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One of the Guardian Unlimited Books' top 10 literary blogs: "A home-grown treasure ... smart, serious analysis"

The Bookaholics' Guide to Book Blogs: "Mark Thwaite ... has a maverick, independent mind"

Blog entries on '14 June 2007'

Thursday 14 June 2007

1000 Books to Change Your Life

Goodness! What a miserable, rainy day. And I'm a little hungover to boot. So, I should tell you a little about one of my books of the week, the "Time Out" 1000 Books to Change Your Life (edited by Jonathan Derbyshire), shouldn't I? This is noteworthy for me as I have the lead essay in the Death chapter (the book is themed in seven chapters: birth, childhood, adolescence, adulthood, middle age, old age and death) with a piece entitled The Art of Dying. My first time in print in a proper book: yay! The article is a not-very-inspired, vaguely chronological meandering through world literature starting with Dante and passing via Poe and Hardy onto Beckett and ending with Ted Hughes. You're not missing much. The book itself is quite handsome inside (awful bloody cover though) with lots of photos and full colour book cover reproductions. I'm not sure we really need another book of lists in the world but, as they go, this aint a bad one.

Posted by Mark Thwaite
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Thursday 14 June 2007

Monbiot interview

For those who read the blog via a newsfeeder, don't miss my interview with radical/campaigning/green journalist George Monbiot:

MT: Your book is big on policy objectives, but a little dismissive of what we can do as individuals. Can we really leave remedying such an important issue as global warming to politicians?

GM: I don't by any means think we should leave it to politicians - we all need to act, but primarily as citizens, rather than consumers. Consumer power alone is useless. You can give up your car, but all you do is to create extra road space for someone to drive a less efficient car than you would have driven. Your decision becomes meaningful only if it is accompanied by a political campaign for the road space you release to be handed to pedestrians or cyclists or buses instead. You can replace your lightbulbs, but if you merely reduce the demand for electricity, making it cheaper, someone else will be burning more. We must keep demanding systematic environmental policies that apply to everyone.

Posted by Mark Thwaite

Thursday 14 June 2007

Words Without Borders

Words Without Borders ("The Online Magazine for International Literature") has got itself a nice new look (via CruelestMonth).

Posted by Mark Thwaite
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Thursday 14 June 2007


Martyn at Booksurfer brings my attention to Byliner:

Byliner allows you to keep up-to-date with your favourite writers. You can set up a personal list of writers and Byliner will look out for new articles by them. You can be sent daily or weekly emails containing links to these articles, or you can simply return here and they'll be waiting for you on this page.

Posted by Mark Thwaite

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Memorial Tablet

Squire nagged and bullied till I went to fight,
(Under Lord Derby’s Scheme). I died in hell—
(They called it Passchendaele). My wound was slight,
And I was hobbling back; and then a shell
Burst slick upon the duck-boards: so I fell
Into the bottomless mud, and lost the light.

At sermon-time, while Squire is in his pew,
He gives my gilded name a thoughtful stare:
For, though low down upon the list, I’m there;
‘In proud and glorious memory’... that’s my due.
Two bleeding years I fought in France, for Squire:
I suffered anguish that he’s never guessed.
Once I came home on leave: and then went west...
What greater glory could a man desire?

-- Siegfried Sassoon
Collected Poems (Faber and Faber)

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Word of the Day

The Dord, the Diglot, and an Avocado or two

Pre-order Anu Garg's new book: The Dord, the Diglot, and an Avocado or Two: The Hidden Lives and Strange Origins of Common and Not-So-Common Words (ISBN 9780452288614), published by Penguin more …

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October's Books of the Month

The New Spirit of Capitalism The New Spirit of Capitalism
Luc Boltanski; Eve Chiapello
Horizons Touched: The Music of ECM Horizons Touched: The Music of ECM
Steve Lake, Paul Griffiths

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