Another Caturday

h/t William Blake

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Tourist Information

h/t to Miguel Marquez (aka Michael Pederson)


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Literary Road Trips

For the last century, American road trips have inspired authors to write great novels and memoirs based on their travels by car, bus, or motorcycle. From F. Scott Fitzgerald to Jack Kerouac the open road has launched a special form of travel literature and has encouraged  countless readers to embark on their own adventures. This stylish infographic highlights just a few of the open road journeys that we love to dream about.

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Book Sculpture Gone Wild

You can make sculptures with almost anything and everything: marble, stone, paper, wood … and even books . In Seoul, South Korea’s Starfield COEX Mall Library , which we featured back in January of this year, there’s an impressive example of book art.

The Starfield Mall collaborated with artist Mike Stillkey , who specializes in making sculptures by stacking books. And to celebrate the Winter holidays, the latter has imagined a display that takes the form of a sculpture 9 meters high … composed of 14,000 books .

This display is divided into three “book walls” that illustrate Winter scenes hand-painted by the artist directly on the books. You can see a reindeer and a rabbit toboggan, different animals riding a unicycle , or two cats dancing on the head of a bear .

The artist reveals through his book sculptures a wonderful world where animals are “humanized” , to the delight of visitors to this library. If you enjoyed this creative display for the holidays , you should visit Stillkey’s website.

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Do you believe in collaborative creation

Inspired by the popular National Novel Writing Month project — which has aspiring writers around the word producing a 50,000 word manuscript in the month of November — Boook.Land is one of the most engaging and original digital writing schemes in a while. Developed by three London-based creative types— Harry Boyd, Ben Chan and Malone Chen— the online project allows users to collaboratively produce a novel in real time.

When you log-in to the Boook.Land  you will be shown a continuous scroll of participant-generated text, along with the option to add your own writing or illustrations to the work in progress.

Here’s an example of what you might find on the site:

“Master Cheese slept in that next day and missed his appointment with the local cardiologist. He always did silly things like this during the warmer months. In continuing his morning rituals he reached for his record player and put on his Miles Davis LP that his father gave to him for his birthday many moons ago. Master Cheese walked into the put the kettle on for coffee, lit a cigarette and watched the local school kids eat their morning tea.”

The creators plan to print the finished novel at the end of November and of course keep a digital presence. So you have a couple of weeks left to get on board.



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Blame it on the Beatles

“But no matter what one might think about the Beatles or the Animals or the Mindbenders, the results are the same – a generation of young people with sick minds, loose morals, and little desire or ability to defend themselves from those who would bury them. In conclusion it seems rather evident to this writer that the communists have a master music plan for all age brackets of American youth. We know from documented proof that such is the case for babies, one and two year olds with their rhythmic music; we know such is the case for school children with their rhythmic music and for university students with their folk music. What but rock and roll fits the teenager?”

I’ve seen images of the book cover for “Communism, Hypnotism and and the Beatles: An Analysis of the Communist use of Music -The Communist Master Music Plan” by Rev. David A. Noebel, 1965.  online for years and thought it was a joke, but here it is.

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Cats on the Page

Later this month, the British Library in London will launch a new exhibition celebrating fictional felines. “Cats on the Page” will open on November 23 in the main entrance hall and run through March 17, 2019.

Alice’s kitten, Dinah, playing with a ball of yarn. Wood engraving after Sir John Tenniel for the first edition of Lewis Carroll’s ‘Through the Looking Glass,’ 1872.

The free show was scheduled to coincide with the 80th anniversary of T.S. Eliot’s Old Possum’s Book of Practical Cats, which inspired the long-running musical Cats. Many of the manuscripts, books, illustrations, and art works will be on public display for the first time.

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Follow The North Star

Last week, civil rights activist and progressive journalist Shaun King announced that he will be resurrecting the North Star, the abolitionist newspaper started by Frederick Douglass and Martin Delany 171 years ago, after receiving legal permission and a blessing from Douglass’ family.

King wrote:

In 1847, with slavery still in full force, two brave men, Frederick Douglass and Martin Delany (both pictured above), started an abolitionist newspaper called The North Star — named for the star, Polaris, that was often used as a guide for those seeking freedom in the North.

Douglass and Delany knew then, as we know now, that in order to fight back against injustice, their stories had to not only be well told — with the color and dimension and nuance that was frequently missing elsewhere, they knew they needed a newspaper that represented the cause of liberation with urgency, clarity, heart, and soul…

While The North Star was originally a print newspaper, we will be launching a news app, a full news website, a collection of podcasts, and an online nightly news broadcast. We’re not just here to change the news — we aim to change the world.

