And now, the REAL book!

Welcome Were WorldLook, I fully understand that the world is a-changing. And in order to deal with that change, I am fully committed to the fact that my books, my stories, are out there in electronic form as ebooks read on tablets and e-readers and smartphones – on a bloodless, scentless, weigtless screen.

I just finished reading a book I got for Christmas – a big, fat hardcover, more than 600 pages in length. It’s awkward to read, it’s hard to hold and to maneuver, it’s difficult to position and then turn the pages, when you’re right at the beginning or close to the end and one end of the book is disproportionately heavy and unwieldy you wrists feel as though they’re about to shatter into a bowlful of small bones that you could use as gaming dice.

But I savored every moment of holding that book, that substantial book, that glorious story between two covers, lines of print marching up and down the pages, knowing that I can linger over a particularly powerful phrase or something that made me smile or tear up, or turn back to a favorite passage and caress it as I read it again and it goes silkily into my spirit through my eyes and my fingers and my nose alike as I inhale the words and the new-book smell.

Shoot me, I’m a book Luddite. To me, holding that book in my hands is part of the act of reading..

This is why I am so very very happy to tell you that – after being available in electronic format only for some time – my latest, ‘Random’, is today finally available as a proper book.

It’s paperback to be sure and not the weighty hefty hardcover but still – words, on paper, held in your hands while your fingers turn the pages. A book which, if you loved it, you can put back on your shelf and take solace in knowing it’s there – a book you can go back to, knowing exactly where in its pages a passage you particularly enjoyed resides, and which will eventually fall open at those favorite passages of its own accord, as though it is reading your mind.

Welcome to the world, dear ‘Random’.

(You may buy a copy here)


21 Women Writers From Before 1500 That You’ve Probably Never Heard Of

Al-KhansaAl-Khansa (575 – 645) was an Arabic poet and contemporary of Muhammad, whom she met in 629 and converted to Islam, Entropy Magazine reports. She gained respect as a female poet by writing elegies for the dead and performing them for the tribe in public competitions.

An anecdote says that contemporaneous Arabic poet Al-Nabigha told Al-Khansa, “If Abu Basir had not already recited to me, I would have said that you are the greatest poet of the Arabs. Go, for you are the greatest poet among those with breasts.”

Al-Khansa replied, “I’m the greatest poet among those with testicles, too.”

Read the article HERE

Forgotten fairytales slay the Cinderella stereotype

Stories lost in Bavarian archive for 150 years and newly translated into English offer surprisingly modern characters, Philip Oltermann writes in The Guardian.

Once upon a time … the fairytales you thought you knew had endings you wouldn’t recognise. A new collection of German folk stories has Hansel and Gretel getting married after an erotic encounter with a dwarf, an enchanted frog being kissed not by a damsel in distress but by a young man, and Cinderella using her golden slippers to recover her lover from beyond the moon.
eichenseer in fairytale trailErika Eichenseer, a retired teacher who has dedicated herself to exploring Franz Xaver von Schonwerth’s work since the 1990s, on fairytale trail in woodland outside Regensburg, in Bavaria Photograph: Philip Oltermann for the Guardian

Read the article HERE

Literary Iceland Revels In Its Annual ‘Christmas Book Flood'”

In Iceland, the best Christmas gift is a book — and it has been that way for decades, Jordan G. Teicher writes at NPR. Iceland publishes more books per capita than any other country in the world, with five titles published for every 1,000 Icelanders. A majority of books are sold from late September to early November. It’s a national tradition, and it has a name: Jolabokaflod, or the “Christmas Book Flood.”

The culture of giving books as presents is very deeply rooted in how families perceive Christmas as a holiday,” says Kristjan B. Jonasson, president of the Iceland Publishers Association. “Normally, we give the presents on the night of the 24th and people spend the night reading. In many ways, it’s the backbone of the publishing sector here in Iceland.”

Read the article HERE

Quote of the Day
Good adviice~~~~~
Alma Alexander      My books      Email me 

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Literary? Really?

An author’s year of reading “literature”
'Lterature'The writer, at the Lord Dudley in Woollahra, with a selection of the books he has pored over. Photo: James Brickwood

It seemed such a simple idea. author Keith Austin writes: “spend 2014 reading nothing but literature. Not mere ‘books’, you understand; literature.’

