12 Sep 2012


A new 'pop-up' art installation on London's South Bank is surer to attract a few literature lovers - having been built out of 250,000 books.
The vast labyrinth of literature, entitled aMAZEme, has been installed in the capital's Royal Festival Hall as part of the Southbank Centre's Festival of the World. More

Literary website, The Millions, claims to have identified the toughest books ever written ......
  • Nightwood-  Djuna Barnes
  • A Tale Of A Tub - Jonathan Swift
  • The Phenomenology of Spirit - GF Hegel
  • To The Lighthouse - Virginia Woolfe
  • Clarissa, Or, The History Of A Young Lady - Samuel Richardson
  • Finnegans Wake - James Joyce
  • Being And Time -  Martin Heidegger
  • The Faerie Queen - Edmund Spenser
  • The Making Of Americans - Gertrude Stein
  • Women And Men - Joseph McElroy. 
Selected by Emily Colette Wilkinson and Garth Risk Hallberg after three years research, the pair started their quest to identify the toughest books back in 2009, looking for ...

"books that are hard to read for their length, or their syntax and style, or their structural and generic strangeness, or their odd experimental techniques, or their abstraction" More

And the books parents want their children to read more than any other?

  1. A Christmas Carol Charles Dickens
  2. The Harry Potter seriesJK Rowling
  3. The Lord of The Rings trilogy  JRR Tolkien
  4. Pride and PrejudiceJane Austen
  5. Alice in WonderlandLewis Carroll
  6. The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe - CS Lewis 
  7. Animal Farm - George Orwell
  8. Oliver Twist - Charles Dickens
  9. The Hobbit - JRR Tolkien
  10. To Kill a Mockingbird Harper Lee.
According to a survey carried out to mark the opening of The Hive in Worchester (Europe’s first joint university and public library), one in five parents and guardians would be happiest if their child chose to read Charles Dickens's A Christmas Carol. More

A charity has been inundated with requests for the audio version of 50 Shades Of (old and) Grey.
You might think pensioners would be happy to settle for well-earned Rest and Recuperation but plenty seem keen to explore the world of S&M.
A charity that provides audiobooks for those with poor eyesight has been inundated with requests for EL James' Fifty Shades of Grey, with the majority coming from women over the age of 70. More

I hate to give the 50 Shades trilogy any more attention BUT I had to mention this .....

Shed Simove's novelty book, 50 Shades Of Grey, is a notebook that contains 200 blank pages, which gradually get darker as the book progresses.
But Random House, the publisher of EL James’s racy Fifty Shades Of Grey, has sent him a ‘cease and desist’ letter threatening legal action unless he stops selling the book. 
Londoner Mr Simove said: ‘Frankly, I feel violated. Random House have tried to handcuff me from selling my novelty notebook and gag me from talking about it. 
‘It’s a clear case of a corporate giant whipping a creative entrepreneur and they’re attempting to tie me up in legal affairs. I’m not the submissive type, so I wish them luck.’ More

Having read THIS POST about 'a dude who made a small fortune selling positive reviews of self-published Amazon titles for outrageous prices, and paid a pittance to a bevy of reviewers, some of who admitted that they never even cracked open the book they were supposed to be reviewing' on Sharon's site, I was interested and dismayed to read an article about crime writer RJ Ellory who 'was forced to make a grovelling apology after it emerged he had been posting gushing praise of his own work – and attacking others’ novels – under an assumed name on Amazon.' More.

And as a result

In an outspoken attack on the so-called 'sock puppeting' practise authors, including best selling writers Val McDermid, Ian Rankin and Lee Child, 'unreservedly' condemned the 'abuse'. And claiming the widespread use of 'fake identities' was causing untold damage to the publishing world they urged readers and the literary world to help expose those who used 'underhand tactics'. More

Mummy Porn, the word coined to describe steamy novels penned with women in mind, has made it into the Collins dictionary after editors decided it was so commonly understood it should no longer be viewed as slang.
Also to be included are Blootered, a Scottish term for drunk and Amazeballs, a term of approval. More


Vivienne said...

I wanna go to that maze. A couple of other bloggers went and said it was fabulous.

DMS said...

The maze looks amazing (lol). I would love to get lost in there. Of course, you could find me just curled up in there reading. :)

Unbelievable about the reviews! I am sorry someone felt the need to do that. :(

So many books, so little time said...

The maze looks great but I would never get out as I would stop to read all the titles. I watched the R J Ellory thing come out on Twitter, I think his apology such as it was was pitiful but also think two wrongs don't make a right (all the people who after it exposed went to amazon to post fake reviews on RJ Ellorys books).

Lainy http://www.alwaysreading.net

naida said...

That maze looks awesome. I was wondering about that sock puppet image on your blog :)

GMR said...

WOW! Now that's a maze I'd gladly get lost in...and read my way out. ^_^ As for the book list, good choices! I've read 8 of the 10...woo-hoo!

Kelly said...

That conversation with Mr. Simove had me laughing. :)

Jenners said...

So much interesting stuff in this post! The 50 Shades of Gray spoof cracked me up. And the art looks cool. The lists are awesome … and having had to read Clarissa in college I can attest that it should be on the list!!!

Melissa (Books and Things) said...

I think it's funny that she "borrowed" a concept and is upset at someone else doing the same thing. I think it may actually help her sales instead of hurt.

I also have to say that this is full of amazeballs! :D

carol said...

I've never read any of the toughest books. I'm not sure if that's good or bad.

The Golden Eagle said...

I would love to visit that maze!

What an amusing take on Fifty Shades of Grey. And good for him for standing up to Random House!

Suko said...

Thanks for all the book news! That labyrinth of literature is a-mazing....I am hearing more and more about 50 Shades....I've only read one of the "toughest" books on the list, To the Lighthouse.

Melissa (My World...in words and pages) said...

Oh love the labyrinth, and that is cheap on the notebook. I like the idea of the pages getting darker. I would think the publisher would think that is a great selling point, they are just upset they aren't making money off of it.

Alexia561 said...

Love the idea of a book labyrinth! Would love to get lost in one of those. And got a kick out of the Fifty Shades of Grey notebook! Won't buy the book, but would totally get the notebook! :)

Trac~ said...

That looks like such fun! :) I would love to see that! I'm still amazed though over the Grey's issue. LOL

Arti said...

I would love to near that picture that you have put up!! And have you read any of those toughest books?
Have a wonderful day Tracy :)

....Petty Witter said...

Thanks for all your comments.
To answer your question Arti, no I'm afraid I haven't read any of the books on the toughest books written list - perhaps I shall have to do so
If you wish for a closer look at the book maze, if you haven't already done so then you might like to click on the link to the article.

fiction-books said...

Hi Tracy,

I would get lost in that maze because I would be too busy checking out all the book titles on the way round ... They might even find one or two missing after I had been in there!! ... unless of course it was one of the vital books which was holding everything together ... and then who knows what the consequences might be!!

I love the article about the man and his grey notebook, it reminded me of a comment that one of the elderly ladies I volunteer with, made .... If it is called '50 Shades Of Grey', do you think it comes with a shade card? ... sometimes they amaze me!!

Nice post,


Kimberly @ On the Wings of Books said...

That maze looks awesome!

I pretty much agree with the 10 books parents want their kids to read, except The Lord of the Rings, that one seems like an odd choice to me, but that's just my opinion.

Betty Manousos said...

that maze looks awesome...i'd love to visit it.

such interesting stuff in this post!
that conversation with mr simove had me lol!:)
thank you.