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Waterstones Week In Books Quiz, 24th January 2014
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According to comics maestro Alan Moore this week, what are a “cultural catastrophe”?
Question 1 Explanation:
Or more accurately our modern interest in superheroes. Speaking in what purported to be his final interview, Moore explained "a significant section of the public, (have) given up on attempting to understand the reality they are actually living in."
According to speakers at the Jaipur Literary Festival this week, what are "massively overrated"?
The reading public
Question 2 Explanation:
Author Xiaolu Guo apparently said this when sharing a stage with Jonathan Franzen - recently listed as number the one grumpiest author in the world. He responded with a hearty chuckle, whilst nonchalantly tousling his hair and making a wry, self-effacing joke which had the audience in stitches...
Simon & Schuster announced this week the quarter-million dollar acquisition of a book titled Negative Liberty which is subtitled...
Like Liberty, Only But More Negative
A Gun Printer's Guide to the Apocalypse
How Obama Ruined What I Started
Question 3 Explanation:
Cody Wilson, creator of the first fully printable 3-D gun, has been signed up to write the book which will set out his reasons for producing - and distributing - the blueprint for the first lethal weapon which anyone can download and print at home themselves. 3D printer provided. More than anything, we're concerned with the possibility of less than competent technology users struggling to produce the gun - surely the combination of exasperated ignorance and a plastic pistol will only end badly? Although that might solve the problem of idiots running around with guns they made at home...
Who has again ruled out writing their autobiography, saying "look it up on Wikipedia"?
Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson
Question 4 Explanation:
It's great to see how much Mick's been getting out of those computer lessons down the local library.
Who this week stated that nice books are "boring"?
Margaret Atwood and Alice Munro
The Canadian Society of Librarians
Question 5 Explanation:
The two were speaking together about their careers and books in general in a special Google video Hangout. There was an awkward moment where Mick Jagger accidentally joined the Hangout and everyone watched him squinting at the screen whilst a librarian explained to him what a web browser is. Once he'd gone, Munro was asked by Atwood why Jagger had her as a Google+ contact anyway, and she explained how she had met him when they were queuing in the post office and it had been the only way to get him to STOP telling her his life story, and how he'd never write it down.
The shortlisted authors for this year's Costa Short Story Awards have been announced - but what is special about the selection process?
Only fellow short story writers can vote on it
The judges only read the first 500 words
The authors all have to be confirmed coffee drinkers
The judges don't know the authors' identities
Question 6 Explanation:
1,400 stories were entered and the judges read them without knowing who wrote them. Then the shortlist stories were shared with the public - again without the authors' names - for them to vote for a winner. It's all the more remarkable then perhaps that not one but two previously nominated authors should have made the final selection. The winner is announced on 28th January.
Actor B.J. Novak announced this week that he is to publish a children's picture book, but without any pictures, entitled...
The Book With No Pictures
I Can't Draw
The Story of the Big Blank Pages
This is a Comment on the Vacuous Nature of Modern Society
Question 7 Explanation:
Michael Chilton in The Telegraph was particularly pleased by the news, suggesting - "Perhaps someone should tell BJ that there are already magical things around that are picture books without pictures. They are called books."
Published to much controversy this week, what is the name of former US Secretary of Defence Robert M Gates' war memoir?
My War Memoirs
It Was Fine When I Left It
Question 8 Explanation:
Cue the English fascination with the American pronunciation of "Duty" - we can't help it, it's really funny. But we'll basically laugh at anything that's in any way related to poo. Or wee, wee is funny too.
What effect does the curator of the British Library's brand new exhibition about comics hope it will have on children?
That it will "encourage them to read more widely"
That it will "stop them reading comics and make them pick up a proper book"
That it will make them “naughtier and more rebellious”
That it make them "all want a beard like Alan Moore's when they grow up"
Question 9 Explanation:
“One of the key focuses of this exhibition is sedition and rebellion, and I think British comics have got an incredible legacy of that,” said the curator. “They’re really rebellious in terms of gender, in terms of sex, in terms of politics, the portrayal of society and race, and I really want that to be highlighted, particularly for the next generation."
And finally, the BBC's new adaptation of Dumas' The Three Musketeers started this week - of the below, who has not appeared in a Musketeers adaptation?
Question 10 Explanation:
Missed a trick there though - he'd have been a grand Porthos, in all senses of the word.
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Worst. Person. Ever.
Bring Up The Bodies...
Destined to Fly
Wait, are you a Bookseller?