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Niagara on the Lake, Ontario, Canada
My virtue is that I say what I think, my vice that what I think doesn't amount to much.

Saturday, January 24, 2015

Joan Didion’s Handwritten List Of Her Favourite Books

My favourite author's list of her all-time favourite books.

  1. A Farewell to Arms (public library) by Ernest Hemingway
  2. Victory (public library) by Joseph Conrad
  3. Guerrillas (public library) by V.S. Naipaul
  4. Down and Out in Paris and London (public library) by George Orwell
  5. Wonderland (public library) by Joyce Carol Oates
  6. Wuthering Heights (public library) by Emily Brontë
  7. The Good Soldier (public library) by Ford Madox Ford
  8. One Hundred Years of Solitude (public library) by Gabriel Garcia Márquez
  9. Crime and Punishment (public library) by Fyodor Dostoyevsky
  10. Appointment in Samarra (public library) by John O’Hara
  11. The Executioner’s Song (public library) by Norman Mailer
  12. The Novels of Henry James (public library): Washington Square, Portrait of a Lady, The Bostonians, Wings of the Dove, The Ambassadors, The Golden Bowl, Daisy Miller, The Aspern Papers, The Turn of the Screw
  13. Speedboat (public library) by Renata Adler
  14. Go Tell It on the Mountain (public library) by James Baldwin
  15. Notes of a Native Son (public library) by James Baldwin
  16. The Berlin Stories (public library) by Christopher Isherwood
  17. Collected Poems (public library) by Robert Lowell
  18. Collected Poems (public library) by W.H. Auden
  19. The Collected Poems (public library) by Wallace Stevens

Read more about Didion at this post by Brain Pickings

Friday, January 23, 2015

Miss Havisham’s Disability Application is Denied.

Thank you for meeting with me to discuss my disability application. I appreciate you coming to see me, because, as you already know, I can’t leave this house. Or change my dress. Or love. Have I mentioned I can’t love? No love, none at all. Just me, all alone, in the dark. Just sitting here. In the corner. Alone.

 I see my application was denied.


More:McSweeney’s Internet Tendency

Thursday, January 22, 2015

The Stranger’s Guide to London

I'll be visiting London soon and will make sure to read this book before I go. I'm just a small town gal and I certainly wouldn't want to be taken in by duffers, footpads or crimps.

More: Spitalfields Life

Via Mr. Nag

First American Novel Published 226 Years Ago

William Hill Brown’s The Power of Sympathy: or, The Triumph of Nature was published 226 years ago today, in 1789. It’s generally considered the first American novel.

"The Power of Sympathy is a sentimental novel in the strictest sense of the term: a kind of humanistic endeavor to evoke emotions in readers, giving them models on which to base their own emotional lives. It was crucial, in the second half of the eighteenth century, to allow yourself to be whipped into an emotional lather­—showing your feelings was a mark of character."

More here 

On Self-Respect: Joan Didion’s 1961 Essay

On Self-Respect, Joan Didion’s seminal essay was first published in Vogue in 1961 and was republished  in the author’s 1968 collection, Slouching Towards Bethlehem.​ Didion wrote the essay as the magazine was going to press, to fill the space left after another writer did not produce a piece on the same subject. She wrote it not to a word count or a line count, but to an exact character count.

Read the essay

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

I dumped my underpants for a naked bookclub to sell my novel

Jeffrey Luscombe author of Shirts and Skins usually adheres to the WWAMD (What Would Alice Munro Do?) rule. But when he was invited to talk about his novel at a naked book club meeting in Toronto he decided to throw caution to the wind and stripped down.

More: The Globe and Mail

Haruki Murakami begins online agony uncle clinic

Japanese novelist Haruki Murakami has started offering opinions and advice on queries from fans in an online agony uncle column, kicking things off by revealing his fears over hate speech and his own failing eyesight.  The publicity-shy writer started the project Thursday at "Murakami-san no tokoro" or "Mr. Murakami's place" where he hoped for easy-going, fun exchanges with readers.

More:  Yahoo News

Monday, January 19, 2015

How Falling in Love is Like Owning a Dog

How Falling in Love is Like Owning a Dog 
by Taylor Mali

First of all, it’s a big responsibility,

especially in a city like New York.

