Archives for category: Book porn

This comes about a month too late, but I just got the hankering to put together a list of the books I read last year. It’s an interesting way to reflect on a year past. I definitely went through a female-authored “novel-from-life” phase — but so does/should everyone who reads Sheila Heti’s How Should a Person Be. I would say the best book on the list is Grapes of Wrath; Steinbeck is phenomenal and the themes of the book (the division and control of wealth, agri-business, racism, the American dream, ect.) are still incredibly relevant today. I also fell in love with Edith Wharton a little after reading Age of Innocence and will definitely be reading more of her (House of Mirth is next). The title sounds like a book you would be forced to read in high school (and the Bantham Classic edition I got from the library didn’t make it any more visually appealing), but her portrayal of 1870s New York City is dramatic, feminist and totally well-written. Health O’Neill’s Lullabies for Little Criminals was also a favourite; I bought at least two copies as gifts after reading it.

So thus begins my list. It’s not very long, but I may have forgotten a book or two and I also run a business and drink a lot.

Everything is Illuminated – Jonathan Safran Foer
Freedom – Jonathan Franzen
The Grapes of Wrath – John Steinbeck
The Age of Innocence – Edith Wharton
Lullabies for Little Criminals – Heather O’Neill
How Should a Person Be – Sheila Heti
The Middle Stories – Sheila Heti
Kafka on the Shore – Haruki Murakami (I only read half of this one… No one tell me what happens to Kafka)
The Easter Parade – Richard Yates
Bossy Pants – Tina Fey
How Happy to Be – Katrina Onstaad
The Devil – Leo Tolstoy
Come Thou Tortoise – Jessica Grant

I am currently reading Cloud Atlas because someone gave it to me for Christmas. Sadly, the cover has Tom Hanks on it, which is just not who I want to think about when I think about fiction, ever.

Also of note, 2012 is the year I determined that Jonathan Safran Foer is my nemesis (this is likely in a one-sided relationship). The fact that he published Everything is Illuminated at 25 and that for me reading at the age of 26 was a huge struggle proves that he is smarter than me and thus, I shall be forced to battle through whatever he comes up with next… except for Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close, I watched the movie instead.

By far the most hilarious Christmas present I got this year was a book called Coloring for Grown-Ups from my little sister.  Illustrators Ryan Hunter and Taige Jensen portray the low-points of adulthood in the style of children’s colouring book, complete with mazes, fill-in-the-blanks and word searches. But instead of searching for animal sounds, Hunter and Jensen ask you to search for important key words for pretending you know a lot about beer and to maneuver through a maze to escape a toxic relationship.

-1
-2
-3
-4
I have been meaning to buy some crayons so that I can colour in the fun, but that was three weeks ago and apparently I am too much of a cheap, jaded adult to go through with it. More images are available on the book’s website.

Spanish art collective Luzinterruptus created a beautiful installation in Melbourne, Australia last week. The artists made a river of 10,000 LED-lit books, giving books recently retired from local libraries one last chance to shine. On the last day of the display, visitors were invited to take the books home. The results are really gorgeous.







via luzinterruptus


A new exhibition at Toronto’s Miles Nadall JCC features portraits of 16 Canadian poets taken in the early 1970s by photographer Shelly Grimson while he was attending the University of Toronto. The photos were commissioned by Oxford University Press but the majority were never printed; the negatives sat in Grimson’s drawer until a few years ago.

Writers featured in the photos include Michael Ondaatje (above), Leonard Cohen, Irving Layton and Margaret Atwood (below). The exhibition is called “How Beautiful We All Were…,” which could not be a more lovely or apt title. Ondaatje and Atwood look incredible. I can’t wait to see it. – A


Truman Capote's room

Truman Capote’s bedroom, via apartment therapy.

Virginia Woolf’s room, via apartment therapy.

Sylvia Plath's bedroom

Sylvia Plath’s bedroom, via apartment therapy.

Check out apartment therapy’s full Literary Style: 15 Writers’ Bedrooms post for some background on the rooms, and plenty more photos. It’s fun to see if you can match each author with a room (Sylvia Plath’s may have been the easiest, as depressing as that sounds).

– h

A colour-coded life. Via lifeoutsidethebox.

Through the looking glass. Via Book Oasis.

A ladder to get to it all. Via stylehive.

– h