Wall Street Journal Books, July 23 – 24, 2016

Self found a couple of books to add to her reading list while perusing the Books section of the July 23 – July 24 Wall Street Journal:

  • Your Friend Forever, A. Lincoln, by Charles B. Strozier (Columbia)
  • The Castle of Kings, by Oliver Potzsch (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt) — historical fiction, set in 1524 Germany
  • Abahn Sabana David, by Marguerite Duras (Open Letter) — “minimal, dream-like setting” and narration that has “the bluntness of stage directions.” Self adores Duras.
  • The Brotherhood of the Wheel, by R. S. Belcher (Tor) — Resourceful residents of a small town use a HEXapp — an actual HEXapp! LOL LOL — to show the most recent sightings of the local spectre!
  • Richard Cohen, literary critic and Tolstoy expert, shares his favorite British crime novels: The Cask, by Freeman Wills Crofts; Tragedy at Law, by Cyril Hare; Reputation for a Song, by Edward Grierson; The Shortest Way to Hades, by Sarah Caudwell
  • Brazillionaires, by Alex Cuadros (Spiegel & Grau) — nonfiction by a journalist

Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.

You May Share My Bed, Mr. A. Lincoln

from the Books section of the Wall Street Journal, Saturday/Sunday, 23 July – 24 July:

On the day Joshua Fry Speed met the 28-year-old Abraham Lincoln, Lincoln was destitute and looking for a place to stay in Springfield, ILL. Speed, scion of “a wealthy Louisiana plantation family”, owned a dry-goods store. “On impulse,” Speed invited “this newcomer to share his his double bed in the room above his store, rent to be discussed later.”

In Your Friend Forever, A. Lincoln, biographer Charles B. Strozier “maintains that , at a time when only ‘one percent’ had beds, or for that matter bedrooms . . .  Speed’s offer carried none of the sexualized connotations it would exude today . . .  For Lincoln, who had shared beds with other males throughout his impoverished life, Speed’s offer promised company at night, warmth in winter and split expenses year-round . . .  Of course they tossed and turned against each other every evening, but when they were awake they talked about navigating ‘the uncertain world of women.’ ”

A book about Abraham Lincoln’s sleeping arrangements during his young manhood? What next? Self is so there.

Nice review by Harold Holzer.

Stay tuned.

What Is Life But a Bowl of Cherries

  • Let’s celebrate the cherries on top! — Michelle W., The Daily Post

The good news: self was back in London in the spring. The Cherry on Top? She was there during the week of the annual Chelsea Flower Show. Just look at the fresh flowers framing the entrance to the Bloomsbury Hotel!

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The Bloomsbury Hotel, London: May 2016

The good news was: Self was in Philo, CA. She found a small market that sold delicious potato salad. And the cherry on top? The ceiling lights were things of beauty. From a glass studio in Fort Bragg, the checkout lady told self:

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Ceiling Light, Lemon’s Philo Market, California

The good news was: self was spending another winter in Mendocino, CA. The cherry on top is that she got to see “Quills,” a play about Marquis de Sade, performed by members of the local community (It was a very entertaining production!)

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“Quills,” a drama about Marquis de Sade

Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.

Sailors Fighting In the Dance Hall

In the spring, self was in the UK. She remembers wandering around Heathrow (window shopping) when Bowie’s “Life on Mars” began playing over the PA system.

Sometimes, life is perfect like that.

The chorus is fantastic:

Sailors fighting in the dance hall
Oh man!
Look at those cavemen go.
It’s the freakiest show.
Take a look at the lawman,
Beating up the wrong guy
Oh man! Wonder if he’ll ever know
He’s on the best selling show.
Is there life on Mars?

Also, great song title, seriously.

There was a short-lived BBC cop series starring John Simm which was about a time-traveling cop. Grrreat series, ended too soon. The title: Life on Mars.

Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.

Everlarkian Feelz

Self is reading Dustwriter.

She is The One. The Neo of the Everlark fan fiction universe.

There are a few who’ve come close to approaching her skill. Mejhiren, for one. Ronja. Green Wool.

But Dustwriter got self into the game.

And she’s stopped writing, for years now. Self thinks the last story she wrote was in 2012.

One by one, as Hunger Games websites shut down, self finds herself churning them out. Six stories this year alone.

She’ll flame out after three years. That’s the average shelf life of the really good ones. And that’s why fan fiction is self’s current addiction. Because it is all about evanescence.

Stay tuned.

Feeling On Top of the World!

This week, share an image of what’s on top from your own life.

— Michelle W., The Daily Post

More of what’s on top:

  • Ferris wheel, Calgary Stampede:
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Self missed this ride at the 2016 Calgary Stampede!

  • Look up, and what do you see?
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Big, Clear, Prairie Sky! Calgary, July 2016

  • Finally, the view from self’s room in London, off Russell Square. She asked whose backyard that was, and was told: “It belongs to the Duke of Bedford and his heirs.” At least, he has nice art. Definitely, the cherry on top! (Self can’t quite get over the fact that something like this is sitting in someone’s private backyard. Something like this belongs in a museum! Wouldn’t you agree, dear blog readers? It reminds her of one of those thin Giacomettis.)
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In a Private Garden in Bloomsbury, June 2016

Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.

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