Friday, March 31, 2006

Classic girl books become cartoons

Apparently there are anime versions of both Frances Hodgson Burnett's A Little Princess and Louisa May Alcott's Little Women. Who knew?

From A Little Princess:

From Little Women:

...I wonder if Beth dies in the anime, too? She must be the dour-faced one with the pink bow. Man, I cannot STAND that book.

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Thursday, March 30, 2006

Life Comes At You Fast!

So I am not sure how widespread Nationwide Insurance's "Life Comes At You Fast" ad campain is, but as soon as I saw these billboards I knew I had to post them...

I thought we might need some close-ups as well.

Kind of scary...

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Wednesday, March 29, 2006

Hollywood (hearts) Neil Gaiman, too

...although you'd think that the silver screen would, like, sag under the weight of all that brilliantly profound, Hugo- and Nebula-award-winning brilliance, wouldn't you?

The various projects that have been touched by Gaiman's golden hands include in-development film versions of Coraline, Stardust, and Death and Me, as well as Robert Zemeckis's Beowulf (now in post-production). Past Gaiman projects include MirrorMask, his collaboration with Dave McKean, and the English-language script for Miyazaki's Princess Mononoke (which is, oddly, the only Miyazaki film that I dislike...).

<---At left: Brilliantly profound, Hugo- and Nebula-award-winning brilliance at work. Can't you just smell the depth?

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Tuesday, March 28, 2006

Wordcandy weekly book snippet

Excerpt from:
Devil's Cub, by Georgette Heyer

Why you should buy a copy of your very own:

It's Heyer's hottest romance (although you have to judge these things on the Heyer scale-we're talking about lots of sexual tension, followed by a single kiss at the end of the story).

In this scene...

In a desperate attempt to discourage the Marquis of Vidal's interest in her beautiful, amoral sister, Mary Challoner has just spent the past few chapters pretending to be a scheming floozy. Things get a little difficult when Vidal drunkenly decides that one sister will do just as well as the other. Unfortunately for Mary, her recent behavior has given Vidal some justification for thinking that she's just playing hard to get; unfortunately for Vidal... well, Mary really means it, and she has the pistol to prove it.

""You won't pretend, I hope, that you are fallen in love with me."

"Love?" he said scornfully. "No, madam. I feel no more love for you than I felt for your pretty sister. But you've thrown yourself at my head, and by God I'll take you!" His eyes ran over her. "You've a mighty trim figure, my dear, and from what I can discover, more brain than Sophia. You lack her beauty, but I'm not repining."

She looked up at him gravely. "My lord, if you take me, it will be for revenge, I think. Have I deserved so bitter a punishment?"

"You're not very complimentary, are you?" he mocked.

She rose, holding her pistol behind her. "Let me go now," she said. "You do not want me, and indeed I think you have punished me enough."

"Oh, so that's it, is it?" he said. "Are you piqued that I liked Sophia better? Never heed it, my dear, I've forgotten the wench already."

"My lord," she said desperately, "indeed I am not what you think me!"

He burst into one of his wild laughs, and she realized that in this mood she could make no impression on him.

He was advancing towards her. She brought her right hand from behind her, and leveled the pistol. "Stand right where you are!" she said. "If you come one step nearer I shall shoot you down."

He stopped short. "Where did you get that thing?" he demanded.

"Out of your coach," she answered.

"Is it loaded?"

"I don't know," said Miss Challoner, incurably truthful.

He began to laugh again, and walked forward. "Shoot then," he invited, "and we shall know. For I am coming several steps nearer, my lady."

Miss Challoner saw that he meant it, shut her eyes and resolutely pulled the trigger. There was a deafening report and the Marquis went staggering back. He recovered in a moment. "It was loaded," he said coolly."

(C)Georgette Heyer, 1966

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April 1st is (among other things) International Edible Book Festival Day. Celebrate this lovely event by creating some form of edible art inspired by books, then submit a photograph of your creation to Books2Eat, the official Edible Book Day website.



