Book Review: Burial Rites by Hannah Kent

Book Review: Burial Rites by Hannah Kent

This is a book to devour in enormous gulps. When you do come up for air, fill yourself with black tea and then settle back into your armchair, to be borne aloft once more. Burial Rites by Hannah Kent is a bittersweet and melancholy tale of a woman named Agnes Magnusdottir. Set in Iceland in…

Tracey Emin. About Neon Art and Loneliness http://wp.me/p41CQf-aU

Twenty Two of the Most Dirty Sounding Non-dirty Words in the English Language

Although akin to smutty words, this collection of innocent-until-proven-otherwise words come from a forum post on Reddit. I hope you enjoy them and can contribute your own slightly smutty sounding words to the list. If you find your skin crawling a little bit then refrain from using them or at least think of this silly…

Seven Curiously Contrarian Words in the English Language

Some words in English inexplicably have a defined meaning and then also mean the exact opposite of that meaning. These are known as contronyms or Janus words - the latter derived from the Roman god of beginnings and endings, often depicted with two faces looking in opposite directions). 1.Sanction To give official permission or approval…

A Mermaid by John William Waterhouse

The story of a mysterious mermaid in Milford Haven 1795 A.D.

The 18th century was a time of British exploration, rapidly growing technology and restless souls wanting to travel. Many people from the well-to-do class including a woman called Mrs. Morgan wrote of her adventures and then had it all conveniently bundled, printed and distributed as Mrs. Morgan's Tour of Milford Haven, published in 1795 and then…

Book Review: Lost Wisdom by Una McGovern and Paul Jenner

Book Review: Lost Wisdom by Una McGovern and Paul Jenner

Lost Wisdom and its two other companion books Lost Crafts and Lost Lore are beautifully typeset and laid out. Their contents are a cabinet of curiosities  - a wunderkammer of the same sort as the Book of Barely Imagined Beings, which I have mentioned in the past. Although in this case Lost Wisdom runs the…

Book Review: The Goldfinch by Donna Tartt

Book Review: The Goldfinch by Donna Tartt

*Contains no spoilers* This was a true sky-scraper of a novel. A sweeping epic in the grandest sense that could be compared to Swann's Way by Proust or even a Dickensian tale like Oliver Twist. The Goldfinch has all of the hallmarks of one of these epic novels because it involves a believable modern-day premise,…

The class-based tyranny of accents

The class-based tyranny of accents

Accents give away so much about a person’s origins, and yet there seems to be a stumbling block here. Accents are viewed in much the same way as a person’s standard of dress and the way they hold themselves. And yet, the world is large and filled with people from all over the place. Surely…

Treasures to Love and Adore: Smith Journal

Treasures to Love and Adore: Smith Journal

In the magazine publishing world nowadays, it takes a good deal of creativity and originality to be able to stand out and make revenue.  This Australian magazine is built upon solid foundations of authenticity. From cover to cover it's high quality. What makes it so great is there is a subtle harmony of beautiful design…

Two Inventions That Make Reading Paper Books A Completely New Experience

From electric ink to aromapoetry – the physical book is about to undergo a renaissance by being paired with some nifty new inventions. While paper epitomises the slow lane of publishing, it is anything but a static medium. Traditional analogue technologies such as ink and paper are now being developed in ways that can and in…

Book Review and Giveaway: In a Strange Room by Damon Galgut

Book Review and Giveaway: In a Strange Room by Damon Galgut

(Contains no spoilers) In a Strange Room is by well known South African writer Damon Galgut. This is the story of global travel and directionless transience. Of a man desperate for meaning and yet terminally lacking in hope. Part memoir, part fiction, it's unlike any other travel book you've ever read, because it evokes a…

What the Linguistic Trails on Yelp.com Tell Us About Ourselves

When Stanford University researchers analysed metadata about food reviews on Yelp (900,000 reviews for 6,548 restaurants), this revealed a panoply of fancy-schmancy and flowery language and colourful comparisons. This is hardly surprising, but that was only the beginning. Cheap, unhealthy, fast-food was likened to crack cocaine, whereas people's vocabulary noticeably improved when they tucked in at…

Got enough books? What a stupid question!

Got enough books? What a stupid question!

Here are some book inspired goodies that will satisfy the avid bookworm inside of you, or inside of someone you love. Each has a great Christmas snuggle factor to them. Book Bricks Lovingly crafted in Melbourne by Light Reading, these bricks are customised to reflect your literary obsessions. They are novel enough to stand alone…

Book Review: Paul Auster's The Book of Illusions (Plus Get The Copy Free)

Book Review: Paul Auster’s The Book of Illusions (Plus Get The Copy Free)

Hi there friends. I recently finished the amazing The Book of Illusions by Paul Auster. It's a truly remarkable story. If you want to read it, then simply like my page and I'll send it to the first person who does so. The Narrative (No spoilers)  Academic David Zimmer's life is completely devastated when his…

Six Words To Use In Business Meetings That You've Never Heard Before

Six Words To Use In Business Meetings That You’ve Never Heard Before

These words are brilliantly archaic and devilishly cheeky. They should be employed in those workday moments when you want to have a good laugh. Or if you simply want to shoot the breeze and have a more interesting water-cooler conversation. Pedeconferencing Pedeconferencing is the sensation of holding a meeting while on the move, with coffee in hand…

How Old Norse Became English: A Viking Epic

Now I can't take credit for this one, I found it here on Babbel, but it was just so so so amazing that I needed to share it with all of you bookworms. I've written about Vikings before and I also love that Vikings drama series on History, soon be coming into its third season,…

Fifty Words To Help You Flirt Well

50 Beautiful Words To Sprinkle Into Communications

Our digital world is swarming with recently made-up words like YOLO and SWAG, plus misappropriated words like 'awesome' to mean pretty much everything. This demands that literary types everywhere come out of the woodwork in protest! Here are some luscious and fulsome words to sprinkle liberally into your communications. Alternately you could wield these words as Gandalf would…

Samuel Beckett and Cats Talk About The Pointlessness of Existence

Samuel Beckett and Cats Talk About The Pointlessness of Existence

Universally emo playwright Samuel Beckett writer of the classic play Waiting for Godot, is pitch perfect for some sad feline company. I don't know why nobody thought of this before? Here are some deadly serious Samuel Beckett quotes along with self-conscious, awkward and pissed off cats. Genius! See more at Beckittns Here's another tear-jerker, a collection…

Creative writing: Remember the kaleidoscope and lighthouse

Strunk and White's The Elements of Style, was published more than 100 years ago, yet it's still considered as epitome of correct English usage. Although some of the best writers break the rules. Writers like Virginia Woolf and H.G Wells played around with our perceptions of correct usage and so have more contemporary writers. Yet…

Fumblerules: Funny Approaches to Grammar

Fumblerules: Funny Approaches to Grammar

Have a fumble around this funny list of dodgy sentence structure and grammar. Created in 1979 by New York Times columnist William Safire, he published them in his column 'On Language'. Remember to never split an infinitive. A preposition is something never to end a sentence with. The passive voice should never be used. Avoid…

Morrissey: Spoken Word

Morrissey is always beguiling and shape-shifting with his art. The below video is some interesting spoken word by Moz featuring Pamela Anderson. 'Earth Is The Loneliest Planet' is the third single from Morrissey's upcoming album 'World Peace Is None Of Your Business'. There is also a companion film that features Moz doing lyric narration while he…