The Lampe Gras and Other Reading Accesories

October 10th, 2009 - written by

Discovered these lamps today, The Lampe Gras. I love a good lamp, something nice and high that comes up behind me while I’m sitting in a nice recliner. I suppose it’s my reclusive version of being in the spotlight. According to the product details page, these lamps were a favorite of Matisse and Picasso, and for $600.00+ it can be a favorite of yours, too.

Lamps, bookcases, reading journals, bookmarks, I love them all. Reading accessories for me are like shoes for…for…Miranda Hobbes (oh boy I had dig down deep for that reference)

Bookcases. The avid reader of course is often somewhat utilitarian with their bookcase choices, as I was when I acquired the three I own now. They aren’t special, from the generally unoriginal IKEA ilk. A recent post over at Creative Cloud had me reeling with literary inadequacy and left me hopelessly embarrassed by my paltry attempt earlier this year to build my library.

The Chair

The Staircase

Check these magnificent creations, some prototypes and others existing.

Also, don’t forget to check out the web’s most comprehensive reference site on bookmarks.


Book Thoughts

Resolute With Book #42 – A Movable Feast

October 9th, 2009 - written by

Roger Ebert from The Chicago Sun-Times:

I wrote in my journal: “I have not spoken to anyone since Monday. The radio is playing ‘Downtown’ by Petula Clerk. I’ve been reading some Shaw — Man and Superman. I’m wearing jeans, my cable knit sweater and my Keds. I’ve made coffee and am waiting for it to cool. Let it be recorded that at this moment I am happy.”

Bibliophiles everywhere nod there heads in understanding.

A recent Merlin Mann post got my attention. The Paris Review website has some great interviews on pdf that can be downloaded. For me, I downloaded Hemingway, Steinbeck, and Kerouac. The Hemingway interview was great, Kerouac was a fool, and I’ll get to Steinbeck tomorrow. All these pdf’s go directly to my Kindle and are really enjoyable to read. Particularly the Hemingway interview, some really great nuggets in there.

I’ve been struggling with reading lately and today I realized that it isn’t reading per se, but the reading choices I have made recently have been impulsive and not without inevitable long-term passion that so many of my books this year have given me.

I read the Hemingway interview and was instantly inspired. I know what I want from my readings. So I went to Borders today to really pick a winner.

So I ended up with a Hemingway memoir, A Movable Feast. And since I finished NurtureShock earlier today, the feast starts tonight. And despite all my resolution doomsday talk, I’m right on track to finish just fine.


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The Kindle 3 – By Design Prodigy, 5 years old.

October 9th, 2009 - written by

Click Image For Full-Size Rendering

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Reading Problems

October 7th, 2009 - written by

Is this the end of my resolution? I’m reading 6 books right now and I’m not even remotely close to finishing any of them. Nor am I interested in doing so. I have the attention span of a 5 y/o and it’s not swell.

None of these books have captured my attention which I’m beginning to think is not the books’ fault. Just a quick note saying this could be it. :(


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Marsipity – Halloween’s “Polar Express”

October 6th, 2009 - written by


Just finished reading “Marsipity”, I needed a diversion after all the heavy duty “adult” books I’ve been barreling through. I got an advanced copy and was pleasantly surprised with not only the story, but also the incredibly detailed and vivid illustrations. Marsipity should be on the bookshelves by next Halloween (2010), and I could easily see this as becoming Halloween’s own “The Polar Express”.

As quoted from the book’s website, “Marsipity is a book about friendship, imagination, and magic that young readers will read over and over again. Beautifully illustrated and lovingly told, it is sure to become a Halloween favorite.”

The Marsipity Website

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2010 Resolution – The Pulitzer Winners

September 26th, 2009 - written by

I alluded to this in my last post, the question of how to approach next year. I don’t think there is any doubt that I will continue. As much as this has driven me crazy this year, I think of next year, of not doing it again, and watching the days tick by one after another and not being able to check books off week after week…it would probably drive me more crazy. Checking the books off, as much as I want to tell myself that it’s not important, has been really important. Fifty-Two. 52. LII. I’ve been thinking about that number for the last 268 days. I could easily replace it with a new obsession, but I’m oh-so-cozy with this one.

The problem I’m having is that I can’t just simply “do it again”. There hasn’t been any method, organization, meaningful purpose. Sure, I’ve read a lot of books. That was the goal. That was the only goal. I don’t feel like reading another 52 books in itself is going to be that important. There has to be something in addition. Not more books, that isn’t the answer. The answer lies in what I’m doing to enhance the reading. How am I enhancing, or getting the most of, the book-a-week experience.

My book choices have been all over the place. There is no rhyme or reason to what, or why I’m reading these books other than that magic number. That is the flaw, if there is one. The question that I’m trying to answer is, “What’s in it for you?” How can my reading goals benefit anyone besides myself?

So I’m looking for structure and process. That may sound silly, but if you look at my posts for this year there really isn’t any order. I don’t even stick to the same method of updating. For the last two updates I’ve added large photographs of the covers because I like book covers and I figured that is one thing that might appeal to you as readers, visitors, interested followers. I’m not reviewing these books, Amazon and the masses will always do far better at telling you whether a book is good or not. I don’t burden myself with the need to persuade. My interests aren’t other people’s interests and I have no desire to indoctrinate (half-truth). But I do enjoy sharing my progress publicly and humbly admit to falling prey to vanity.

“One of the troubles about vanity is that it grows with what it feeds on. The more you are talked about, the more you will wish to be talked about.”

Bertrand Russell

eek. So true.

So…next year. I’m thinking of reading only Pulitzer Award winning fiction. Surely there are stories behind these books that aren’t common knowledge (at least common knowledge in the blogosphere). So I could then write something interesting about the background of the book and the award. On a side note, there wouldn’t be any wondering if I had chosen a good book, would there? The blog could take a “Pulitzer Winner a Week” approach and research the hell out of these books, these authors, these award juries. That would interest me. Not only would I be very well-read, but I would also become somewhat of a Pulitzer amateur historian. And I’m giggling because yea, that sounds fun, and oh what a big friggen nerd I’ve become to make it so.

So that’s the question I need help with. The question of “what else?”. In addition to the primary goal of this project, what else is there? There are a few things currently that enhance at least my experience that I’m starting to pay attention to.

First, I’m getting more and more interested in writing. Second, I’m learning a crap-load of new words (crap-load not being one of them), and I’m casually collecting them on the Words I Didn’t Know section. Ok, so that’s about it. Just a couple of things.

I need ideas, people.

And That Old Cape Magic is coming along nicely.


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