Saturday, December 31, 2011

The Week in Links { Eight! }

David: My Daily Routine from Fortnight Journal on Vimeo.

oh comely magazine.

doppelthingers - a gallery of things which look like other things.

aiming big for 2012 with keltie colleen's new years resolutions. 

why jessica will be purging her facebook account in time for the new year.

an open letter to people with no one to kiss on new years eve. i'm pondering number 7.

and because you've must be living in a cave if you haven't seen this already....for all my cave-dwelling followers, this one's for you:

other than that, 

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Thursday, December 29, 2011


who walked all night with their shoes full of blood on the snowbank docks waiting for a door in the East River to open full of steamheat and opium,

who created great suicidal dramas on the appartment cliff-banks of the Hudson under the wartime blue floodlight of the moon & their heads shall be crowned with laurel in oblivion,

who ate the lamb stew of the imagination or digested the crab at the muddy bottom of the rivers of the Bowery,

who wept at the romance of the streets with their pushcarts full of onions and bad music,

who sat in boxes breathing in the darkness under the bridge, and rose up to build harpsichords in their lofts, who coughed on the sixth floor of Harlem crowned with flame under the tubercular sky surrounded by orange crates of theology,

who scribbled all night rocking and rolling over lofty incantations which in the yellow morning were stanzas of gibberish,

who cooked rotten animals lung heart feet tail borsht & tortillas dreaming of the pure vegetable kingdom,

who plunged themselves under meat trucks looking for an egg,

who threw their watches off the roof to cast their ballot for an Eternity outside of Time, & alarm clocks fell on their heads every day for the next decade,

i wonder what truths exist for our generation to uncover.  the words which when strung together shock and horrify our elders.  i have a inkling that it's staring me in the face, and isn't as underground as one presumes these 'shocking' things are - race, homosexuality, misogeny, what's next?

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Wednesday, December 28, 2011

And You Must Love Me

Genre: Young Adult   |   Author: Katja Rusanen    | Format Available: eBook.

Renate's world is rocked when she meets Ronny; at 25yrs old he is ten years her senior, smoking cigarettes, with a gyspy girlfriend who is not afraid of confrontation.  She tries to resist, to stay away and to listen to the rumours, to pay attention to his bad reputation.  She cannot help herself, she finds herself drawn into a world full of danger.  Confronted with rumours about a tragic event - she needs to find answers herself before she can move on; who should she trust? Are her friends really her friends? She begins to self-destruct and the only question remaining is whether she can save herself, from herself, before it is too late.

"For me, in that moment we were the only two souls alive in the world."

Set in the picturesque Norway, the novel fits perfectly within the Young Adult genre as we witness Renate struggle to grow up with a dysfunctional family, questionable friends and desires she doesn't really understand.  The book was a bit slow to start with; some of the descriptions were clunky but I think this settles down quite soon after and it becomes a relatively easy read and an enjoyable one at that.  You find yourself feeling for Renate and the situation she finds herself in; the questions she is faced with - how would you act differently?  

'And You Must Love Me' is Rusanen's first novel; Finnish born, she has been living in Barcelona since 2007.  Despite it being her first novel, Rusanen manages to weave a complex and fast-moving narrative with a detailed characters, with history, which isn't that common to novels within the Young Adult genre, which I found refreshing.  You feel that this story has had a lot of thought behind it - it isn't just a chain of events but emotions and conflictions as well.   It is these descriptions, fast-moving and page-turning plot, and the questions, you, as a reader ask yourself that I believe make this novel a satisfying read.

The kindle version of 'And You Must Love Me' is available HERE from Amazon at a bargainacious price of £2.21 (can't argue with that!)  You can also visit Katja's facebook page HERE for some more information about the novel and the author.

If you are an independent author and would like your work to be reviewed here - please contact me through the channels listed below:
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Tuesday, December 27, 2011

On My Way

I am an idealist; I don't know where I am going, but I am on my way.

Carl Sandberg.

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Saturday, December 24, 2011

Happy Holidays!

hello friends!
i would like to take a moment to sayyy... happy holidays!
Author Felix Timothy is offering FREE kindle downloads of his book Ionshaker (a suspense thriller) for a limited time only! 

lots of love,
louise xox
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Thursday, December 22, 2011

The Week in Links -- SEVEN!

2011 in books {a links SPECIAL!}
i love alycia's list of the books she read in 2011 - busy bee!

the ten best book covers of 2011. I'm loving the vintage book-cover revival, personally.

graylin's 24 books of 2011!

i love the sub-sections of this list of the best books of 2011. one for every occasion!

brooke hauser's year in reading 

hi this is danielle's got a pretty good list!

and this quote, just because it holds a special place in the 2011 in my life.

