Tag Archives | Books

‘This Goes All the Way to the Queen’: The Puzzle Book that Drove England to Madness


Jess Zimmerman via Hazlitt:

There were more and more signs every time Ron Fletcher went to Rodborough Common. First, he found empty bottles of Haigh whiskey under a hawthorn bush—Haigh, like Haigha, the name of the March Hare in Lewis Carroll. Hare. There were more in the trash bin, along with bottles of Idris lemonade—when he took them away, they replenished themselves as if by magic. Of course, someone could be a heavy drinker of whiskey and lemonade, but everyone knows Idris is an ogre in Welsh mythology, and he plays a harp, and the trash bin was near a bench dedicated to one Fred Harper. It all connected. Ron found nothing in the hole in the tree with the blue ribbon—a blue ribbon just like the one on the Penny-Pockets Lady’s apron in the book—but on the bench he found a letter. It seemed to be a love letter from a man to another man, but that was only a front.

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Banned Books Week 2015

It’s Banned Books Week and needless to say we recommend you read all of the titles on the ALA’s list:

This year the theme of Banned Books Week is Young Adult* fiction. We have put together a list of frequenlty challenged YA title from the past year:

  1. indianThe Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian, by Sherman Alexie (Little, Brown Books for Young Readers)
  2. Persepolis, by Marjane Satrapi (Pantheon Books/Knopf Doubleday)
  3. The Bluest Eye, by Toni Morrison (Holt, Rinehart, and Winston)
  4. The Kite Runner, by Khaled Hosseini (Bloomsbury Publishing)
  5. The Perks of Being a Wallflower, by Stephen Chbosky (MTV Books/Simon & Schuster)
  6. Drama, by Raina Telgemeier (Graphix/Scholastic)
  7. Chinese Handcuffs, by Chris Crutcher (Greenwillow Books/HarperCollins)
  8. The Giver, by Lois Lowry (HMH Books for Young Readers)
  9. The House on Mango Street, by Sandra Cisneros (Vintage/Knopf Doubleday)
  10. Looking for Alaska, by John Green (Dutton Books/Penguin Random House)

Data courtesy of ALA’s Office for Intellectual Freedom.

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Eternal Life for the One Percent?

“In this world nothing can be said to be certain, except death and taxes.”Benjamin Franklin

J Kent Messum

J Kent Messum

I used think that statement was true. Now I’m not so sure. It’s the first of those two so-called inevitabilities that troubles me in particular. Death is supposed to be the great equalizer, but humans are anything but equal in practice. Once we find a way around a balance, we will try to tip the scales. As soon as we find a cheat, it’s exploited. The objective of this has always been to greatly benefit a few to the detriment of many. If politics, business, religion, and history have taught us anything, it has taught us that.

When I started writing Husk a couple of years ago, there was a lot weighing on my mind. Repercussions of the 2008 Wall Street crash were being felt through almost every inch of life, and more than anyone wanted to admit.… Read the rest

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Let Hunter S. Thompson guide you through the election season

51m74hame4LI love the US election season. I think it’s because I live overseas now and I don’t have to sit through commercials or look at billboards, which is a blessed relief. Also, for better or worse my guy won the last two elections, and I joyfully took sustenance from the flowing tears of the Republicans standing around in abject shock that they had lost, then lost again. Each mouth agape in bewilderment, each wail of disbelief, each and every tear filled me like wine and I immediately wrote a letter to Apple demanding that they include a picture of Nelson Muntz in the emojis package for the next iPhone OS update. 

Of course, I was also around for the George W. Bush years when the shoe was on the other foot, watching the democrats run Frankenstein in 2004 and clawing at my hair when they seemed to actually expect him to win, as if a man who couldn’t excite a crowd if his hair suddenly caught on fire had a chance against the political skullduggery of Bush, Cheney, et al.Read the rest

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johnny trevisani and Serial Killer Quote of the Day

quote_of_the_day.jpg-nggid0295-ngg0dyn-320x270x100-00f0w010c010r110f110r010t010This interview with johnny trevisani originally appeared on Twisted Minds.

