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February 07, 2005

Does It Matter What Is Shown...?

by Ron Hogan

Apparently not everybody's on Top of the Pops when it comes to England's appreciation for bookblogs. I seethe with a jealous rage for not having made the Guardian book section's top ten list, especially since I lost out to Samuel Pepys, who hasn't written anything new in ages (and yet still manages to post more frequently than the guy running the London News Review book diary; go figure). But I'm thrilled to see that some of the sites I make a point of reading every weekday are on that list, including The Elegant Variation and Rake's Progress; you'll find the links to them, and a bunch of other great sites, on the far right side of the Beatrice home page.

"Bookslut" must be the most darling of the Guardian darlings, as she not only gets to head the list, but is given space for a week-long "diary" full of self-deprecating irony, including a likely unintended hitting upon truth concerning her writing partner, Michael Schaub, "whom I asked to start blogging with me when I realised his being so funny and smart might make me look funny and smart by proximity." Because she certainly didn't earn her rep on sentences like this one about review solicitation letters from the authors of "self-published books with a lot of questionable punctuation."

"One book came with a mis-spelt, handwritten letter from the author including the statement that 'Murakami Haruki' is his favourite author."

I'm not quite sure why presenting Murakami's family name first is worthy of implying the writer is stupid, since that's the way everybody in Japan does it.

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