Newsletter 131 – August 2007
——– MANTEX NEWSLETTER ——–
Number 131 – August 2007 – ISSN 1470-1863
Best-sellers – Writing Skills – Art
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This issue features best-selling books which
have been chosen by subscribers in 2007.
0— “Writers’ & Artists’ Yearbook”
The latest and much-expanded edition of this
best-selling reference book has just appeared.
It’s an encyclopedia of everything that writers,
journalists, and media workers need for contacts
with publishers, agents, and anyone else in the
If you want to publish your writing, locate outlets,
mug up on copyright, or see the best-seller lists for
last year – it’s all here. And Amazon are currently
offering at 40% off – a bargain.
0— Pub quiz – Question #1
Where on your body is the philtrum?
0— ‘A 2 Z and More Signs’ – graphic design
This is a wonderfully designed book which presents
examples of typefaces, logos, monograms, letter
headings, packaging labels, posters, shop signs,
opticians’ eye test charts, book jackets, film
posters, technical manuals, propaganda leaflets,
magazine covers, and dingbats.
Most of them are from the Modernist period of
the last century, and this gives them a very
attractive period charm.
It’s for browsing (and scanning?) rather
than serious scholarship, but almost every
page has something of novelty or interest.
0— Pub quiz – Question #2
Who discovered carbon dioxide in 1754?
0— ‘Doing your Research Project’ – practical advice
This is a best-seller (200,000+ copies) which
has now reached its fourth edition.
Judith Bell spells out each stage of doing a
project in a way which explains exactly what
Topics covered include the selection of a
research subject, collecting data and
keeping records, reviewing the literature,
designing questionnaires, interpreting
evidence, and presenting the findings.
It’s written in a humane and friendly manner,
and has now become a standard academic text.
0— Pub quiz – Question #3
What was the Iron Mistress in a film of the same name?
0— ‘Among the Bohemians’ – modernist mis-behaviour
This is a study of ‘experiments in living’ made
by UK artists and writers in the period 1900-1940.
They ate garlic and didn’t always bathe; they
listened to Wagner and worshiped Diaghilev;
they explored gayness and free love; and they
went in for vegetarianism and Post-impressionism.
They were often drunk and broke, sometimes hungry,
but they were of a rebellious spirit. They lived
in a world of faulty fireplaces, bounced checks,
blocked drains, and incontinent cats.
Not all of them come out of it well. Wyndham Lewis
abused his benefactor; Dylan Thomas pinched his friends’
shirts; Eric Gill had sex with his daughters.
But it’s a beautifully written book, and if you like
artistic gossip, it’s deep in anecdotes on every page.
0— Pub quiz – Question #4
What was the last film directed by Alfred Hitchcock?
0— ‘The Teacher’s Guide to Grammar’ – new book
Should people get hot under the collar about
mis-spelled words and misplaced apostrophes?
Deborah Cameron thinks not. She offers sound
advice on how to deal with a subject which can
sometimes be quite controversial.
Schoolteachers these days have to teach even
small children the mechanics of English
grammar. This book has been specially written
to cope with that problem.
She explains *why* problems arise with grammar,
and her approach is to look at how language is
actually used, then explain its underlying
Anyone faced with the need to understand grammar
or explain it to others will find this useful.
This was only published a few weeks ago, but
it’s already a big hit.
0— Pub quiz – Question #5
Who invented the Polaroid camera in 1947?
0— ‘How to get a PhD’ – new edition
If you’re thinking of putting yourself through
three years of research pain, you need all the
help you can get. This is the latest edition
of a successful guide to the process.
It also has advice to supervisors, and deals
with all parts of the process – from getting
into the system to handing in your finished work.
New for this fourth edition is a diagnostic
questionnaire for students to monitor their
own progress, plus a new section on the
increasingly popular professional doctorates
such as EdD, DBA, and DEng.
0— Pub quiz – Question #6
Whose only novel won the Pulitzer Prize in 1937?
0— Mark Gertler – biographical notes
Here’s the latest addition to our portrait gallery of
figures from the Bloomsbury Group and its fringes.
Mark Gertler was a talented, handsome, and
charismatic figure who had an affair with Dora
Carrington and painted one of the best-known
pictures of 1914-1918 – ‘The Merry-G-Round’.
His reputation declined in the twenties and
the thirties, and fearing the onset of another
war in 1939, he committed suicide. Full notes at –
0— Pub quiz – Question #7
What is the scientific name for chicken pox?
0—– ‘Writing Essays’ – student’s guide
I bet you never thought study skills
guidance manuals could be a laugh.
Robert Marggraf Turley thinks otherwise.
His guide to essay writing talks you through
the process – from analysing the question to
editing the script – but in a manner which
is attractively amusing.
He covers all the important issues – from
structure to references and quotations, which
give *lots* of people problems [you’re not alone].
His explanations are delivered with a witty panache.
0— Pub quiz – Question #8
What did Jack Ketch do for a living?
0— ‘How to Write Articles for Newspapers and Magazines’
This contains ten chapters dealing with getting
started (generating ideas & focusing on the subject),
gathering information (fact vs. opinion, observation,
interview), writing the effective article lead, and
a sample query letter when suggesting an article
to a publisher.
It’s big strength is that it’s so small. There’s no
dross, and it’s clearly written. Best-seller –
0— Pub quiz – Question #9
Who did Leander swim the Hellespont to see every night?
0—– ‘Essays and Dissertations’
Chris Mounsey’s manual on writing skills
for essays and research is one of the new
beginners’ guides from Oxford University Press
There’s plenty on essays, plus how to organise
your ideas and your time. He also covers exam
techniques and how to deal with longer pieces
The thing I like about these guides is that
everything is broken down into small manageable
topics. Cheap and cheerful stuff. More details at –
0— Pub quiz – Question #10
Which was the decisive battle in the English Civil War?
0— Readers’ Letters and Comments
Alida Bedford wrote from University of Portsmouth
regarding the Amazon censorship item in the last
“I’m glad someone has got past po-faced Amazon.
Mr Benn’s ‘A torch to pass from generation to
generation’ is a literary gem: satire at its best.
I’m not being satirical! It really made me laugh.
I have yet to read his other reviews, but I am
looking forward to doing so.”
0— Pub quiz – ANSWERS
#1 Where on your body is the philtrum?
ANSWER: It’s the groove between nose and lip
#2 Who discovered carbon dioxide in 1754?
ANSWER: Joseph Black
#3 What was the Iron Mistress in a film of the same name?
ANSWER: The bowie knife
#4 What was the last film directed by Alfred Hitchcock?
ANSWER: Family Plot [a stinker]
#5 Who invented the Polaroid camera in 1947?
ANSWER: Edwin Land
#6 Whose only novel won the Pulitzer Prize in 1937?
ANSWER: Margaret Mitchell [Gone with the Wind]
#7 What is the scientific name for chicken pox?
#8 What did Jack Ketch do for a living?
#9 Who did Leander swim the Hellespont to see every night?
#10 Which was the decisive battle in the English Civil War?
ANSWER: The Battle of Naseby
0— COMING SOON
E-Learning in FE
A New History of Jazz
The Way We Write
Design Without Boundaries
Signatures of the Visible
Blogging, Citizenship, and the Media
CSS The Missing Manual
Frances Partridge Diaries
Oxford English-French Dictionary
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