Good Reading : August 2009
book trivia Books to Film It just slipped my mind The global financial crisis has good news for librarians – more people are flocking back to the stacks. This increases the need to get library books back on time, with a public library in San Francisco introducing an amnesty period with a twist. The two-week period allowed patrons to return their overdue books without penalty as long as they submitted a creative excuse. This clever contest saw more than 29 000 books returned, up from the previous year’s 5 000. This included over 3 000 that had been given up for lost, saving the library over half a million dollars in replacement costs. Responses suggested that the borrowers were too busy saving marine animals, or were conveniently abducted by aliens, to prevent them from returning books on time. Spy Games The world of spies has always held a certain fascination, but have you ever wondered how you could experience the world of counterintelligence (CI) for real? William R Johnson worked in US Army intelligence since WWII, held positions around the world in the CIA and in 1987 published a textbook for real-life spies-intraining. Although Thwarting Enemies at Home and Abroad spent years out of print, a new edition is out this year, and available to the general public. Reading this guide will teach you everything from the basics of CI to lie detectors, cover stories and, albeit slightly outdated, electronic surveillance. 10 goodreading ı AUGUST 2009 John Marsden’s much loved ‘Tomorrow’ series is being adapted into a cinematic trilogy. The co-writer of the Australia screenplay, Stuart Beattie, will make his directorial debut with the first film, based on the book Tomorrow, When the War Began. The final four books of the series won’t hit the big screen, but if the initial trilogy is a success, they may be turned into a television series. Another group of teenagers in the middle of a battlefield will be immortalised in film as the Cory Doctorow’s young adult novel Little Brother is being optioned for film. Producer Don Murphy, known for his work on Natural Born Killers and From Hell is attached to the project. A cause for book lovers to get behind Authors and ILP supporters Anita Heiss and Andy Griffiths. More than a third of Australian Indigenous students do not have adequate reading skills by the age of 15. On the Great Book Swap Day, bring a tattered favourite from your shelf to swap with colleagues at work or school, make a gold coin donation to the Indigenous Literacy Project and read someone eles’s favourite! Indigenous Literacy Day is on 2 September. Schools who register for The Great Book Swap will go into the draw to win a visit from ILP Ambassador Andy Griffiths on Indigenous Literacy Day (Andy told gr he’ll be bringing his beloved copy of Alice in Wonderland to swap). Go to www.worldwithoutbooks.org to find out more. Twiterature Has the obsession with the social-networking fad finally gone too far? Two 19-yearold university students think that the minimalist approach of 140 characters or less should define this contemporary age, and are about to release a mixture of great prose and Twitter, dubbed Twitterature. Reducing the words of everyone from Dante and Shakespeare to J K Rowling into less than 20 sentences, Emmett Rensin and Alex Aciman believe that this will help to introduce a new, impatient generation of readers to great classics. The only question left is whether or not literature buffs will recognise the stories after they’ve been put through the Twitter mangle.