Monday, March 27, 2006

Books for Everyone

It seems that tomorrow the wordcandy authors are having an orgy of book releases. Some are reissue or paperback versions, but we do have some new ones in here for you to check out. I definitely know that my pocketbook is not going to handle tomorrow well. Enjoy!

Meg Cabot - Party Princess
Laurell K. Hamilton - A Kiss of Shadows
Laurell K. Hamilton - A Stroke of Midnight
Tomoko Hayakawa - The Wallflower Volume 7
Eloisa James - Taming of the Duke
Laurie R. King - Locked Rooms
Jayne Ann Krentz - Lady's Choice
Anne McCaffrey - An Exchange of Gifts
Susan Elizabeth Phillips - Nobody's Baby But Mine and This Heart of Mine
Nora Roberts - The MacGregors: Alan and Grant
Neal Stephenson - The System of the World Part II: Odalisque
Barbara Vine - The Minotaur


Sunday, March 26, 2006

Even more Libraries for the Soulless!

The Seattle Times reports that more and more people are using books solely for decorative purposes.

From the Pottery Barn catalogue:

Well. I am shocked. I mean, with a functional, reader-friendly, pick-it-up-and-flip-through-it arrangement like that one, I would have thought that people read those books all the time.


Saturday, March 25, 2006

Libraries for the Soulless

If you're in the market for a library, but you just don't have any "suitable" books*, then have we ever found the ideal service for you! Behold: Books by the Foot!

Offered by the venerable Strand Book store, Books by the Foot will sell you a complete library of books, with prices ranging from $400 per foot (for antique, leather-bound, primarily 19th century novels) to $10 per foot (for crappy hardbacks that they couldn't sell anyway with their dust jackets removed).

*Because you're a coward who keeps all those romance novels that you actually read in an unmarked box in your closet.


Friday, March 24, 2006


While there are many people out there who collect alphabet books I am not really one of them... but I do collect books with great typography. I stumbled upon Bembo's Zoo while once again working on a post about great book covers (I promise, I will post that soon). In every typography class that I have ever taken, we have had to create an image out of the letters of a word. Some times, like these, we just created a literal image. Other times we would take a work like "time" and then have to show the concept. It sounds easy but it's really so much harder then you'd think. Roberto de Vicq de Cumptich does an amazing job. Enjoy!

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Thursday, March 23, 2006

Neil Gaiman Tribute Album!!! is reporting that Tori Amos will be leading a Neil Gaiman Tribute album.

My first thought: ...hee hee hee

My second thought: Hasn't his swelled head already reached, like, critical mass?

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Wednesday, March 22, 2006

Wordcandy loves Auden's poetry

"The Fall of Rome"

The piers are pummelled by the waves;
In a lonely field the rain
Lashes an abandoned train;
Outlaws fill the mountain caves.

Fantastic grow the evening gowns;
Agents of the Fisc pursue
Absconding tax-defaulters through
The sewers of provincial towns.

Private rites of magic send
The temple prostitutes to sleep;
All the literati keep
An imaginary friend.

Cerebrotonic Cato may
Extol the Ancient Disciplines,
But the muscle-bound Marines
Mutiny for food and pay.

Caesar's double-bed is warm
As an unimportant clerk
On a pink official form.

Unendowed with wealth or pity,
Little birds with scarlet legs,
Sitting on their speckled eggs,
Eye each flu-infected city.

Altogether elsewhere, vast
Herds of reindeer move across
Miles and miles of golden moss,
Silently and very fast.

-W.H. Auden

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Beatrix Potter, Part Two

In further Beatrix Potter movie news, Renee Zellweger has been
cast as Miss Potter. Er... okay.


Is this some kind of early April Fools' joke that I'm just not getting?

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Tuesday, March 21, 2006

Beatrix Potter = dead bunnies

I'm told that there's a movie in the works about the life of Beatrix Potter.

