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September 17, 2006


Author Jane Hamilton talks to the Chicago Sun-Times.

She's also unimpressed with celebrity. In 1990, two years after The Book of Ruth was published, Hamilton received a call from Oprah's producers who said that Oprah loved the book and they wanted to surprise their boss by inviting Hamilton to lunch with her.

"I didn't watch the show," Hamilton says. "I asked my publicist, 'Do I have to go?' Well, yes, you really do."

The lunch was "pure pleasure" and the TV talk show host and the author talked "non-stop." Though Hamilton was told Oprah didn't know she was coming, Oprah recited entire paragraphs from the book.

"I had never had that experience before or since," Hamilton marvels. "Her gift is to make you feel like you are just the most loved person in the world and to feel that you will always be friends. She will always hold you in her thoughts. I certainly felt that at the time."

Ryspace has Sufjan Stevens' performance from the NYC Bookeaters tour available as an mp3 download.

Adam Ant talks to the Sunday Herald.

“I never wanted to stay a cult,” he says. “For me, that’s a polite word for loser, and being a cult doesn’t pay the rent. I had always wanted to be established as a household name.”

The New York Times delves into the literary leanings of Venezuelan president, Hugo Chavez.

Some of Mr. Chávez’s reading preferences may be predictable, given his dislike of just about anything to do with President Bush. One of his anti-Bush staples is “Dude, Where’s My Country?,” a book by the filmmaker Michael Moore.

The Observer handicaps the books shortlisted for the 2006 Man Booker Prize.

In the words of William Hill, the shortlist has left the punters 'reeling'. Apart from Sarah Waters, it's a field of dark horses, any one of which has a chance of winning.

The Times Online rates music download services. Their four-star winner? eMusic.

Launched in the UK this week, eMusic has a million-plus songs for sale in the unrestricted MP3 format that will work on all portable players, including iPods. The catalogue is entirely from independent labels but ranges from the likes of Johnny Cash to Jack White’s new group the Raconteurs and classical music. The site charges a monthly fee: the cheapest package costs £8.99, for which you can download 40 songs to own — that’s 22p a track. Album reviews make the website feel like a club. Only the lack of album artwork and a slightly complicated download mechanism stopped eMusic achieving top marks.

TechEBlog lists the 5 strangest iPod cases ever.

A Times Online reporter recounts his performance at the Air Guitar National Championships.

My 60 seconds stretched glacially to about a week as I concentrated on keeping the technique going and the wig on. Abruptly the music stopped and I stumbled blindly off stage.

I asked Turoque, who was one of the judges, if he had any constructive criticism. “Man, you stank up the joint,” he said. “Bill Wyman could’ve done better.”

The article also lists the top ten "greatest riffs for air guitar."

1 Sweet Child O’ Mine
Guns N’ Roses

2 Smells Like Teen Spirit

3 Whole Lotta Love
Led Zeppelin

4 Smoke On the Water
Deep Purple

5 Enter Sandman

6 Layla
Derek & the Dominos/Eric Clapton

7 Freebird
Lynyrd Skynyrd

8 Back In Black

9 Voodoo Chile (Slight Return)
Jimi Hendrix

10 Paranoid
Black Sabbath

The Observer lists tips to help students lead a greener lifestyle.

Since you can't specify a preference for buildings with 'passive ventilation' on your UCAS form, you'll be restricted in terms of minimising your energy footprint, but you could get a Voltaic backpack or laptop bag ( with integrated solar panels that charge as you walk around campus, or alternatively a Solio iPod charger (

Metal Underground is looking for friends.


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