“It would be improving; I would dive into the ocean of award-winning literary works and emerge at the other side … understanding what it takes to achieve greatness,” he went on.

“Look, it wasn’t all bad…”

Read the rest of the delightful essay HERE

Book characters, besides Sherlock, that Benedict Cumberbatch made better in the movies

From Christopher Tietjens to Smaug, has any actor managed to bring to life so many roles from great literature quite so well and winningly as Benedict Cumberbatch? Off the Shelf asks. Publishers around the world – not to mention the BBC and PBS – owe him big time, they conclude.

A case in point:

Parades EndParade’s End: Widely considered one of the best novels of the twentieth century, Parade’s End explores the world of the English ruling class as it descends into the chaos of the first World War.

In the BBC/PBS mini-series a blonde Benedict portrays Christopher Tietjens an officer from a wealthy family who is torn between his unfaithful socialite wife, Sylvia, and his suffragette mistress, Valentine. Heartbreaking, terrifying and beautiful.


See more HERE


How people asked strange or embarrassing questions before Google

“In a world pre-Google,” reads a caption on NYPL’s Instagram, “librarians weren’t just Wikipedia, they were people’s Craiglist, Pinterest, Etsy, and Instagram all rolled into one.”

From 1940 to 1980, Julie Gerstein of Buzzfeed tells us, the library kept track of questions with a paper file. Recently, that old box of questions was rediscovered.

See other questions HERE

The link between Jane Austen and feminism

Flavorwire’s new editor-at-large Sarah Seltzer talks to the Guardian about why Austen has endured, especially online.

Even though Austen wasn’t out there smashing the system, her books are all about filtering a very patriarchal society through a female point view. She made profound observations about the way people interact, specifically on how women make do in a world that is hostile towards them.

Lizzy Bennet [in Pride and Prejudice] is a prime example, who filters her experience through wit and wry observations, and that’s essentially what feminist bloggers do. There’s a really strong connection between Jane Austen and online feminism where we’re using humour, memes and jokes as a way of processing living in patriarchy.

Read the article HERE

By the bookTalking books with the editor of The New York Times Book Review. Pamela Paul conducts one of her famous “By the Book” interviews… on herself.

Q: You’re hosting a literary dinner party. Which three writers are invited?

PP: Dorothy Parker, H. L. Mencken, and Mark Twain. It would be feisty and fierce — something would get spilled and someone might actually get hurt — but I could just lean back and listen, and wonder what each would write about it the next day.

Q: What books did you feel like you were supposed to like but didn’t?

PP: I actually hate a lot of books that other people passionately love. I really disliked The Great Gatsby, and honestly, all of Fitzgerald leaves me cold. (Though I adored Nancy Milford’s Zelda biography.) I gritted my teeth with disgust through The Fountainhead, which contains some of the worst prose I’ve ever read. Dominique was always striding across the room. I dislike the Beats and couldn’t stand On the Road. I wanted to throttle Holden Caulfield — what a complainer! What kind of person would complain like that? Oh, wait.

Read the whole interview HERE

Thirteen year-old Shubham Banerjee has built a braille printer out of a robotic Lego kit to help blind readers print out texts to read.
leggo brailleRead the story HERE

An Ode to Grandparents Who Give Books

Bookseller Stephanie Appell remembers the copy of Garth Nix’s Sabriel that her grandmother gave her for Christmas when she was a kid.

“It was a book ahead of its time, a story of magic and the search for identity, featuring a strong female protagonist whose voice echoes in the stories of today’s heroines like Hermione and Katniss. I devoured it and wanted more. I found my way to Tamora Pierce, Holly Black, Robin McKinley, Susan Cooper, Brian Jacques, Patricia Wrede, Jane Yolen. The books in those boxes shaped the reader — and the person — I became.

“So I’m serious when I tell my customers that ‘I’d really love to help you find the perfect book for the child you’re shopping for. I know it could change their life.’ “

Read the rest HERE


Ereaders Are Bad For Sleep: People who read ebooks before bed don’t sleep as well as those who read print. Research shows that using ereaders delays the circadian clock and suppresses the sleep-promoting hormone melatonin.

