10 Book Inspired Soaps to Clean Up Your Act

21 Aug

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Books smell good. You know what I’m talking about, right? Apparently it’s down to this:

Lignin, the stuff that prevents all trees from adopting the weeping habit, is a polymer made up of units that are closely related to vanillin. When made into paper and stored for years, it breaks down and smells good. Which is how divine providence has arranged for secondhand bookstores to smell like good quality vanilla absolute, subliminally stoking a hunger for knowledge in all of us.

– Perfumes: The Guide

The good news for us is that there are some bookish crafters who have combined their love of literature with their desire to be clean. The results smell pretty good. Continue reading

My Favourite Slam Poetry

19 Aug

I posted a while back about how much I love spoken word poetry, so I thought I’d share some of my favourite slam poets with you guys. I owe a lot to one particular feminist network on Facebook for introducing me to these — thanks ladies!

Most of these come with a trigger warning, so be aware of that.

Kai Davis is just phenomenal. When I watch this video I still get shivers every time. I just want to hug her and stroke her hair but at the same time I’m really scared of her and how twisted this poem sounds.

Kavindu “Kavi” Ade performing IT. Again, this piece is really moving.

Andrea Gibson performs ‘How It Ends’ in this one and it is just the cutest love poem ever. I mean can you just imagine if someone wrote this for you?

Emilie Zoey Baker’s poem ‘Fannyism’ made me a feminist when I was seventeen. This isn’t a great rendition though. You really have to go to her myspace music player and listen to it old school style, it’s a lot better.

[vimeo http://vimeo.com/21221916]

Kim Selling performs ‘Fat Bottomed Girls’ and everyone is blown away forever. Goodbye I am gone.

Kai Davis again and her friend made this little offering which they call ‘Dear Dirty Hipsters’ and it is an open letter to me and maybe you and it’s also really funny and we should stop being so terrible.

Is there something you think I need to see? Link me up in the comments!

New Fiction Review: ‘The Day the Crayons Quit’ by Drew Daywalt and Oliver Jeffers

17 Aug

tdtcq

Rating: ★★★★★

For ‘The Day the Crayons Quit‘, debut author Drew Daywalt and international bestseller Oliver Jeffers have teamed up to create a colourful solution to a crayon-based crisis.

It’s a creative book that will delight adult and children alike. One day, young Duncan finds a stack of letters where his crayons should be. They’ve gone on strike. It turns out that his Red crayon feels overworked, what with the amount of firetrucks and red apples Duncan has been colouring in. Yellow and Orange aren’t talking at all. Grey laments that elephants are an awfully big expanse to cover all by himself, and White has an existential crisis over the meaning of it all. “Could you please use me sometime to colour the occasional pink dinosaur or monster or cowboy?” asks Pink, while Beige reclaims its name with pride. Meanwhile, all Black wants is to maybe work on a rainbow or two. Who could blame him?

green1

I’m just going to say it: this is a fantastic book! The end, no moral. If this is not the outright winner of whatever ‘2013 Children’s Book of the Year Award’ currently exists, I will be very surprised. The concept is genius, and Oliver Jeffers’ childlike illustrations truly bring the text to life. It’s certainly made me feel incredible guilt over all the melted crayon art I made a couple of years ago.

‘The Day the Crayons Quit’ may actually be more suitable for older readers — some of the letters are a little too long and the jokes just a little bit too clever for the teeny tiny target audience — but if money was no object, I would still buy it for every child I know. The only questionable element I could find was Peach being the ‘naked’ crayon, while Brown was mentioned in passing as being used to colour bears. (I mean really? ‘Peach’ ≠ ‘Flesh’, you guys.) I don’t know if this is just me reading too much into it, but it would’ve been nice to have a bit of diversity in such a colourful book.

Book Porn: Armpits4August Edition

15 Aug

Day 14: Not a lot to see here.

If you haven’t noticed the trend of underarm follicles blossoming into fruition this month, I wouldn’t blame you. Despite Dove’s marketing campaign to try and sell us the ‘beautiful underarm’ as a thing, we just don’t spend a lot of time looking at each other’s pits! Unless you’re Amanda Palmer or Julia Roberts, the sad fact of life is that nobody will pay very much attention to your underarm tresses if you do grow hair under there, and if you’re bare under there you probably haven’t ever given much thought to why you shave in the first place. But for some women and trans* men with Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS), the battle against body hair can be a complicated, emotional, and embarrassing experience.

