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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.

Sunday, August 31, 2014

Giant Bookcase Painted on Garage Door

Photograph by wootkatiee on reddit

Reddit user wootkatiee spotted this garage door painted like a giant bookcase in the Los Angeles neighbourhood of Hollywood Hills.

Via: TwistedSifter

Vintage Van Carries Literature Around Lisbon

Tell a Story  offers a collection of more than a dozen Portuguese classics that have been translated into English, French, Italian, German and Spanish. There's something for everyone, from the evasive and sad verses of Fernando Pessoa — "To be understood is to prostitute oneself" — to Antonio Lobo Antunes' dense and moving accounts of the country's post-colonial legacy.

More:  NPR

Saturday, August 30, 2014

The Silent Wife

I chose this as the first audiobook to listen to on my new treadmill because I figured it would be easy to follow without the need to flip back to parts I didn't grasp. 
Jodi and Todd have lived together for twenty years and are comfortable in their waterfront condo in Chicago. He is a property developer, she is a part-time therapist. She keeps house and makes creative meals for him and he is the primary breadwinner and they both seem content with the affluent life they have made for themselves. Then the relationship goes off the rails when Todd begins an affair with the young daughter of his best friend. Jodi reacts robotically to the betrayal; she doesn't confront the cheating s.o.b. or even discuss it with him and appears to be in denial. It's business as usual for Jodi until she discovers that Todd plans to marry the silly young thing and that in Illinois she will not be entitled to a red cent because she and Todd never tied the knot. When she receives a letter from Todd's lawyer telling her to vacate the condo Jodi swings into action to protect what she feels she's entitled to after two decades of  living with the obnoxious Todd.
Both Todd and Jodi are shallow, self indulgent types and frankly I didn't care what happened to either of them. The book chugs along slowly, the murder occurs and it comes to an abrupt and ambiguous closing. As a treadmill book it hit the spot but it was not the "psychological thriller" I'd been led to expect. I don't feel guilty about spending time on a lightweight novel because I was burning calories at the same time.

Whitman Illuminated: Song of Myself

Artist and illustrator Allen Crawford  has illuminated Walt Whitman’s “Song of Myself.” Crawford has turned the original sixty-page poem from Whitman’s 1855 edition into a sprawling 234-page work of art.

More: Whitman Illuminated: Song of Myself

Thursday, August 28, 2014


Brickjest is Infinite Jest in Legos.

p. 3 These are three Deans--of Admissions, Academic Affairs, Athletic Affairs.
I do not know which face belongs to whom.

P. 11. 'I ate this,' was what I was saying. I held the patch out to the Moms . . .

Sunday, August 24, 2014

Virginia Woolf’s London

From her childhood to her later life digs, Londonist has mapped the London of Virginia Woolf.
More: Londonist

Cautionary Children’s Books

Terrifying cautionary children's tales from 1830-1835

More illustrations from:  Cautionary Children’s Books

Saturday, August 23, 2014

A Picture Of Language: The Fading Art Of Diagramming Sentences

Diagramming and parsing are the best way of learning the structure of language. After 50 years I still remember these skills.

"It's a fairly simple idea," says Kitty Burns Florey, the author of Sister Bernadette's Barking Dog: The Quirky History and Lost Art of Diagramming Sentences. "I like to call it a picture of language. It really does draw a picture of what language looks like."
More: NPR


Friday, August 22, 2014

Color Me Drunk: A Drinking and Drawing Activity Book

For those who are bored of beer pong and have already drunk-dialed all of their exes, this drink-and-draw activity book provides page upon page of novel ways to spend a happy hour (or three).

See preview: Google Books

One-Star Book Reviews

Reviews of classic books, culled from the internet's think tank.

“There was cat hair all over the books pages. i am allergic. That is all.”

“he is to serious literature what Weird Al Yankovic is to pop music.”

“I felt like Camus was trying to make some kind of a point”

More: One-Star Book Reviews


Monday, August 18, 2014

Limited Edition Book Of Birds

A charming book of bird illustrations created using images from the BioDiversity Heritage Library.

Available to buy from Good Press (Glasgow).

More: Textbook Studio

Jack Kerouac's Road - A Franco-American Odyssey

This film presents the life and work of Jack Kerouac, an American writer with Quebec roots who became one of the most important spokesmen for his generation. Intercut with archival footage, photographs and interviews, this film takes apart the heroic myth and even returns to the childhood of the author whose life and work contributed greatly to the cultural, sexual and social revolution of the 1960s.


“I am almoost beshytten”

The following phrases have been excerpted from an English to Latin textbook printed in the early 16th century, which has been digitized by the Bodleian Library at the University of Oxford as part of an ongoing project:

Good morrowe.
Good nyght.
God spede.
How farest thou.
I fare well thanked be god.
Whyder goest thou.
I go to the syege.
I shall bere the company.
How doth my fader.
He was at the poynt of dethe.
Gyue me breed.
Thou shalt haue ony thynge that I haue.
Drynke first and I wyll nexte.
Drynke agayne.
I am sure thou louest me not.

Read more here


Sunday, August 17, 2014

Scary Books

Books that are smart and scary—just frightening enough for catharsis, and just exotic enough in their trappings that you'll probably still be able to sleep at night, if you're not lying awake thrilled by just how good they are.
The only one of the ten that I've read is Specimen Days by Michael Cunningham which I reviewed here. It was unsettling but I didn't find it scary. The most terrifying book I ever read was The Charcoal Burners by Susan Musgrave. Thirty-five years later it still haunts me.

More: 10 Creepiest Books

Jane Austen Used Pins to Edit Her Manuscript

Editing today is a breeze but not so when Jane Austin was writing.  She had no Whiteout or Post It Notes to aid in revising her work so she used straight pins to make edits to her rare manuscript, The Watsons.
 The full pages suggest that Jane Austen did not anticipate a protracted process of redrafting. With no calculated blank spaces and no obvious way of incorporating large revision or expansion she had to find other strategies – the three patches, small pieces of paper, each of which was filled closely and neatly with the new material, attached with straight pins to the precise spot where erased material was to be covered or where an insertion was required to expand the text.
More:  Open Culture