An Astronomically Correct Rendition Of ‘Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star’

Listen to it HERE

Drunk Driver Busted by Parrot

Guillermo Reyes was driving home from a bar in Mexico City when he encountered a DUI traffic stop. When police talked to him, they heard a voice from inside the car saying, “He’s drunk! He’s drunk!” They shone a light into the car and saw Reyes’ parrot. The cops gave Reyes a Breathalyzer test, and concluded that he was, indeed, driving while impaired. Reyes was sent to the drunk tank overnight, and the parrot was allowed to accompany him.

19 other weird stories HERE

Quote of the Day

My job is not to write what the reader wants, but what I want. What the story (or poem) wants. I have to tell  the truth  on the slant (as Emily Dickinson said) as I see it, as the story comes to and through me. That’s all I owe anyone, all I owe myself–to tell Truth on the slant.” ~ Jane Yolen

Alma Alexander     My books     Email me

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It’s only Stardate -309971.68

…but we already have 12 Star Trek Gadgets from the 24th Century

John Brandon tells you about them at Mental Floss.
Star Trek BadgeWikimedia Commons
On the original series, Kirk and crew carried handheld communicators. But in Star Trek: The Next Generation, Starfleet personnel wore communicator badges on the left breasts of their uniforms. A California start-up called Vocera has created a similar device you pin to your shirt. They’re used mostly in hospitals to avoid having constant overhead pages.

See all the StarTrek gadgets HERE

It means WHAT?

Every language has some untranslatable words, my mother tongue included.

In Serbian, ‘inat’ means so much more than the simple translation of the word. In the simplest terms, it maps onto “stubbornness” – but it goes beyond that, to “I’m digging my heels in and this is where I stand, for good or ill, against all comers” or “DON’T tell me what I can’t do!” or, somewhat more metaphysically, “Yeah? you and what army?”

The word is a foundational one for the mindset and the culture, a never-say-die thing that has kept us alive through centuries of historical EVENTS that have rolled over us. It’s a survival thing, sometimes harsh and unlovely but always solid and strong and only getting stronger in the face of adversity.

Which brings us to:

The Illustrated Book Of Untranslatable Words

Last year published a blog post titled ‘11 Untranslatable Words From Other Cultures’ with illustrations by Ella Sanders, 19, who was interning with them in Morocco. The next morning they woke to a torrent of emails and tweets from thousands upon thousands of people who had commented, shared, or volunteered more suggestions for these untranslatables.

A year later, Ella Sanders’ book was published by Random House.
Book unreadTsundoku—Japanese | The tsundoku scale can range from just one unread book to a serious hoard, so you are most likely guilty of it. Illustration by Ella Sanders
SunlightKomorebi—Japanese | It may be temporarily blinding but it’s most definitely beautiful. There is something wonderfully evocative and uniquely magical about sunlight filtered through green foliage. Illustration by Ella Sanders

Read more about Ella HERE

Who made Shakespeare?

The creation of William Shakespeare: How the Bard really became a legend

Shakespeare wasn’t always a literary icon — or even the most popular writer of his era, Cameron Hunt McNabb tells us at Salon.

Shakespeare’s current status is often described as “bardolatry,” an excessive veneration of the man marked by elaborate myths about who he was and what he really accomplished. One of the more popular myths involves Shakespeare’s “wildly extensive” vocabulary and ferocious knack for coining new words. (In reality, Shakespeare’s vocabulary was less than half of the average person’s today and he only coined 229 new words, coming in 4th among English wordsmiths.)

So how did he get so big? Well, there were three things…

Read the article HERE

Best Women AuthorsDaniel Dalton of BuzzFeed selects the poetry, fiction, and non-fiction that killed it this year. Ranked in no particular order.

Station ElevenStation Eleven: “Emily St. John Mandel’s time-hopping tale of a worldwide epidemic, postapocalyptic Shakespearian thespians, the problematic nature of fame, and the importance of art, love, and companionship when it comes to survival is an incredible feat of a novel.” – Isaac Fitzgerald



Read the article HERE

Welcome to winter. The fox is heart crushing.

When Mother Nature unleashes a cold front, she often freezes everything in her path, creating the most incredible scenes.

