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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.

Wednesday, September 02, 2015

Al Purdy Was Here

"By turns elegiac and celebratory, this documentary tribute to the late, great Canadian poet Al Purdy features readings, reminiscences and performances from some of the greatest names in Canadian letters and music."

The Reluctant Entertainer

One of Alex Jardine’s illustrations from The Reluctant Cook.

Helen Fearon died in 1974 but her cooking and entertaining books have made it back onto shelves.

Here she is on removing scorch marks from linen:

 You don’t have to believe this. It smells too strongly of witchcraft. Nevertheless it is another of Grandmother’s nostrums and it works, goodness knows why. Mix half a pint of vinegar, two ounces of fuller’s earth, one ounce of fowl’s dung (from a cock if possible) half an ounce of soft soap and two large onions cut in pieces …
More: Paris Review

Monday, August 31, 2015

Five Novels That Celebrate London's Diversity

 Londonist has listed five novels written with the multitudes of London in their sights and sounds.

Fleur de Lys-shaped Book of Hours

Fleur de Lys-shaped Book of Hours, 18 x 8 cm. Likely created in Paris circa 1553. Contains eleven lobe-shaped miniatures. Sold by Christie’s on June 6, 2006 for $28,000. Only one other manuscript of this format from the same period has been recorded (in Leon Gruel’s “Manuel historique et bibliographique de L’amateur de reliures,” 1905, II, pp.9-11, pl.G), and that particular work was made for Diane de Poitiers and Henry II.


A Walk in the Woods

On the afternoon of July 5, 1983, three adult supervisors and a group of youngsters set up camp at a popular spot beside Lake Canimina in the fragrant pine forests of western Quebec, about eighty miles north of Ottawa, in a park called La Verendrye Provincial Reserve. They cooked dinner and, afterwards, in the correct fashion, secured their food in a bag and carried it a hundred or so feet into the woods, where they suspended it above the ground between two trees, out of the reach of bears...
Read an excerpt from Bill Bryson’s A Walk in the Woods at Literary Hub

Sunday, August 30, 2015

Unknown works of Agatha Christie found

Ten works by English crime novelist Agatha Christie, including five full-length plays and five one-act dramas, have been unearthed by a British theatre producer.

Julius Green, a Christie expert who has produced more than 250 plays and musicals, found five full-length plays and five one-act dramas written by the creator of the fictional Belgian detective, Hercule Poirot, while scouring the archives containing her papers.

More here

Friday, August 28, 2015

What should I read next?

Go to The Book Seer when you just finished a book that you liked and want to read something in the same vein.

Thursday, August 27, 2015

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

German Literary Critic Reviews IKEA Catalogue

German literary critic Hellmuth Karasek gives a tongue-in-cheek review of the IKEA catalogue in this hilarious IKEA YouTube ad.

Read more at CBC Radio

Monday, August 24, 2015

All the words that William Shakespeare is credited with inventing

A list of 117 words credited to Shakespeare:

  • accused
  • addiction
  • advertising
  • amazement
  • arouse
  • assassination
  • arch-villain
  • backing
  • bandit
  • barefaced
  • beached
  • bedazzle
  • bedroom
  • besmirch
  • bet
  • birthplace
  • blanket
  • bloodstained
  • blushing
  • bump
  • buzzer
  • caked
  • cater
  • champion
  • cheap
  • circumstantial
  • cold-blooded
  • compromise
  • countless
  • courtship
  • critic
  • dauntless
  • dawn
  • deafening
  • discontent
  • dishearten
  • drugged
  • dwindle
  • elbow

... More words from Shakespeare 

Thursday, August 20, 2015

Indigenous illustrations: inside the groundbreaking new comic book

Moonshot is a collection of comics that feature First Nations, Inuit, and Metis storytellers from across North America.

More: CBC Radio

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Edward Gorey's Forgotten Book Cover Art

A new book, Edward Gorey: His Book Cover Art and Design (Pomegranate Communications), has compiled an array of his covers that make a strong case for remembering it.


Lolita Deconstructed

Vladimir Nabokov's Lolita was  published on this date in New York City. It is the story of Humbert Humbert's sexual obsession with a 12-year-old girl named Dolores Haze. Here is a breakdown of the novel by Thug Notes.