I would be more excited about this, but I went to a lecture on the life of Beatrix Potter several years ago, and the speaker casually told us that Miss Potter had all the bunnies she used for her illustrations SHOT and STUFFED. Then she posed 'em just so and sat down to sketch.

(At right: dead bunny-------->)

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Hollywood hearts Philip K. Dick


...becomes this.

While some Philip K. Dick purists are convinced that the author is probably spinning in his grave over the casting of poor Keanu, I remain open-minded about this movie. It's directed by Richard Linklater, after all, and it doesn't star Tom Cruise. Those are two major advantages that not every Dick adaptation can boast, right?

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Monday, March 20, 2006

Wordcandy's (new and improved) weekly book snippet... with 100% more background information!

Excerpt from:
The Sisters Grimm: The Unusual Suspects, by Michael Buckley

Why you should buy a copy of your very own:
The likable heroines, the clever twists on classic fairy tale characters, and the author's snarky sense of humor

In this scene...

Our heroines, Sabrina and Daphne Grimm, are sneaking through their on-again, off-again friend Puck's magical, forest-themed bedroom. Puck has been the Trickster King for centuries, and his bedroom decor reflects that—it's a dangerous place to wander about in, as the Grimm sisters realized on a previous visit. (They took a wrong step and were catapulted into a vat of pickle-scented glue.) This time, they're determined to find Puck without mishap.

The girls crept along the path around the lagoon and then into some heavy brush. Eventually they came to a trampoline on which Puck was sound asleep. The Trickster King was wearing a pair of blue footie pajamas that had little smiling stars and moons on them. Held close to his face was a soft pink stuffed unicorn with a rainbow sewn on its side. If only Sabrina had brought a camera, she could have also recorded his thumb in his mouth.

"Time to wake up the sleepy monkey," Sabrina cooed in baby talk, trying her best not to roar with laughter.

Daphne giggled but held her hand over her mouth.

"Wakie-wakie, eggs and bac-ie," Sabrina continued.

Puck stirred in his sleep but didn't wake. A big stream of drool escaped his mouth and ran down the front of his pajamas.

"Does someone have the sleepy-sleepies?" Daphne said mimicking her sister's baby talk.

"Time to come back from dreamland, precious," the older girl said, shaking the boy roughly. Puck sprang from his sleep, with wings extended from his back. He waved his big pink unicorn like a deadly sword and slashed at the children.

"Nice jammies," Daphne snickered.

"I especially like Mr. Unicorn," Sabrina laughed.

"His name is Kraven the Deceiver," Puck corrected, before realizing what he was holding and who was with him.

(c)Michael Buckley, 2005

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I thought I would kick off the week with a list of contests from some of our favorite wordcandy authors. All of these require very little effort, and the best part is that many of of the prizes include an Advance Reader Copy (ARC). Good luck!

Susan Elizabeth Phillips
For March, Ms. Phillips is giving one lucky winner an autographed hardback copy of Match Me If You Can.

Eloisa James
For your chance to win a glass heart necklace from Venice personally chosen by author Eloisa James, answer one simple question from Ms. James's upcoming book, The Taming of The Duke.

Janet Evanovich
Ms. Evanovich runs a puzzle contest each month. To win a signed copy of Full Scoop all you need to do to enter is decipher the beer-themed word scramble.

Jayne Ann Krentz
Ms. Krentz will be offering a signed Advanced Reader Copy of her May Amanda Quick hardcover, Second Sight, the first book in the new Arcane Society series, to one lucky winner.

Jennifer Cruise
Ms. Crusie has a great monthly contest called "Tea with Jenny", which sadly is not an outing with her but still makes for a great gift package. It incudes a signed copy of Jenny's latest book (this month's book is Don't Look Down), a china tea-for-one set with tea pot, cup and saucer, a tin of gourmet tea and a box of Godiva chocolate-covered biscuits.