The 30 Most Amazing Photos Of Frozen Things You’ll Ever See
Frozen-ThingsFrozen Lake Michigan Light House
Photo Credits: EliteDaily,

See all the photos HERE

All I want for Christmas is …

…books, of course. If you are a book lover too and looking for a good fantasy, let me introduce you to Random, the first book in The Were Chronicles.

I have put up a page for the  series HERE which includes a link to an excerpt from the first chapter of Random.

The ebook version is out now, of course, but if you want to give a Paperback for Christmas, you can pre-order it from the publisher Dark Quest Books HERE and slip a note into your loved one’s stocking that the book is on its way.


“Merriam-Webster names ‘culture’ word of the year

“Buy Every Book You Read Next Year from a Bookshop”

I claim to love books; and, more than that, to love bookshops. Yet for eight years I have poured money into a company that many booksellers regard as the greatest threat to their survival…. It is the time of year to make resolutions. You could resolve to eat less, or jog more. Or you could join me in making a simple pledge: to buy every book you read next year from a bookshop. I don’t know about you, but Amazon has had quite enough of my money already.” ~ Laura Freeman in a piece for the Daily Mail

Third Place Books, which has stores in Lake Forest Park, Wash., and in the Ravenna neighborhood of Seattle, is opening a third store, in the Seward Park neighborhood of Seattle, in late 2015.

Quote of the Day

“True art selects and paraphrases, but seldom gives a verbatim translation.” ~Thomas Bailey Aldrich

Alma Alexander      My books      Email me
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The Random World

There is a new world out there, a vivid and complex world full of Were creatures and normal humans living in an uneasy alliance.

It’s where my new series, The Were Chronicles, takes place and the first book, Random, is now available — just in time for Christmas, for all you book lovers.

This new world is populated by far more Were creatures than the traditional Werewolf or Vampire bat. In the world of The Were Chronicles, there are Weremice, Werecrows, even Werechickens. In fact, there are Weres of virtually all kinds of warm-blooded creatures, mammals and birds.

There are also New Moon Weres, who don’t Turn at the full moon, but when it’s not visible in the sky, and Randoms, who can turn into the last creature they saw as the change was coming on them.

The Weres share this world with the normals, living lives of not quite quiet desperation. They are tolerated, but face constant discrimination and bullying. They are carefully regulated, forced to live in isolation or even imprisonment during their Turns, and forced to carry identity cards stamped with a dehumanizing paw print.

The tensions between the two groups constantly threatens to erupt into open warfare.

Random has been out in e-book form for a short time now; the paperback edition will be released just after Christmas. But if you would like to give one as a Christmas gift, may I suggest that you preorder it (see links below) and stuff a note in your favorite reader’s stocking that it is on the way.

Random, The Were ChroniclesMy name is Jazz Marsh.

I am a Random Were, which means I am a Were of no fixed form – like all Random Were, my family can become any warm-blooded creature which is the last thing they see before they Turn.

For me, when my time came, that meant… trouble.

I was quite young when I lost my older sister, Celia, and my family never spoke about her. It was only when I found the secret diaries that she had left behind that I began to discover the truth behind her life and her death.

I never understood what drove my moody and dangerous older brother until I began to get an inkling about his part in Celia’s death… and until, driven to the edge of patience and understanding, he finally had to face his own Turn problems… and disastrously took matters into his own hands.

One thing is clear.

Everything I thought I knew about Were-kind was wrong.


Where you can buy Random

Dark Quest Books


Amazon ebook

Barnes & Noble


What readers and reviewers say

You will never read another shapeshifter book like this. Every surprise will catch you unwary. And, like me, you will find that others will have to pry it out of your fingers.” ~ Tamora Pierce, bestselling author

Random isn’t just a story about shapeshifters, it’s a story about humanity. It’s about what it means to be a member of a family, a culture, a race…what really made me fall in love with Random is the way Alexander writes. There’s a beauty to her language, an intelligence and insight.” ~ Angela’s Library, review blog

It’s about were-kind, but it’s so much more. It’s about finding your place in your family, your country, your world. It’s about prejudices, and _human_ rights, and love of your family. It’s deceptively easy to read, because it’s a complex story, clever and intelligent…” ~ Maggie Forest

The experience of being an immigrant, the experience of being different, the experience of being treated unfairly by self-righteous authority and being powerless to do anything about it, are all here, beautifully depicted, unflinchingly described, shown with all their terrible consequences.”  ~ Mike Reeves-McMillan

The next two books in the series, Wolf, and Shifter will be out in 2015 from Dark Quest Books.