So think long and hard before deciding on love.

On the other hand, love gives you a sense of security:

when you’re walking down the street late at night

and you have a leash on love

ain’t no one going to mess with you.

Because crooks and muggers think love is unpredictable.

Who knows what love could do in its own defense?

On cold winter nights, love is warm.

It lies between you and lives and breathes

and makes funny noises.

Love wakes you up all hours of the night with its needs.

It needs to be fed so it will grow and stay healthy.

Love doesn’t like being left alone for long.

But come home and love is always happy to see you.

It may break a few things accidentally in its passion for life,

but you can never be mad at love for long.

Is love good all the time?

No! No!
Love can be bad. Bad, love, bad! Very bad love.

Love makes messes.

Love leaves you little surprises here and there.

Love needs lots of cleaning up after.

Sometimes you just want to get love fixed.

Sometimes you want to roll up a piece of newspaper

and swat love on the nose,

not so much to cause pain,

just to let love know Don’t you ever do that again!

Sometimes love just wants to go out for a nice long walk.

Because love loves exercise. It will run you around the block

and leave you panting, breathless. Pull you in different directions

at once, or wind itself around and around you

until you’re all wound up and you cannot move.

 But love makes you meet people wherever you go.

People who have nothing in common but love

stop and talk to each other on the street.

Throw things away and love will bring them back,

again, and again, and again.

But most of all, love needs love, lots of it.

And in return, love loves you and never stops.

Mali. Taylor. “How Falling in Love is like Owning a Dog.” What Learning Leaves. Newtown, CT: Hanover Press, 2002. Print. (ISBN: 1-‐887012-‐17-‐6)

All of my Issues With the "Goodnight Moon" Bedroom

The Ugly Volvo likes Goodnight Moon but has issues with the bedroom depicted in it.

1. The size of the room.

"Nice bedroom and/or place to possibly hold the 2024 Olympics.

This bedroom is enormous. There is no one, I think, who has not noticed this. As someone who has lived in apartments only slightly larger than “a little toy house,” it’s mildly vexing that this bedroom is the size of a banquet hall in Downton Abbey."


Sunday, January 18, 2015

12 Places in London Every Reader Should Visit

 Where do all literary types go in London when they want to pick up a book they can hold in their hands or catch up on some reading with a good cup of tea?   BookBub Blog asked 12 of them that question. Here are a few of their favorite places.

Blackheath: Bookshop on the Heath
Portobello: Electric House Library Bar
Hampstead: The Spaniards Inn
I'm going to London soon. Will be sure to look into as many of these as I can.

Read more

The strange and brilliant fiction of Hilary Mantel | Books | The Guardian

The strange and brilliant fiction of Hilary Mantel | Books | The Guardian

Friday, January 16, 2015

Get Dapper, Book Style

Library check out card pocket square, tie, bow tie, or pashmina.

Get them here

In Tolstoy’s Diaries, Self-Criticism Is the Norm

Russian writer Leo Tolstoy started keeping a diary in 1847 at the age of eighteen as a project aimed at exploring the nature of self. Here’s a self-effacing diary entry from March 1851 in which Tolstoy chronicles his flaws, hour by hour:

24. Arose somewhat late and read, but did not have time to write. Poiret came, I fenced, and did not send him away (sloth and cowardice). Ivanov came, I spoke with him for too long (cowardice). Koloshin (Sergei) came to drink vodka, I did not escort him out (cowardice). At Ozerov’s argued about nothing (habit of arguing) and did not talk about what I should have talked about (cowardice). Did not go to Beklemishev’s (weakness of energy). During gymnastics did not walk the rope (cowardice), and did not do one thing because it hurt (sissiness).—At Gorchakov’s lied (lying). Went to the Novotroitsk tavern (lack of fierté). At home did not study English (insufficient firmness). At the Volkonskys’ was unnatural and distracted, and stayed until one in the morning (distractedness, desire to show off, and weakness of character). Link


Thursday, January 15, 2015

Haunting Ink Paintings on Old Hardcover Books

Russian artist Ekaterina Panikanova presents work composed of old books, which she arranges into a kind of jigsaw puzzle of palimpsests.