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The Watsons by Jane Austen Sells for $1.6 million!

Update: 7/16
Austen's manuscript ended up selling for £990,000 (US$1.6 million)! It was purchased by Oxford University's Bodleian Library.

Original Post: 7/13/2011
The Watsons, an unfinished manuscript by Jane Austen is to be auctioned by Sotheby's tomorrow and is expected to sell for over $330,000. Apparently, Austen worked on The Watsons in 1804, after she'd drafted Sense and Sensibility, but abandoned it the same year.


Information is Beautiful!

Who among us doesn't suffer from information overload? But information can and should be a beautiful thing, and no where is it displayed more beautifully than at created by David McCandless, a London-based author, writer and designer whose passion is visualizing large quantities of information with nary a boring Powerpoint chart to be found!

Here are some of my favorites. Click on the image to go to the original post which usually includes the sources used to create the chart.


The Hobbit - The Movies

That a movie of J.R.R. Tolkein's The Hobbit is in production has been known for some time, but what I didn't realize is that the plans are for not one but two movies. The first, "The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey", will open in December 2012 (as will, incidentally, a movie of Life of Pi). The second, "The Hobbit: There and Back Again", will open in December 2013.

It will be interesting to see how the director strings out The Hobbit, a rather short and simple story compared to The Lord of the Rings, into two movies.I'm also intrigued to see how the actors who are reprising their roles from the "Lord of the Rings" (filmed a decade ago) will manage to handle the aging process.


The Impotence of Taylor Mali

You may already know of Taylor Mali, if so, there's no need for an introduction, just scroll down to be reminded of two of his best known poems, starting with "The Impotence of Proofreading".


Mary Higgins Clark - To Be Continued?

All 42 of Mary Higgins Clark's books to date have been bestsellers, she's spent a collective 355 weeks on the New York Times best-seller lists, sold more than 100 million copies in the USA, and many more millions across the other 33 countries where her books are sold, including 24 million in France. Her latest book, publishing in time for Mother's Day, is predicted to sell at least 3.5 million copies.

But Ms Clark and her publisher now face a quandary. At 83 years of age, the doyenne of the wholesome thriller (no unmarried couples living together, no swearing and no graphic scenes), who collected 40 rejection slips before her first story was published in 1956, is facing the question of how to maintain her brand in the "twilight of her career" (as The Wall Street Journal puts it) and after she's gone. The same question must be very much top of mind for her publisher, Simon & Schuster, who've been able to rely on their top-selling author to help keep them in the black for many a year.


Video Journaling in 30 Seconds a Day

I can't see the appeal in taking a daily photo of myself just to see the face sagging and the wrinkle lines deepen but, especially when our children were younger, I would have loved this iPhone App that prompts you to take a photo every day and then builds a time-lapse video montage. If you used the prompt to not just take a photo but write a few words it could quickly build into a powerful and remarkably painless journal!


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The Last Ride to Graceland