Quote of the day

Jorge Luis Borges~~~~~
Alma Alexander       My books       Email me

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What do YOU like?

Jennifer Schaffer of BuzzFeed has selected some of the most beautiful sentences in literature (below), and that made somebody ask me about what I like in my own works.

I must have written five or six million words in my lifetime so far, published two million or so of those, so finding “a favorite sentence” is something of a challenge, and I don’t know if my readers would respond to the same things. But here are some of my favorites:

I looked at her and I saw an ocean; I looked at myself in the mirror and I saw a suburban fishpond with a couple of tired koi swimming around in circles. ~ Random

For every color there was a dark twin, a shadow, and it  came to him in hues and nuances, just as he had dreamed, but he could not close his eyes to any of them, could not unsee. ~ Color, Human Tales anthology

And, since I don’t write sentences so much as paragraphs, there is this from my novel, Midnight at Spanish Gardens:

The passageway between a couple of blank brick walls widens abruptly into a courtyard. There is a doorway, dark now, with some sort of gilt writing on the glass. An accountant, maybe, or a dentist – i forget what it was,and maybe it even changed once or twice during  my time here. And across the courtyard, dimly lit, a coy sign above the door, there it is, the Spanish Gardens. It does not look very Spanish. it certainly does not look anything like a garden.
Tuck EverlastingSuggested by Emily W., via Facebook Creative Commons / Flickr: michael_wacker

51 Of The Most Beautiful Sentences In Literature

She wasn’t doing a thing that I could see, except standing there leaning on the balcony railing, holding the universe together. ~ —J. D. Salinger, “A Girl I Knew”

We cross our bridges as we come to them and burn them behind us, with nothing to show for our progress except a memory of the smell of smoke, and the presumption that once our eyes watered. ~ Tom Stoppard, Rosencratz and Guildenstern Are Dead

At the still point, there the dance is. ~ T. S. Eliot

See all the sentences HERE

Read. Write. Rinse and repeat.

I’ll be be a guest lecturer at the Odyssey Writing Workshop this summer and during an interview at the website I was asked: What do you think is the most important advice you can give to developing writers? My answer:

Reading is the primary education for any writer. You need to have an inoculation of language in your writerly stream before your own words can take form. People who don’t read never develop the love and the reverence for the written word–and how, then, can they hope to tease out its wonders?

Beyond that, if you are serious about pursuing this as a craft, as a vocation, as a career… well… Write. Practice. It comes only with practice, this inner instinct about whether something you’ve just written is good, or if there is something wrong with it, and what, and how it needs fixing.

I wrote a page and half of something once and stopped and stared at it — it was a literary neutron star, a very dense summary of the thing I needed to actually write. When I did what needed to be done, it turned into nearly three chapters of the book. But without the millions of words of practice I had already put in… I would not have known this, recognised this, figured out what I needed to do to fix it.

So–two very obvious pieces of advice. Read. Write.

Rinse and repeat.

Read the whole interview HERE

16 of the creepiest snowmen who ever existed
Too many of them“You may have never realized Frosty was a horror film,” Chelsea DeBaise says at Dose, “but you will now.”

See the other snow monsters HERE

WOW. Just *WOW*.

Beautiful dark twisted fantasies: the world’s most ancient trees

From 4,000-year-old pines in California to Welsh yews carved into pulpits, photographer Beth Moon has spent 14 years traveling the globe in search of exquisite trees.
Heart of the DragonHeart of the Dragon, Yemen, 2010, Beth Moon


Living in a tree

Forget staying grounded, I want to live amongst the trees in the most epic tree houses ever built, Beej Rudd says at Dose.

Me too.
Three Story TreehouseThree Story Treehouse – British Columbia, Canada

Other great tree houses HERE

I’m glad Dian Fossey is included in this list. She’s always been a heroine of mine.

