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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, January 17, 2018

Stick Your Nose in the Card Catalogue

In 1974, the public library in Upper Arlington, Ohio added scratch-and-sniff scents to its card catalog.  The idea was that the card in the catalog would have a scent, and then the book on the shelf would have a matching scent. So you could find your books by smell. There were about 60 scents in total, including apple, chocolate, garlic, lemon, roses, root beer, leather, pizza, orange, strawberry, candles, pine, cheddar cheese, clover, and smoke.

More here 


Library of Abandoned Books

Sanitation workers in the Çankaya district of Ankara, Turkey collected books that were destined for the landfill and established a library to be used by themselves and their families.
The collection grew and locals began to donate books that they would have otherwise discarded. In September of last year, the Sanitation Department decided to open the library up for public use.

More here 

Philip Roth's Thoughts on Trump

Philip Roth describes the POTUS as "a massive fraud, the evil sum of his deficiencies, devoid of everything but the hollow ideology of a megalomaniac."

More here

Tuesday, January 16, 2018

Postcard From The Past

In Postcard From The Past Tom Jackson has gathered a collection of the funniest, weirdest and most moving real messages from the backs of old postcards.

I also enjoy his tweets

Historical Words We Need to Bring Back

Apparently I'm a slugabed grumbletonian who spends too much time twattling.


Friday, January 12, 2018

Raking Her Brains

Wednesday, January 10, 2018

On This Day In 1929

In 1929, the first appearance of Hergé‘s Belgian comic book hero Tintin as Tintin in the Land of the Soviets, begins serialization in children’s newspaper supplement, Le Petit Vingtième.


An Inspired Theft

A story about theft by Ann Beattie:
Long, long ago, in the faraway kingdom of Virginia, a tall, somewhat-handsome man came to town. He had a rather well-known art gallery for a time in New York City, though in those days the word gallerist had not yet been invented, so he was just thought of by name. This man had come with his daughter, an equestrian, to visit several artists who showed at his gallery. This was a time so distant that Banksy, while certainly more than a gleam in his father’s eye, was not yet a star.

Ann Beattie is the author, most recently, of The Accomplished Guest.

20 Author Photos: Then and Now

Donna Tarte
Toni Morrison, Donna Tarte, Margaret Atwood and more at Literary Hub

Tuesday, January 09, 2018

The Brontë sisters, a supermodel, and a mansplaining academic are in a marvelous brawl

For the 200th birthday celebration of Emily Brontë the Brontë Society asked 30-year-old English supermodel and actress Lily Cole to host the event. Cole is not just a model, she holds double first degree in history of art from the University of Cambridge and is known as an activist. She helped save a London bookstore from going out of business and stepped down from a lucrative De Beers campaign after finding out that the company was evicting people from their homes in Botswana. The Brontë sisters, were they alive today, would be perfectly comfortable with Cole as their party co-hosts. But someone else isn't pleased.

More here

Sunday, January 07, 2018

Bellevue Square

Michael Redhill's novel won the Giller prize so my expectations were high.The premise was intriguing: a woman discovers that she has a doppelganger and sets out to find her. Jean Mason, a married mother of two, begins hanging out in Bellevue Square, near the bookstore she owns, hoping to catch sight of her double. The square is a magnet for Toronto's mentally ill, drug addicted and homeless and Jean gets to know them all. It is revealed that she has a history of mental illness and we wonder if her doppelganger is a figment of her imagination. The story kept veering off in unexpected directions and I was drawn in, waiting for answers that never came. I finished the book wondering what I'd just read and why this novel won the Giller Prize.

Sorry for Your Troubles

The life that author Frank McCourt’s parents encountered in the New York of the thirties was so hard and painful that they went back home to Ireland, thinking that nothing as terrible could ever happen to them again.

Read more here

Saturday, January 06, 2018

The Magi by William Butler Yeats

Epiphany is upon us marking the official end of Christmas. January 6 marks the date the Magi, or the Three Wise Men, followed the Star of Bethlehem to visit the baby Jesus.

The Magi by William Butler Yeats 
Now as at all times I can see in the mind's eye,
In their stiff, painted clothes, the pale unsatisfied ones
Appear and disappear in the blue depths of the sky
With all their ancient faces like rain-beaten stones,
And all their helms of silver hovering side by side,
And all their eyes still fixed, hoping to find once more,
Being by Calvary's turbulence unsatisfied,
The uncontrollable mystery on the bestial floor.

Thursday, January 04, 2018