Welcome to the fifth edition of Book to the Future Bookmarks, a series of fortnightly posts in which I bombard you with just a few of the many links I’ve bookmarked during the week.
Being edition number five, it seems only fitting to include five links this time around.
(This is also because I’m working on a huge, complicated review at the moment, and these days, it seems as though I’m only able to concentrate on one thing at a time. Thanks, brain!)
1. Shelf Denial
My lovely Ikea Expedit bookshelf looks fairly neat in this photo, taken last year for a guest post on The Incredible Rambling Elimy’s blog (here’s the post, if you’re interested). But since then, more and more books have found their way into my home, and my once-organised shelves are now double-stacked. Triple-stacked in places. There are piles of books forming on the floor in my study again.
It’s chaos. Admittedly, chaos of the best kind, but chaos nonetheless.
Sadly, I’m lacking the space for another big bookshelf. Which is a problem, because, much to the dismay of bookish types and vinyl lovers, Ikea will soon be discontinuing their classic Expedit range.
According to Gizmodo, it’s an environmental move. I appreciate that. And the Expedit is being replaced with a range that’s very similar; available in the same range of colours. But, at the same time, this means I’ll never be able to find another bookshelf that’s quite the same as my much-loved, much overloaded Expedit bookcase.
Oh, Ikea. For the love of meatballs, nøøøøøø.
2. Far from the reading crowd: literature from a distance
This article in The New Yorker on Franco Moretti’s work on Distant Reading – for which he recently received America’s National Book Critics Circle award – makes for interesting reading.
Moretti argues that literary criticism should be considered as a science rather than an art. Using software, Moretti examines the changed in literary trends over time. Joshua Rothmann, author of the New Yorker article, is sceptical, but fascinated.
I’m not really sure that Moretti’s work can be construed as “literary criticism”, per se. Perhaps it’s something else entirely. I’m definitely intrigued….
3. Draw About Love
I (um) might have blogged about this before (in fact, I know I have) but I’m kind of obsessed with Belle and Sebastian – arguably the most bookish of bands. If you love B&S too, chances are you’ll want to bookmark Draw About Love. It’s the Tumblr of an artist dedicated to translating some of Belle and Sebastian’s best songs and lyrics into art. There are a few misses here and there, and updates are few and unfortunately far between, but I really like the fun, quirky aesthetic of these images.
4. Have you heard the one about the two existentialists at a shooting gallery?
It sounds like the setup to a joke, but it really happened.
Turns out that the very first photo taken of Simone de Beauvoir and Jean-Paul Sartre together shows the pair at a Paris shooting range; de Beauvoir, smiling, with her eyes closed and a gun in her hands, while Sartre, a pipe in his mouth, rests a hand on her shoulder.
I guess that’s one way to deal with that existential angst. This article over at Open Culture explains everything.
5. The new normal – Zadie Smith on climate change
I read Zadie Smith’s essay on climate change on the New York Review of Books website last night as a huge electrical storm overhead turned the night into oddly-lit day. It seemed appropriate. Thoughts clattered into place. Here’s a little extract:
[..] The climate was one of those facts. We did not think it could change. That is, we always knew we could do a great deal of damage to this planet, but even the most hubristic among us had not imagined we would ever be able to fundamentally change its rhythms and character, just as a child who has screamed all day at her father still does not expect to see him lie down on the kitchen floor and weep.
This is a staggering piece of writing. I won’t say another word about it – I’ll just leave the link right here and let you take a look for yourself. Totally worth it.
Great news: the Stella Prize shortlist is out!
Bad news: Sydney institution, Shearer’s Books, will be closing down. They’ll still be around online, so it’s not all doom and gloom. Announced this morning, the news has left this Western Sydney reader with a heavy heart. It makes me sad to see good bookshops close.
Finally, the Australian Writers’ Centre’s Best Blogs competition is on again this year, and if you’re a blogger, you really should enter. You’ve got until this Thursday. Click here to take a look. Good luck!
reading looking forward to reading…
I’m skipping my usual What I’m Reading update this week because I haven’t had as much reading time over the past two weeks as I’d like. That, and I’m still reading pretty much the same stuff I was reading two weeks ago.
Instead, I thought I’d mention a book that I’m looking forward to reading.
A few weeks ago, I reviewed (and enjoyed) Jessie Cole’s 2012 novel, Darkness on the Edge of Town. Because I’m nosy, I couldn’t resist getting in touch with Jessie to find out what she’s up to next.
As it turns out, my timing was spot on – Jessie’s new novel, Deeper Water, will be out later this year. Here’s an early look at the blurb:
“The secret things I knew about my mum, and the things that everyone knew, had played in my mind for some time, since I was real little, I guess. When I was small, all around me seemed to flow, gentle and sweet like the quiet edge of the creek. Then my brothers grew too large to be hemmed in, and Sophie met a bloke, moved out and had babies, and things became harder. The older I got the louder those secret things inside me became, all those knowns and unknowns, until – apart from Anja – I’d rather talk to animals than people.”
Innocent and unworldly, Mema is still living at home with her mother on a remote, lush hinterland property. It is a small, confined, simple sort of life, and Mema is content with it. One day, during a heavy downpour, Mema saves a stranger from a flooded creek. She takes him into her family home, where, marooned by floods, he has to stay until the waters recede. And without even realising it, he opens the door to a new world of possibilities that threaten to sweep Mema into the deep.
I can’t wait to dip into Deeper Water. Is there a book coming out soon that’s got you excited? Let me know in the comments.
I’ll have another post online tomorrow night. Something special…!