Friday, June 10, 2005

Issue #3 - Dateline 15 June 2005

The Literary Encyclopedia
As new information is added this recently redesigned website has become increasingly useful as an online resource, often providing information difficult to find elsewhere. The redesign has made it easier to navigate and improved presentation for the visually impaired. The reader can search by person, topic, or the title of a particular work. The entries are well-informed and yet accessible - see for example the excellent profile on Walter Benjamin by Esther Leslie.

TSO Bookshop
The TSO (The Stationary Office) is the UKs largest publisher, publishing up to 15,000 books and electronic products each year, many of them couched in the dry-as-dust tones that the bureaucrats use to conceal important information when it has to be put in the public domain. But there are some gems - for example there is the recently published: The Tree Collector: the Life and Explorations of David Douglas, the botanical collector who gave his name to the Douglas fir.
One of the most useful features of the TSO online bookshop is that it provides all users with access to a search facility for any UK book in print.

Primate of the Week
OK I know I've mentioned this site before, and it has nothing to do with literature, but I just can't believe how lucky we are to share the planet with such amazing animals.

Amnesty International Report 2005
The state of the world's human rights. You can read the whole report online. There are regional overviews, but the detail is to be found in the reports on individual countries, which need to be selected from the drop down list on the left. Further evidence if it was needed that governments across the world are ceaselessly waging war on their own populations.

The Londonist website is gaining a reputation for providing some excellent author views. Most recently is the interview with London orbital author Iain Sinclair and the author of three thrillers set in Victorian London, Lee Jackson . Thanks to Splinters for drawing this website to my attention.

Not Plugged by Richard and Judy
This month is the 20th anniversary of the "Battle of the Beanfield" when police broke up the 11th annual free festival at Stonehenge, arresting over 500 people using unnecessary and indiscriminate violence. Freelance journalist Andy Worthington has just edited a book about what Schnews describes as "a dark day for British justice". I don't suppose it will be on sale in your local supermarket, or receiving a free plug from Richard and Judy, but you can order a copy of the book from Andy.

Small Press Distribution
The book marketing site AbeBooks
is currently providing access to publications distributed by Small Press Distribution the only U.S. wholesaler devoted to independent small press literature. The partnership could really increase the publicity for small publishers who often struggle to break through the lack of media interest in
their books and pamphlets. Among the top ten SPD titles currently publicised on Abebooks are Larenopfer a cycle of 90 poems by Rilke and Susan Sontag's Literature is Freedom her acceptance speech on receiving a peace prize from the German book trade when she argued that "Literature was a passport to enter a larger life; that is, the zone of freedom."
Sounds like the SPD is an idea that could be copied here. Read more about the SPD and the titles it distributes click on the link below.