Women of National Geographic
Jane GoodallJane Goodall touching hands with a chimp – Photo by Hugo Van Lawick  

Jane Goodall’s story of a young girl who loved animals and dreamed of going to Africa—and who found a way of making that dream come true-is also one of the great scientific sagas. Goodall’s longstanding study of chimpanzee behavior at Gombe Stream, Tanzania, demonstrating how closely chimpanzees resemble humans-and humans chimpanzees-has caused a revolution in how we understand ourselves.

Other Women of National Geographic HERE

These 17 Places Hold Millions Of Secrets That Have Yet To Be Discovered.

If you think libraries are just for nerds and librarians telling you to “shhhhhhh”…. well, you’ve never been to these libraries.Trinity College Library of DublinTrinity College Library of Dublin

More libraries HERE


At Bustle, Caroline Goldstein offers great writers’

Pieces Of Writing Advice To Pull You Out Of Your Lonely Black Hole

Read them all HERE

Quote of the Day

I know you’ve heard all your life, ‘Write what you know.’ Well I am here to tell you, You don’t know nothing. So do not write what you know. Think up something else. ~ Toni Morrison

Alma Alexander      My books      Email me

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Dare you date a bookworm?

11 things you should know about bookworms, Kim Quindlen warns at Thought Catalog

e.g. 6. When we see your apartment, the first thing we will look for is your bookcase, and we will spend several minutes looking through your collection, trying to get to know you better. If you don’t have a single book in your apartment, we might be a little concerned.

But forget that ‘little concerned’ nonsense. No books? Run!

Read the article HERE

Random blurbThe paperback of “Random” probably won’t make it under the tree on Christmas morning… but a little note saying that it’s been ordered and it’s on its way DOES fit in your favorite reader’s stocking.

Just saying.

DNA links 5,500 year old remains to living relatives

Scientists have traced a genetic descent from the 5,500 year-old remains to a woman still living on British Columbia’s northern coast, Abroad in the Yard reports.
DNAThe study used DNA samples from 60 modern members of the indigenous Tsimshian, Haida and Nisga’a tribes from the Metlakatla First Nation.  The samples were compared with mitochondrial DNA extracted from the teeth of four ancient people.

Read the article HERE

Kay Nielsen’s Stunning 1914 Scandinavian Fairy Tale Illustrations
At rest in the dark woodsAt rest in the dark woods

At Brain Pickings, Maria Popova examines the illustrations in the book, East of the Sun and West of the Moon, a collection of Scandinavian fairy tales illustrated by the Danish artist.

Read the article HERE

19 Science-Fiction And Fantasy Novels By Women Of Color

Tired of seeing women of color underrepresented in mainstream sci-fi and fantasy? Anjali Patel asks at Buzzfeed. Try these:
Joplin's / Via

Joplin’s Ghost, by Tananarive Due: Despite nearly being killed by a piano at her parent’s nightclub when she was ten, Phoenix Smalls is set on pursuing a life of music as an R & B singer. However, after a visit to Scott Joplin’s house in St. Louis, a string of bizarre events leads Phoenix to believe that she might be haunted by the King of Ragtime himself.

See the others HERE

Dose offers us

17 Vintage ads that will make you cringe
MarlburosSee the rest HERE

Grumpy CatGrumpy Cat Has Made How Much Money?

Check it out HERE

Think Fast. Spell Faster.

Letters of Boom: A simple, addictive word game based on sorting letters, spelling words and blowing stuff up. A combination of fast anagramming, strategic choice, and intense impact.

I know all writers go through this but this is DOROTHY PARKER…?!?
Dorothy Parker~~~
Real-life ‘Eye of Sauron’ will open up over Moscow skyscraper tower
Eye of SauronOne doesn’t just walk into Siberia… uh… Mordor… er…never mind…

See the eye HERE

Quote of the Day
QUOTE bed book~~~~~
Alma Alexander     My books     Email me

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Worship of Writers

business-of-ferretsBusiness of Ferrets – Image credit: Michael Lyons

50 Collective Nouns to Bolster Your Vocabulary

Collective nouns may seem like quirky ways to describe groups, Lucas Reilly writes at Mental Floss, but 500 years ago, they were your ticket to the in-crowd. As silly as some sound today, the phrases were formal and proper descriptions designed to help gentlemen-in-training avoid the embarrassment of “some blunder at the table.”

