Loch Croispol Bookshop in the north of Scotland is for sale. The present owners Crowe and Long have built up a reputation as literary detectives, tracking down out-of-print books.
“From that moment, I decided that if I ever had another good idea, I was going to do it right away.” – Sue Grafton
Read more John Grace interview with Sue Grafton
Published in the UK for the first time, this dazzling and often moving collection displays the depth and range of Grafton’s writing and reminds us of her unique talent as a storyteller.
or in the case of N or M, why Agatha Christie was investigated by MI5.
How do you name your characters?
More specifically, what happened to copy or sub-editors? You know, those people in book publishing who used to check spelling, grammar etc before the book was published. I’ve complained in the past about sloppiness over the misuse of words like ‘crescendo’ which should be picked up by somebody during the publishing process: I came across a misused ‘crescendo’ in the newest Anne Zouroudi Greek Detective novel this week – it was followed on the next page by the equally enraging and equally common misuse of ‘begged the question’ instead of ‘raised the question’. I quote the Guardian stylebook:
begs the question
A tricky one, best avoided since it is almost invariably misused: it means assuming a proposition that, in reality, involves the conclusion. An example would be to say that parallel lines will never meet because they are parallel, assuming as a fact the thing you are professing to prove. What it does not mean is ‘raises the question’
It seems that more and more frequently, a pedantic reader (I admit it) will be irritated by careless spelling errors – the latest Jacqueline Winspear novel makes a lot of use of the words ‘practice’ (the noun) and ‘practise’ (the verb). Someone – author, editor? – has made sure it is always spelt with an ‘s’, whether it is being used as a verb or as a noun. That was one fairly glaring mistake – others are less obvious but still niggling.
In the new Jim Kelly we find ‘he was sat’ and then, later, ‘ Valentine was sat’ – surely it should be ’Valentine sat’ or ‘ was sitting’? Wondering if I was being too fussy, I asked someone else, who remarked that ‘he was sat’ sounded as though the person had been made to sit……..
Another pet hate, though it’s nothing to do with editing (although I wish someone in the publishing process would point out to authors how annoying the practice can become), is the now customary method of injecting urgency and tension into a narrative by using lots of short, choppy sentences. Without verbs. (Kathy Reichs and Jonathan Kellerman take this to extremes):
Frost cascaded onto my hand.
I stared at it, remembering Ryan’s flip answer.
I flew to the phone.
( Kathy Reichs Devil Bones)
I now realise that all these complaints refer to crime novels – perhaps the editors and proofreaders get so carried away by the mysteries, they forget to check the grammar… It’s a shame to have to complain about good, stylish writers like Anne Zouroudi, but with the recent movement towards considering crime writing as a serious branch of literature surely it’s time the publishers started to take more care over the editing process?
Sometimes the title is bizarre (Fancy Coffins to Make Yourself). Sometimes the title is not-too-bad, but the cover……….!
Lisa Occhipinti rescues and repurposes orphaned and outdated books from flea markets and library sales and turns them into new art objects and practical items for the home. From artfully constructed mobiles, wreaths, and vases, to functional items, such as shelves, storage boxes and a lampshade, these projects utilize every imaginable part of a book – from hardback cover to individual pages – and often require no more than a craft knife and glue to complete.
Perhaps when we’ve all changed over to Kindles……
See The Repurposed Library on The Literary Gift Company website, as well as
re-bound by Jeannine Stein and several books about the use of books in design and furnishing.
Inspired by the fingerprint of Argentine author, Jorge Luis Borges, this installation was created by Brazilian artists Marcos Saboya and Gualter Pupo. Built for the London 2012 Cultural Olympiad,the Brazilian artists were helped by over 200 volunteers,the installation will be open to the public at the Southbank Centre in London until August 26.