Serial Killer Quote of the Day by johnny trevisani is the strangest thing you will read this year. The book features the most extensive collection of serial killer quotes you will find. The book gives a bizarre and disturbing glimpse into the warped minds of people who kill, and kill, and kill again. It contains 365 quotes for every day of the year and each month a new serial killer is featured along with some basic info and fun facts! – check Serial Killer Quote of the Day on amazon.com

What made you interested in this dark world of serial killers?

johnny trevisani: I read a quote from Jeffrey Dahmer that got me interested. The quote was: “The refrigerator broke and the meat spoiled.” The quote came from when police investigated the odor that was coming from his apartment. It was with that quote that I became curious about what other quotes from other serial killers.… Read the rest

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Raping the Gods: The Most Deranged Book of the Year?

raping whitneyBrian Whitney writes a lot of articles for Disinfo.com. He also is crazy, although not quite as insane as frequent disinfo contributor Thad McKraken.

Just in the last year Whitney has written, or had a hand in, books about sex robotsserial killersporn stars, and American terrorists.

He also has written the bombastic, highly offensive, and ridiculous Raping the Gods.

You might feel like you’ve probably been added to some kind of sexual predator watchlist after reading this book. But honestly, at this point, what’s one more?

Whitney’s Raping the Gods reads like the drunken ramblings of a borderline homeless drifter who sits next to you at a bar on a Tuesday afternoon. He sits right freaking next to you even though every other seat at the bar is empty. And after bumming one of your last three cigarettes, he starts in on this impossible and unbelievably offensive tale of moral and sexual deviance that you want to hate and run away from screaming like your hair is full of bees, but, like the narrator, you can’t — or at least I couldn’t. … Read the rest

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Why Boring Books Are Worth Reading

Boredom is a serious subject (just ask Albert Nerenberg, director of the decidedly not boring documentary Boredom). The New York Times Sunday Book Review looks at the literary uses of boredom, starting with Rivka Galchen’s views:

Boredom is a kind of meditation. To be bored is, for a spell, to not let the noise out there get in.


Harry is a dirty dog.

Or is he?

He’s a white dog with black spots who doesn’t like to take a bath. He runs away from home! What fun he has going around town, getting covered in dirt and soot and coal, so that he becomes a black dog with white spots. Eventually Harry gets a bit hungry and tired. When he returns to his house, his family doesn’t recognize him. They watch him do his tricks, then turn their backs and walk away. Harry is so sad. Until he thinks to run upstairs, and take a bath, and is again recognized, and welcomed home with love.

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The joys of collecting thousands of vintage sleazy books

Collecting Paperbacks Fanzine

For those of you who remember the eighties, you may have had that one friend who partook in the hobby of paperback collecting. The goal was to make a collection of one copy of every book produced by a certain publisher. Some enthusiasts still partake in this hobby.

Lance Casebeer and Bob Speray in 1984 started a collection that stood out in the book collection community. The goal was to get one copy of every book published by Greenleaf Classics. Greenleaf published under many different imprints over the years, including Adult Books, Ember Library and the reputable Corinth’s. Amassing an archive of all these books has proved challenging for these two enthusiasts. They focus on books published from 1959 through 1975, though Greenleaf continued to produce sleazy books many years after that. When you search their gallery you’re bound to come across some rather peculiar titles — The Last Orgy; Sex and the Single Gay Girl; Doubled in Lust; The Demon Dyke; and thousands more.… Read the rest

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10 of the Best Sci-Fi Art Books

51TQ776VQ7LAndrew Seel writes at OMNI Reboot:

They say that a picture is worth a thousand words, and in the case of science fiction art, no proverbial can ring to be more true. Science fiction art is truly a genre unlike any other. Each illustration, cover, or painting captures a story. Each step in the thought process of a science fiction artist is intricately purposeful and intentional. When it comes to science fiction, art should bombard your eyes with extremely sublime and striking graphic, grabbing your attention within milliseconds but that alone can’t determine its success. A great Sci-fi artwork can make you dwell into the world that is illustrated by the author, visually and emotionally experience the journey of action and adventure that have been prepared for you. These are ten of the best sci-fi art books that highlight their amazing work.

10. Sexy Robot

Sexy Robot cemented Sorayama’s legacy as an artist and brought him worldwide attention.
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Navigating the Shadow: Psilocybin Mushrooms and Transformation – Free Radical Media

You can also listen to the FRM podcast via Itunes.

In this episode, the Free Radical Media crew is joined by fellow Disinfonaut and host of the AttMind Radio podcast, James W. Jesso. Jesso and the crew discuss the psilocybin mushroom and its potential for transformation, whether that transformation be personal, spiritual, or cultural. Jesso discusses his personal history with the “magic mushroom” and other entheogens in a candid, fun conversation. We also talk about his first book, “Decomposing the Shadow,” as well as his upcoming work ‘The True Light of Darkness.”

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