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Culture

5 Books to Read in Preparation for the Apocalypse

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Preparation is key when it comes to the world ending. You wouldn’t want to be the only survivors without decent shelter or dry firewood, right? Your neighbour may have fashioned weapons out of old bones while you are still wondering if the water nearby is safe to drink.

This list of extremely useful books are guaranteed to keep you alive for long enough to finish your TBR pile before the sun explodes/the zombies arrive/memes take over the world and nothing makes sense anymore. Let us guide you towards some of the best survival books, foraging guides, and ultimate distraction texts while the world around you burns.

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Alternative Word Definitions from British Comedy Legends

By | Culture, Language | No Comments
Definitions can naturally change over time through usage and societal influences- such is the joy of the English language! With the help of BBC Radio Four’s legendary comedy team we are lucky enough to have some hilarious alternative definitions to consider for the future.

I’m Sorry I Haven’t A Clue has been on our radios since 1972 with regulars Humphrey Lyttelton, Graeme Garden, Barry Cryer, Tim Brooke-Taylor, and Willie Rushton. Throughout the years, the “antidote to panel shows” has featured comedy greats such as Sandi Toksvig, Pam Ayres, Victoria Wood, Bill Oddie, Richard Osman, Stephen Fry, and Jo Brand.

As well as the genius of Mornington Crescent, the team regularly come up with entries into the Uxbridge English Dictionary, an imaginary dictionary full of daffynitions (similar to transpositional puns).

Check out our selection of daffynitions below!

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‘So You Want To Talk About Race’? Then buy this book…

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So, you want to talk about race?

If you are one of those folk who tell others not to talk about politics, or that racism no longer exists, then you probably won’t want to read this article… Despite the fact you are the very type of person who should. 

In both the USA and the UK, and much of the world if we are absolutely honest, there is still an on-going issue with race. People of colour are disproportionately affected by the power imbalance created by centuries of systemic oppression. We have yet to evolve, learn, and grow, especially when many white folk bury their heads in the sand and do their best to ignore the obvious racial prejudice that permeates their own culture.

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Charles Dickens’ Contribution to Science to Feature in Exhibition

By | Authors, Culture, Literary Events, Literary Places, News | No Comments
Charles Dickens: Man of Science is a current exhibition running at the Charles Dickens Museum until November 11th and the exhibition is looking at the author’s contribution to science, and notably medicine.

Dickens astute observations on human behaviours means he spotted many illnesses and their symptoms before they were recognised by the medical community and his descriptions so accurate that they can be used to build correlation between symptoms and disease.
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£2m Revamp Complete for National Centre for Writing

By | Culture, Literary Places, News, On Writing | No Comments
The National Centre for writing relaunches in Norwich this week following a £2 million revamp for the historic Dragon Hall. It was previously known as the Writers’ Centre, Norwich but now the facility is to be a “Physical and digital space to explore the artistic and social power of creative writing, and support the creation and enjoyment of world literature” according to a spokesman interviewed by The Bookseller this week.

Parts of the historic Dragon Hall date back to 1430, meaning any renovations had to be sympathetic. The project was given the go ahead back in 2016 and was backed by a number of high profile patrons including Margaret Atwood, Ali Smith, Elif Shafak, J. M Coetzee, and Sarah Perry.
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Women’s Storybook Project Celebrates 15 Years of Helping Incarcerated Mothers Read to Their Children

By | Culture, Literature, News, Political | No Comments
For the past 15 years, the Women’s Story Book Project of Texas has been helping women in prison remain connected to their children by allowing inmates who have maintained good behaviour to read to their children. The organisation provides the mothers with a range of books to choose from and helps record them onto CD’s so their children can still hear their mother’s voice reading to them.

One inmate, named Myeisha Garcia, who a part of the programme finished her recording by saying “We’ve come a long way, and I love you,” to her two daughters who currently live with their grandmother. She was sentenced to 10 years after she was charged for manslaughter after killing her boyfriend in a domestic violence fight which she claims was self defence.
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The Great American Read Coming to PBS

By | Culture, News, Reading Habits, Television | 2 Comments
If there’s one thing I’m sure we can all agree it’s that there aren’t enough books on the television, but all that is about to change with several bookish shows lined up this year. Just a few weeks ago we brought you the news that Zoe Ball is to front a television bookclub in the UK and now it’s announced that an eight part series ‘The Great American Read’ is to air on PBS. Read More

Neil Gaiman to become a King Neptune in 2018

By | Arty, Culture | No Comments
Award-winning fantasy and sci-fi author Neil Gaiman has announced that he will be becoming King Neptune this Summer.

At his side will be his queen- the wonderfully talented musician and artist, Amanda Palmer, and they will be jointly be ruling their watery subjects from the Coney Island Mermaid Parade float.

Coney Island prides itself on honouring American pop-culture through fresh and original shows and acts. Drawing from circus and theatrical traditions of P.T. Barnum, the people of Coney Island present uniquely American visual arts. This year the mermaid float will carry Queen Mermaid Amanda Palmer and King Neptune Neil Gaiman along the Coney Island Boardwalk before arriving at the beach for the official Beach Ceremony: the ‘opening’ of the ocean for the summer swimming season.

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Stephen King gives $50,000 to Portland elementary schools

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Stephen King set up The Stephen & Tabitha King Foundation in 1986 to provide support for communities in Maine. As a family foundation, their key focus is community, with much of the donations going towards education and community projects.

The STKF has recently awarded a $50,000 grant that will be used to help with providing books and a literacy program in Portland elementary schools.

Spokeswoman Kate Snyder noted that Portland public schools’ Books and Literacy Resources program will certainly benefit from the award with the $50,000 used to build book collections to also celebrate culture and language differences.

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Chinese artist saves lost art of dragon scale bookbinding

By | Arty, Culture | No Comments
Artist Zhang Xiaodong spends his time at his studio in Beijing recreating a lost Chinese bookbinding art.

The art can be traced back over 1,000 years to the Tang dynasty where dragon scale bookbinding was once reserved for the very wealthy and privileged of the Chinese people. Each piece was original and exquisitely hand made and passed down from generation to generation of royalty and the wealthier families.

Very few of the original books can be found today which prompted Zhang to look into the process and attempt to recreate it. Zhang found himself taking a more scientific approach to his artwork in an effort to recreate an exquisite piece just like the original artists did.

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