Weird things people say in bookshops

Jen Campbell, who works at Ripping Yarns bookshop, has a very funny series of posts about the bizarre, stupid and frequently rude things customers have said to her. It's worth reading all of them. It's almost 20 years since I last worked in a bookshop and I've forgotten most of the very daft things customers said but two particular questions have stayed with me. The first was from the woman who asked whether we had a copy of Shakespeare's A Night in the Stream. It took a good few minutes to figure out that she was after A Midsummer Night's Dream.

I worked in bookshops for about four years and I was very good at keeping a straight face no matter how silly the question I was asked. However, there was one occasion when I couldn't control myself.

It concerns Desert Orchid, the horse. You might not remember much about Desert Orchid, the horse, but you probably remember that he was a horse. You will understand, then, why I laughed when a woman came in and said to me: "I'm looking for the new book about Desert Orchid. I think he wrote it himself."

Alan Moore's 'rationalist' short story

Alan Moore, author of Watchmen and V for Vendetta, has written a short story for his magazine Dodgem Logic. It's been published online by The New Humanist. It's pretty good, though the ending seems signposted from about a mile out. The only thing that confuses me is that I'm not sure that the New Humanist describes it as a "chilling rationalist short story" and I'm not really sure that it's 'rationalist' at all. It's a quick, entertaining read though.

Did Stieg Larsson write the Millennium trilogy? A mystery solved

The New Yorker on Stieg Larsson:

"Another question that has been raised about the trilogy is: Who wrote it? A co-worker of Larsson’s at Expo, Kurdo Baksi, suggested in a recent memoir, 'Stieg Larsson: Our Days in Stockholm,' that Larsson did not have a talent for writing."

I've read only the first book of the trilogy but it certainly reads like the work of a man with no talent for writing. I say he's the author.