I went looking for my ancient book light a few weeks ago, only to find it damaged and completely useless in my rare hour of need. It was one of those brightly colored, clip-on contraptions with an oversized spherical light that always reminded me of a big googly eye. Anyway, I started browsing possible replacements online and discovered that there is a whole world of cool book lights out there I knew nothing about.
December 31, 2009
December 30, 2009
I'd never really thought about it until I came across this photo, but it's pretty rare to see shelving that embraces corners. A corner tends to be a nasty little barrier that stops a shelf from racing across a wall unchecked, rather than an opportunity to create a point of visual interest with minimum effort. This shelving, on the other hand, looks fantastic, wrapping around that angle as it does. Plus, talk about maximizing space. I'm eying all the corners in my apartment as we speak...
December 29, 2009
My husband describes this piece of furniture as "weird, but strangely cool," and I'm forced to admit he's right. It's called the Book Porcupine, and it's one of the most striking forms of book storage I've seen. The work of British designer Holly Palmer, the piece has 18 cutouts and slots of varying sizes to hold books. Palmer explains: "The concept behind this piece is one of negative spaces - the books' negative representations are made permanent in the structure of the unit. The name of the 'Book Porcupine' is given in reference to its silhouette, the stout legs against the spines of the books sticking out at various angles and degrees." Get a closeup and see the beast in its natural habitat at Holly's website.
December 28, 2009
December 23, 2009
My knee-jerk reaction to this is, of course, “Thank God my intellect formed in the twentieth century,” but aside from that, it’s clear that this is not a book of humor conceived to be placed solely on the backs of toilets. Whether you love or hate Twitter, the classics, or any combination of the two, media are changing, and Twitterature is a clear, lighthearted sign that the classics are still along for the ride. Whether or not one agrees with this treatment is really beside the point; it’s clear that classic literature can survive the tests of time and irreverence. Besides, there’s no such thing as bad press, right?
December 22, 2009
Do you know how many times I've wished for a bookshelf that also does duty as a bookmark and a reading light? To be truthful it's zero, but if I had, it seems the folks at Studio Smeets have already taken care of it. Their clever little design is called Lili Lite, and it has a sensor that turns on a light when an open book is taken off the shelf and turns it off when a book is replaced (you can also turn it on/off manually if you feel like burning a few calories). It's attractive enough - I do like the shelf - but the light itself reminds me a bit of a Macbook power cord chopped in half.
December 21, 2009
We here at Booklicious are getting into the Christmas spirit, and so we're giving away a copy of the upcoming Twitterature: The World's Greatest Books in Twenty Tweets or Less to one lucky reader (located in the U.S. or Canada). To enter, send an email with "Twitterature giveaway" in the subject line to bookliciousblog [at] gmail [dot] com with your name and mailing address. You have through this Friday, Christmas Day, to enter. We'll use the magical Randomizer to pick the winner, who will be announced on the blog next Monday.
This Wednesday we'll review the book, which goes on sale December 29.
The New York Times has a great piece online about the rise of book theft. I can understand the increase in general shoplifting, but of books? Why not just go to a library? You have all the material you could want for free (provided you return it on time).
I found a couple of things in the essay really interesting:
"At BookPeople in Austin, Tex., the rate of theft has increased to approximately one book per hour."
Holy moly! Is it just me, or it that pretty significant? Say a store is open from 11 to 9 - at the end of the day, 10 books are missing. That's about 300 a month! And at $10 to $25 a pop (based on average new paperback and hardback prices), that's $3,000 to $7,500 of lost revenue. Wow.
"Fiction is the most commonly poached genre at St. Mark’s Bookshop in the East Village of Manhattan; the titles that continually disappear are moved to the X-Case, safely ensconced behind the counter. This library of temptation includes books by Martin Amis, Charles Bukowski, William S. Burroughs, Raymond Carver, Don DeLillo and Jack Kerouac, among others. Sometimes the staff isn’t sure whether an author is still popular to swipe until they return their books to the main floor. 'Amis went out and came right back,' Michael Russo, the manager, told me."
Some picky thieves there. Again, has no one heard of a library? Books by these writers aren't exactly hard to find, and the article makes it sound like everyday reading copies are being pinched, not signed first editions.
