Good Reading : March 2008
10 goodreading ı MARCH 2008 book trivia People of he Book In the November 2007 issue of gr HarperCollins generously offered a free advance proof copy of People of the Book by Geraldine Brooks to the first 50 people who wrote in to say they’d be willing to fill in a questionnaire about the book once they’d read it. Here’s a small sample of the comments HarperCollins received: ‘It is a fascinating, engaging novel which showcases the many facets of Brooks as a superb reporter and story- teller’ – Marlies Lagerberg ‘Brooks has that wonderful talent of being able to draw you into a story so well that you are right there with the characters’ – Lisa Doorey ‘This is a splendid story … I was fascinated by the details of the book conservator’s work’ – Ann Inglis ‘The central mystery of its creator is illuminated by the rich light of the lives of those who have touched, and been touched by, the book. A lovely read’ – Sophie Masson ‘People of the Book is a well-researched, exciting bibliographic detective story … it’s an adventure to be enjoyed while learning a little history along the way’ – Mary Bevis People of the Book is published by 4th Estate, rrp $32.99. A LITERARY LUNCH When Megan Carnie entered the exclusive gr/HarperCollins competition to have lunch with Colleen McCullough [gr issues October and November 2007], we’re sure she didn’t imagine she’d win. But win she did! To enter, readers had to provide a question they wanted to ask Colleen. Megan’s was ‘How does studying Ancient Roman History, particularly the Late Republic, help us interpret the world today?’ This was prompted by Colleen’s latest book, Antony and Cleopatra. Needless to say, Megan and Colleen had much to discuss! HarperCollins Publishers flew Megan and her husband Jonathan up from Melbourne, put them up at the swish Hotel Intercontinental in Sydney and shouted hem lunch at Wildfire, which looks over Circular Quay nd the sparkling Sydney Harbour. Colleen McCullough was utterly charming, and a veritable encyclopaedia of not only history but just about any subject you could turn your mind to. When Megan and Jonathan were last seen, they were heading for a ferry to take in the sights of Sydney from its harbourside zoo. IFHEDIDIT Many of you will remember the kerfuffle that erupted in 2006 when Rupert Murdoch sacked Judith Regan of Regan Books (an imprint of HarperCollins) for announcing the publication of If I Did It by OJ Simpson, the man found not guilty of murdering his wife Nicole Brown Simpson and a young waiter, Ron Goldman, after a year-long criminal trial but subsequently found guilty in a civil court. Murdoch had all 400,000 copies of the book pulped. Then, in a spectacular twist, a Florida bankruptcy court awarded the copyright in the manuscript to Goldman’s parents and they have now published it themselves, arguing that it s essentially a confession and should be read so that people will know the truth. The book, now available in Australia, is a chilling account of jealousy, rage and murder, and details exactly how and why Simpson stabbed Ron and Nicole to death on June 12th, 1994. It has an introduction by the Goldman family, a prologue by Simpson’s ghostwriter — a man who, bizarrely, testified for the prosecution during the original criminal trial — and an afterword by writer Dominick Dunne, whose own daughter was murdered in 1982 by a man who even- tually served just two-and-a-half years in gaol for the crime. Stranger than fiction, indeed. If I Did It is distributed in Australia by Tower Books, rrp $27.95. Vale Sandra Harvey Everyone at gr was very sad to hear of the death of Sandra Harvey, who died of cancer on 21 January at the age of 49. Sandra wrote our ‘true crime’ categorical in the June 2006 issue; she was the author of five books about some of Australia’s most notorious crimes, and had just heard that her best- selling book Brothers in Arms, about the 1984 Milperra bikie massacre, was in script stage for a film. Last year Sandra, along with her frequent co-author Lindsay Simpson, was awarded a Ned Kelly Award for her lifetime’s work reporting true crime. Eyes right Been prescribed a new pair of glasses or lenses? Bought yourself some new sunnies? Don’t just chuck those surplus glasses in the bin. Check out the website of Planet Ark, www.RecyclingNearYou. com.au, or ring their national recycling hotline on 1300 733 712, to find out where you can take your old eyewear to have it recycled. Over the past 15 years 2.5 million pairs of glasses have been reprocessed and distributed free to needy people all over the world, including within Australia.