"The world is a book, and those who do not travel read only one page."

pssst: If you've done a post similar to these - send me a link and I'll pop it up here!

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Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Literary Tattoos

I've thought about getting several literary tattoos - some poetry quotes, some lyrics, I can never actually make up my mind about them though.  So until then...I'll keep looking through some of these awesome literary tattoos for inspiration!

"This is a quote from one of my favorite short stories, The Other Side of the Hedge, by E.M Forster. It represents one of my strongest beliefs; to live a life free of monotony and always jump for something new even if you're not sure where you’ll land."

"This tattoo was inspired by a trip to Bread Loaf this summer, where I studied poetry with Ellen Bryant Voigt. I have always admired the ways we can re-imagine poems outside of typical lineation, how poems can become sculptures and books can be objects of art with textures and breath... Shawn designed the whole thing with wings in mind, something that would also resemble lungs and breathing and the lift of freedom at the end of Sharon Olds‘ oft-studied “I Go Back to May 1937.” The poem is there, on my arm, in its entirety."

"This is the VFD slogan from Lemony Snicket’s A Series of Unfortunate Events."

From Alice in Wonderland... "This quote specifically holds a place in my heart because I think it represents the constant struggle to find yourself, and to hold on to it when you do. I’ve been asking myself this question my whole life and I don’t know if I’ll ever have a full answer."

From 'Fight Club' "This tattoo represents having strength and independence and losing all fear no matter what situations we are dealt in life. Most importantly it’s about learning to face your pain full on with your head held high instead of denying that it affects you in the first place."

"I fell in love with Ulysses by James Joyce when I was in college studying literature, identifying with the bumbling, conflicted Leopold Bloom. When my life was recently turned upside down by heartache, I was reminded of this line from the “Hades” chapter, spoken by Bloom: “Plenty to see and hear and feel yet.”"

{I thought about getting this quote tattooed!}

"This is a question asked by a man in the poem “The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock” by T.S. Eliot 
In the poem, he tries over and over to muster up the courage to pursue his dreams, but his fears and doubts always stop him. This is my personal reminder everyday, a way to constantly ask myself, “Am I brave enough to make a difference in the world?” I want to be able to answer, “Yes.”" 

Sources for these images are from two blogs you should definitely check out!
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Saturday, December 17, 2011

Or So I Feel


A poet is somebody who feels, and who expresses his feelings through words.  This may sound easy, but it isn't. A lot of people think or believe or know they feel -- but that's thinking or believing or knowing; not feeling. 
And poetry is feeling -- not knowing or believing or thinking. Almost anybody can learn to think or believe or know, but not a single human being can be taught to feel
Because whenever you think or you believe or you know,  you're a lot of other people: but the moment you feel, you're nobody-but-yourself.  
To be nobody-but-yourself -- in a world which is doing its best, night and day, to make you everybody else -- means to fight the hardest battle which any human being can fight; and never stop fighting. 
As for expressing nobody-but-yourself in words, that means working just a little harder than anybody who isn't a poet can possibly imagine. 
Because nothing is quite as easy as using words like somebody else
We all of us do exactly this nearly all of the time - and whenever we do it, we are not poets
If, at the end of your first ten or fifteen years of fighting and working and feeling, you find you've written one line of one poem, you'll be very lucky indeed. 
And so my advice to all young people who wish to become poets is: do something easy, like learning how to blow up the world -- unless you're not only willing, but glad, to feel and work and fight till you die. 
Does this sound dismal? 
It isn't. 
It's the most wonderful life on earth.
Or so I feel."

ee cummings
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Tuesday, December 13, 2011

The Past Through Tomorrow

The Past Through Tomorrow
By Robert Heinlein

Warning: this essay contains spoilers.

In my bookcase sits an old beloved book by Robert Heinlein. The title is, The Past Through Tomorrow. I never tire of reading this book because it contains most of the short stories that Robert Heinlein wrote in his early years as a writer. This book is a stunning example of his vision of the future, and after years of considering this work, I realized that he was the Jules Verne of his era. Just as Verne correctly prophesied many of the inventions that would become standard features of the twentieth century, so Heinlein’s stories contain predictions of the Age of Technology. But these predictions while mind expanding are still secondary to the insights he had about the way that humans would respond to those technological changes.

When you compare, The Past Through Tomorrow, to Brave New World, another book which contains predictions of the future, you quickly see the difference in the depth of the characters. Instead of the one dimensional characters of BNW who are victims of their technology, Heinlein’s characters see technology as important but still secondary to the values they cherish.

