magog_83: (Matilda)
Today is National Libraries Day, so let's celebrate with this beautiful and poignant quote from Caitlin Moran's piece in The Times (available to read for free, as is fitting, HERE)

Everything I am is based on this ugly building on its lonely lawn--lit up during winter darkness; open in the slashing rain--which allowed a girl so poor she didn't even own a purse to come in twice a day and experience actual magic: traveling through time, making contact with the dead--Dorothy Parker, Stella Gibbons, Charlotte Brontë, Spike Milligan.

A library in the middle of a community is a cross between an emergency exit, a life raft and a festival. They are cathedrals of the mind; hospitals of the soul; theme parks of the imagination. On a cold, rainy island, they are the only sheltered public spaces where you are not a consumer, but a citizen, instead. A human with a brain and a heart and a desire to be uplifted, rather than a customer with a credit card and an inchoate "need" for "stuff." A mall--the shops--are places where your money makes the wealthy wealthier. But a library is where the wealthy's taxes pay for you to become a little more extraordinary, instead. A satisfying reversal. A balancing of the power.

Amen to that <33333
magog_83: (Default)
I was going to be snarky and everything as usual but... IS THAT COURTNEY COX??


magog_83: (Default)
Tonight, Windswept is keeping things vague.



Presumably she used to be a cowboy called Bob.
magog_83: (Autumn and hot chocolate)
Sorry for the delay everyone! The last few days have been a bit crummy.

Tonight, Windswept brings you Excellent Dating Advice.



At least not when you're on a date with danger, because that shit's just rude.
magog_83: (Default)
Tonight - a nautical mystery!



Shit. Maybe she saw the itinerary? Those mystery cruises are pretty hardcore.
magog_83: (Default)
Tonight we are... mostly confused.


I have no idea. Is 'mysterious' a euphemism for 'British'? Because I think we've all felt that way, Marion, you don't have to spare our feelings.
magog_83: (Matilda)
Tonight, we bring you EXAGGERATION.


Between the girl in the stunning orange ensemble, John McEnroe, the wardrobe, the clothes AND fear and death, that's one of the least empty attics I have ever seen.
magog_83: (Lizzie)
Hello everyone! You might remember me weeping all over my journal a while back when I heard that someone was publishing an 'erotic' version of Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte. Well yesterday I actually spotted the abomination itself in Tesco D:


I'm glad to see the author co-crediting Charlotte Bronte, since she, you know, LIFTED MOST OF THE TEXT DIRECTLY FROM HER BOOK ::twitches::

Anyway, because I am nothing if not thorough, I had a quick flick through to see what it was like and snapped a couple of pics so you could share my horror. I couldn't take anymore because the Tesco lady was giving me a really weird look.

Anyway, try not to be overcome by the breathtaking eroticism.

Read more... )
magog_83: (Anne: determined to pwn you)
In the latest of my forays into the weird and wonderful world of Career Novels for Girls, I have been reading Air Hostess Ann by Pamela Hawken (1952).


I was promised on the fly cover that being an air hostess was “one of the most exciting careers for girls” so my expectations were high. Luckily, I was not disappointed and enjoyed this one even more than the adventures of Diana Seton: Veterinary Student.

Read more... )
magog_83: (Anne: determined to pwn you)
I’ve recently become fascinated with a series of ‘Career Novels for Girls’ released in the 1950s and 1960s by Bodley Head Publishing and later by Knight Books. There are a whole host of different titles, with such fantastic names as Claire in Television, Air Hostess Ann, Margaret Becomes A Doctor and Jill Kennedy, Telephonist. I suppose they’re best described as the product of a transitional period – between women simply marrying and not having a career, and the expectation that women might have a career of their own – at least until they got married.

Unfortunately the books are quite expensive now, but I am managing to pick up a few in later paperback editions (and I will keep looking) and they are a brilliant bit of social and gender history in their own right, as well as being entertaining stories and unintentionally amusing :D I have always loved 1950s, 60s and 70s set books, since my reading material growing up was mostly sourced from the library and charity shops the world of shillings, buns for tea, and putting a call through via the telephone exchange seems weirdly normal to me.

Anyway, without further ado, I present the reviews of long out-of-date novels that NOBODY ASKED FOR (warning for snark).


I’ve just finished Diana Seton: Veterinary Student by Joan Llewelyn Owens (1960).

Read more... )
magog_83: (Default)
Spotted on, all the way from 1942.

To make this less bizarre, I have decided Wonder Woman is just shoving that letter aside, like JESUS STEVE, NOT NOW, CAN'T YOU SEE I'M AT WORK. Because she takes her work seriously, dammit, and she's not marrying someone who still calls her Wonder Woman.
magog_83: (Matilda)
Today is National Libraries Day in the UK. Public libraries are increasingly under fire in this country and many have already been closed as part of austerity measures - taking a valuable resource out of the community. Therefore today is a good day to remember just why they are so valuable, even in our world of broadband home internet and kindles, and why a free library service, open to all (regardless of wealth or background) is crucial to any civilised and fair society. If I can't convince you, just look at the poster :)

Also, check out the extra chapter the novelist Julian Barnes has written to his 1998 satire, 'England, England', entitled The Defence of the Book, especially for National Libraries Day.
magog_83: (Default)
This morning, a 30 minute documentary (sort of) on The Chalet School books by Elinor M. Brent Dyer aired on Radio 4! I have just listened to it and it was WONDERFUL. They had all these quiz questions in between and I actually got quite a few of them right. GO ME.

Because of those books I grew up yearning to go to the Austrian Tyrol and greet everyone I met by saying "Gruss Gott" - as every good chalet girl did (I later did this when I was 12) and eat 'mittagessen' and use the splasheries and have crazy adventures in the mountains. In reality, I would have hated boarding school, but not if it was the Chalet School <3

There were 58 books written and I think I've read all of them, well all of them I could get from my local libraries and charity shops.

Anyway, here it is on Listen Again if anyone is interested. It's a very funny and affectionate documentary presented by the crime novelist Val McDermid.

magog_83: (Matilda)
I had meant to do this post last week, but was distracted by the hilarity of 1960s/70s book covers and the need to make up snarky captions. ANYWAY, this time I am REALLY ACTUALLY going to post about my favourite childhood novels and (hopefully) find out about other people's, and how that has influenced them (if at all). This was inspired by me looking for something last week and stumbling across a stack of my old books. Not the cool ones, but the ones I loved to pieces and read until the spines started breaking (this may also be because most of them were from charity shops).

Back when I was a Mini Me, my life was mostly populated with magic, nineteenth century heroines, boarding schools, horses and ballet dancers. Unfortunately not in reality, although I at least managed one riding lesson a week, but definitely in my reading habits and despite me being born in 1983.

Read more... )

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