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To thank our loyal readers, we are giving away a Fire HD 8 tablet. Be sure to enter daily to maximize your chance of winning.Add a Comment
reinscribinglove is not an idealbut power to rendertruth in the presentdailydespite dismayand hopelessnessgallantry is not goinginto battle shieldedby armorrather refusing to submitor be silencedby corruptionor narrow religious zealinsistingthat the flamboyant treewill flame red in julytaking the anvil to wordshammering away like ogunbeing the voiceechoingrepetitiveperpetualyou i´ve been lovinglong before face and voicebrushed my earswill be loving youlong afterthe feel of your handshave dissipatedone lovewalk goodhappy birthday, kamau
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On 9 October, many in the world will remember John Winston Ono Lennon, born on this date in 1940. He, of course, would have been amused, although part of him (the part that self-identified as “genius”) would have anticipated the attention. However, he might also have questioned why the Beatles and their music, and this Beatle in particular, would remain so current in our cultural thinking. When Lennon described the Beatles as just a band that made it very, very big, why did we doubt him?
Today, the music of the Beatles remains popular, perhaps because it helped define a musical genre that continues to flourish, leading some to speculate that these songs and recordings express inherent transcendental qualities. Nevertheless, no graphed demonstration of harmonic relationships and melodic development and no semiotic divination of their lyrics can explain what these individuals and their music have meant to Western civilization. Those born in the aftermath of the Second World War harbor the most obvious explanations. A plurality of the children who came of age during the sixties continues to hold the Beatles as an ideal expression of that decade’s emphasis on self-determination and optimism.
The composer of “A Hard Day’s Night,” “If I Fell,” “Help!,” “Nowhere Man,” “In My Life,” “Strawberry Fields Forever,” “I Am the Walrus,” “Across the Universe,” “Imagine,” and other classics of the modern Western canon left an indelible mark on our notions of music and expression. Where Paul McCartney searched for polite answers to reassure adults, Lennon often seemed to taunt reporters, to the delight of adolescents and the adolescent at heart. When Lennon got into trouble (as he did when American Christians took umbrage at his comparison of fan reaction to the Beatles and to Jesus), we apprehended our own image in the mirror of his discomfort. Moreover, when he shed the conventions of adolescence for the complicated independence of adulthood, we followed his example, albeit usually with less flair and more humility.
In many ways, John Lennon represented a twentieth-century Everyman: someone in whom we could see ourselves re-imagined in extraordinary circumstances with a quicker wit and more charisma. His assassination thirty years ago in December 1980 consequently left an indelible mark on us, standing as one of those moments stained in memory and time. That he had recently emerged from a well-earned domestic sabbatical with renewed possibilities, which both he and his fans recognized, made his death all the more tragic.
Just as the Fab Four had helped to define adolescent identities, perhaps these same baby boomers recognized in Lennon’s death the fragility of our own existence writ large on the wall. And, as the writing hand moved on, we contemplated one last indisputable truth that this most poetic Beatle had bequeathed: the passion play of his life, career, and death had provided us with a sand mandala of our own impermanent individual selves.
Pop culture by definition presents a fleeting expression of our consciousness, which we perpetually construct and reconstruct; but we sometimes forget that the currents of culture have lasting effects on the swimmers. Lennon, Harrison, McCartney, and Starr may have only been musicians that made it very, very big; but, in their roles as ritual players on the altar of the sixties, they played out an extraordinary version of everyday universal lives.
Many Overlook fans are familiar with our company because of Walter R. Brooks. We published a biography of the great writer a few years ago, called Talking Animals and Others: The Life and Work of Walter R. Brooks, and we recently published his beloved Freddy the Pig novels for the first time in paperback.
He's been a great cultural influence (he inspired the character of Mr. Ed, too!) and in honor of his birthday, we're giving away a copy of FREDDY THE DETECTIVE. Leave a comment here or on Facebook or Twitter to win!
Happy reading! Hug a talking animal today in honor of Walter R. Brooks.