King, with his friend Ben Dixon, are first gathering 100,000 people to assist in their November 15 launch through

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America’s 50 Favorite Bookstores

Using data and reviews from Yelp (plus a little trickery) the website Hoodline has created a list of what they purport to be “America’s 50 Favorite Bookstores”. As you might expect, the the findings include some perennial top picks for bookshops, such as Powell’s City of Books in Portland, Strand in New York City, Tattered Cover Book Store in Denver, and Elliott Bay Book Company in Seattle. I was, however, happily surprised to see some of my personal go-to bookshops make the list as well. Great choices such as Malaprop’s Bookstore and Battery Park Book Exchange in Asheville, Housing Works Bookstore and MacNally Jackson in NYC, and City Lights Bookstore in San Francisco.

Here’s the entire list of 50 favorites and a link to the website for the full story:

  1. Powell’s City of Books (Portland, Oregon)
  2. Wild Rumpus (Minneapolis, Minnesota)
  3. Strand Bookstore (New York City, New York)
  4. Book Loft of German Village (Columbus, Ohio)
  5. Indy Reads Bookstore (Indianapolis, Indiana)
  6. Falling Rock Cafe and Book Store (Munising, Michigan)
  7. Northshire Bookstore (Manchester Center, Vermont)
  8. Taylor Books (Charleston, West Virginia)
  9. Tattered Cover Book Store (Denver, Colorado)
  10. Battery Park Book Exchange & Champagne Bar (Asheville, North Carolina)
  11. Kinokuniya (New York City, New York)
  12. Church Street Coffee and Books (Birmingham, Alabama)
  13. Half Price Books (Dallas, Texas)
  14. Housing Works Bookstore Café (New York City, New York)
  15. The Last Bookstore (Los Angeles, California)
  16. Brookline Booksmith (Brookline, Massachusetts)
  17. John K. King Books (Detroit, Michigan)
  18. Prairie Lights Books (Iowa City, Iowa)
  19. Green Apple Books (San Francisco, California)
  20. The Elliott Bay Book Company (Seattle, Washington)
  21. Magers & Quinn Booksellers (Minneapolis, Minnesota)
  22. McNally Jackson (New York City, New York)
  23. Loganberry Books (Shaker Heights, Ohio)
  24. Malaprop’s Bookstore/Cafe (Asheville, North Carolina)
  25. Issues (Oakland, California)
  26. Harvard Book Store (Cambridge, Massachusetts)
  27. Crazy Wisdom Bookstore & Tea Room (Ann Arbor, Michigan)
  28. Left Bank Books (Saint Louis, Missouri)
  29. Joseph-Beth Booksellers (Lexington, Kentucky)
  30. Indigo Bridge Books and Cafe (Lincoln, Nebraska)
  31. Full Circle Bookstore (Oklahoma City, Oklahoma)
  32. Trident Booksellers & Café (Boston, Massachusetts)
  33. Square Books (Oxford, Mississippi)
  34. Tattered Cover Book Store (Denver, Colorado)
  35. Borderlands Books (San Francisco, California)
  36. Dickson Street Bookshop (Fayetteville, Arkansas)
  37. Downtown Books Bought & Sold (Milwaukee, Wisconsin)
  38. Portsmouth Book and Bar (Portsmouth, New Hampshire)
  39. Night Heron Books & Coffee Shop (Laramie, Wyoming)
  40. Thunderbolt Spiritual Books (Santa Monica, California)
  41. Roebling Point Books and Coffee (Covington, Kentucky)
  42. Books and Brews (Hurricane, West Virginia)
  43. City Lights Bookstore (San Francisco, California)
  44. Birchbark Books & Native Arts (Minneapolis, Minnesota)
  45. Changing Hands Bookstore (Tempe, Arizona)
  46. Unabridged Books (Chicago, Illinois)
  47. Quimby’s Bookstore (Chicago, Illinois)
  48. Lorelei Books (Vicksburg, Mississippi)
  49. Blue Manatee (Cincinnati, Ohio)
  50. Vroman’s Bookstore (Pasadena, California)

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Love Your Bookstore

This week marks the launch of Love Your Bookstore, “the first and only retail holiday that celebrates all brick-and-mortar bookstores during the holiday season.” The event, which runs from November 10 through November 16, features the Love Your Bookstore Challenge. Book buyers go into a bookstore and “take a picture of the book you are most excited to gift this holiday season or a book you love or want to receive”–or a picture with a local indie bookseller. Pictures should then be posted on Instagram or Twitter with the hashtag #loveyourbookstore. The participants who post will be entered to win “bookish prizes” and are encouraged to challenge three to five friends to “go love their favorite bookstores too.”

One of the Love Your Bookstore organizers, Dominique Raccah, publisher and CEO of Sourcebooks, said last week that the response has been “overwhelmingly inspiring” and includes a range of partners “signing up every single day.”

On its website, the campaign wrote: “As a booklover, bookstores have shaped you, whether you were a child learning to read or an adult looking for connections through the written word. We want to celebrate bookstores from coast to coast because we know that booklovers are in every city in the country. From Kodiak to Key West, from Seattle to Sarasota, there are readers everywhere! Celebrate your favorite bookstore by posting a photo from inside the store with a favorite book (or bookseller!) and use #loveyourbookstore in the caption to share the love!”

You can find more information and materials at Love Your Bookstore’s website.

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