Archive for January, 2011

Guardian books columnist Robert McCrum believes “there are times when dullness is exactly what you want from a book.”

Here are his favorites:

1. Robert Burton: The Anatomy of Melancholy
2. Robert Musil: The Man Without Qualities
3. Kazuo Ishiguro: The Unconsoled
4. Malcolm Lowry: Under the Volcano
5. Virginia Woolf: The Waves
6. James Joyce: Finnegans Wake
7. Thomas Wolfe: Look Homeward, Angel
8. William Thackeray: Pendennis
9. Karl Marx: Capital
10. James Woodforde: The Diary of A Country Parson

Do you stick with boring books or give up mid-way through?

(Photo by Uncommon Destinations.)

Categories: Books | 19 Comments »

· · · ◊ ◊ ◊ · · ·

I found a copy of Michael Cunningham’s “By Nightfall” at my favorite secondhand bookstore the other day. I loved The Hours, so I’m looking forward to starting Cunningham’s new book tonight!

What are you reading?

(Very clever photo, above, from here.)

Categories: Books | 46 Comments »

· · · ◊ ◊ ◊ · · ·

Hollywood Beauty Bar Silhouettes
Hollywood Beauty Bar

I was in Hollywood today and couldn’t resist taking a picture of the silhouettes on the doors of the Beauty Bar, a lounge where you can get a manicure along with your cocktail.

I love the lights with the hairdryer shades!

Hope you have a lovely weekend! What do you have planned?
I want to finally go see Black Swan this weekend!

Hollywood Beauty Bar Silhouette

Categories: Decor | 7 Comments »

· · · ◊ ◊ ◊ · · ·

Christopher Hitchens over the weekend wrote a story for Slate on the proper way to make tea.

“It is already virtually impossible in the United States, unless you undertake the job yourself, to get a cup or pot of tea that tastes remotely as it ought to,” he complains. “It’s quite common to be served a cup or a pot of water, well off the boil, with the tea bags lying on an adjacent cold plate… The drink itself is then best thrown away, though if swallowed, it will have about the same effect on morale as a reading of the memoirs of President James Earl Carter.”

Hitchens relies (mostly) on George Orwell’s tips for tea making.

They include:

*Always use Indian or Ceylonese—i.e., Sri Lankan—tea.
*Make tea only in small quantities.
*Avoid silverware pots.
*If you use a pot at all, make sure it is pre-warmed. (Hitchens adds: do the same thing even if you are only using a cup or a mug.)
*Stir the tea before letting it steep.
*MOST IMPORTANT: “Take the teapot to the kettle, and not the other way about. The water should be actually boiling at the moment of impact.”
*If you use milk, make sure it’s the least creamy type. (“And do not put the milk in the cup first—family feuds have lasted generations over this—because you will almost certainly put in too much,” Hitchens says.)
*A “decent cylindrical mug” is best.

Finally, Hitchens believes brown sugar or honey are “permissible and sometimes necessary,” even though Orwell would probably disagree.

And there you have it.

Photos by Le Portillon and Leuwam.)


Categories: authors | 32 Comments »

· · · ◊ ◊ ◊ · · ·

I love these simply fashioned inspiration journals by Victoria at the blog Inmost Light.


The paper and clippings are held together with two simple silver rings.


Categories: Decor | 23 Comments »

· · · ◊ ◊ ◊ · · ·
All content © 2018 by English Muse