Saturday, January 28, 2012

Oh, wow. Just wow. Moby Dick typed on toilet paper!

Ebay user Heppcat has offered this up for auction.  There are four full rolls, one roll (epilogue) is about 1/5 of a roll and one half-roll. All of the rolls of tp came out of a brand new — clean — package of 2-ply cottonelle. They’ve been handled very gingerly and infrequently.  Bidding starts at $399.95

A Whale of a Bookshelf

This bookshelf is from young designer Justin Southey. You can store books in the belly of the whale and then swim him around the room on the casters.  Southey is a designer and illustrator living in South Africa. His nautical bookshelf doesn't currently appear to be available for purchase, but we can dream, can't we?

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Mary Anning was a fossil hunter who discovered the first complete pterodactyl (now called a pterosaur) in Great Britain, as well as specimens of ichthyosaurs and plesiosaurs.  She was a common working class girl who got to meet some of the top scientists of the time.  Remarkable creatures is a remarkable book about Mary Anning and her friendship with an upper class lady named Elizabeth Philpot, who collected fossils of fish.  But it is so much more than just a story about friendship.  It is a story about two women who are trapped within the confines and expectations of the time they live in, a time where women don't have the freedoms that we experience today; a time when women had to fight to be recognized outside of certain prescribed parameters.  It is the story of passion played out in life and the delicate balance between loyalty, appreciation, and envy. 

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Joy of Books

A friend of mine called my attention to this and it was just too good not to share.

Saturday, January 7, 2012

Nice quote

This quote came from an e-mail newsletter from a bookstore:

"People hold books in a special way--like they hold nothing else.   They hold them not like inanimate things but like ones that have gone to sleep. Children often carry toys in the same manner.  I don't hold my e-reader that special way; it's just a tool, maybe even a toy. My home is engulfed in traditional books, which I do handle with care. There's room for both. All part of the adaptation process."

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

More book art

The erosion of cultures and of "culture" as a whole is the theme that runs through Guy Laramee's art. We are currently told that the paper book is bound to die and that the library as a place is finished.  Will new technology really change anything concerning our human condition?  Explore one artist's fascinating contemplation concerning this topic.

War Horse by Michael Morpurgo

This book was written in 1982, and twenty-five years later found its way to the London stage.  It was an astonishing piece of theater, featuring some unique life size stage horses.

After Kathleen Kennedy saw the London play, she told Steven Spielberg, who bought the rights to the book, and directed the film that was released on Christmas day.

Spielberg's film adaptation was beautifully done.  The cinematography is incredible and the film is full of shots that look like they came right out of a fine painting.  Spielberg's visuals and the musical score by John Williams was the perfect pairing.  Not surprisingly, it is an emotional, sentimental, and heart warming movie.  The acting is superb (especially by the young man who plays Albert, Jeremy Irvine).  The brutality and universal suffering of war is clearly shown, and the film is a tribute to honest emotionally direct storytelling.

Michael Morpurgo is an award winning children's author, poet, and playwright, who has written over 100 books.  Through the eyes of the war horse, Joey, Morpurgo tells a moving and powerful story.  Joey tells his story from the beginning of his life on the farm with Albert through his involvement in the First World War.  Surrounded by violence and loss, he just tries to survive.  A red bay horse actually existed back in 1914 and was painted by a Captain James Nicholls in autumn of that same year.  That's where the inspiration for this book came from.  In World War I, over six million horses died.  The human death toll was estimated at fifteen million.

Read the book, then see the film, and if you get a chance--experience the stage play. 
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