Bits and Bobs (Supersize version with hidden giveaway)

Sinterklaas Came Early
Our good friends Ron and Barry who live in The Hague just sent John copy of this wonderful Virago hardcover book. It even has me a bit interested. I kind of twisted John’s arm into opening the package before Christmas hopeful Ron and Barry (I mean Sinterklaas) won’t mind.

Sinterklaas is part of the rather wacky (to be kind) Christmas tradition in the Netherlands. Pehaps it is time the Dutch updated their holiday files in favor of something less offensive than the following picture which I almost don’t even want to post here but it illustrates my point only too well. No, I take it back, I don’t want to post the picture here, but if you want to see what I am talking about you can check out this link.

Lost in Lost in Austen
I know there may be die-hard Austenites out there who thought this series was lame, but I really enjoyed watching Lost in Austen. I hadn’t even heard about it until I stumbled across it on Netflix. I found it quite diverting. Like Thursday Next meets Miss Hargreaves meets Jane Austen.

One of these things is not like the other…

The other The Queen
It is hard to see QEII portrayed on film since Helen Mirren created her miraculous version of the reigning British sovereign in the brilliant film The Queen. Who will ever do a better job? No one. However, I just watched a miniseries called The Queen which intersperses dramatizations with documentary interviews and footage that is really pretty darn fascinating. There is so much about 1970s Britain that I didn’t know much about. For instance Princess Anne was almost kidnapped and her body guard was shot three times in the melee (but survived). Much of the republican antipathy toward the monarchy shown in this docu-drama reminded me of Nevil Shute’s fantastic book In the Wet which imagines a Britain where the Queen’s life is in such danger that the Canadians and Australians create a two-jet fleet that allows the Queen to fly around the Commonwealth in safety until the turmoil in the UK settles down.

All of these actresses are supposed to be the Queen.
Which one do you think looks the least like her?

And speaking of Britain
When we were in New York over Thanksgiving I spent some time at the infamous Strand Bookstore where I normally never buy anything because it is so crowded and hot and overflowing that I can never calm down enough to browse. But I did find these doorstop books on Britain in the 1940s and 1950s. I have seen them around the blogosphere and coveted them, but I managed to pick these up for $12.50 each (instead of $47). Yay for me. They also gave me a free Strand Bookstore tote bag for spending more than $50. I have more totes than I know what to do with. It is nothing special but I will ship it anywhere in the world by randomly picking among the people who leave a substantive comment related to anything in this post as well as stating a desire to win said bag. This means no “that’s cool” or “count me in” or any other throw away comments–let’s have some real interaction here…

Copyright or Copywrong?
When trolling around the interwebs today I came across a book review blog that I found fairly annoying–where books are consumed rather than read just to produce un-insightful, and boring book reviews that the blogger seems to think will land her a spot at the Algonquin round table. I know that the book review posts I do rarely qualify as actual book reviews–but  at least they have a part of me in them. And there is no hint that my blog is a just a machine for churning out ARC-induced advertorials. (Although to this blogger’s credit she does give honest reviews for ARCs.)

Anyhoo, perhaps it was the fact that I already didn’t like her, but even her copyright notice annoyed me. Here is part of it:

This copyrighted material may not be reproduced without express permission from the author. She’s happy to grant permission, so don’t be a jerk about it.

Do  you think this means that one can’t take large chunks or entire posts without getting permission? Or do you think it means that one can’t even quote her written work without permission? I would guess it is the former rather than the latter but something about her makes me think she may have meant the latter. And doesn’t fair use law allow one to quote copyrighted material (with attribution of course) without getting such permission? Does it matter if the person doing the quoting has a commercial site? Wouldn’t newspapers fall into this category? Should I just shut up and look up this stuff myself? Should I wait for Teresa to tell me? Something tells me that she not only knows the answers but will share them with us in a succinct, jargon-free way…what say you Teresa or any of you who write/edit for a living?

And speaking of copyrights statements, should I have one on My Porch? Years ago I had some goon lift an entire post of mine as his answer to a question posed on the website Made me want to find him and rough him up.

Do you have a copyright statement? Do you use a service like MyFreeCopyright?

Something furry is watching…

What fur from yonder window comes?

One can never have too many pictures of Lucy.


16 thoughts on “Bits and Bobs (Supersize version with hidden giveaway)

  1. The Dormouse December 4, 2011 / 1:46 pm

    I always thought Sinterklaas made his rounds on St. Nicholas Day (Dec. 6). In that case, your gift opening is perfectly timely.

