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I promised in yesterday’s post to take some photos of the snowdrops and crocuses in my garden. They are not quite the photos that I had in mind, but I did promise. Continue Reading »

International Hug a Librarian Day: 1 March 2015 (image via the Day's official Facebook page)

International Hug a Librarian Day: 1 March 2015 (image via the Day’s official Facebook page)

Today is an important day for three reasons:

1) It is International Hug a Librarian Day – the picture above comes from the Facebook event page for this year. Sadly, a lot of libraries are closed today, so there’ll be no hugging, but if you have a librarian in your family and/or a librarian friend, let them know how much you appreciate them and their profession today. That’s the real point of today; as libraries and the professional status of their staff are under constant threat, there’s an ever growing need to demonstrate the importance, and the necessity, of the institutions and their people in society. Many people may feel uncomfortable about receiving, or giving, a hug, so a visit to your local library, the act of borrowing books, DVDs, CDs, and, ideally, the giving of feedback (to the staff themselves, to the councils, to the government, as publicly as possible, online, by phone, in writing, in person), would actually make us feel just as content as a hug, if not more so. You can ask us a question, or several questions, which could improve your lives and your understanding of what a library can do, just as much as a hug. I suppose what I’m saying in the end is that a hug can take many forms, when it comes to hugging your librarian. Continue Reading »

The Snowdrop Fairy, by Cicely M. Barker, 1923. Via flowerfairiesprints.com.

The Snowdrop Fairy, by Cicely M. Barker, 1923. Via flowerfairiesprints.com.

This post is brought to you by my realisation that not writing a review of a book within a week of finishing said book then creates an urgent need to reread the book in order to write said review. I finished The Colour of Magic rather quickly, but then wasn’t able to get to the computer to write anything about it. So now I’m rereading the book – which, let’s be honest, is absolutely not a chore – and rereading it more slowly, taking the time to appreciate the language and the knowledge behind the jokes. But the review is on its way, and I have the next three books borrowed from the library to begin immediately upon publishing said review. Continue Reading »

One of my earliest memories is receiving from First Sibling a beautifully illustrated copy of Disney’s retelling of Sleeping Beauty, which, of course, featured many of the highly detailed images from the 1959 film. I’ve watched this film repeatedly over the years, every time I see that it’s to be on television, and am always struck by the medieval beauty of the illustration style, full of patterns and rich colours, like the pages of an illuminated manuscript. The cartoon does in fact open as an illuminated manuscript telling Aurora’s story:

Disney's "Sleeping Beauty" as an illuminated manuscript (Image via A Book Hunter's Holiday blog).

Disney’s “Sleeping Beauty” as an illuminated manuscript (Image via A Book Hunter’s Holiday blog).

The pages above remind me of the Chroniques d’Angleterre, specifically of the miniature below:

F.16 of the Chroniques d'Angleterre,, depicting the marriage of Diodicias (British Library, Royal 15 E IV ). Image via British Library Catalogue of Illuminated Manuscripts.

F.16 of the Chroniques d’Angleterre,, depicting the marriage of Diodicias (British Library, Royal 15 E IV ). Image via British Library Catalogue of Illuminated Manuscripts.

Continue Reading »

WBN logo in headlineEver participated in World Book Night? I highly recommend applying to be a book giver, which you can do as an individual (as I have done, twice), or on behalf of an institution. But hark! The deadline for applications is today, 30 January 2015. World Book Night itself takes place on 23 April.

You can have a look at this year’s books here. I’ve only read one of the books on this list, M. C. Beaton’s lovely Agatha Raisin and the Quiche of Death; this is part of the charm of World Book Night. Some years, you’ll have read most if not all of the books, while other years, you’ll find a whole new range of books to discover. The real purpose of World Book Night, however, is to give people an opportunity to read something new, and as much as possible to focus on people who are not regular readers. Continue Reading »

If a book is made into a film, I’ll either avoid the film altogether (The Dark is Rising, that means you) or I’ll make sure to read the book first. I only became aware of Isaac Marion’s zombie love story Warm Bodies (2010) when I saw the film posters on buses a couple of years or so ago, and have only now got to reading it. It’s an excellent book, with a strong storyline and vivid characters. The narrator is a young male zombie, whom I reckon to be in his 20s; he doesn’t remember his full name, and so he goes by “R’. He is part of a large zombie community living in the airport of a large unnamed American city, following the total collapse of society. The zombie plague seems to be more a result of this collapse, not the main cause. Continue Reading »

Harper Connelly cannot see dead people. She can sense them, however, and thus she can find their bodies, identify them by name, and know how they died. She acquired this, erm, talent – which I don’t think I would want, personally – when she was struck by lightening as a teenager, and it has gradually become the way in which she earns her money, with the help of her stepbrother Tolliver, who acts as her manager and caretaker. I borrowed the Harper Connelly Omnibus, written by Charlaine Harris, from my local public library just before Christmas, because I was familiar with the author’s name from seeing in the shops the DVD box set of the television series True Blood, starring the wonderful Anna Paquin as Sookie Stackhouse, Harris’s heroine in the Southern Vampire Mysteries. As these books were not then on the shelf, I decided to try some of Harris’s other writing. The omnibus contains four books, Grave Sight, Grave Surprise, An Ice Cold Grave, and Grave Secret. From here on in be spoilers, if you haven’t read the books; I’ve put in pictures of the front covers of the three parts of the comic of Grave Sight to create a barrier if you don’t want to know more about what happens in the books. Continue Reading »

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