So why are people doing it? Because a book's just another item to steal, like alcohol or razors? To make a point about knowledge being free and accessible? Or just for kicks?
December 18, 2009
*Natalie Portman has signed on to produce and star in the movie version of Pride and Prejudice and Zombies. I guess she's trying to flesh out her resume. (Too obvious?)
*A first edition of Through the Looking Glass, and What Alice Found There signed by Carroll and dedicated to his real-life Alice, Alice Liddell, sold for $115,000 at auction Wednesday. Obviously, Alice found pots of cash inside the looking glass. The End.
*Children's publishers are increasingly coming out with retellings of Bible stories, this time with a less religious bent (how is that even possible?) "It is a really important to me that they know these stories," said Diane Reilly, an atheist and mother of two from Sussex, England. "It is as much a part of the culture in this country as any other story. Rather like Aesop's fables, they are just traditional touchstones." Huh.
*Want to win free stuff? Browse through Vintage International's collection of Nabakov covers by John Gall (they are dreeeamy), pick your favorite and explain why. The most original argument wins.
*Publishers Weekly caught heat for running a cover photo of a woman with her head covered in hair picks for its feature "Afro Picks: New books and trends in African-American Publishing." PW Senior News Editor Calvin Reid wrote via Twitter: "I admit that I love afro picks! In the 1970s I had many just like them also stuck in my massive afro ... and it's a story about 'picking' books. I love dumb jokes. While I respect everyone who may be offended, I think the photo is a delightful and wry expression of historical Afro Americana."
Welcome to the debut of Booklicious Reviews! I'm very excited about this new addition to the site, and I hope it'll be a way for you to discover some new must-reads (and hopefully few must-not-reads).
December 17, 2009
What a delicious pairing - food for body and soul. Heather Clawson over at Habitually Chic has a great post about this European trend that's creeping across the pond. A combination reading-eating space is probably considered unremarkable among those with small living spaces, but it appears more people, even those with the square footage to do otherwise, are choosing to merge these two aspects of their home. I'd be a little worried my books would pick up strange smells - or worse, stains - but the surroundings would certainly inspire good dinner conversation. Take a look at some fabulous library dining room styles after the jump.
Photo: Elle Decor
December 16, 2009
Christmas is nine days away - are you finished with your holiday shopping? If you're not (I admit I'm not), consider this my Christmas present to you: 10 booklicious gifts that are better than a gift card. And with overnight or priority shipping available on most of them, you really have no excuse.
December 15, 2009
Get your bookmarkin' fingers ready, because this site is a keeper. Abebooks just launched its Weird Books Room, "a celebration of everything that's bizarre, odd and downright weird in books." The current Weird Book of the Week is A la Cart: The Secret Lives of Grocery Shoppers by Hilary Carlip. So yeah, weird.
They maintain a collection called Weird and Wonderful, the books of which will by turns bewilder, horrify and tickle you. I've posted my favorites after the jump.
December 14, 2009
One of my favorite parts of the holiday season is getting to wrap presents. I love how paper creates secrecy and provokes anticipation, how creative you can get with it, and that you can find virtually any design you want, be it chic, cute, funky or traditional. Here's a selection of literary wrapping paper that will have the recipient drooling before he or she even gets to the present inside.
Dublin's new Samuel Beckett Bridge was officially opened December 10, as Beckett's niece, nephew and hundreds of Dubliners looked on. The 40-million-euro structure was designed by Spanish architect Santiago Calatrava, who also created Dublin's James Joyce Bridge seven years ago. Stretching 120 meters across River Liffey, the bridge links Guild Street on the northside to Sir John Rogerson's Quay on the southside.
via The Guardian
December 11, 2009
*Nerds, rejoice! Sci-fi and fantasy website Tor.com has dedicated the month of December to pulp novelist H.P. Lovecraft.
*Details magazine revealed what it believes to be the 25 greatest Gen-X books of all time, providing desperate wives and girlfriends with last-minute gift ideas.
*Amazon released its nominees for the best book covers of 2009. This, without a doubt, is my favorite of the bunch.