“It’s Jack London’s 135th birthday!”
just retweet it before 3pm GMT! Live in the US? Follow @OUPblogUSA. You’ll have until 3pm ET. Winners will be announced on Thursday and have their choice of
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The Eclectic Book Lover
Perhaps what I love most, though, about this novel is its voice. Carter touches on things common to the black experience in such a universal way that anyone can understand and enjoy it. It's not a book that will only truly resonate with black people. The narrative is engaging, witty and intelligent and the dialogue manages to be in the appropriate vernaculars for the right characters. There's no overdone colloquialisms and no caricaturing of Southern dialects.
While this novel could be simply classified as "chick lit", it's so much more than that. Davie's story isn't just cute and romantic, but grandly triumphant and I loved every word of it
When was the last time you stayed up late to read a book? 32 Candles is so good that I started reading it at a bowling alley, ignored Twitter and the TV when I got home and stayed up until I was done with it. Yes, it's that good
Its the 80's Davidia loves John Hughes films. Like Celie from the Color Purple, Davidia may be poor, black, she may even be ugly but she still dreams of a Molly Ringwald ending. Sixteen Candles is Davidia's favorite Ringwald film. She thinks she's found her very own Jake Ryan in James Farrell
I've shown a lot of restraint waiting this long to say I loved 32 Candles. Its ridiculously good. Its my favorite fiction debut of the year. I cared about and loved Davidia from the beginning. Her voice is original and realistic. In the first half of the Davidia Jones is the victim. In the second half, Davie Jones begins to take charge. 32 Candles is sad, funny, smart and entertaining, basically everything a great book should be.
Ernessa - Happy Birthday. Thanks so much for such an original debut.
Tomorrow is our 19th birthday! Happy birthday to us!
Since First Book was born in 1992, we’ve distributed over 80 million books to children from low-income communities all over the United States and Canada. Not bad for a teenager.
But as proud as we are of that success, we know that we’ve only gotten books to a small fraction of the children who are waiting for us. And we need your help to reach them all.
To say “Happy 19th Birthday”, please consider donating $19 to First Book. Your generous support will help us bring books to children in need all over the country.
To show you what we’re talking about, here’s exactly what $19 represents:
The retail value of those seven books is almost $60. That’s a lot more than most Title I schools or social service programs can afford to spend. But those same seven titles add up to $19 on the First Book Marketplace. That’s our online store, where registered teachers and program leaders who serve children in need can get brand-new books for their kids.
Thanks for your help. We couldn’t ask for a better birthday gift.
PS – Once you donate (or even if you’re not able to), share this message on your Facebook or Twitter page and let other people know that you support First Book. And wish us a happy birthday!Add a Comment
I brought home a new friend last week. Piper Louise joined our family a week ago today. We are so happy to have her and can't wait until she's big enough to become another book critic!
Oh, and she has a very special message for one of our dear PBJs:
Happy Birthday, America! We hope all of our friends and supporters have a safe and happy holiday, and make time to read a good book.
Image by Wojtek Kozak.Add a Comment
In his final essay for Vanity Fair, the late Christopher Hitchens wrote of Charles Dickens, “He loved the idea of a birthday celebration, being lavish about it, reminding people that they were once unborn and are now launched. This is bighearted, and we might all do a bit more of it.” Timely words, as today marks the long awaited Dickens bicentenary. If Dickens did indeed relish an extravagantDisplay Comments Add a Comment
Today's post is a bit of a stroll into the past, as the bow tie above was a request based on a blue bow tie I had drawn a couple of years back, redrawn in lemon yellow.
I'm a Featured Seller Interview up at the Zazzle blog this week, which is wonderful and hugely motivating. Perfect timing, as I'm in the midst of sorting out my stores, and going through a much needed clean-up that will take me quite a while as I have to sort out tags, new products and redesigns on just about everything.
Here's one of my older text designs that I've now reproduced in different colours and on some of the new products:Add a Comment
I just have to share with you my two go-to books that provide (almost) instant, fool-proof birthday party action.Add a Comment
|(top row: mum and dad; bottom: kiki, tristan, me, nicholas, tot #1)|
|3 generations: Mum, Bug and Me|
post-birthday, but also post-blog-party and post-morning-with-my-students (today's sermon: "Celebrating Harry Potter: Spiritual Seeing & Living" by the Rev. Keith Thompson.)
Wow, I can't believe WaWe has been alive for two whole years! So excellent! We have such a diverse group of illustrators on this blog! I'm glad to be a part of it all! Here's to many more great adventures together!