The Starred Review

It's down to three: authors will only be able to hope for starred pre-publication reviews in Publishers Weekly, Booklist, and Library Journal, since Kirkus is no more.


The unsung obituaries of the 2000s

As we end the "Noughts" Mog.com rounds up the musicians and performers and musicians who have died in the past decade and whose legacy has be unfortunately diminished ever since.


Kirsty MacColl, pop and folk singer-songwriter.
Ian Dury, singer, lyricist, actor, and founder, frontman, & lead singer of the New Wave band Ian Dury and the Blockheads.
Jack Nitzsche, arranger, producer, songwriter and film score composer.
Tito Puente, Latin Jazz and Mambo musician, aka "The King of Latin Music".


Chet Atkins, country guitarist and co-creator of the Nashville sound
James Carr, extraordinary Rhythm & Blues and soul musical artist.

Read the rest of the list here.


The Hokey Pokey is what it's all about

Often we assume that the rhymes we sing as children come from some distant, anonymous past. But not everything was written by Mother Goose or Brothers Grimm. Just as "Happy Birthday" and "I'm a Little Teapot" are still under copyright, one of the possible authors of the Hokey Pokey was alive until just last month.

The New York Times reports that Robert Degen passed away on November 23rd, his 104th birthday. While a later version of the song was the first to hit big, Degen was the first to copyright "The Hokey Pokey Dance" in 1944.

However, some believe that the song's origins really are as old as Goose or Grimm:

A similar song, called variously “Hokey Cokey” or “Cokey Cokey,” was reportedly a favorite of English and American soldiers in England during World War II, the authorship attributed sometimes to a popular British songwriter, Jimmy Kennedy, and sometimes to a London bandleader, Al Tabor.

Some Roman Catholic churchmen, meanwhile, have said that the words “hokey pokey” derive from “hocus pocus” — the Oxford English Dictionary concurs — and that the song was written by 18th-century Puritans to mock the language of the Latin Mass.


Cormac McCarthy trades in his typewriter

The New York Times reports that Cormac McCarthy, prize-winning author of The Road and many other novels, has decided to auction off his Olivetti typewriter to benefit the Santa Fe Institute. He estimates that the Olivetti has borne about five million of his words over the past fifty years, including all of his novels.

The waning popularity and presence of typewriters hasn't been lost on the author:

Mr. McCarthy is known for being taciturn, particularly about his writing. He came to realize that not only his working method but even his tools are puzzling to a younger generation.

He remembers one summer when some graduate students were visiting the Santa Fe Institute. “I was in my office clacking away,” he said. “One student peered in and said: ‘Excuse me. What is that?’”

But don't think this is a signal of McCarthy going digital. What is he trading this typewriter in for? Another Olivetti.

Have you seen my dog?

via Neatorama