    And as for the Zwarte Piet, have you read David Sedaris' short story “Six to Eight Black Men”? In my family we read it out loud every year on St. Nicholas Day as one of our many nerdy holiday traditions.

    The only thing better than reading it out loud to your family, is finding a recording of Sedaris reading it out loud himself.


  2. Frances December 4, 2011 / 1:53 pm

    Going to watch Lost in Austen now. Because I trust you and also don't feel like doing anything productive. I really love streaming from Netflix. Have discovered so much that I would not have taken a chance on without the convenience of that service.


  3. M. Denise C. December 4, 2011 / 2:20 pm

    I loved Lost in Austen and watched it on PBS a while back. And I really appreciate Bits and Bobs. Especially super long ones like this.


  4. Anna van Gelderen December 4, 2011 / 2:29 pm

    The Dormouse is correct. Sinterklaas is celebrated on the eve of St. Nicholas, that is on 5 December, and has nothing whatsoever to do with Christmas. Rather, Santa Claus is a later, Americanized version of the Dutch Sinterklaas, apparently brought to them by the early Dutch settlers of Nieuw Amsterdam (which later became New York). Sinterklaas was already celebrated here during the Middle Ages, so it's quite an ancient thing.
    Anna (from the Netherlands)


  5. betsy December 4, 2011 / 3:10 pm

    I have wondered about copyrighting my posts, but I think if one is original enough, the thieves would have a hard time passing it off as theirs for very long. By the way- say hi to Lucy for me!


  6. Teresa December 4, 2011 / 3:43 pm

    So many things to respond to, and then you go and ask me specifically for a response. Let's take these one at a time.

    Sinterklaas: I have to echo The Dormouse's recommendation of “Six to Eight Black Men,” which I believe is available online somewhere. I listened to an audio version of the story a couple of years ago and thought I was going to have to stop my car from laughing so hard.

    Lost in Austen: It seems I'm one of those die-hard Austenites. I did not like it at all, but everyone else who's seen it seems to, so I'm just being curmudgeonly.

    The Queen: That sounds so interesting. My Netflix queue is getting to be as scary as my TBR pile. (True story: Netflix only lets you put 500 discs in your queue. I know this from experience.)

    Britain: I read Family Britain a couple of years ago. There was lots of interesting information, but reading it straight through was probably a mistake. Too hodge-podgy.

    Copyright: I don't know what that blogger means, but fair use does mean it's OK to quote with attribution and without permission. (How much you can quote is open to dickering. No more than 10 percent is a decent rule, but there's no bright line.) As far as I know, it doesn't matter if it's commercial speech or not.

    A copyright statement is not a bad idea, but I've never put one on my blog (too lazy), and they really aren't required. Your work is automatically copyrighted simply by virtue of the fact that you created it. Copyright registration, as best I understand it, can be helpful if you ever choose to go after someone who has stolen your content and refused to take it down.

    And HI LUCY!


  7. Inkslinger December 4, 2011 / 4:40 pm

    While I take my Jane Austen very seriously, I too loved Lost in Austen. It was just too fun to resent. :)

    And I'm with you over the confusion re copyright. I was advised by one of my old profs to put a copyright statement on my blog (so I did), but I can't really see the point of it myself.


  8. rhonda December 4, 2011 / 5:19 pm

    whenever wevisit NY we go to The Strand &everytime i almost hyperventilate from excitement.I am so overcome at being there i panic &have to convince myself not to run out ,take a breath calm don &shop.


  9. StuckInABook December 4, 2011 / 9:14 pm

    You didn't know about Lost in Austen?! Is it possible that you missed the months where I barely blogged about anything ELSE?! I love it to death, couldn't get enough, not least because Amanda used to be in the Famous Five. Also because, unbelievably for ITV, they didn't presuppose that the audience were all illiterate morons – they actually assumed you would have read the book. Love me some Lost in Austen! Also love the Miss Hargreaves link, which I hadn't spotted before.


  10. Mystica December 5, 2011 / 2:59 am

    I also did not know about Lost in Austen but I do think living out here I can be excused. I also got early Christmas presents which I have been rather good and not opened as yet!! Do you think you could give us excerpts from the 1001 books list please or is that infringement of someone's copyrights??

    So many nice Christmas traditions – you get the Russian christmas in January and St Lucia's celebration in Sweden and just in case everyone has forgotton I'm in for the tote bag distribution as well.
    Thanks for sharing.


