I’m just like pretending to be smart.)

So anyway, in one of the shows, one of the panelists, David Plotz, mentioned (repeatedly) that he had written an interesting book called Good Book: The Bizarre, Hilarious, Disturbing, Marvelous, and Inspiring Things I Learned When I Read Every Single Word of the Bible, which is, well, self-explanatory.

He writes:

Everyone should read it—all of it! In fact, the less you believe, the more you should read. Let me explain why, in part by telling how reading the whole Bible has changed me.

Check out his article on Slate on the book, where it is mentioned that Good Book is a culmination of a series of blog posts he did while reading the Bible from cover to cover.

Plotz’s book isn’t the only one about the Bible in recent memory (well, as recent as 2 years ago, anyway).  A. J. Jacobs did The Year of Living Biblically: One Man’s Humble Quest to Follow the Bible as Literally as Possible.  Amazon says:

Make no mistake: A.J. Jacobs is not a religious man. He describes himself as Jewish “in the same way the Olive Garden is an Italian restaurant.” Yet his latest work, The Year of Living Biblically: One Man’s Humble Quest to Follow the Bible as Literally as Possible, is an insightful and hilarious journey for readers of all faiths. Though no fatted calves were harmed in the making of this book, Jacobs chronicles 12 months living a remarkably strict Biblical life full of charity, chastity, and facial hair as impressive as anything found in The Lord of the Rings. Through it all, he manages to brilliantly keep things light, while avoiding the sinful eye of judgment.

Jacobs is the author of The Know-It-All: One Man’s Humble Quest to Become the Smartest Person in the World, which chronicles his reading of the entire Encyclopedia Britannica, from A to Z.  I’ve read The Know-It-All, and can confirm that it’s a hilarious laugh-a-minute romp through the fabled encyclopedia, told with a keen wit.

Check them out.

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Bookbabble’s Forced Reload

Mar 12, 2009 by

If you’re here and wondering why Bookbabble looks so incredibly different (i.e. why is this place so freaking barren???), rest assured that this is the Bookbabble that you know and love, just a little disheveled.

Exactly 1 week ago I found that Bookbabble’s web host has decided to switch servers without informing me, causing me to lose all the data we’ve been pumping into the site for the past year. I won’t go into too much detail here (although I will write it up somewhere else), but suffice to say I shall not return as a customer.

Unfortunately, there’s no backup to speak of, and I suppose I should also bear some of the responsibility for relying completely on their ‘backups’.

So what does this mean? First thing you should know is Bookbabble the podcast lives on, and is not effected in any way. The show is hosted by Mevio, and Bookbabble has a page since the very beginning in  You can still go there and get your hands on every show we’ve done so far.

What was lost was the series of posts we had done and most importantly, the nice things, witty repartee and smackdowns you all have said in the comments.  While that was indeed a huge loss, I’m sure we can go ahead and earn those back. 🙂

I shall now begin to rebuild the site again, but the shows will go on.  Hang tight!

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