The Handmaid’s Tale

The Folio Society has reissued its exceptional 2012 edition of Margaret Atwood’s 1985 novel The Handmaid’s Tale. This volume contains a set of powerful illustrations by Anna and Elena Balbusso. Influenced by Soviet propaganda posters and constructivist art, the Italian twin artists have created chilling visuals to accompany the cautionary tale of a dystopian America that is all too close to home these days.

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What do Patti Smith and Arthur Rimbaud have in common

What do Patti Smith and Arthur Rimbaud have in common ? They both owned the same house in France. The American singer and author recently purchased the partially restored home in Roche near the Belgian border with the intention of completing the reconstruction of the building. The stone house dates from the 18th century and has been in poor condition for decades, although it has undergone some renovation. Considering Smith’s lifelong devotion to the work of the 19th century poet, it’s no surprise that she’s committed to saving the house where he wrote his seminal poem A Season in Hell.

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Bookstore Tourism London

One of my favorite places to escape the tourist madness of central London is Hatchards Bookshop. The third floor, with its comfy sofas, is a great spot to spend a rainy afternoon. The popular Londonist blog recently profiled the city’s oldest bookshop and offered an insider’s tour of the Piccadilly shop. Although the bookstore has been operating since 1797, it has only been in this location for 200 years. You can take the tour right here.

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24 hour bookshop

I’ve never visited Guangzhou City, but when I do my first destination will be the wonderful 1200 Bookshop. The only 24 hour bookstore in China’s third largest city was the brainchild of architect Liu Erxi. After a long backpacking trip, he realized that he felt most welcome and at home in the bookshops that he visited. Modeled on another 24 hour bookstore in Taipei, Taiwan, the 1200 Bookshop has become a community center, meeting place, and safe space in the city of 13 million people.

Liu has also make a commitment to hire people with disabilities to staff the bookstore café. The crowdfunded shop has also become famous throughout China for its egalitarian atmosphere and welcoming vibe.

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Let’s Stay Together

h/t to illustrator/author Aram Kim & the Brooklyn Library

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Sgt. Pepper Turns Fifty

On June 1, 1967, the Beatles released Sgt.Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band to worldwide acclaim. To mark the anniversary, the city of Liverpool has commissioned leading international artists to create thirteen events influenced by each track on the seminal album. Between May 25 and June 16, 2017, the city will offer tributes to the Beatles with music, dance, theater, and art. You can learn more about the celebrations and plan a visit at the dedicated website.

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My Library

h/t Tom Gauld

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London Stopover

There are so many things to see and do in London that it would take a lifetime to cover them all. So what would you do with a 24 hour stopover in the British capital? The infographic below from Central London Apartments has an action packed (if slightly unrealistic) plan for a one day whirlwind tour.

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Little Free Airstream

Ink & Bean is a popular coffee spot in Anaheim, California. One of their draws—besides serving Stumptown coffee—is a unique Little Free Library housed in a classic Airstream trailer. Looks like a great spot to hangout just down the road from Disneyland.

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Quiet Mornings at the Museum

Visiting New York City’s great museums can be anything but peaceful, but on the first Wednesday of each month the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) offers a uniquely tranquil opportunity to mindfully experience their artworks. MoMA opens three hours early for those lucky enough to snag tickets online and allows visitors to silently tour select galleries. Then at 8:30 AM there is a guided meditation for 30 minutes led by guest meditation teachers. To learn more and to reserve tickets click here.

images courtesy of MoMA

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