  11. Care December 5, 2011 / 9:50 am

    I was just given a gift from a new friend who happens to live in the Netherlands! I bet he meant it as a Sinterklass gift which means I should really jazz up my thank you with a bit more acknowledgement than 'thank you'. Thank YOU for letting me know!

    Lucy is terrific.


  12. bookmarksandteacups December 5, 2011 / 12:47 pm

    This may be the first time I've commented on your blog… but I love reading it!

    As far as copyright goes, I have a Creative Commons license on my blog – I like the flexibility and openness that Creative Commons promotes. It's an easy way to tell people “hey, feel free to use my stuff, just let people know it came from me”. If you go to the Creative Commons site you can choose a license with the terms that make the most sense to you for your purpose. I don't feel like I need to go as far as actively protecting my copyright with something like MyFreeCopyright, but I do like having something on my blog that lets people know I'm aware of my rights as the author.



  13. Margaret Evans Porter December 5, 2011 / 1:11 pm

    I related to your description of book-hunting at the Strand. I always have good luck there but feel frustrated that I never have quite as much time to linger as I'd like, we always have to be some place.

    Quite recently I dipped into Lost in Austen for the first time, through one of our satellite channels which repeatedly runs episodes in order for an entire day. There's practically a whole time-travelling-in-Austenworld genre of fiction/chick-lit which I've mostly avoided. But seeing a dramatisation is rather fun.

    The Austerity Britain book is an excellent candidate for re-issue, given the propensitites of the present Government. I have a sense that people are whingeing a great deal more about the 2011/12 version of austerity than they did during the prior one. Our family & friends reminisce about the protracted period of rationing and ao on with significant national pride and an admirable lack of angst.


  14. Thomas at My Porch December 5, 2011 / 11:46 pm

    Dormous: You are probably right about the timing of it. I can only how funny Sedaris' take on an already funny story is.

    Frances: Hope you liked it.

    Denise: It was a fun cozy day kind of film.

    Anna: Phonetically there isn't much distance between Sinterklaas and Santa Claus that's for sure.

    Betsy: I'm too OCD to ever be able to pass off someone's work as my own.

    Teresa; Even not being a die-hard Austenite there were some things that could have bothered me if I let them. I am considering the Britain books to be reference materials. I am not sure I would sit down and try and read them. And I knew you would have a good answer on the copyright thing.

    Inkslinger: And the story could have worked out a million different ways. They could do alternative versions of it.

    Rhonda: And I was there on Black Friday. Kind of busy to say the least.

    Simon: One really did need to have a working knowledge of Austen that is for sure. It must seem like jibberish to those who don't.

    Mystica: The 1001 book is really quite good. And I know a blogger (I forget who) has the whole list on her blog.

    Care: I wonder if they still give presents on Christmas?

    Kristin: I'm glad I finally posted something that inspired you to de-lurk. I might have to look into Creative Commons.

    Margaret: I should probably treat it like I treat Powell's in Portland. I go when they first open before all the poseurs show up. The only thing about today's austerity Britain is that it is not the result of a massive struggle against global fascism but rather the results of unfettered global greed where people, corporations, and governments believed that we really could have something for nothing.


  15. Molly December 6, 2011 / 7:42 am

    Well, there is oodles to comment on here as well :)

    First of all — you were in New York for Thanksgiving?! That is my DREAM. While we used to live in the village for four years in the 80s, I never realized my fantasy of watching the Macy's parade in person. It is still on the bucket list, although now I am researching places where I can watch the parade float by in the comfort of an indoor location.

    And I feel the same way about the Strand: love to visit, but am usually too overwhelmed to buy anything. I like the books you chose though (and you can't beat the bargain price) and the free tote is a bonus. I seem to collect canvas bags as well, but wouldn't mind adding the famous strand to the collection :)

    I LOVED the Queen – but you have peeked my interest in this mini-series. I will have to check that out.

    It is good to be back to visit your blog again. I have missed much in the bloggosphere.


  16. Darlene December 6, 2011 / 4:51 pm

    I have a metal locker at work so I bought two magnetic picture frames and every week I display new Penguin postcards. One of the pages at my libray told me how much he looks forward to seeing what's new. It's the little things…

    LOVE 'Lost in Austen'!

    And I've dropped waaay too many knitting book patterns onto the photocopier to have anything to say about copyright issues. But nobody should be lifting your posts…that's just plain wrong!

    Lucy, you're such a doll!


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.