Perfume that smells like new books.
No words. Should have scent a poet.
You can buy it here – but it costs about $115 before shipping. For that you could buy a bunch of new books and get the real smell, which you can rub on yourself (or not) as you choose.
More book smell news here.
- Michael Moats
Another reason why the real thing is better: Old books release what are known as volatile organic compounds that result in the smell of the pages.
The lead scientist described the smell as ‘A combination of grassy notes with a tang of acids and a hint of vanilla over an underlying mustiness.’
E-readers also contain VOCs, but not many that you really want anywhere near your nose, or for that matter, your nervous system.
Read more here.
Chip Kidd, the world’s first famous book designer. Enjoy:
OVER IN ENGLAND, something cool has happened:
The eleven stamps in the collection also feature “The Fantastic Mr. Fox,” “The Twits,” and a series of illustrations from my personal favorite, “The BFG.”
You can buy them here, and hope that some of the proceeds will go toward saving the house where many of these books were written.
I FINALLY GOT BURNED by Christopher Hitchens.
I’ve been able to stomach some of the Iraq justifications, and even kind of look past the “women aren’t funny” thing. But this one, from a final piece for Vanity Fair about Charles Dickens, is tough:
Opening his own memoir, the most inept fictional narrator of my generation showed that he was out of his depth by dismissing “all that David Copperfield kind of crap.” Mr. Holden Caulfield may one day be forgotten, but the man who stumbled across the little boy trapped in the sweatshop basement, and realized their kinship, will never be.
If you didn’t know, I’m kind of a fan of Holden Caulfield. I’m confident there are any number of more inept fictional narrators from Hitchens’ generation. And apparently Hitch never saw this pulp-style cover for “The Catcher in the Rye” guaranteeing that “you will never forget it.”
Let’s also note that in this same piece, he refers to Christmas as a “protracted obligatory celebration now darkening our Decembers.” If that gives you a better sense of where he’s coming from.
All that aside, the rest of the Hitchens piece is worth reading.
And, in the fashion of one of the
most inept greatest fictional narrators of Hitchens’ anyone’s generation, I can’t help, as I tell you this, but miss the guy a little bit.
A FEW DAYS AGO, I read Christopher Hitchens’ Vanity Fair article about the physical pain of his treatment for esophageal cancer. It is one of the several extraordinary essays he composed about what turned out to be the final chapter of his life, and this latest (and last) piece described a bedridden agony that sounded like every hang over I’ve ever had combined with every sickness I’ve ever experienced, complemented by the prospect that, though it may stop at some point, it was not likely to get any better. When I woke up far too early this morning after being out far too late on a week night, the article came to mind: “I lay for days on end, trying in vain to postpone the moment when I would have to swallow. Every time I did swallow, a hellish tide of pain would flow up my throat, culminating in what felt like a mule kick in the small of my back.” Laying in bed with my aches and grumbles, I thought to myself, “Well, I probably still feel better than Hitchens does.” Then I read the news and realized that I didn’t. Or that I did, perhaps.
Like every remembrance about Hitch, this one will include the obligatory “I didn’t agree with everything he said,” along with the almost-as-frequently-made point that the bulk of my disagreements centered on faith. To be clear, I rarely disagreed with Hitchens on the bad behavior of religious people and religious institutions. My biggest dispute was his apparent belief that the failings of believers was evidence for atheism, which is exactly the opposite of where I end up examining the same issues. That said, I was glad for his vocal disbelief for the simple reason that he called on religious people to prove themselves again and again, and that is rarely a bad thing. And he was an incredibly good sport, as can be seen in his willing appearances on Christian radio, at Christian book fairs and in respectful debates at Christian schools. Hitchens cultivated the image of a polemicist or contrarian or some kind of roguish villain (the Alan Rickman of American Letters, as I am fond of saying). But spend some time with his books (the ones that aren’t directly attempting character assassination) and you may be surprised at how many things he praised and genuinely enjoyed.
Questions about the possibility of life after death are rich enough without wondering how Hitchens might feel about things once he gets there. If he gets there. For all the sadness of his passing, I can’t help but consider the wonderful possibility that I will be rushing to whatever the afterlife version of a library is to pick up Hitchens’ books about his surprise at finding himself there, and who all the bores are in Heaven, or wherever.
I strongly recommend Hitchens’ latest book “Arguably,” as well as any other essays you can get your hands on, like this one that Trade Paperbacks featured a few months back. So long, Christopher Hitchens.
THE GUARDIAN UK IS REPORTING that Hilary Mantel is writing not one but two sequels to her Booker Prize winning “Wolf Hall.”
Hilary Mantel’s Wolf Hall, her dazzling, utterly absorbing invention of the inner life of Thomas Cromwell, will have not one sequel, as expected, but two. Mantel is now planning a Tudor trilogy: a new novel, Bring up the Bodies, to be published by 4th Estate in May 2012, will focus on the downfall of Anne Boleyn; and a third book will keep the title the author had already announced for the sequel, The Mirror & the Light, and will continue Cromwell’s story until his execution in 1540.
It was roundly agreed that “Wolf Hall” was excellent, including here at TPB. It’s kind of like a real life “Game of Thrones.” And though it’s no longer available for trade, winter is coming, and along with it, the holidays. Put it on your list, or treatyoself and get it today for whatever traveling you have to do.
Our original (short) review below.
Wolf Hall by Hilary Mantel
Mantel earned the Booker Prize with this one.
Currently seeking reader
“WOLF HALL” IS ALSO SET IN ENGLAND, but takes place roughly 450 years prior to “Black Swan Green.” Henry VIII is pushing through his divorce and remarriage via (re)formation of the Church of England, a process largely overseen by his unlikely adviser, Thomas Cromwell. Despite being at the center of this British lit, Cromwell’s story feels distinctly American: the poor son of an abusive father, he rises to the King’s court through cunning and aptitude. He is respectful but unbowed by title, humane in his judgments and progressive in the democratization of faith that enables King Henry to have what he wants. (N.B: This interpretation may have to do with my current reading on Alexander Hamilton, another impoverished, polymath upstart who found himself the closest adviser to the head of state during another time of tumultuous change.) The story’s episodic structure and the fact that so much happens offstage keeps readers at arm’s length from Cromwell, who is nevertheless an engaging and sympathetic not-quite-narrator. The effect is important to the overall effort, but is difficult for Mantel to sustain over 600 pages. That’s the worst thing I can say about this book, the second-worst being that when I finished I felt instantly like I needed to read it again right away.
Do you want to trade paperbacks?