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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 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

Saturday, August 16, 2014

Bukowski's "My Cats"

Born today in 1920 author Charles Bukowski.

I know. I know.
they are limited, have different
needs and
but I watch and learn from them.
I like the little they know,
which is so
they complain but never
they walk with a surprising dignity.
they sleep with a direct simplicity that
humans just can’t
their eyes are more
beautiful than our eyes.
and they can sleep 20 hours
a day
hesitation or
when I am feeling
all I have to do is
watch my cats
and my
I study these
they are my

The Food Chain

Virgil Marcel is a young restaurateur who owns one of L.A.'s trendiest eating establishments and is also the scion of the Golden Boy fast-food dynasty. He receives an unexpected invitation to the Everlasting Club in London, England which has been in operation for 350 years and is wrapped in an air of secrecy. When he arrives he finds members gorging themselves at an orgiastic banquet. He makes a spectacle of himself at the club, is banished and embarks on a debauched food tour of England with a young woman who was a nude centrepiece on the table at the club. Virgil's parents and his chef also enter the fray. Not one of the characters is remotely likeable.
In alternate chapters we are given factual accounts of gastronomic and sexual overindulgence over the centuries. It's all dark, twisted and over the top. I read the book through to the end but didn't feel much like eating for a long time after finishing it.

Beautiful Girl

A lovely short story by Tobias Wolff:

When I was fifteen, I cut off the last joint of my left ring finger during a woodshop class. I was laughing at a joke while cutting a board on a table saw. The bite of the blade sent a great shock through me, and I didn’t dare look down, but the bleached faces of the other boys told me just how bad it was.
Read more: The New Yorker

Friday, August 15, 2014

Bukowski On Writing

 Charles Bukowski. Uncensored. from Quoted on Vimeo.

In this inaugural episode of Quoted‘s animated literary series for Harper Collins, the legendary Charles Bukowski talks very candidly about his writing process in a conversation that took place in 1993 during the recording of Run With the Hunted.

Sticky Monsters

Copenhagen based artist, writer and tv director John Kenn Mortensen draws scary monsters on Post-it notes and it's amazing how much detail he can squeeze onto three inch square office supplies. Below are illustrations from his children's book Sticky Monsters.

Via Boing Boing

Thanks Bruce!