I don’t read a lot of non-fiction. I prefer my truth to be unsullied by facts. But another autobiography by John Lydon (a.k.a. Johnny Rotten, the hero of my youth)? Count me in! The Guardian has a review ready for your perusal.
What was the home life like, Johnny?
His mother, he says, suffered several miscarriages: “It’s quite a thing to carry a bucket of miscarriage – and you can see the little fingers and things in it – and have to flush it all down the outdoor toilet.”
Any other traumatic experiences?
The most moving passages in the book describe how, at seven, he contracted meningitis (from rats), endured a long coma, and lost most of his memory. “I hadn’t forgotten how to read, yet I couldn’t talk – language was gone,” he says. When his parents came to take him home from hospital, nurses and doctors “told me that they were my mum and dad, and I had to believe them”.
More at the Guardian.
Sure, you’re the smartest one in the room, but that Southern accent of yours makes you sound like an idiot. At least that’s what workers at the Oak Ridge National Laboratory in Tennessee heard when the lab decided to bring in a “a nationally certified speech pathologist and accent reduction trainer” to “help” them “speak with a more neutral American accent.”
“Studies have shown that whether you are from the North or South, a Southern twang pegs the speaker as comparatively dimwitted,” Scientific American helpfully tells us.
More at NPR.
We’ve all been busy lately, working on the next Paragraph Line release. Here’s a quick look at the cover for Joseph Hirsch’s new one, Kentucky Bestiary.
Stay tuned for more details…
Sure, your last book sold ten copies and you’re pretty sure your next one will sell about the same… but at least you’ll get to live much longer with all that failure thanks to having a sense of purpose in your life.
In fact, people with a sense of purpose had a 15 percent lower risk of death,compared with those who said they were more or less aimless. And it didn’t seem to matter when people found their direction. It could be in their 20s, 50s or 70s… “Often this is individuals who want to produce something that is appreciated by others in written or artistic form, whether it’s music, dance or visual arts,” Hill says.
So, yes, your smug self-regard actually has a pay-off, Writer Person! Congratulations!
More at NPR.
At the Tokyo science museum, you can experience the thrill of being a blob of feces being flushed down a five-meter tall toilet wearing a poo-shaped hat. Afterwards, a chorus of international toilets will sing a song of happiness for you. Read all about it and watch the video at the Telegraph.
Did you know we publish books? Of course not; our site sucks. Or I should say sucked, because we’ve been making a ton of changes lately.
One of our big updates is our book page. We now have a slick new set of page for our books. Check this out:
The top level page has all of our books listed, with pretty covers and buttons to buy books (which you should) and share them on social media sites. Click on a book to go to its page, and you’ll see more info, including reviews from Goodreads.
Paragraph Line Books just released our tenth book this year (Jon Konrath’s Atmospheres) and we have many more in the pipeline, so stay tuned for more updates.
What if you’d written a novel and then, years later, Stephen King wrote a book with the same title, and you suddenly found yourself awash in King-like royalties? Emily Schultz, the author of Joyland, found herself in that situation when Stephen King released his own novel named Joyland as a print-only title.
King has now responded to the mix-up, telling Entertainment Weekly “I’m delighted for her, and I’m going to order her book”. King, writes Schultz on Twitter, is “wonderful”.
Stephen King isn’t just one of our best, most prolific, and most influential writers. He’s also a really cool dude. More at The Guardian.
Have you read Donna Tartt’s The Goldfinch? Was it highfalutin enough for you? For some publications, like the august New York Times, it hit the mark. But there are more discerning people than that out in literary land defending us all from literature-as-entertainment. (Ew! Entertainment!) Vanity Fair‘s Evgenia Peretz airs out the laundry. Can’t we all get along?
Indeed, we might ask the snobs, What’s the big deal? Can’t we all just agree that it’s great she spent all this time writing a big enjoyable book and move on? No, we cannot, say the stalwarts.
More at Vanity Fair.
Say hello to my little friend
Meanwhile, at Drone University, Air Force instructors are giving away twinkling little gems of advice, like this:
“If you want to disable a car, or kill the people inside, you might have different aim points, right?”
More over at the Atlantic.
Even though he seems like some sort of latter day Bond villain, I have to give it up for Elon Musk and his SpaceX Dragon 2 crew capsule. And at $20 million a seat for a ride to our International Tin Can in Low Earth Orbit, it sounds like a bargain!
Pictured: From his lair on Mars, Musk demands one… million… dollars… Bwah-ha-ha-ha!