7:07 pm 14 notes
“There’s nothing as significant as a human face. Nor as eloquent. We can never really know another person, except by our first glance at him. Because, in that glance, we know everything. Even though we’re not always wise enough to unravel the knowledge.”
— from The Fountainhead by Ayn Rand
“Do not let your fire go out, spark by irreplaceable spark in the hopeless swamps of the not-quite, the not-yet, and the not-at-all. Do not let the hero in your soul perish in lonely frustration for the life you deserved and have never been able to reach. The world you desire can be won. It exists.. It is real.. It is possible.. It’s yours.”
— from Atlas Shrugged by Ayn Rand
12:45 pm 25 notes
by E B Hudspeth
Philadelphia, the late 1870s. A city of gas lamps, cobblestone streets, and horse-drawn carriages — and home to the controversial surgeon Dr. Spencer Black. The son of a grave robber, young Dr. Black studies at Philadelphia’s esteemed Academy of Medicine, where he develops an unconventional hypothesis : What if the world’s most celebrated mythological beasts — mermaids, minotaurs, and satyrs — were in fact the evolutionary ancestors of humankind ?
The Resurrectionist offers two extraordinary books in one. The first is a fictional biography of Dr. Spencer Black, from a childhood spent exhuming corpses through his medical training, his travels with carnivals, and the mysterious disappearance at the end of his life. The second book is Black’s magnum opus : The Codex Extinct Animalia, a Gray’s Anatomy for mythological beasts — dragons, centaurs, Pegasus, Cerberus — all rendered in meticulously detailed anatomical illustrations. You need only look at these images to realize they are the work of a madman. The Resurrectionist tells his story.
5:33 pm 23 notes
I keep out. I keep in. I keep safe.
She never really did understand that. She doesn’t like me shut.
As a child she used to walk from one room to another,
sometimes even one house to the next, no matter that there
was no way in. She’d wait, patiently ringing the bell till
someone came. Unabashed and unruffled by the angry or
sometimes pitiful looks she’d get, she’d ask if anyone wanted
to play with her.
She’s still that way. Never learnt that people close me for a
reason, that there are walls nor meant to be walked through,
not without being invited in. She knows her house is empty
but still she keeps me open, waiting, hoping to laugh and play
in ways as yet not known. Closed, she confesses to me, is
alone. Closed behind, she adds in a terrified whisper, is worse.
I speak to her sometimes, in my wordless, creaky way. I tell
her to shut me tight, to hold on to those who sometimes come
in to look around, wondering if what is emptiness to her could
be their space. She refuses. I remain open, watching as those
who come in go out.
— from Objects of Affection by Krishna Udayasankar
(purchase your copy online now !)
2:15 pm 23 notes
by Audrey Niffenegger
“Once there was a Postman who fell in love with a Raven.”
So begins the tale of a postman who encounters a fledgling raven while on the edge of his route and decides to bring her home. The unlikely couple falls in love and conceives a child—an extraordinary raven girl trapped in a human body. The raven girl feels imprisoned by her arms and legs and covets wings and the ability to fly. Betwixt and between, she reluctantly grows into a young woman, until one day she meets an unorthodox doctor who is willing to change her. One of the world’s most beloved storytellers has crafted a dark fairy tale full of wonderment and longing. Complete with Audrey Niffenegger’s bewitching etchings and paintings, Raven Girl explores the bounds of transformation and possibility.
1:32 pm 37 notes
From the Mouth of the Whale is an Icelandic Saga for the modern age. The year is 1635. Iceland is a world darkened by superstition, poverty and cruelty. Men of science marvel over a unicorn’s horn, poor folk worship the Virgin in secret, and both books and men are burned.
Sjón introduces us to Jónas Pálmason, a poet and self-taught healer, banished to a barren island for heretical conduct, as he recalls his gift for curing “female maladies,” his exorcism of a walking corpse on the remote Snjáfjöll coast, the frenzied massacre of innocent Basque whalers at the hand of local villagers, and the deaths of three of his children. Pálmason’s story echoes across centuries and cultures, an epic tale that makes us see the world anew.
other titles by Sjón :
+ The Blue Fox
+ The Whispering Muse
6:00 pm 203 notes
“Then she saw a star fall, leaving behind it a bright streak of fire. ‘Someone is dying,’ thought the little girl, for her old grandmother, the only one who had ever loved her, and who was now dead, had told her that when a star falls, a soul was going up to God.”
— from The Little Match Girl by Hans Christian Andersen, in Andersen’s Fairy Tales
5:02 pm 3 notes
“Madam says her flowers are the toast of all of Ghana. I would note that all of us do not, alas, have bread. But the flowers are spectacular. They line the drive in pots. They burst into flames of yellow petals. They pretty the concrete walls. I had never seen such beautiful flowers until I came to work here—or I had, but only wild ones, free. Not fed, as at the zoo. Every morning Madam walks among these gorgeous flowers in an Angelina buba with a glazed look on her face. She runs her fingers lightly through the petals as one fingers strands of wispy hair of women for whom one buys gold-plate trinkets. I’d also note that once before I passed her bathroom window—which is oddly low, and stranger still, undressed—while she was bathing, and I had the thought that Madam might receive more gifts more often were she not to hide her body in that dark green swamp of cloth.
Madam has the contours of a girl I knew in Dansoman and sculptures sold at Arts Centre and Bitter Lemon bottles. Slender top and round the rest. A perfect holy roundness that is proof of God’s existence and His goodness furthermore. Her skin is ageless, creaseless, paint. Her lower back a hiding place. The colour brooks no simile. If you have been to Ghana, you know. If you have never been to Ghana then you might not understand the way the darkest skin can glow as with the purest of all lights.”
— from Driver by Taiye Selasi, in GRANTA: Best of Young British Novelists 4
12:42 am 7 notes
“…By the end of the evening, as we were walking back to the small flat she was renting across from Shimo- Kitazawa Station, it felt as though it had only been two weeks, rather than two years, since the last time we met. I knew there was something that I wanted to tell her, but I hesitated, and said nothing.
Last week I received an email from a friend, asking whether I could come back to Toronto for the funeral. Another stopover.
Watching the conveyer belt carry its brightly coloured dishes round and round, I realized I still wasn’t sure what I had wanted to tell her. Now I would never know.”
— from Twenty-Four Flavours : Sushi
Kaiten by Alex Mitchell
TWENTY-FOUR FLAVOURS : SUSHI
Twenty-Four Flavours is an anthology of 24 local writers, each contributing a piece of flash fiction, not more than 250 words. Twenty-Four Flavours will run for 24 issues, each issue food-themed
12:15 pm 412 notes
“He smiled understandingly-much more than understandingly. It was one of those rare smiles with a quality of eternal reassurance in it, that you may come across four or five times in life. It faced—or seemed to face—the whole eternal world for an instant, and then concentrated on you with an irresistible prejudice in your favor. It understood you just as far as you wanted to be understood, believed in you as you would like to believe in yourself, and assured you that it had precisely the impression of you that, at your best, you hoped to convey.”
— from The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald