1. The news that an author named John Banville has won the Booker Prize left me cold, maybe because I’ve never come across this book (or any other Banville book) in my rounds of bookstore browsing. I was mystified by this until a note in the Literary Saloon cleared it up: this widely-acclaimed book isn’t even going to be available in the United States until Spring 2006.
Say what? I can go to the corner deli in Rego Park, Queens and pick up candy from Austria, organic honey from the Ukraine, oranges from Israel, vanilla beans from Madagascar and tofu from Staten Island … yet my friendly local Barnes and Noble can’t serve me up a book that was published in England? Am I going to have to wait for Words Without Borders to get around to a “Literature from the U.K.” issue? Ridiculous, absolutely ridiculous.
And no, I don’t want to order it from Amazon. I want to do what I do with this book what I do with most other books — sit down in a quiet corner of the fiction section and read a few pages before I decide if I want to buy it or not. Since I usually buy paperback books (I ain’t rich), I guess this means I’ll be getting my first shot at buying this book sometime around 2007.
2. Did I mention that I’m not rich? I’m a damn good Texas Hold’Em player, though, and I’m going to take advantage of a poker tournament for bloggers at PokerStars.com. I think their plan is to get publicity by tempting poker freaks like me to put up their link in exchange for free entry. It worked:
I have registered to play in the Online Poker Blogger Championship!
This event is powered by PokerStars.
Maybe I’ll win, and if I do I’m going to get that Banville book shipped over from faraway England. Either way, I think I’ll use the opportunity to remind you why I believe poker is a writer’s game. (Note: thanks to Large Vibrating Egg for spreading the news about this tournament).
3. Since I’m feeling lucky, do you think I should enter the LitKicks anthology Action Poetry for the Blooker Prize? This is a new award for the best book published from online content. I am quite sure Action Poetry fits that description, so I’m planning to enter it, and if we don’t win I’m going to be very mad.
4. Supposedly the Nobel Prize for Literature will be awarded tomorrow. I’m not rooting for anybody in particular, but I would like to see the Chicago White Sox win the World Series.