Footnotes, August 2022: Book links from around the web
At The Reading List, we’re trainspotters when it comes to interesting book links, and here are a number that caught our eye.
- It turns out the Salman Rushdie attack suspect ‘only read two pages’ of Satanic Verses.
- Meanwhile, several French authors have asked for the Nobel Prize for Literature to be given to Rushdie in the wake of the attack (someone tell them that’s not how it works …).
- In happier news, an award-winning author who searched for more than a decade for the teacher who changed his life was finally reunited with her at one of his book-reading events.
- If you happen to be in Berlin, the African Book Festival is happening this weekend, curated this year by South Africa writer Lidudumalingani.
- Handbags alert: a bonus episode of The Sandman appears to take a jibe at JK Rowling.
- And Taylor Swift is facing a new copyright lawsuit that alleges she ripped off the book that accompanied her 2019 album Lover from a self-published author.
- Forgotten books: a new study suggests that over 90% of medieval manuscripts have been lost.
- Luckily these are still around: 8,000 cures from medieval manuscripts – from everyday herbs to baked owls – are being digitised and made freely available by Cambridge University Library.
- One of the most controversial plagiarism cases in African literature revisited.
- Sticking it to the man – the author of a bestselling organic chemistry textbook is making it freely available to students after learning about a loophole in his copyright agreement with the publisher.
- An interview with Neil Gaiman on the secret history of Netflix’s chart-topping show The Sandman, from giant mechanical spiders to the Joker.
- ‘I think every aspiring writer should work in a used bookstore … the ego death is electric.’
- Ewan McGregor is set to star in a series based on Amor Towles’ bestselling novel A Gentleman in Moscow.
- This horrifying Reddit thread about spiders laying their eggs in your books.
- A prized Galileo manuscript kept at the University of Michigan library has turned out to be a clever forgery.
- How Doctor Watson, the sidekick of detective Sherlock Holmes, has cruelly been done wrong by television.
- And finally, a Fact of the Day: Victor Hugo was so popular with the local sex workers, when he died, every brothel in Paris closed down for a day of mourning.
Image: Diagram of the human body, showing the veins to be opened for blood-letting, 16th century, Cambridge Digital Library