So long, Marianne: Leonard Cohen and his muse Marianne Ihlen

So long, Marianne: Leonard Cohen and his muse Marianne Ihlen

In November 2016, the singer-songwriter Leonard Cohen, renowned for his melancholic and romantic ballads, died a few months after the woman who inspired many of his famous songs - his Norwegian lover and muse, Marianne Ihlen. On the summery idyll of Hydra, Greece in 1960, there was a bohemian community of artists and musicians living…

I Collect Images of Paintings Like Others Collect Treasures

Ancient word of the day: Cirrocumulus

Origin: 1650s. Cumulus " a heap, pile, mass, surplus " in Latin *keue "to swell" in Latin. Cirrocumulus are flocks of fleecy clouds that whisk past us on a glorious spring day. Often their appearance in the evening foretells of a stormy morning the following day. At least thats old shepherd’s wisdom. German Schäfchenwolken: Little…

Historic Jukebox: Henry David Thoreau & Fleet Foxes http://wp.me/p41CQf-9V

Thirty great medieval epithets for people and beasts

Why do we say a gaggle of geese, a flock of sheep, a pride of lions or a swarm of bees? Well it harks back to medieval times when sportsmen grouped together collectives of beasties to refer to them in movement or attributing a quality to them - presumably while the poor creatures ran away…

The Most Exquisite Tiny Books in the World

For all of the bookworms, here are some of the most exquisitely rendered miniature books in the world. As a warm up, here's a picture of the bombed-out Holland House library in London during WW2. The message was loud and clear. Readers won't be perturbed from doing what they love, no matter what else is…

Book Review: The Story of a Shipwrecked Sailor by Gabriel Garcia Marquez

Book Review: The Story of a Shipwrecked Sailor by Gabriel Garcia Marquez

^ Contains no spoilers  Nobel Laureate Gabriel Garcia Marquez is more known for his stunning works for fiction. However this short novella his first published peice of work is non-fiction. Garcia wrote this essay in a series of newspaper articles in Bogota over 30 years ago. He tells the dramatised story of a sailor Luis…

Book Review: Eileen by Otessa Moshfegh

Book Review: Eileen by Otessa Moshfegh

The narrator of this novel is an elderly Eileen who looks back on her mis-spent youth in 1964. This book is the blackest kind of noir, but does away with the usual noir narrative tropes. It tells the story of Eileen's entanglement with the enigmatic and beautiful Rebecca who is more a mythological figure than…

Give Your Best Self to Your Family. Ten Life Lessons We Can Learn From Maya Angelou http://wp.me/p41CQf-ax

Ten Life Lessons We Can Learn From Maya Angelou

“If one is lucky, a solitary fantasy can totally transform a million realities.” – Maya Angelou. Maya Angelou has been one of the most influential literary voices of our time. Born in 1928 she has been in turns a poet, novelist, educator, dramatist, producer, historian, film-maker and civil rights activist. She worked for Malcolm X…

Book Review: Tiger Tiger by Margaux Fragoso

Book Review: Tiger Tiger by Margaux Fragoso

This memoir and first book by American author Margaux Fragoso was veritable literary dynamite when it came out in 2011. Or you could call it literary vegemite, in that you will either love the book or hate it. Tiger Tiger charts the complex sexual relationship of the author Margaux with Peter Curran, which began when…

Experience the Perfect Soothing Tokyo Lullaby: Book and Bed

<3 The Internet: Recommend me a book

Stuck on what to read next? Hate judging books by their covers? Then the Recommend me a book app will delight you. The app takes you headlong into reading the first few pages of a book without knowing anything about the author, title or context of the book itself. This allows you to gain some traction and…

Book Review: His Bloody Project by Graeme MacRae Burnet

His Bloody Project by author Graeme Macrae Burnet recounts the story of the triple murder and subsequent trial of accused 17 year old crofter Roderick McRae, who brutally slays three people in his remote village in 1896. Roderick lives with his family in a tiny croft on a property and land owned by the laird. His…

Book Review: Today, Tomorrow and Everyday

Book Review: Today, Tomorrow and Everyday by M.H. Clark

You know how you sometimes have those days, or even weeks or months when you feel un-moored to the shoreline and adrift in a lost world, floating aimlessly, feeling sad or morose? This is the kind of book every woman needs to feel found again. It's that miraculous book that brings you right back to…

Book Review: To the Bright Edge of the World by Eowyn Ivey

Book Review: To the Bright Edge of the World by Eowyn Ivey

Eowyn Ivey is a master craftswoman and her sentences are smooth and flowing like treacle. Her debut the Snow Child was one of my favourite novels. It told the magical tale of a child that emerges out of the icy Alaskan tundra and provides an ageing couple yearning for a baby, with the promise of…

Book Review: Their Lips Talk of Mischief by Alan Warner

Book Review: Their Lips Talk of Mischief by Alan Warner

Scottish writer Alan Warner's novel Their Lips Talk of Mischief is a boisterous, vigorous and energetic novel about two literary wannabes (Lou and Douglas) living in a glum 80's Thatcherite slumland in Britain. The pair share an interest in Lou's enigmatic and sexy girlfriend Aoife. Thus develops a complex menage a trois that follows. The year…

Book Review: The Book of Strange New Things by Michel Faber

Book Review: The Book of Strange New Things by Michel Faber

Peter and Beatrice Leigh are a childless 30-something British couple who are devoutly evangelical Christians and are living in a Britain of an imagined near future. In this imaginary Britain things look largely similar to how they are right now, except that there's a colony of humans living on a faraway planet called Oasis. These…

The Iconic & Subversive Oz Magazine – In all its Psychadelic Glory

OZ magazine was published in Australia and London between 1963 and 1973 and under the stewardship of Richard Neville and later also Jim Anderson and Felix Dennis. This magazine left the door wide open for everything wild, illegal, outrageous, radical and until then largely unimaginable. OZ magazine is reproduced by permission of Richard Neville in…

Celestial ceilings and soaring skies in Poland

Celestial ceilings and soaring skies in Poland

Poland in the summer is filled with enveloping sunlight, as bright and life affirming as a hug. Vibrant life, bees and flies take a circuitous route through fields of barley, poppies and wheat in the countryside. The air filled with drifting dandelion and pollen. A cacophany of bird song fills the countryside accompanied by a…

The Soul of the World: David Foster Wallace http://wp.me/p41CQf-Ikf

The Soul of the World: David Foster Wallace

David Foster Wallace combined his phenomenal intelligence and gift for writing with a high level of self-awareness, and a deep awareness of the brutality and enormity of the world. He had an almost omnipotent ability to understand and communicate about what it means to be human in his iconic books. Like most highly sensitive people…