Kelly Armstrong
Ms. Armstrong's monthly contest gives you two chances to win a signed copy of Bitten, Stolen, Dime Store Magic, Industrial Magic, Haunted, an advance reader copy of Broken or an Otherworld travel mug.

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Sunday, March 19, 2006


Pulp fiction writer Edgar Rice Burroughs died on this date in 1950 at the age of 74. Burroughs was definitely a product of his times (Richard Slotkin's book Gunfighter Nation features some excellent, insightful commentary on the underlying racism of Burroughs's novels), but he was also the creator of Tarzan*, one of the twentieth century's most memorable literary icons, and that's nothing to sneeze at. We here at Wordcandy doff our (nonexistent) hats to him.

*The now defunct Book magazine placed Tarzan at #79 on their list of "The 100 Best Characters in Fiction Since 1900", right between The Dog of Tears, from Jose Saramago's Blindness (at #78) and Nathan Zuckerman, from Philip Roth's My Life As a Man (at #80). This list, which placed THREE James Joyce characters higher than Winnie-the-Pooh (!!!) and one of 'em (Leopold) higher than Sherlock Holmes, was one of the motivating forces behind Wordcandy's formation. The whole thing irritated the hell out of me.

Saturday, March 18, 2006

Wordcandy-friendly wall art

If you're in the market for some book-related artwork, check out's collection of vintage pulp fiction prints:

And my personal favorite:

Friday, March 17, 2006

Really, what household is complete...

...without a Jane Austen action figure to call their own?

(Available at

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Thursday, March 16, 2006

Why, Ms. Krentz? Why?

I decided it was time to do another post on great covers by wordcandy authors. You know-- keeping it positive, recognizing authors who actually care how the outside of their books look.... But then I did a search on Jayne Ann Krentz, and before I knew it, this post had practically written itself.

We'll have to start with a little history lesson on Ms. Krentz's past covers. As you can see, over time they have become better designed and more interesting. Never truly great covers, but nothing you would be embarrassed to be caught reading in a public place, either:

Her more recent covers are actually sexy! They confidently announce: "I am about sex, you know you want to read me". They actually remind me a bit of Laurell K. Hamilton's style of covers, which I always think look fine (except for the dread Micah cover). Still not spectacular, but a vast improvement:

So imagine my surprise when I pulled up these covers. I realize this is a pen name so they need to look a little different, but there is no excuse for these-- the difference between the words and the visuals just look absurd. I mean, really, does the guy with his little leather vest in the jungle really look like a ghost hunter?

Yeah, I think not.

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Stephanie Plum!

It looks like we finally have a date for the twelfth book in the Stephanie Plum series. Twelve Sharp will be released June 20th! For those of you who can't wait to see what trouble Stephanie gets herself into this time, the first 8 pages are up on Ms. Evanovich's website. You should definitely check them out!

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Wednesday, March 15, 2006

Hollywood doesn't know what to do with Heyer, either.

So, it turns out that there IS actually an American film version of one of Heyer's books. Check out these charming pictures from the 1951 movie "The Reluctant Widow", AKA "The Inheritance":

Okay, I think I remember that scene. However...

...what is THIS? I am at a loss to explain it. As far as I know, Heyer never mentioned either erotic asphyxiation OR good old-fashioned bloodsucking, did she? (Or did I just miss that part?) Anyway, I hear this movie is very amusing, although apparently it underwent an eleventh hour edit that removed a bunch of crucial plot points. Regardless: Netflix, here I come.

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Tuesday, March 14, 2006

Alan Moore + Hollywood = ...meh.

Brace yourselves, gentle readers, there's another Alan Moore film adaptation coming out. Why? Why does Hollywood keep doing this to us? Was From Hell any good? No. Was The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen any good? Nooooo. Will V for Vendetta or the "in production" film version of Watchmen be any good? I don't know, but I wouldn't bet money on it. This man's comics do not make good movies, people. Leave them alone.

