Odds and Ends

No Booking Through Thursday today, partly because I don’t have a good answer (or, rather, an interesting one) and partly because I just got home from eating way too much dessert with my friend and my brain is sugar-coated, so just a few odds and ends floating around my head/the Internet.

Ellie at Musings of a Bookshop Girl is taking a sabbatical to sort out her flat and life a little bit, launch a new blog and generally try to take a simpler approach to life. I commend this greatly, being totally incapable of it myself. Ellie linked to a few minimalist-lifestyle blogs at some point, and one of them, mnmlist.com, was featuring The Minimalism of Tea on the day I saw the link. It’s quite cute, if a little over-profound.

I do love a bit of Cake Wrecks fun – the premise, for those whose lives have not yet been blessed with this gem of a site, is be amused by cakes and cake decorations gone wrong. Three of my favourites: inspiration vs perspiration and The enormous pregnant belly with a Dutch manicure (sort of NSFW); and furniture/home-decor themed cakes, all of which are completely awesome.

Words for which there is no English equivalent – sometimes, they just say it better in other languages. Some of my favourite German ones aren’t on this list (Rechthaberei – the annoying tendency of people, often in positions of customer service, to insist that they are right and you are definitely wrong due to some arbitrary rule or condition that you knew nothing about – is one of my all-time favourites), but the list isn’t bad.

See, what happens, is I save most articles straight from my Google Reader with nary a cursory glance, and categorise them by author, if they are book reviews, “book-lists” if they are, well, book lists… “book-pictures” will be shared with great joy at a later date, and “book-articles”… So the problem is that the book articles sit for months until every one else is done discussing them and I have the urge to write one of these linkydoodledee posts. That minor temporal issue notwithstanding:

– I think the idea of nightclubs where people drink tea and read books is right up my street. I would like the bar at the bottom of my apartment block to become such a nightclub, right now. PleaseOKThanks.

– Ages and ages and gadzillions of yonks ago, Simon of Stuck in a Book posed the question of how the title affects one’s reading of a book:

“Why does Emma get her own title, where Mansfield Park claims the coveted spot there, and Persuasion’s title is handed over to a noun? Would we read these differently as Delusion, Fanny Price, and, erm, whatever Anne Elliot’s house is called. (Although apparently there is no evidence that Jane Austen chose the title Persuasion.)”

(do read the comments, they’re highly astute and entertaining)

I have to admit that I sometimes struggle to remember the title of a book when when it seems completely irrelevant to the story at hand (e.g. When God Was A Rabbit – yes there is a rabbit called “god” in the book, but that doesn’t really seem to have anything to do with it) – I tend to remember by author surname. Some alternative titles:

The Sandalwood Tree – Rebellion and Partition

The Particular Sadness of Lemon Cake – Unwanted Talents

Storm Front – Dresden, P.I. (Wizard)

I clearly don’t have the title-writers talent, as these mostly just tell you what the focal point of the novel is, rather than being alluring and “grab me off the shelf and take me home with you” mystifying.

In a similar vein, Dan Wilbur’s Better Book Titles is pretty funny.

Why, oh why, Charlotte Bronte stuck with her “main character name” theme for Shirley is beyond me – I spent the first 200 pages wondering who she/he was and when she/he was finally going to show up!

Enough witterings for today?

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One thought on “Odds and Ends

  1. Iris 26 August 2011 at 9:03 am Reply

    I wish I could do what Ellie is doing, but I don’t think I could, really.

    Also, nightclubs with tea and books, that sounds fantastic.

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