Things to read
“How does a book with such a low Amazon ranking that’s ‘temporarily out of stock’ suddenly become the most read book in YA? How does something that has next to no organic blogging coverage or even Twitter buzz do this? If the only Twitter gossip for your book is variations of ‘Seriously, has anyone heard of this book?’ you’ve got problems.”
—A gripping story of a publishing scam (make sure you read all the updates at the bottom). Email to Pocket.
“There was never a time when their relationship was wholly private, no time when they belonged only to themselves. When they were first hanging out — not quite dating yet, ‘just talking’ — Walker had an iPhone, and Taylor immediately wore out the battery taking videos and pictures. He wasn’t big into social media back then: ‘I was kind of laid-back, real reserved’. But Taylor had always loved taking pictures and video, and she had a healthy following on Instagram.”
—A profile of two social media stars who are famous for their relationship. I would love to read a "ten years on" update of this piece, too. Email to Pocket.
“It is as if he floated through people's lives leaving nothing for them to recall. One teacher who spent time with him in her classroom every day says that she typically has a good memory, but she apologizes because she really can't remember anything about him. He did absolutely nothing that would trigger any attention except that he compulsively used hand sanitizer. Dylann Roof emptied bottles and bottles of the stuff into his hands, so much so that it became something of a running joke in class that Dylann could not do anything, not even go to lunch, until he had disinfected and scrubbed his hands clean. As if he were aware of some stain or some filth that others did not see.”
—Magnificent is really the only word for this piece of writing. Email to Pocket.
“Wild experimentation is indeed a hallmark of Zimmer’s career. The self-taught composer’s film work is known for its outside-the-box approach to sound: Inception’s oft-mimicked foghorn 'BRAAAMS', for instance, is famously the result of Zimmer hauling a piano into the middle of a church, putting a book on its pedal and having a dozen brass players blare into it. The eerie, frenetic Bane chant from The Dark Knight Rises was crowd-sourced from 100,000 Batman fans who submitted their own voices through a website. ”
—I'm not sure I'll be going to the Hans Zimmer live experience any time soon, but I enjoyed reading about it. Email to Pocket.
“Poirot is a professional, Miss Marple a professional amateur, but I have special affection for Christie’s accidental sleuths. They don’t start out with the presumption of omniscience; they struggle like the rest of us.”
—A lovely little essay focusing particularly on Tommy and Tuppence (who appear first in The Secret Adversary). If you ignore the recent and quite strange David Walliams adaptation, you can get a lot of joy out of them. Email to Pocket.