Also? All comic book authors, please take note:

You need to stop publicly trashing the film adaptations of your stories. If you don't think the movie version of your story will be any good, DON'T SELL THE RIGHTS. I mean- what did you think was gonna happen? It's not like there's much evidence that Hollywood knows a good comic book from a hole in the ground. For every half-decent comic book adaptation, there's six craptastic ones. The odds are not on your side. If you take a gamble on Hollywood, that's fine, but complaining about it after they produce something terrible just makes you a whiner.

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Wordcandy loves the poetry of T.S. Eliot

The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock

S'io credesse che mia risposta fosse
A persona che mai tornasse al mondo,
Questa fiamma staria senza piu scosse.
Ma perciocche giammai di questo fondo
Non torno vivo alcun, s'i'odo il vero,
Senza tema d'infamia ti rispondo.

Let us go then, you and I,
When the evening is spread out against the sky
Like a patient etherized upon a table;
Let us go, through certain half-deserted streets,
The muttering retreats
Of restless nights in one-night cheap hotels
And sawdust restaurants with oyster-shells
Streets that follow like a tedious argument
Of insidious intent
To lead you to an overwhelming question...
Oh, do not ask, `` What is it? ''
Let us go and make our visit.
In the room the women come and go
Talking of Michelangelo.
The yellow fog that rubs its back upon the window-panes
The yellow smoke that rubs its muzzle on the window-panes
Licked its tongue into the corners of the evening.
Lingered upon the pools that stand in drains.
Let fall upon its back the soot that falls from chimneys.
Slipped by the terrace, made a sudden leap,
And seeing that it was a soft October night,
Curled once about the house, and fell asleep.
And indeed there will be time
For the yellow smoke that slides along the street,
Rubbing its back upon the window-panes;
There will be time, there will be time
To prepare a face to meet the faces that you meet;
There will be time to murder and create,
And time for all the works and days of hands
That lift and drop a question on your plate;
Time for you and time for me.
And time yet for a hundred indecisions,
And for a hundred visions and revisions,
Before the taking of a toast and tea.
In the room the women come and go
Talking of Michelangelo.
And indeed there will be time
To wonder, ``Do I dare?'' and, ``Do I dare?''
Time to turn back and descend the stair,
With a bald spot in the middle of my hair--
[They will say: ``How his hair is growing thin!'']
My morning coat, my collar mounting firmly to the chin,
My necktie rich and modest, but asserted by a simple pin--
[They will say: ``But how his arms and legs are thin!'']
Do I dare
Disturb the universe?
In a minute there is time
For decisions and revisions which a minute will reverse.
For I have known them all already, known them all:
Have known the evenings, mornings, afternoons,
I have measured out my life with coffee spoons;
I know the voices dying with a dying fall
Beneath the music from a farther room.
So how should I presume?
And I have known the eyes already, known them all--
The eyes that fix you in a formulated phrase,
And when I am formulated, sprawling on a pin,
When I am pinned and wriggling on the wall,
Then how should I begin
To spit out all the butt-ends of my days and ways?
And how should I presume?
And I have known the arms already, known them all--
Arms that are braceleted and white and bare
[But in the lamplight, downed with light brown hair!]
Is it perfume from a dress
That makes me so digress?
Arms that lie along a table, or wrap about a shawl.
And should I then presume?
And how should I begin?
. . . . .
Shall I say, I have gone at dusk through narrow streets
And watched the smoke that rises from the pipes
Of lonely men in shirt-sleeves, leaning out of windows? . . .
I should have been a pair of ragged claws
Scuttling across the floors of silent seas.
. . . . .
And the afternoon, the evening, sleeps so peacefully!
Smoothed by long fingers,
Asleep. . . tired . . . or it malingers,
Stretched on the floor, here beside you and me.
Should I, after tea and cakes and ices,
Have the strength to force the moment to its crisis?
But though I have wept and fasted, wept and prayed,
Though I have seen my head [grown slightly bald] brought in upon a platter,
I am no prophet--and here's no great matter;
I have seen the moment of my greatness flicker,
And I have seen the eternal Footman hold my coat, and snicker,
And in short, I was afraid.
And would it have been worth it, after all,
After the cups, the marmalade, the tea,
Among the porcelain, among some talk of you and me,
Would it have been worth while,
To have bitten off the matter with a smile,
To have squeezed the universe into a ball
To roll it toward some overwhelming question,
To say: `` I am Lazarus, come from the dead,
Come back to tell you all, I shall tell you all''--
If one, settling a pillow by her head,
Should say: ``That is not what I meant at all.
That is not it, at all.''
And would it have been worth it, after all,
Would it have been worth while,
After the sunsets and the dooryards and the sprinkled streets,
After the novels, after the teacups, after the skirts that trail along the floor--
And this, and so much more?--
It is impossible to say just what I mean!
But as if a magic lantern threw the nerves in patterns on a screen:
Would it have been worth while
If one, settling a pillow, or throwing off a shawl,
And turning toward the window, should say:
``That is not it at all,
That is not what I meant, at all.''
. . . . .
No! I am not Prince Hamlet, nor was meant to be;
Am an attendant lord, one that will do
To swell a progress, start a scene or two,
Advise the prince; no doubt, an easy tool,
Deferential, glad to be of use,
Politic, cautious, and meticulous;
Full of high sentence, but a bit obtuse;
At times, indeed, almost ridiculous--
Almost, at times, the Fool.
I grow old . . . I grow old . . .
I shall wear the bottoms of my trousers rolled.
Shall I part my hair behind? Do I dare to eat a peach?
I shall wear white flannel trousers, and walk upon the beach.
I have heard the mermaids singing, each to each.

