All Posts By

Rowan Jones

13 Ridiculous Ways to Store Your Books

By | Arty, Inspired by Literature | No Comments
Storing books used to be so easy: all one would have to do is place a book on a shelf and hey presto! Your books are displayed.

Some people have decided that bookshelves are so last century and have been attempting some daring and kooky shelving options. Books can now be dangled, strung up, float on invisible shelves, be shoved in some foam padding, or displayed like an arty picture. Anything constitutes a shelf now: pipes, crates, a knife block- the ultimate recycling.

Check out some of the ridiculous idea below and see if you fancy adopting one of these shelving ideas!

Read More

Lingerie company to remove ‘Sexy’ Handmaid’s Tale costume

By | Adaptations, News | No Comments
As Halloween draws near we start thinking of costumes… And how we can tie in our literary heroes to our costume design…

The Handmaid’s Tale has proven to be very popular in recent times, thanks in part to Hulu’s fantastic adaptation of Margaret Atwood’s 1985 novel. As has been proven time and time again- if something has entered pop culture then it is fair game for capitalism to sink its claws in.

And so we welcome The Sexy Handmaid Halloween Costume to the Inappropriately Sexy Costume Hall of Fame.

Complete with white cloak and red bonnet, this “Brave Red Maiden” costume was just a bit much for even the kookiest Halloween fans (especially for the steep price of $65) and after a resounding ‘NOPE, THANKS THOUGH’ from customers- lingerie store Yandy pulled the costume within a day of its release.

Read More

10 books by UK comedians to tickle your funny bone

By | Literature, New Releases | No Comments
Comedians in the UK have always tried to test the boundaries of humour, shine a light on odd cultural norms, and have been instrumental in the evolution of comedy as we know it.

From Laurel and Hardy to Monty Python’s Flying Circus, from the alternative comedy of the 1980s (Ben Elton, Jennifer Saunders) to innovative comedy of the 1990s (Simon Pegg, Jessica Stevenson)- the UK has always been at the forefront of comedy as it evolves.

Many UK comedians currently have autobiographies or humorous non-fiction titles available in your local bookshop: here are our favourites from the most recent releases.

Read More

John Bunn: “Through my nightmare I found my dream”- from wrongfully convicted to literacy advocate

By | News, Political | No Comments
John Bunn spent 17 years wrongfully imprisoned as a teenager, for a crime that occurred while he was actually asleep in bed. His life has been dictated by the incompetence and racism of the system that accused him, and for years John Bunn has been fighting the courts for his exoneration, all while battling with PTSD caused by his horrific ordeal.

This disgusting treatment of young Black men is a perfect example of why Colin Kaepernick kneels.

Today, Bunn visits schools to as a mentor and literacy advocate through his program bringing books to prisons.

“There’s no greater feeling than me feeling like I’m existing for a purpose, and this is what gives my life purpose right now,” he says.

“Through my nightmare … I found my dream.”

Read More

Romance novels get a new, inclusive makeover

By | Arty, Literature | No Comments
Romantic fiction can be completely hit and miss. It treads the fine line between cheesy and romantic, crass and classy so carefully…

A while ago we shared the hilariously normal take on romantic book covers by Val Derbyshire much to everyone’s amusement. Romantic fiction is very popular to this day- even classic bodice-rippers from the likes of Mills & Boon can still be seen being slipped into someone’s bag after a trip to the library.

One woman fell in love with the intense and romantic imagery many romance fiction publishers use but noticed its distinct lack of inclusion for the LGBT community and non-white folk. Most models on the covers were white and heterosexual- which is not exactly representative of the world of romance.

Elizabeth Renstrom and photographer Jason Altaan came together to reimagine the classic covers with a more diverse crowd… Check them out below!

Read More

Musicians and artists collaborate on an epic book of stories

By | Arty, Literature | One Comment

Musicians are no strangers to the literary world and a recent project has certainly shone light on this!

