Carousel #17

  1. There is a documentary about writers and what they define as “bad” writing, called Bad Writing. You can watch it here for free for the entire month of January. Give it a watch! Featuring a lot of different writers, including Margaret Atwood and David Sedaris.
  2. Want to know the specific name for practically every group of animals? Have a huge collection of collective nouns. The English language is indeed strange. A charm of hummingbirds, a parliament of rooks, an aurora of polar bears. Got to love it.
  3. Via Paper Darts, here are the most beautiful book covers of 2012. Really gorgeous. I can’t even decide which is my favorite.
  4. Via Flavorwire, the most anticipated books of 2013. Thirty of them, at least. Thirty is enough, as far as I’m concerned! I really wish I could keep up.
  5. The visual history of The Bell Jar‘s book covers: here.
  6. I don’t know how to feel about this quite just yet, but we are going to have our first ever bookless library. Based in Texas, the project is called BiblioTech and is being specifically designed for the digital age.
  7. Exciting book excavations! A man from London found a signed copy of Frankenstein in his grandfather’s library. Apparently it is only the second signed copy known in existence and it went on to sell for more than a half million dollars at auction.
  8. Writers’ Tears, an actual Irish whiskey. Should we be surprised?
  9. What if dead authors were forced to use social media? Here is an idea. I don’t know about you, but I’d be the first to follow Truman Capote on Twitter.
  10. Here are writers reading ten stories by Sherwood Anderson.
  11. Memorable writing I enjoyed reading this week: Girl/Box and Impact Sight and Our Bodies, Possessed by Light.

Carousel #4

  1. I came across the story of Joyce Carol Vincent, a 38-year-old woman from London who died alone at home and whose skeleton wasn’t discovered until three years later. It’s horrible to think how this could possibly happen, and probably happens a lot more than we think. I think the most awful part for me is the fact that she was wrapping Christmas gifts when she died – it’s clear that she cared for some people in her life enough and thought they cared for her, but  how mistaken she was in the latter.
  2. An online acquaintance of mine, Swankivy, made a video about frequent grammatical mistakes sometimes even writers and well-read people can make. Check it out – you may be surprised by what you didn’t know.
  3. I discovered the fantastic slice-of-life full-color comics of Melinda Boyce. So lovely and charming. She first drew my attention when she did a drawing of Anaïs. She also has a Kickstarter project where you can get copies of her comics.
  4. Aubrey Plaza, an actress several friends of mine have fallen in love with, is now working on a young adult novel. My sister and I only really know her as Julie from Scott Pilgrim vs. The World. I wonder if her characteristic snarkiness will be a part of that high school experience she describes. I know it was a part of mine!
  5. Writer Edan Lepucki is starting a new column for The Millions in which she will be answering letters from writers. She’s asking people to send in questions. Seems pretty useful!
  6. Nobel and Pulitzer Prize-winning author Toni Morrison spoke about how her life isn’t interesting enough for a memoir. Kind of shocked, since I’m sure anything she writes would be worth reading, regardless. Always inspiring.
  7. I came across this article on how people’s brains are stimulated by reading good fiction. Among the observations made are: how reading affects multiple, critical areas of the brain, how vivid imagery and metaphors stimulate the sensory cortexes (and not cliches), and how reading novels is an excellent way to improve one’s empathy and understanding of the world. I’m not entirely surprised by any of these results, but it’s always nice to have scientific evidence for support.

Carousel #3

I don’t have much to post here this week because I’ve been busy working on writing things and spending less time just scouring the internet. Hopefully I’ll have things to post about my writing soon. Anyway, enjoy!

  1. I stumbled across the artwork of Baran Sarigul. Love when metaphors and symbols become real and lush like this. Particularly here and here.
  2. Writer Jonathan Franzen has notorious unpopular opinions and one of these is being stubbornly opposed to all forms of social networking. The thing is, he’s already a well-known writer and he doesn’t even know (or has to know) a thing about it. Roxane Gay wrote this excellent post that pretty much encapsulates my opinions as well.
  3. Infamous Latina writer Isabel Allende visited my alma mater and discussed her books, the writing process, language, her family, her idea of being a stranger in a strange culture, and feminism. Charming and outright hilarious woman.
  4. My friend Nikki recently discovered the website Least Helpful, which seeks out the internet’s least helpful (and most hilarious) product reviews. Just take a glance at those reviews of Animal Farm. Do people like this actually exist on this planet?
  5. Here is a short list of recommended books for teenagers who want to be better writers. I’ve only read His Dark Materials, but this seems like a pretty decent list (The Shadow of the Wind is sitting on my bookshelf though!).