I do not think that they will sing to me.
I have seen them riding seaward on the waves
Combing the white hair of the waves blown back
When the wind blows the water white and black.
We have lingered in the chambers of the sea
By sea-girls wreathed with seaweed red and brown
Till human voices wake us, and we drown.

-T.S. Eliot

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Monday, March 13, 2006

Wordcandy does NOT love Peyton Place.

From the AP Wire:

Sandra Bullock to star in film about "Peyton Place" author Grace Metalious

(AP) - NEW YORK-Sandra Bullock has agreed to star in a film about "Peyton Place" author Grace Metalious, whose million-selling novel scandalized the nation 50 years ago and eventually ruined the author's life.

Bullock is co-producing with Carol Baum, whose previous films include "Fly Away Home" and the remake of "Father of the Bride." Naomi Foner, whose credits include "Running on Empty" and "Bee Season," is writing the screenplay.

"Grace Metalious was a housewife with three kids running around with runny noses, living in a town (Gilmanton, New Hampshire) where she didn't belong, didn't fit in," Baum told The Associated Press in a recent phone interview. "Meanwhile, unbeknownst to anybody, she was writing the sexiest novel in history, in her kitchen."

Metalious' novel of sex and scandal in a small New England town, based partly on Gilmanton, was published in the fall of 1956. Although it was banned in several cities, "Peyton Place" became one of the best-selling novels in history and led to a popular movie starring Lana Turner and Hope Lange.

But Metalious never recovered from her sudden notoriety. Her marriage fell apart, her children were harassed and the author herself received threatening calls and letters. She became a heavy drinker and died of cirrhosis in 1964, at 39.

"She was ahead of her time, but not in a self-conscious way," Foner told the AP. "She was one of those people who told the truth, almost naively talked about it, and got vilified for talking about it. I'm not sure if she had the muscle to deal with it."