About a decade ago a man called Jeff Antebi, the founder of Waxploitation, had a dream of creating a book with his favourite musicians and artists. The idea was to have rock stars, illustrators, and actors collaborate on unique stories and artwork. Now 29 of those pairings make up the kooky, absorbing, and amazing project: Stories for Ways & Means.

Musicians and artists include Tom Waits, Nick Cave, Frank Black, Laura Marling, Alison Mosshart, Dan Baldwin, Swoon, Will Barras, Ronzo, Kai & Sunny, and many more.

Featured voices appear in short promo films from the likes of the great Danny Devito, Zach Galifianakis, Nick Offerman, King Krule, and Lauren Lapkus.

The stories are available in book form straight from the website- from $40 (£30) for the hardback to an exclusive signed edition for $490 (£374). Proceeds go to various charities including Room to Read and Pencils of Promise.

Check out the video below for an exciting look at this rockstar collaboration!

Read More

15 moments when a Swansea bookshop won Twitter

By | Bookshops, Language | No Comments
Bookshops are often thought of as quiet, thoughtful places where people go to buy, read, and sniff the books. Sometimes it can be tricky to make the bookshop seem like a super-exciting and stimulating place to be, but one branch of Waterstones has been trying to entice people in with their witty rhetoric on Twitter.

Ok, so perhaps the only people impressed with cheeky banter from a retail social media account are possibly just Reading Addicts… And it is a good job you are all here!

Settle down with a cup of tea and these 15 witty, silly, and funny quips from Swansea Waterstones.

Read More

Roald Dahl Story Company to donate profits to charity

By | Children's Literature, Inspired by Literature | No Comments
Roald Dahl once wrote:

“If you have good thoughts they will shine out of your face like sunbeams and you will always look lovely.”

The people behind the Roald Dahl Story Company Ltd have decided to take these words and live by them by donating a percentage of the company’s profits to charity.

Roald Dahl had given his time and money to charity all his life, and even helped design an innovative and life-saving valve for children with hydrocephalus. His tireless efforts to improve children’s health and well-being continued after his death when his wife created the charity The Roald Dahl Foundation in 1990.

The charity rebranded as Roald Dahl’s Marvellous Children’s Charity on the 1st of November 2010, and up until 2013, it focussed upon supporting children with brain and blood conditions. Post-2012 the charity decided to focus on all serious illnesses that affect children, as well as a broad aim to improve literacy.

Read More

Aussie children’s book will promote body positivity

By | Children's Literature, News | No Comments
Body positivity is the next big issue for children’s literature.

Australian social work student, Jessica Sanders, decided to write a book for children after becoming sick of the unattainable goals people have forced upon them. As a woman Jess had increasingly noticed the pressures she and other girls faced in their day-to-day lives, in regards to their bodies. She also noticed a distinct gap in the market for children’s books that deal with the issue of body positivity and acceptance.

Jess, 24, is from Melbourne, Australia, and is on her way to completing her Masters degree in Social Work. In a video for Kickstarter, Jess tells a story familiar to most women and girls of being surrounded by images of the ‘ideal’ body type- slim, smooth, petite, pretty, etc- and when one does not fit into that mould it can feel as if something is wrong with you.

Jess’s idea starts with a book aimed at young girls, teaching them that their bodies are far more than pretty casing for their personalities. It puts the idea forward that no matter what shape or size you are, you are worthy of love from yourself and others.

Read More

Neil Gaiman: our daydreams could save the world

By | Arty, New Releases | No Comments
Neil Gaiman and Chris Riddell have joined forces once more to bring us a collection of speeches, poems and creative manifestos all packaged up in a striking and passionate project.

Art Matters explores the importance of our literacy, imaginations and creativity, and how readers can help change the world. There are no age restrictions to creating, thinking, and reading, and the earlier we start- the better.

Below is a selection of pages from Gaiman and Riddell’s illustrated essay ‘Why our future depends on libraries, reading, and daydreaming’ taken from Art Matters. 

Read More