Month: October 2010

Happy Weekend & Links


Happy weekend, everyone! I hope you’re liking the new focus on books and media here at the English Muse!

Here’s a little roundup of some of my favorite links this week:

Margaret Atwood creates superhero outfits for Twitter avatars.

The ultimate reading divan.

Lady Chatterley’s Legacy.

Will you buy an E-Reader this holiday season?
(The answer receiving the most votes might surprise you!)

What political attack ads would have looked like if Thomas Jefferson had final cut.
(US darlings, don’t forget to vote Tuesday!)

The London Underground: The Pleasure Seekers

Amanda Hesser’s trio of favorite books.


Two wonderful new works by Michael Cunningham and Ian Frazier.


PS: How could I forget? Happy Halloween.

(Photo above from a Banana Republic ad.)

A Look Inside Cecil Beaton’s Scrapbooks

Yes, the legendary photographer kept scrapbooks, like the rest of us…
Cecil Beaton ScrapBook 1
Cecil Beaton ScrapBook 4
Cecil Beaton ScrapBook 2
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Cecil Beaton ScrapBook 3
Only Beaton’s multiple scrapbooks are packed with snapshots and magazine clippings of society figures, royals, dancers, actors and statesmen taken during his long career as a photographer for publications like Vogue and Vanity Fair.

Assouline on Nov. 22 is coming out with a 400-page coffee table book — called Beaton, the Art of the Scrapbook — that replicates some of the pages.

The blurb: “Composed of his own prints and clippings from magazines, newspapers, and playbills, the pages are an instructive record of his creative process….To flip through the pages is to enter a fabulous and surreal party where Tallulah Bankhead rubs shoulders with a bust of Voltaire and a portrait of Stravinsky; where Beaton’s first trip on the Queen Mary coincides with Queen Elizabeth’s coronation. Beaton’s scrapbooks allowed the artist to play with pictures he had taken (and perhaps those he wished he had) in the dreamspace of artifice that was always his favorite setting.”

Something to add to the Xmas list!

Anatomy of Style: Vintage

I positively devoured this Guardian story by the paper’s weekend Space editor, Hannah Booth. In this piece, Miss Booth pokes through the home of vintage maven Jo Kornstein, owner of the posh London boutique,
Howie & Belle.

Have a look:


Turquoise paint and vintage satin pillows. Outstanding!

Girl x 45 Million

Stieg Larsson’s Millennium Trilogy has become” the publishing phenomenon of the young century, with international sales exceeding 45 million,” according to a very cool story in today’s Los Angeles Times by my former colleague Scott Timberg.

He writes that Larsson’s books have managed, in the 25 months since the first novel’s U.S. publication, to go through almost 200 printings here. And next month, publisher Knopf will release its UPDATE: Here’s the link to the NYT’s review of the Hornet’s Nest movie.

(Illustration by Helena Lloyd.)

If you happen to be in London…

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The Royal College of Arts is preparing to hold its “secret” postcard sale on Nov. 20. This is how it works: Every year 1,000 artists, designers, illustrators — some of them would renowned — donate their works for a one-day only sale.

The postcards are signed on the back, so the author’s identity remains a secret until the cards are purchased. Last year, Tracey Emin, Gerhard Richter, Bill Viola, Julian Opie and Grayson Perry, well as fashion designers Sir Paul Smith, Manolo Blahnik and Erdem participated in the event, which raises funds for the arts college. (There’s a flat rate per postcard: £45, and only four cards per person.)

There will be several special viewings of the cards, starting on Nov. 12, at the RCA campus in London — but you have to register online first.

Do you have running shoes and a good eye? Give it a try. (And let me know how it goes!!)

Twig Hutchinson Captures the Castle

Twig Hutchinson, star stylist of the Toast catalogues, cleverly updated her online portfolio to look like an actual book, complete with a quote from Dodie Smith’s “I Capture the Castle.”

“I write this sitting in the kitchen sink…”
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Complete fluff…

Polaroid Sky

I was very excited to discover today that the Barnes & Noble Review has a special section for books on clouds.

This is how they describe “The Invention of Clouds,” by Richard Hamblyn:

“A fascinating study of the amateur meteorologist who, in the early 19th century, ‘forged the language of the skies.’ Creating the classifications — cirrus, stratus, cumulus, nimbus — which are now familiar, Luke Howard captured the imagination of contemporary artists and scientists, as well as generations of their heirs.”

It also reminds me that I need to get out more with my Polaroid camera. (I took this photo, above, last year.)

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