I am not a fan of Peyton Place. I think it's a steaming crapfest of a novel, hovering somewhere between Gone With the Wind and Valley of the Dolls on my personal list of books I've regretted reading. Nor am I the sort of person who goes to see tear-jerker biopics. However, I can see why Hollywood would want to make a movie about Ms. Metalious: her life story is obvious Oscar bait. I can even face the prospect of the inevitable upswing in Peyton Place sales with equanimity. (It's the kind of book that, sadly, Oprah will recommend.) But what I cannot face is the thought of a world where people describe Peyton Place as "the sexiest novel in history". That is just WRONG. This is a story (spoiler alert) about one girl who's a total tool, and another who is raped by her father. There is NOTHING sexy about this book, and anybody who says differently is a certified whackjob.

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Monday, March 06, 2006

The great bookshelf quest!

I always seem to be on the lookout for a bookshelf. I spend months looking for the ideal balance of function and design. When I finally find one that works, I bring it home, it's instantly filled, and I have to start looking for another one. Anyway, I thought I'd share some of the better ones I found in my search.

I never said my taste was cheap (sorry!), but if you have the money, these are a few of my favorite high-end bookshelves. A&B TRE by Pallucco would be my first pick... if only I had an extra $2,000 laying around:

Since most of us do not have that kind of cash, I focused most of my search on pieces that were more affordable. I found the best options at West Elm. They were stylish, affordable and functional-- a bit more of a financial investment than what you'd spend at a place like Target, but I think they're worth it:

If that was still more than you were thinking of spending, then check out Ikea, always a great source for cheap-but-fabulous furniture. The unassembled bookcases are a great start for your own DIY projects:

There were a few other bookcases that, for one reason or another, just won't work in my apartment, but I think are still worth sharing. The first of these is this great children's house-shaped bookcase. It's not something I would normally be drawn to, but I can definitely picture this crisp white bookcase filled with brightly colored books in a little girl's room. The other bookcase at unica home is a piece of art all by itself... which means that covering it up with books would be a shame. I figured it was still worth mentioning, though, because it's just so amazing-looking:

So which one did I end up getting? Sadly, none of them. Thanks to some un-planned-for moving expenses, I ended up picking up this bargain bookshelf at Sofa Express. This ladder bookcase works well, and with a price tag of $45 I couldn't pass it up:

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Sunday, March 05, 2006

Wordcandy Weekly Book Snippet

Jim, the neighbor who lives in the three-story colonial down the block, has recently turned 50. You know this because Jim's wife threw him a surprise party about a month ago. You also know this because, since then, Jim has dyed his hair blond, purchased a leather bomber jacket, traded in his Chevy Suburban for a sleek Miata, and ditched the wife for a girlfriend half her size and age.

Yet, aside from the local ladies' group's sympathetic clucks for the scorned wife, few neighbors are surprised at Jim's instant lifestyle change. Instead, they nod their heads undertandingly. "Oh Jim," they say. "He's just going through a midlife crisis. Everyone goes through it." Friends, colleagues, and family members excuse his weird behavior as an inevitable effect of reaching this particular stage of life. Like millions of other middle-ages people, Jim has reached a period during which he believes he must ponder the direction of his life – and then alter it.

Chances are, if you're reading this book, you're not Jim. You know this because you can't afford a leather bomber jacket, you drive your parents' Volvo (if you drive a car at all), and regardless of your gender, you would happily marry Jim's wife if she gets to keep the house. But Jim's midlife crisis that is widely recognized as a common, inevitable part of life. This is pertinent because, despite all of the attention lavished on the midlife crisis, despite the hundreds of books, movies, and magazine articles dedicated to explaining the sometimes traumatic transition through middle age and the ways to cope with it, the midlife crisis is not the only age-related crisis that we experience. As Yoda whispered to Luke Skywalker, "There is another."

From Quaterlife Crisis; The Unique Challenges of Life in Your Twenties, by Alexandra Robbins and Abby Wilner


Saturday, March 04, 2006

Judy Blume's feminine protection: redux

Judy Blume's groundbreaking novel Are You There God? It's Me, Margaret has apparently been updated for today's readers. All mentions of the "pink belt" (Margaret's great coming-of-age landmark) have apparently been replaced by descriptions of self-sticking absorbent pads.


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