Lit Lyrics: Oh, Mr. Darcy – The Doubleclicks

20 Mar

Book Riot covered this song last year but I feel the need to bring it to all y’all’s attention because these bespectacled ladies from Portland have dedicated this song Mr Darcy and Colin Firth, the hunkiest reincarnation of the character that history has so far witnessed. And as we all know, Mr Darcy is the hunkiest dreamboat in all of literature to begin with.

Here it is:

This song remains really lovely and sarcastic at the same time. I can relate to lovely and sarcastic at the same time. The original video is worth a watch too. In fact, like me, you might want to spend the evening going through their YouTube backlog of love songs to internet trolls and D&D players, and cello covers of the Trogdor the Burninator theme song.

Happy Friday night!

Mike Stilkey Paints on Books

19 Mar

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Much like artist Ekaterina Panikanova, whose work Gliterature has covered before, Mike Stilkey makes sculptures and installations from salvaged books that he paints to depict humans and animals to startling result. Continue reading

Lit Lyrics: Dragons – Princess Nokia

12 Dec

MY MOON, MY LIFE
MY STARS, MY SUN
You are the sweetest song
My king at night
I wanna look you in the eye
My moon, my moon, my sun

Is there anything better than this song? Probably not, I’ll bet. For one, it was inspired by Drogo and Daenerys from ‘Game of Thrones’. For two, the video has the band Kittie in it for some reason, and takes place in an arcade. WIN WIN!

These Black Pepper Cookies Are Not to be Sneezed At

29 Oct

Hello boys and ghouls! Today I will be teaching you how to make black pepper cookies. They are perfect for Halloween because they sound terrifying.

Ingredients.

  • ¾ cup butter
  • ¾ teaspoon black pepper
  • ¾ teaspoon cinnamon
  • ¼ teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1 ½ teaspoons vanilla essence
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1 ½ cups self-raising flour
  • ¼ teaspoon salt-dough
  • 3/4 cup cocoa

Method.

1. Preheat your oven to 200 degrees and grease a baking sheet.

2. Mix the butter, pepper, cinnamon, cloves and vanilla essence together until soft.

3. Mix in the sugar until light and fluffy, then add the egg (beaten) and mix well.

4. Add the dry ingredients and blend thoroughly until a firm dough is formed.

5. Flour a rolling pin (if you don’t have one a bottle of wine will do) and roll out the dough.

6. Use a floured cookie cutter or glass to CUT SOME SHAPES ON THE D-FLOOR! Except not on the dance floor, probably on your kitchen surfaces and don’t dance actually because you’ll mess up the shapes.

7. Put them on the baking sheet and bake for around 12 minutes.

These spicy cookies are hella rad so if you don’t like them you probably did something wrong.

Review: ‘Fortunately, the Milk…’ by Neil Gaiman

28 Oct

milk

Rating: ★★★★★

Earlier this month I was privileged enough to attend an exclusive Waterstones bookseller event. This is one of those nice little perks that I just didn’t know came with the job — but I’m glad it did!

The event was an audience with the lovely Neil Gaiman, author of masterpieces ‘Coraline‘, ‘Stardust‘ and ‘American Gods‘, among others. He read from his latest book, ‘Fortunately, the Milk…‘, talked a bit about its conception and the surprising way it mirrors his previous book, ‘The Ocean at the End of the Lane‘.

Apparently, the main reason that Gaiman wrote ‘Fortunately, the Milk…’ was because he thought that there generally weren’t enough dads in books for kids.

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AT6RpDl9bXc] Continue reading

Review: ‘Apocalypse Now Now’ by Charlie Human

27 Oct

now

Rating: ★★★★☆

Set in Cape Town, ‘Apocalypse Now Now’ follows the story of sixteen-year-old Baxter Zevcenko, the enterprising kingpin of pornography-peddling schoolyard business The Spider. When his girlfriend Esme goes missing he discovers a secret supernatural underworld and, with the help of a grizzly bounty hunter sidekick, must try to avoid gang wars, his meddling younger brother, being devoured by giant crows – and an apocalypse or two.

The title comes from a common South Africanism relating to the amount of time to elapse before an event occurs. In the near future; not happening presently but to happen shortly. Continue reading

Learning How to Decipher Elvish Does Not Actually Take an Entishly Long Time!

17 Oct

Picture courtesy of superstevied.

Gi suilon! Êl síla erin lû e-govaned vîn.

Did you know that the languages were the first thing that Tolkien created for his mythical universe? According to the author, his stories grew out of his languages as he creates races to speak the tongues he had constructed. Quenya (high-elven) was the first, and most complete, of these languages, the other being Sindarin (grey-elven).

Elvish is strongly influenced by Finnish and Welsh, but is surprisingly easy to learn how to use! It also looks particularly nice in a gift card with a dozen freshly baked loaves of Lembas Bread.

Using the examples of ‘Robert’ and ‘Lynne’, Star Chamber gives us a step-by-step instruction on learning the language of elves — and writing with it — in under ten minutes. They also provide a handy alphabet key  if, like me, you want to cheat your way through this linguistics course. Continue reading

Abandonment Issues

15 Oct
My Eldest Daughter, Suzanne with Milk and Book by Carl Larsson, 1904.

My Eldest Daughter, Suzanne with Milk and Book by Carl Larsson, 1904.