In The Roads Must Roll (1940), the conflict between labor and management is central; the concept of the people mover is almost incidental, and yet almost every international airport now contains these devices. In Blowups Happen (1940), the psychology of the stressed out worker is more important than the concept of a nuclear power plant. In Searchlight (1962) a laser carries a series of musical notes so that a blind girl, trapped on the moon, can tell her rescuers where she is. As the story comes to a close, we marvel at the idea of the laser, but we cheer much louder for the bravery of the little girl and the ingenuity of her rescuers.

If you have read this book, and if you like science fiction, I am sure that you have seen references to Heinlein, both blatant and subtle, in other works of science fiction, due to the impression that he made on his readers who became authors. We cannot help including these references.

I was lucky enough to discover his books in 1966, not too long before this book collected his stories. I was fourteen at the time. Heinlein’s stories helped me develop a non-religious moral philosophy in an age of moral ambiguity. I recommend this book to anyone who enjoys discovering the history of science fiction or who wishes to read stories that are uplifting without being moralistic.

It is hard to designate a favorite character, but perhaps it is Holly Jones, a fifteen year old girl who lives on the moon and who is in love with a young man named Jeff (although she would deny this). In, The Menace From Earth, Holly is confronted with the unpleasant fact that Jeff is infatuated with a beautiful female tourist from Earth. In the story, Holly discovers that “the facts of life” are all about her. And, oh by the way, the story contains a description of a room where artificial wings that work in the low gravity of the moon, are used to fly.

Many Thanks to 
for sharing your favourite book with us!
Inspired by Stan and these other favourite books to share your own?  Details here!

Sunday, December 11, 2011

links of the week: six!

well, these powerful pictures from 2011 had me in floods. number 20, i have to admit had me bawling.

are you a member of goodreads? if not, why not. they give away copies of books all. the. time. plus you can share with everyone (including meee!) which books you're reading at the moment! which you loved / hated etc. 

some old posts from this time of year in 2010 and 2009 showed me how far i have come personally, and how this here blog has changed a lot too!

a year in reading: nick moran

this is amazing - a picture composed of approximately 3 million dots; so talented!

Hero from Miguel Endara on Vimeo.

and lastly... if you haven't already gotten involved and shared your favourite book....what are you waiting for?! click here for more details!

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Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Mrs Dalloway

'Clarissa (crossing to the dressing table), plunged into the very heart of the moment, transfixed it, there - the moment of this June morning on which was the pressure of all the other mornings, seeing the glass, the dressing-table, and all the bottles afresh, collecting the whole of her at one point (as she looked into the glass), seeing the delicate pink face of the woman who was that very night to give a party; of Clarissa Dalloway; of herself.'

have you read it?  what did you think?

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Sunday, December 4, 2011

the week in links {five}

my stickman!

this website is so fun. draw your own stickman and watch it come to life complete with a mini story. warning: if you have any deadlines, do NOT go on this website!

some christmas present ideas: christmas books! 

this ted talk given by kathryn schulz about regret. cannot recommend this enough!

omgizzle, too cute, too cute!

top 100 opening lines from books - what's your favourite?

i love these journals made from vintage books - such an awesome christmas gift idea!

...speaking of christmas, kate has a wonderful idea of exchanging christmas cards - who's game? if you'd like a christmas card from me: email me {} or tweet me!

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Friday, December 2, 2011

Madame Bovary

madame bovary 
Madame Bovary
by Gustave Flaubert
Madame Bovary, c'est moi. This has been my favorite book since I came across it in high school. My teacher saw me reading and asked, as I remember, if my parents knew I was reading it. My parents didn't know anything about it. I could have read a Stephen King novel or the Decameron or The Story of O in front of them. They saw me with a book open in front of me, and they assumed I was fine. That's how I'd always been.

Even as a teenager, I identified with her mooniness, her daydreaming, the way she found in books what life could not offer her.

Later, in college, I read it again as part of a course called "Literature and Psychology." I offered a juvenile and trite Freudian take on Emma and Charles in a paper that's so bad I daren't even read it again. But still, the appeal. She stuck with me, that Emma. I began to write my own stories then, and wrote a story much like Emma’s, again and again. The dissatisfied wife, disillusioned, yearning for escape in life of the kind she finds in her beloved books. The pattern, you see, was set early on. Books offered me, as they offered Emma, what real life could not.

