Romance novels: One of publishing’s hottest trends

13 February 2017

Two Alexas

27 January 2017

A Series of Unfortunate Events

11 January 2017

The Big Freeze

9 January 2017

Nothing to do with books, but many parts of the US are experiencing severe winter weather.

The following film was created in 1965 and features British rail workers during “The Big Freeze” of 1962-63, one of the UK’s coldest winters.


La Vie en rose

27 December 2016

For reasons unbeknownst to him, PG started thinking about La Vie en rose.

The song was, of course, the signature of French singer Édith Piaf and she popularized it not long after the end of World War II. Piaf wrote the lyrics and melody herself. The title is variously translated as “Life in Rosy Hues” or “Life Through Rose-Tinted Glasses”; its literal meaning is “Life in Pink”.

Other singers have covered Piaf’s song.

While no one can beat Piaf, Louis Armstrong has a lovely version.



Here are the English lyrics in the Louis Armstrong version:

Hold me close and hold me fast
The magic spell you cast
This is la vie en rose

When you kiss me heaven sighs
And though I close my eyes
I see la vie en rose

When you press me to your heart
I’m in a world apart
A world where roses bloom

And when you speak…angels sing from above
Everyday words seem…to turn into love songs

Give your heart and soul to me
And life will always be
La vie en rose


Here’s a modern version by San Francisco Bay area musicians Laura & Anton.


And the incomparable Ms. Piaf

‘Whatever’ tops most annoying words of 2016, while a younger crowd doesn’t care for ‘I can’t even’

23 December 2016

From The Washington Post:

Dictionaries have already given us their year-end words. 2016 was the year of “surreal,” Merriam-Webster announced recently, rounding out a collection that included “paranoid” from Cambridge Dictionary, “post-truth” from the Oxford Dictionaries and “xenophobia” from And now the American people, or at least a group of 1,005 polled by the Marist Institute for Public Opinion, have declared their most annoying words of 2016.

The winner, for the eighth year running, was “whatever.” “Whatever” ground the gears of 38 percent of people polled, Marist reported Wednesday.

People can use the word “whatever” benignly. As a pronoun, it indicates a lack of restrictions or “regardless of what,” per the Oxford Dictionary, or as an adverb emphasizing “at all.”

But among its most irritating contexts is the flippant “whatever,” signifying nothing but indifference. The 1995 film “Clueless” — complete with a gesture of touched thumbs and splayed index fingers to form a W — may lay claim to the most famous on-screen “whatever.” The slang term appeared at least four decades earlier in a 1965 episode of “Bewitched,” in which one character responds to another with an “All right, whatever.”

Link to the rest at The Washington Post and thanks to Felix for the tip.


The French Response to Amazon Go

21 December 2016

Here’s the Amazon Go video

Amazon Go

8 December 2016

Thanks to James and others for the tip.

Cursive handwriting is dying. But some politicians refuse to accept it.

5 December 2016

Thanks to Matthew for the tip.


30 November 2016

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