A common symptom of PCOS is hirsutism (excessive hair growth). Inspired by this, Armpits4August began as a month long charity event in which participants grow underarm hair for one month and ask friends and family to sponsor them to raise money for Verity, the charity for people with PCOS. Armpits4August believes the shame a lot of people feel about their body hair is a consequence of living in a society which dictates that female-assigned bodies must conform to incredibly narrow beauty standards, and which upholds a rigid gender binary that deems body hair a ‘masculine’ trait.

These beautiful and bizarre book covers are my own contribution to the movement (as well as my participation in the event, of course). So without further ado, let’s take a look at the lovely limb locks! Continue reading

New Fiction Review: ‘Acorn’ by Yoko Ono

12 Aug

Frankie just finished reading ‘Acorn’, a book of instructional pieces by conceptual art extraordinaire Yoko Ono. S/he thought this:

Rating: ★★★☆☆

Yoko’s great. Really, she knows what she’s doing. Her ideas are interesting, she’s clearly quite well read and well informed, she’s an intense and acute observationist, and she’s as much a presence on paper as she is in person. She’s an extraordinary artist, and no one needs reminding. But she’s not my artist. She doesn’t speak to me, she doesn’t resonate, she barely inspires a ripple in my imagination.

And that’s not to say that I don’t have imagination; I make songs, I make collages, I have an investment in art-making and conceptual thinking. But I’m also a pretty standard young person: barely any money, still unsure what I’m willing to do as a real job, concerned about the way I look and how others perceive me, inspired by various Westernisms and very much an urbanite. I’ve been toughened by the city, toughened by a fairly working-class upbringing, toughened by having to deal with assholes on a near-daily basis, toughened by being an unsigned, unloved musician, toughened by club and drug culture, toughened toughened toughened, made bitter, twisted, cynical, unbearable, and pissed off to the max (and yes, that’s everyone else’s fault, actually). Continue reading

Gliterature is Born!

11 Aug

It’s time to say farewell to thesolipsisticsocialite.wordpress.com, the URL which once was my entry into the world’s competition for things that don’t translate well and are also hard to type after a couple gin and tonics.

So hello Gliterature.com, I promise to feed you and walk you twice a day.

Let me know if you have any ideas for the site! I’m also taking guest submissions.

New Advertisement for ‘The Adventure Time Encyclopaedia’ is Mathematical!

9 Aug

adventure itme

The Adventure Time Encylopaedia‘ is out, and I couldn’t by more hyped! We need more book advertisements like this, please:

[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=YgtfxItJG7A]

If you’re still craving book-related content featuring Jake the Dog and Finn the Human,  this Adventure Time travel guide by Cartoon Network details the best books to read in The Land of Ooo. I can’t be the only girl who wishes she could get her hands on a copy of ‘I Wrote A Book’ by Lumpy Space Princess…

Book Porn: Sandwich Book

13 Jul

Heard of a coffee table book? Well, this creation by graphic designer Pawel Piotrowski is a dining table book.

Continue reading

New Fiction Review: ‘The Herbalist’ by Niamh Boyce

11 Jul

herby

Rating: ★★★☆☆

I won my copy of ‘The Herbalist’ through a Goodreads First Reads competition and was immediately struck by how much the cover looked like that of ‘Call the Midwife’. I don’t believe this choice was accidental. The texts share a common thread; both novels are historical fictions that pertain to women’s bodies, and both have a heavy religious presence.

‘The Herbalist’ is the story of a small group of women in 1930s Ireland. It details how the seemingly trivial appearance of a charming foreigner, who enters their market square one day to pedal his miraculous wares, changes their lives forever. It’s a novel about social convention, secrecy and seduction. Each woman is faces with her own choice to make and burden to bear, sometimes with disastrous consequences. Continue reading

Book Porn: Princeton University Library’s Bookbinding Collection

9 Jul

Princeton University’s Firestone Library is pretty much the greatest library on the planet, at least according to the evidence I’ve gathered. They held an exhibition back in 2002 called ‘Hand Bookbindings: Plain and Simple to Grand and Glorious’ in the Library’s main gallery, and every single book included is the most beautiful book that you have ever seen.

These marbled endpapers are from John Disney’s ‘An essay upon the execution of the laws against immorality and prophaneness’, published in London in 1708. I would like to read this book.

But wait, it gets better:

Continue reading