It is possible that I, like Emma, could have found the stimulation I yearned for in life if my priorities were different. If we opened our eyes and learned to appreciate what we were given. Flaubert, narrating for Emma, puts a fine finger on her yearning: "If Charles had wished it, however, if he had suspected it, if his gaze, just once, had read her thoughts, it seemed to her that her heart would have been relieved of its fullness as quickly as the ripe fruit falls from an espaliered tree at the touch of a hand. But while the intimacy of their life grew ever closer, an inner detachment formed, which loosened her ties to him." Not to throw blame around, but when you look to a partner for a kind of fulfillment and it's not there and isn't forthcoming, at some critical point you have to look elsewhere.

The tricky part, the guilty part, is that I saw it all coming. Or I made it happen. I'm not sure which. But, like Emma, the marriage I threw myself into with all my heart eventually became only a source of frustration and sadness. It became all about what it wasn't.

But, unlike Emma, I had other paths open to me. I didn't need a Count to sweep me away. When the time was right, I broke off, got divorced, and launched into my own life. Emma's epic yearning for something more than what life could offer a middle-class girl from provincial France was not far from my yearning for something more. The difference is that there was more out there for me to find. Madame Bovary, with Flaubert’s precise realism, stands both as a cautionary tale and as a symbol of what I can have if I only reach for it.
Many Thanks to 


Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Imaginary Books

Cover for Oolon Colluphid's Where God Went Wrong
Book Cover for Philosophy of the Mundane: Why The Muggles Prefer Not to KnowCover for Oolon Colluphid's Some More of God's Greatest Mistakes

images by the fantastically talented naomi bardoff
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Monday, November 28, 2011

Life; London; this moment of June

Mrs Dalloway-Folio Society

For they might be parted for hundreds of years, she and Peter; she never wrote a letter and his were dry sticks; but suddenly it would come over her, If he were here with me now what would he say?--some days, some sights bringing him back to her calmly, without the old bitterness; which perhaps was the reward of having cared for people; they came back in the middle of St. James's Park on a fine morning - indeed they did.  But Peter - however beautiful the day might be, and the trees and the grass, and the little girl in pink - Peter never saw a thing of all that.  He would put on his spectacles, if she told him to; he would look.  It was the state of the world that interested him; Wagner, Pope's poetry, people's characters eternally, and the defects of her own soul.  How he scolded her! How they argued! She would marry a prime minister and stand at the top of a staircase; the perfect hostess he called her (she had cried over it in her bedroom), she had the makings of the perfect hostess, he said.
excerpt from 'mrs dalloway' by virginia woolf

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Saturday, November 26, 2011

the week in links 4

{had a bit of scheduling dilemma earlier this this is take 2 of this post, haha!}

the 50 essential feminist books - i have a lot of reading to do!

100 notable books for 2011 (can you believe 2011 is almost over?)

time to start making some home-made marmalade and chutney, yummmmy!

some christmas present ideas

a shakespearean insult generator - some are just pure class!

a life in writing by john grisham

this. siiigh.

theatrecraft: workshops free for people aged 16-25 on all the career opportunities in theatre.

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Friday, November 25, 2011

The Virgin Suicides

The Virgin Suicides
by Jeffrey Eugenides 

I first discovered Jeffrey Eugenides’ debut novel, The Virgin Suicides, in high school. This is somewhat of a natural fit for me because I have always gravitated towards novels featuring strong, female heroines. My mother and I read this book at the same time and it sparked many lengthy discussions. The subject matter is dark, but the collective narrator’s tone is mysterious and adolescent, not sinister.

A few years after reading it, I read Eugenides’ second novel, Middlesex, which prompted me to go back to The Virgin Suicides. Upon my second reading, I loved it even more. Eugenides recreates 1970s Detroit suburbia with vivid, sensory details that immediately engage the reader. The four Lisbon sisters who (I assume I’m not spoiling anything here) ultimately take their own lives are vague impressions—almost extraterrestrial in their eccentricities:

“Sometimes we caught sight of tattered knee socks rounding a corner, or came upon them doubled over, shoving books into a cubbyhole, flicking the hair out of their eyes. But it was always the same: their white faces drifting in slow motion past us, while we pretended we hadn't been looking for them at all, that we didn't know they existed.” 

I love this book so much that it is still my favorite, even after writing a chapter of my master’s dissertation on it…pretty amazing. If the macabre events of The Virgin Suicides initially deter you from reading this novel, take a chance and pick it up! It is beautiful and challenging by asking the readers to draw their own conclusions.

Also don’t forget about the 1999 film adaptation by Sofia Coppola. Of course, it is nothing compared to the book, but definitely worth a watch—if for the soundtrack by Air alone.

Many Thanks to 

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