Carly Paige

Since today is Halloween, I want to introduce you to the fantastic art of Carly Paige makeup artist extraordinaire.  CBS Evening News did a segment on her that will fascinate you.  Be sure to see the second video below the first.  Also, included is a Daily Mail article about this unique artist.

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For many years a man dressed in black would appear at the Baltimore gravesite of Edgar Allan Poe, and place three roses and some cognac on the grave.  The man, known as “the Poe Toaster,” probably started the yearly ritual on Poe’s birthday (January 19th) in the 1940s.  A note left at the grave in the late 1990s stated that the original Poe Toaster had died, and that someone had taken his place.  The second Poe Toaster has not been seen since 2009 though impostors, one delivered to the site in a limousine, have taken his place.

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Reading Chair

As a book lover you’re special, so why shouldn’t you have a special chair?

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John Grisham’s popular novel A Time to Kill has been adapted for the stage, but New York Times critic Charles Isherwood gives it a less than glowing review.  Nonetheless, his review, which is written as if he is reciting it in a courtroom, is quite clever.

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Ten years ago the BBC did a survey to find what readers in the United Kingdom considered the best novels.  Three quarters of a million people voted in the poll.  The result, called The Big Read, was a list of 200 novels that span continents and centuries.  Wikipedia lists the top 200 novels, and gives some interesting statistics about the list.  For instance, British fantasy author Terry Pratchett has 15 novels in the top 200, and Shakespeare is not on the list because he wrote plays, not novels.

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While reading Thomas Hardy’s novel The Mayor of Casterbridge recently, I ran across this paragraph near the beginning of chapter XX:

“The sharp reprimand was not lost upon her, and in time it came to pass that for ‘fay’ she said ‘succeed’; that she no longer spoke of ‘dumbledores’ but of ‘humble bees’; no longer said of young men and women that they ‘walked together,’ but that they were ‘engaged’; that she grew to talk of ‘greggles’ as ‘wild hyacinths’; that when she had not slept she did not quaintly tell the servants next morning that she had been ‘hag-rid,’ but that she had ‘suffered from indigestion.’ ”

In the book Michael Henchard, the mayor of Casterbridge, is reunited with his wife, Susan, and his daughter, Elizabeth-Jane, after many years.  Elizabeth-Jane speaks in a country dialect that he, as a prominent member of the Casterbridge upper class, finds repulsive.  In an attempt to please her father she works hard to modify her speech.

What caught my eye was the presence of two words that I have seen elsewhere: “dumbledores,” and “hag-rid.”  Do you recognize them?  Professor Albus Dumbledore, and Rubeus Hagrid are two of the main characters in J. K. Rowling’s Harry Potter series.

I have often wondered where Rowling got the marvelous and unique names for the people who populate her novels, and now I know the source of two of them.

Angelfire is a website that purports to give us information on Rowling’s unique words.  I can’t vouch for its accuracy, but I find it interesting.

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Planet of the Apes

Deja Reviewer featured a list of 10 films that contradicted the endings of the books they were based on.  Many of the film endings are radically different from those of the books.

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The next edition of the live author interview program In-Depth on Book TV (C-SPAN2) will air Sunday, November 3rd from noon to 3:00 p.m. ET.  The featured guest will be author Kitty Kelley.  Her books include Oprah: A Biography (2010), His Way: The Unauthorized Biography of Frank Sinatra (1986), and Jackie Oh! (1978).

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