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Posts Tagged ‘literature’

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Sweeeeet! Classic book covers have been given new life on this site in many forms. If I were more flush with cash I’d be going to town on Christmas shopping right now. While many of the designs aren’t from my favourite editions, I let out a book nerd squeeee of happiness when I saw this in the t-shirt section:

Millions of Cats book cover t-shirt

One of my favourite books (also available through the site) when I was a kid. Still have it at home somewhere. Although damn, looks like this isn’t currently available in adult sizes. What??

There’s totebag excellence, ebook covers, iphone cases, and more. And bonus: customer action shots section! Get your Ahab on, people.

4  The Wonderful Wizard of Oz eBook jacket  Moby-Dick iPhone case

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Science fiction is no longer the bastion of maledom that it once was, but we’re still far more likely to come across a man extolling the praises of Dune than we are a woman. Which is why I was delighted to see this piece by Leigh Bardugo on one of my favourite books of all time. Although I would never refer to it as a coming-of-age novel as she does here, I did discover Herbert’s masterpiece on my brother’s bookshelves at almost the same age as Bardugo did, and likewise relished in the voyage of discovery. (By the way: Bardugo’s post is found under a section titled “PG-13: Risky Reads.” Really, NPR, risky? For whom?)

 

It’s a cop-out to ascribe the appeal of science fiction and fantasy to escapism. Lots of literature is escapist and the very act of reading (whatever the content) necessarily takes you out of a given moment. For me, Dune was escapist, but more importantly, it was expansive. It was a glimpse at the infinite; at histories barely hinted at but wholly felt; at destinies constructed over millennia, thwarted in a lifetime and rebuilt in a heartbeat. Its scale was so vast that it literally redefined possibility for me.

I’d been slogging along, eyes on the ground, just trying to make it through another day of the relentless, petty slice and grind that is being a preteen girl. Herbert tilted my chin up so I could see the stars.

I did love immersing myself in that world, which I’ve done several times over the years. Hard to call any work escapist that has such a practical application as the Litany Against Fear. I too had it memorized and invoked it on numerous occasions. All together now:

 

I must not fear. Fear is the mind-killer. Fear is the little-death that brings total obliteration. I will face my fear. I will permit it to pass over me and through me. And when it has gone past I will turn the inner eye to see its path. Where the fear has gone there will be nothing. Only I will remain.

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Sometimes less is more. Out of the 100 the 10.

 

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heh.

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Haven’t perused the list in depth yet, but I’m so glad to see Jeanette Winterson’s memoir Why Be Happy When You Could Be Normal? among the nonfiction titles (which start halfway down page 2). What a great read. Clearly many more bound for the Christmas wishlist! Anyone have favourites from this list, or others that didn’t make the cut, to recommend?

 

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