*Proving that Edgar Allen Poe love is still alive and well, a copy of Poe's first book, Tamerlane and Other Poems, just broke the record for the most expensive work of American literature. The 40-page collection of poems sold at Christie's for a whopping $662,550. Someone was in a festive mood.
Isn't that just deliciously creepy?
via The Book Cover Archive Blog
December 10, 2009
Well, it's broken sales records, gained the top spot on The New York Times bestseller list, and now it's been honored with the ultimate accolade. Going Rogue by Sarah Palin is the latest book to receive The Guardian's digested read treatment. (Just in case you're not familiar with The Guardian's digested read series, the newspaper describes journalist John Crace's columns as "incisive pastiches of the most popular writers, from Bridget Jones to Julian Barnes." Needless to say, the writing is both excellent and hilarious.)
So without further ado, here is Going Rogue - the version you might actually read.
It was the Alaska State Fair, August 2008. I passed the Right to Life stand with my daughter's face on their poster. "That's you, baby-girl," I said to Piper. "There's no member of this family your momma wouldn't sell out to promote her career." As we watched three commy abortionists being burned to death, Senator McCain called my cell phone. Would I like to help him lose the presidential race?
December 09, 2009
Breathe. And again. Now blink. That's it. I know, it's a lot to handle. First, the OMGodly amount of books. Second, the fact that this veritable treasure trove belongs to designer Karl Lagerfeld, a man who once claimed, "A respectable appearance is sufficient to make people more interested in your soul." Seems like old Karl has a little more depth than he lets on. I'd almost feel warmly towards him if I weren't writhing in envy over his kickass spiral staircase and stacked-to-the-heavens-because-my-library-is-just-that-big collection.
December 08, 2009
Here's a set of bookmarks almost too pretty to just hide in a book. Produced by Pink Tank Ltd., these stainless steel placeholders feature finely etched graphics and patterns ranging from the quirky to the cute. You can browse the entire collection at the ever-awesome Supermarket.
December 07, 2009
'Tis the season for giving, peace and goodwill, and a ton of end-of-the-year lists. And since it's '09, it's also time for end-of-the-decade lists. Here's your guide to the books deemed the best of the Noughties.
The 100 Best Books of the Decade by The London Times
Best Books of the Decade: 2000s by Goodreads (vote for your favorite)
Books: The 10 Best of the Decade by Entertainment Weekly
The Best Books of the '00s by The A.V. Club
What We Were Reading by The Guardian
The 20 Best Books of the Decade by Paste magazine
Best of the Noughties: Our Favorite Reads from 2000-2009 by Abebooks
December 04, 2009
*Cormac McCarthy is auctioning off his Olivetti Lettera 32, the typewriter on which he punched out five million words in five decades.
*To celebrate the 150th anniversary of Wilkie Collins' The Woman in White, the novel is being serialized online to give readers a sense of how it originally appeared.
*Abebooks has released the list of its most expensive sales of November, which includes a first edition of Tender is the Night that sold for $11,000 and a complete set of Dickens' works with a signed letter that sold for $12,500.
*Jonathan Littell has won the 2009 Bad Sex in Fiction Award, given each year by the Literary Review. The prize was created by Auberon Waugh "with the aim of gently dissuading authors and publishers from including unconvincing, perfunctory, embarrassing or redundant passages of a sexual nature in otherwise sound literary novels."
*The Twilight phenomenon has pushed gothic romance to the top of the genre pile, resulting in new film adaptations of Wuthering Heights and Jane Eyre, as well as a screenplay about the lands in the Brontë siblings' juvenalia, Angria and Gondal.
December 02, 2009
Does it get any cooler than these MYDNA Bookcases? Created by designer Joel Escalona, this shelving with a twist takes its cue from the double helix (hence the name). He explains, "The books you like, the CDs you have, the photos you store, and all that objects you put on the bookcase, define a significant part of your personal identity."
Visit Escalona's website for video, more photos and information about the bookcases.
December 01, 2009
A piece of torn paper that literally fell out of an 18th century book has turned out to be a legal document concerning Thomas Paine. Last seen in 1892, the document served as the divorce papers between Paine and his wife, Elizabeth, and awarded him £45 in cash, which he used to buy his ticket to America. The rest is history.