Holiday Book Guide

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Are you having trouble choosing last minute book gifts ? Well the New York Public Library has created a Holiday Book List Generator to help you out. The app covers a wide range of subjects: Architecture, Cooking, Dance, Gardening, Music, Photography, Sports, Theater, Travel and Wine in fiction and nonfiction. You can give it a spin right here: link

 

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We Remember

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Weight of Knowledge

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London-based photographer Simon Brown’s wonderful show The Weight of Knowledge just closed at New York City’s Benrubi Gallery, but here are a few images from the exhibition that are sure to warm any bibliophile’s heart on a cold winter’s day.

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all images © Simon Brown

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In Praise of Rarity

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In case you needed another reason to visit Paris this holiday season, the Bibliothèque Nationale has opened a special exhibition to showcase treasures from its enormous collection. E’loge de la rareté: Cent trésors de la Réserve des livres presents one hundred works selected from thousands added to the collections over the last two decades. Designed to encourage the general public to visit the library, the exhibition includes incunabula, artists’ books, rare proof copies, children’s books, first editions and scandalous publications such as Fleur du Mal. The show runs until February at the François Mitterand branch.

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Don’t Forget The Duct Tape

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Hotels To Go

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Finding a hotel room anywhere near the exact location that you want to stay can be problematic. But now Scandic, Scandinavia’s biggest hotel chain, will bring a fully kitted-out hotel room to you. Just pick the spot where you’d like to spend the night and Scandic To Go will deliver a pop-up hotel to you.

The specially-built mobile hotel rooms come complete with two beds, bathroom facilities, linens, robes and a terrace. There’s even free breakfast and wifi.

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To date, the personal hotel rooms have been placed in Stockholm, southern Sweden and beside a lake in Finland. I think that I want mine delivered to a perch above the Geirangerfjord in Norway. If you’d like to choose your perfect spot, visit the website and enter the contest to win your own pop-up hotel.

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Holiday Travel Guide

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Long Live The Book

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Still Life With Books

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I recently ran across a blog that was “offering’ a download of this painting (see above) to be used as a screen saver. It looked very familiar and after a little research I realized that it was by the 19th century Irish-American artist William M. Harnett. Many of his intensely detailed still life paintings incorporated books or other printed materials. The more I looked, the more I found.

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1883. Still Life with Clarinet

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The End of an Era

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Yesterday the German rail company Deutsche Bahn ended sleeper train service between Berlin and Paris. Once a mainstay of continental travel, the overnight route ran for nearly eighty years. Demand for the night train, which took 12 hours on the Paris-Berlin route, has dropped dramatically due to competition from budget airlines. The flight from berlin to Paris is only two hours and typically costs about €15 less than the night train’s least expensive couchette ticket.

I, for one, am sad to see the service end. And plans are for most rail companies to end many of the intercity sleepers within the next few years. Truly, the end of an era in civilized travel. Although, truth be told, I usually don’t spring for a sleeper car, and just make do with a regular seat.

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