What are your thoughts on leaving a novel unfinished? Some of you, I’m sure, will persevere through the most plot-holed purple prose imaginable. Others will have hard and fast rules — preferring to stop after the first page, or abandoning a book on the third chapter if they’re not really feeling it.

Apparently the rule for what page to abandon a book is 100 minus your age. For me, this means calling it quits on page 77. But I feel like the reasoning behind this rule is a bit morbid. Does it mean that as you get older, your days are numbered and you have less time to waste on bad books?!

The Copybot has a little tip for knowing when to call it quits:

You probably didn’t know this, but there’s an instinct to abandoning a book. Sort of like foraging for food. Except you are foraging for information. You are following a scent. An information scent.

And if while reading a book you lose that scent, you should stop and move onto something else.

Goodreads has a great infographic on the psychology of abandonment and it’s pretty interesting reading.

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What is it about a book that makes you put it down? These readers give reasons like “slow, boring”, “weak writing” and “when an author is committed to doing something I hate”. All valid points. However, I would never quit reading a book because I thought it was “immoral”, or “I didn’t like the main character”! ‘Lolita’, anyone?

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I’m actually guilty of abandoning 3/5 of the most begun-but-not-finished classics… and that’s only because I returned to ‘Lord of the Rings’ after the movies came out. However, there’s still time for me to go back and finish the rest!

I have read some truly awful books in my life. And I have started some truly amazing ones, never to finish them.

Sometimes, driven by the thrill of the conquest, I’ll feel like I’ve invested too much time to give up. And what if I miss something important?! There are potentially life-changing words in every abandoned book. Other times, I’ll just lose interest and put the book aside.

There isn’t really a consensus for what makes me read on to the final page!

What about you?

Books Are My Bag

13 Oct

Books Are My Bag is a UK campaign to celebrate bookshops. For many people, bookshops conjure fond images of book readings, in-store cafes and delight at the discovery of a new author. In fact, 56% of all book buying decisions are made by bookshop customers, and high street bookshops (both chains and independents) still account for almost 40% of books bought by consumers! Yet, many high street bookshops are under threat, especially from online retailers.

I suppose these bags are good reminders to people to buy more books. After all – orange is the most impulsive colour! However, there are certainly more stylish solutions out there if you want to show off your inner bookworm.

Continue reading

An evening with David Levithan at Waterstones Piccadilly, the Place Where I Work Now (I Work At That Place)

3 Oct
Photo by Selma.

Photo by Salma.

David Levithan is the best-selling US author of over 15 books for young adults, including ‘Nick and Norah’s Infinite Playlist’ (upon which the twee film starring Michael Cera was based). Last night he appeared in conversation with fellow author Phil Earle, discussing his career and new novel ‘Every Day’. The event took place at Waterstones Piccadilly – where I now work as a bookseller.

(Did I mention that I work at Waterstones Piccadilly now? I work at Waterstones Piccadilly now.)

The two writers were super likeable, making jokes about ‘The Hunger Games’, fellow writers and Justin Bieber, and obliging their fans by staying to sign books at the end of the event. They even coordinating their checked shirts and blue jeans! I think I saw Patrick Ness in the audience as well, dressed in a similar attire, so I guess it’s the required uniform for male YA authors attending London book events.

The two hour event just breezed by, helped in part by the elderly woman sitting in the front row who provided much comic relief. The discussion and Q&A were bookended by chapter readings from ‘Every Day’ and ‘Two Boys Kissing’; both passages were really effecting and beautiful and I could tell immediately that Levithan is going to be one of my new favourite writers.

levithan2Earle and Levithan talked a little about his method, his penchant for blasting Tegan & Sara when writing, and his day job. It’s refreshing to hear of a best-selling author who still works a 9-to-5 and writes on the weekends!

I found the discussions of the politics surrounding queer identities in YA fiction particularly interesting. Some of Levithan’s books aren’t named too subtly, but he does this intentionally so that the young gay boy who sees ‘Two Boys Kissing’ in the library knows it’s there. Maybe he doesn’t check it out, but just seeing it on the shelf could give him the strength he needs to get through the day. I think that’s a nice sentiment.

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On the other hand, ‘Every Day’ has a vague and ambiguous title, but I suspect that pertains to the vague and ambiguous protagonist. He says he wrote the novel with two questions in mind:

  1. Who would you be if you had no body?
  2. You fall in love with the person from the last question. Can you?

A, the protagonist, is a genderless being who wakes up each day in a different host body. It’s a pretty neat concept. Almost all of the discourse in the novel is about gender, and there’s even a secondary transgender character in the book which is pretty spectacular. And it’s not just a one off! Even in ‘Lover’s Dictionary’ the gender of the lover is never specified.

It seems Levithan likes experimenting with style like this. In ‘Two Boys Kissing’, narrative is delivered from a chorus of last- and next-generation gay men. In ‘Lover’s Dictionary’, chapters were improvised from words picked at random from a dictionary. Levithan is also no stranger to collaboration either, having worked with a handful of other authors during his career.

According to Levithan, he realised he was a writer in the third grade when he felt disproportionately pleased with himself to have one of his characters “scamper” through a hotel lobby in one of his many chase scenes. I’m glad he’s still writing all these years later. He’s an important voice, not only for the queer community, but for anyone who likes plain old good fiction.