Check out this slideshow from the Bodleian Library’s Menswear: Vintage People on Photo Postcards—complete with detail on how to get the look—at the online weekly Mr. Porter. Menswear will publish in December in the US.
“Urs Widmer’s writing, though serious and finely crafted, is full of tomfoolery, wry deadpan humor, and implausible plot twists. One of his novels, for example, is narrated by a two-inch plastic dwarf. Still, a powerful current of pathos flows beneath Widmer’s antic surfaces.”—Tess Lewis on Seagull Books’s Urs Widmer in a review for the New Criterion. More here—albeit behind a paywall.
Angela Kelly, royal dressmaker and author of Dressing the Queen, shares some HRH–approved tips for looking smart at all times, including sewing weights into the hemlines of dresses and a trick for telling whether a fabric will be prone to wrinkles. Dressing the Queen will be available stateside in January 2013.
Be sure you’re keeping your bar AND your bookshelf stocked this holiday season! Reaktion Books is offering a “six-pack” of titles from the Edible series: Champagne, Cocktails, Gin, Rum, Vodka, andWhiskey.
Happy November, quiz fans. Are the brisk winds driving you indoors? Does the promise of winter tantalize your logic? Do we have a sequel for you. Our friends at Liverpool University Press are soon to have The World’s Most Difficult Quiz 2 at the finest mental establishments this west side of the Atlantic. Quizmaster Pat Cullen offers the quizzes from 1920-1980, aka, the pre-Google days, and as Nicholas Lezard points out at The Guardian, that means the quizmasters weren’t trying to internet-proof these ones (as they do now). So you should do way better. You better do better.
Try these on:
who called the organ a box of whistles?
who was not charmed by iron?
what collectively are a dopping?
in what play did the lady protest too much?
OK, we are just giving you the last one. Read Lezard’s assessment at The Guardian, and look for the book at a shop near you.
Got big plans for tonight? Trick or treating? A party? Staying in and watching It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown while eating Halloween candy?
Whatever you’re up to, bone up on your Halloween knowledge before you go with an assist from horror fiction writer Lisa Morton, author of Trick or Treat: A History of Halloween. As the Library Journal writes, “Morton is an accomplished horror short story writer, and her ability to draw readers in quickly and keep them turning the pages shines through in her nonfiction as well. Lavishly illustrated, this solidly researched and concise work is fun to read and a great choice for readers who want to know why we seek out the scary each October.”
You can also see what Mania.com has to say: “Simply the best book about Halloween I have ever read and if you are a fan of the holiday like I am, this is a must add to your library!”
Want more Halloween? Head over to the Monster Librarian to check out Morton’s recommendations for ten classics of spookdom.
Be safe and have fun!
You know how, when you move to a new place and began really interacting with people who grew up elsewhere, you find out things that you always thought were completely normal are actually TOTALLY WEIRD?
Well, one of your trusty Cyptonym writers grew up in Iowa, and she assumed that it was completely normal to trick or treat on October 30, Beggars’ Night. Going out on the actual day of Halloween? Unheard of. But apparently, it’s pretty much just Iowa and a couple other states. That’s okay, though—she thinks the rest of y’all are strange.
This is the sort of tidbit about Halloween you might find in Lisa Morton’s Trick or Treat. One of the world’s leading authorities on this sugar-filled holiday, Morton fills her book with bite-sized treats alongside the fascinating history of Halloween. R. L. Stine would be proud!
To read what might be the only critical description of this extraordinary work, see this essay by Seagull Books editor Bishan Sammadar.
It’s NATIONAL VODKA DAY, everyone!
Grab a bloody mary (it’s morning, after all—save the martinis for later) and celebrate. And try every different flavor! Let us know how that salmon one goes…
Don’t know anything about vodka? Need some drink recipes? We’ve got you covered! Patricia Herlihy’s Vodka: A Global History is at your service.
Side note: It is also National Taco Day. Tacos and vodka may or may not go together—that depends on your taste buds, or possibly your sense of adventure. And we don’t have a book on tacos (yet). But we like tacos, so we wanted to pass along this information. We’re awesome like that.