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Showing posts from March, 2017

Friday links, 24 February 2017

I have been pretty inactive on this blog lately, mostly because I have hardly been reading. However, I have done some web surfing and here are some of the things I found: An interesting article about the oldest libraries around the world . A literary guide to Paris .  And London . An essay about book shame . One woman's (failed) quest to visit every book shop in New York city . Today's list: Books about friendships . These is no book I'd like to read today.  I'm going through a reading slump and don't feel like reading.

Friday links, 17 March 2017

Today's links are all book-related in some way, and three of them relate to libraries: Some Spectacular German Libraries . I must admit that the first one on the list doesn't appeal to me at all - I prefer libraries to be warm and friendly and this just looks blindingly white and sterilised, a triumph of design and functionality over friendliness and comfort. An interesting bit of history: The Life and Death of the Library of Alexandria . More on libraries: In case you thought overdue library books were not worth pursuing, Libraries Can And Will Put You In Jail, So Return YourBooks, People . I have been keeping a commonplace book on and off for a few years, but the guy who wrote this is clearly a master: How And Why To Keep A “Commonplace Book” . Mine is mostly quotations from books I have read and quotations of egregious linguistic and grammatical errors from newspapers and radio, interspersed with sketches and drawings. Mark Twain's old house is gorgeous , and jus

Friday links, 10 March 2017

Some very mixed links today: This doesn't spare the superlatives: Terry Pratchett’s Discworld Might Be The Highest Form ofLiterature on the Planet . Sounds a bit overblown, doesn't it? But there's an explanation: The author of the article explains . Here's some magnificent book art . It's for sale, too! About an author I like: Angela Carter’s Feminist Mythology . For cookbook fans: Cooking for the Pope . If you didn't already suspect it - translating is hard. It's even harder when translating books full of meaningful names of people and places (don't forget to look underneath the video): Two book lists:   7 Books That Will Inspire Your Wanderlust .  7 Fantasy Series That Will Take All Year to Finish .   The book I want to read (and indeed own) is the new Atlas Obscur a book. I am a long-time fan of the website and while nothing can replace that as a resource, the book is still appealing and

Car trouble

My nearly new car is in the garage for a problem that is so unexpected and unlikely in a car this new and little used (less than 20 thousand kilometres on it), that the guy I spoke with at the VW shop said they would give me a good discount off the part if it needs to be replaced and not just repaired/cleaned. I will not see my beloved VW Caddy again for a week and will be driving around in a borrowed, ancient Suzuki Jimny with a cranky manual gearbox and stiff handling. Good thing I only need it to visit my parents in the next city and not to get to work. At least I know I can get around if it snows as much in the meantime as it did two Sundays ago, because that tin can is altered for off-road driving.

Look at what I found!

I came across this book in my favourite second hand shop recently. At first sight it doesn't look very prepossessing - in fact it looks downright grungy. The glossy white cover is scratched, discoloured, stained and chipped and it is ever so slightly tacky to the touch, like a cookbook left out in the kitchen for too long. Ick! Then you open it up to find glorious, clean, empty pages. I'm only guessing, but there might be around 200 leaves, which makes 400 pages in A4 size. This is the kind of journal I dreamt of owning back when I still kept written records of my reading. I've gone wholly digital now, so I'll have to find a different use for it. More about that below. I can only speculate as to what this book was designed for, but the paper is thick and heavy and I'd like to imagine it to have been designed as a guest book (maybe for a convention or a company), sketchbook or journal rather than a scrapbook, because the binding is too tight to allow for

Reading report, March 6, 2017

It's Monday! What Are You Reading ? is hosted by Kathryn at the Book Date and is "a place to meet up and share what you have been, are and about to be reading over the week." Visit the Book Date to see what various other book bloggers have been up to in the last week. -- I had to take two sick days in the middle of the week and missed my day hike on the weekend because I didn't want to risk having a relapse, so I had plenty of time to read and finished four books during those two days and one more during the weekend. I was still heartily glad to stop reading and return to work on Friday. Being at home on weekdays is no fun when you can't go out and are feeling miserable. The books were: Johannes Cabal the Necromancer by Jonathan L Howard. This book answered a question I asked myself when I first read Ray Bradbury's Something Wicked This Way Comes : Where do diabolical carnivals come from in the first place? I liked it so much that I ordered a c

January and February book haul, part 3

Here are the final books: Comments: Gnomes : This is a book of lore and natural history and should sit nicely on the shelf with my other illustrated guides to the world of folktales and mythology, e.g. The Flight of Dragons and my bestiary of Icelandic folk-tale monsters. The Norman Rockwell Treasury : I love Rockwell's work but when I first saw this book in a bookshop, I was pretty much broke and couldn't afford to buy it, so finding a copy was lucky. The Far Side Gallery : I have volumes 2, 3 and 4, but I don't think I have this one. The guide book is yet another addition to the guidebook collection. Trees and Fungi are natural history guides.  The Steampunk Gazette is a guide to all things steampunk. As I mentioned in the first post in this series, I have been wanting to delve into this sub-genre of science-fiction, and what better place to start than with a guide? That's it! (for now).

January and February book haul, part 2

The next batch is even more mixed. These are mostly second-hand, although I suspect some have hardly been read. Comments: The Amulet of Samarkand : I have been a lifelong reader of fantasy and have had my eye on the Bartimaeus books for some time, so finding one second hand was a piece of good fortune.   The Disappearing Spoon: And Other True Tales of Madness, Love, and the History of the World from the Periodic Table of the Elements : I borrowed this from a library and read it a couple of years ago and thought it would be nice to own a copy, and how I do. The 10 Best of Everything : The subtitle, An ultimate Guide for Travelers , should tell you why I bought it. Not that I ever plan my own travels around such guides, but I like to read them.  When You are Engulfed in Flames : David Sedaris is funny. Nuff said. The Ocean at the End of the Lane : This is the token new book. Neil Gaiman's books have been a hit or miss for me, but this one sounds good. I am pretty sure I sp

Friday links, 3 March, 2017

Today's first link leads to a definition of a phenomenon that editors, proofreaders and critics will be familiar with, even if they don't have a name for it: Muphry's Law . Next is some advice for writers: 5 Reasons Why You Should Write a Novella . See some lovely entrants for the annual Book Illustration Competitio n. Something for Emily Brontë fans: On the Many Film Adaptations of the “Unfilmable” WutheringHeights . The book I want to read: The list: Today, and occasionally from here onwards, I am posting 2 lists, because the lists are piling up faster than I can post them and are threatening to take over my bookmarks. The first is 12 Books You've Probably Started But Never Finished . I have only started reading four  books on this list, and guess what: I finished three of them. The fourth I plan to finish soon. I decided to include the list here because 5 more books on it are on my TBR list, and I actually own copies of 4 of them. O

January and February book haul, part 1

It would be easy to think, based on the lack of "look at the books I bought!" posts here lately, that I have finally been able to curb my book-buying mania, but no - I have just been too lazy to photograph my acquisitions. Here are the books I have bought since the last time I posted a Book Haul report: All books were bought second hand. Here we have a mixed bag: A travel book, a biography, a light-hearted popular sociology book, a memoir, a steampunk fantasy and three books about philosophy. Comments: The Weekenders and Jane Austen belong to two genres that have always been favourites of mine: travel and biography. Very British Problems should be an interesting follow-up to the anthropology book I am currently reading, Watching the English: The Hidden Rules of English Behaviour by Kate Fox. My Family and Other Animals is a perennial favourite of mine, and it was nice to be able to get a fresh copy of it, since my old trade paperback edition is falling