Some have achieved widespread currency and acceptance, like a “flight of stairs,” “a board of trustees,” and a “school of fish.” Others, like a “murder of crows,” barely hang on.

Most are little known, but some should be more popular. I mean, how could “Worship of Writers” go out of style?

50 collective nouns HERE

Is longer better?

The Off the Shelf staff offers 7 Great Big Novels

Have you ever spent eight months reading a single book? How about a year? While such a commitment may seem daunting, there is nothing comparable to getting lost in a long, sprawling novel.

For example:
Miss-MacIntoshMiss MacIntosh, My Darling, by Marguerite YoungOne of the most ambitious and remarkable literary achievements of the twentieth century, it might be called the Arabian Nights of American life. In prose that is poetic, incantatory, and extraordinarily rich, Marguerite Young takes us on a search for reality in a world of illusion and nightmare, touching on subjects as varied as drug addiction, women’s suffrage, murder, suicide, pregnancy (both real and imagined), schizophrenia, love, gambling, and perfectionism.


See more at:

12 Books That End Mid-Sentence

Books have long been messing with the heads of readers by daring to not use a period as the last typeset keystroke on the very last page, Gabe Habash tells us at Publisher’s Weekly, and offers 12 examples. He asks help in adding to the list, and notes that the lack of books by female authors is because he couldn’t find any, not one, in hours and hours of searching.
A Sentimental JourneyA Sentimental Journey Through France and Italy by Laurence Sterne (1768)

The Ending:

–But the Fille de Chambre hearing there were words between us, and fearing that hostilities would ensue in course, had crept silently out of her closet, and it being totally dark, had stolen so close to our beds, that she had got herself into the narrow passage which separated them, and had advanced so far up as to be in a line betwixt her mistress and me–

So that when I stretch’d out my hand, I caught hold of the Fille de Chambre’s–


At the end of his rambling journey, Yorick finally ends up at a roadside inn. Because there is only one bedroom, he shares it with a lady and her chambermaid, under the condition that he not speak. Of course, he breaks this rule and gets the chambermaid heading toward him. It’s possible, grammatically, to read that Yorick stretches out his hand and catches hold of the chambermaid’s hand. But, given that this is Sterne, the dirtier option (and the fun placement of the word “end” in the sentence) is a lot more enjoyable.

See the rest HERE

Paradise Lost: The Hippie Refugee Camp

Let me tell you about a place called Taylor Camp, a tropical ocean-front utopia without rules, politics or bills to pay“, MessyNessy writes.
Taylor camp Anti-establishment all the way, clothing was optional and decisions were made according to the “vibes”. It was the ultimate hippie fantasy. Taylor Camp began in the Spring of 1969, with thirteen hippies seeking refuge from the ongoing campus riots in America and police brutality. Having fled their homes, they headed for Kauai in Hawaii, then a very remote and unspoilt land with just a single traffic light on the island.

Read the rest HERE

If fiction is the art of invention, memoir is the art of selection and arrangement

Will Boast’s standout memoir, Epilogue, about the death of his mother, father, and brother, is both a wrenching exploration of grief and a moving story of remembrance.

It took me nearly three years of trying to cram my subject matter into a novel manuscript, Boast writes, before I understood that the story I wanted to tell would fit better into nonfiction. It took me another five years to finish the manuscript that became Epilogue. As provisional and context-specific as they may be, here are a few lessons I learned along the way:

Writing a Memoir tips HERE


Memory thrives on storytelling.

How do memory champions accomplish their miraculous feats? They get really good at telling memorable stories to themselves while weaving in what they’re trying to remember. Because the human brain is built for storytelling. The more things you can link together into a narrative, the more readily you’ll be able to recall them later on.

I’m not surprised.

More about memory HERE

DesolenatorCreators of the Desolenator are crowdsourcing development money for a device turns sea or heavily polluted water into clean water.

You can help HERE

Wedding name combos so bad they might want to call the whole thing off

Would you believe MacDonald-Berger? Hardy-Harr? And much much worse!

See the others HERE

A government ban on which prohibited prisoners in England and Wales from having family and friends send them books, has been ruled unlawful.

Quote of the Day
QUOTE Joan Didion~~~~~
Alma Alexander      My books      Email me

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