Lagniappe

When we look at the dedication of a book, we usually find something heartwarming like, “To my darling wife who stood by me every step of the way as I struggled to complete this book.”  We don’t expect to find a dedication like that written by John Neal for his book Logan: A Family History (1822).  “I do not dedicate my book to any body; for I know nobody worth dedicating it to.  I have no friends, no children, no wife, no home; — no relations, no well-wishers; — nobody to love, and nobody to care for.  To whom shall I; to whom can I dedicate it?  To my Maker!  It is unworthy of him.  To my countrymen?  They are unworthy of me.  For the men of past ages I have very little veneration; for those of the present, not at all. . .”

That is a portion of one of seven book dedications that essentially say, “Screw you.”  You can find all seven dedications here.

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My first car only had an AM radio with one speaker in the dashboard.  Now cars have AM/FM stereo radios with CD players and options like access to satellite radio, and a plug-in so you can listen to music from your iPad and other devices.  So, have we reached the end of the line?  Is there anything else that they can possibly add to the car radio?  The answer is a resounding “yes.”  In fact, there is no end to the possibilities.

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Richard Rodgers was a lucky man.  He was a gifted tunesmith who was fortunate enough to work with two extremely talented lyricists, Lorenz Hart and Oscar Hammerstein II, thereby giving us some of the greatest musicals in the history of Broadway.  But, and there’s always a “but,” Lorenz “Larry” Hart was maddeningly difficult to work with.  He was very short, and had an overly large head.  He was an alcoholic, and a homosexual who felt that no one – man or woman – could ever love him.  While Rodgers was a highly disciplined worker, Hart liked to party all night, so he often missed planned sessions with Rodgers who liked to start work early in the day.  Their partnership ended in disaster for Hart, while Rodgers went on to higher and higher acclaim with his new librettist, Oscar Hammerstein II.  Hart live just long enough to see Rodgers and Hammerstein’s first collaboration, the immortal musical Oklahoma!  Less than nine months later Hart was dead at the age of 48.  A new biography about Larry Hart is reviewed in The Atlantic.

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And the winner is . . . Goblinproofing One’s Chicken Coop by Reginald Bakeley!  The 2013 Diagram Prize for Oddest Book Title of the Year was awarded to Goblinproofing after it won 38% of the popular vote.  Read more – including a list of all the contenders – at The Bookseller website.

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Have you ever wondered what people are reading in other countries?  The folks at Flavorwire wondered, and now we have the answer.  Here is their list of the best-selling books in 10 countries other than the U.S.

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The next edition of the live author interview program In-Depth on Book TV (C-SPAN2) will air Sunday, April 7th from 11:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. CST.  The featured author will be the author, syndicated columnist, and investigative reporter Amy Goodman.  She is the host of Democracy Now! a daily news program that is on radio, TV, and the internet.

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