Critical Linking: September 8th, 2013


After years of hovering in the wings, this could be Haruki Murakami’s year to clinch the Nobel prize for literature – at least if you go by the odds offered by Ladbrokes on the Japanese author, who is 3-1 favourite.

This makes so much sense that there is no way it is going to happen.


My original title was “From the Big Bang to Black Holes: A Short History of Time,” but my editor Peter Guzzardi turned it around and changed Short to Brief. It was a stroke of genius and must have contributed to the success of the book. There have been many “brief histories” of this and that since, and even “A Brief History of Thyme.”

Why did so many people buy the book? It is difficult for me to be objective, so I will go by what other people said. I found most of the reviews, although favorable, rather unilluminating.

Fascinating article in which Stephen Hawking wonders about how his A Brief History of Time became so popular.


In 1972, Daniel Woodrell traded part of his lunch for a copy of Ernest Hemingway’s posthumous novel. After he read it, he became determined to be a writer.

Love these stories about single books that changed someone’s life.



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