From the Dickens Museum, situated in Charles Dickens’ London home of 48 Doughty Street, I learn that Dickens had a pet Raven named Grip (actually he had three Grips in succession). The pet was the inspiration for Edgar Allen Poe’s famous poem. I discovered Poe’s Raven through the invaluable Execupundit. Aside from Dickens’ desk, above, […]
From Cork County Library and Open Culture, via the wonderful Cramped blog: “Many of Napoleon’s biographers have incidentally mentioned that he […] used to carry about a certain number of favorite books wherever he went, whether traveling or camping,” says an 1885 Sacramento Daily Union article posted by Austin Kleon, “but it is not generally known that he […]
There a nice little clip here of Neil Gaiman describing the genesis of his book America Gods. I absolutely love the book, but I confess I’m still not sure about the TV series. Some aspects of it I found mind-blowing, other bits not so much. Either way, both book and series are worth checking out. […]
Steve Layman has a great excerpt from Keith Richards’ Life: “We had two lines and an interesting chord sequence, and then something else took over somewhere in this process. I don’t want to say mystical, but you can’t put your finger on it. Once you’ve got that idea, the rest will come. It’s like you’ve […]
What’s not to like? Seven tips for more effective reading from Nicholas Bate: “4. Whether screen based or paper based, get comfortable. Decent lighting, chair…. 5. Set a period of time with a clear timer. Start with 45 minute periods and build. 6. Start and simply read a little more quickly. …” Read the full list, here. Because, […]
The Art of Manliness blog lists “20 classic poems every man should read“, stating: “However, we do ourselves a great disservice when we neglect the reading of poetry. John Adams, one of the founding fathers of the United States, commended poetry to his son John Quincy. Both Abraham Lincoln and Theodore Roosevelt committed their favorite […]
The Folio Society’s new and lavish edition of Neil Gaiman’s American Gods, illustrated by Dave McKean, has glistened its way onto my Wish List. Sadly, my over-large Wish List is preceded by a still groaning Must Read Shelf. Although, as I’ve already read the novel, maybe this doesn’t count. Does it? Does it, does it, […]
The Spectator has an interesting piece on collecting rare books in the digital age, here. The article centres on one of London’s oldest antiquarian booksellers, Maggs Bros (Maggs.com), which I feel must be worth a visit.
Having touched on translations the other day, I’ve just read a piece in this week’s Economist; Why Translators Have The Blues. It discusses the challenges facing the profession from machine-learning and globalisation. Lessons here for writers, too.
Here’s a delicious use for 100 minutes of your weekend. In June 2015, Neil Gaiman gave a talk at the Long Now Foundation on the nature, power and evolution of stories. Are stories alive? He talks about our symbiotic relationship with stories and how animals live for, perhaps 30 years at most; trees can live for a […]