The New York Times calls David Mitchell's new novel, "The Bone Clocks," his most ambitious novel. This is significant because his other novels are fairly ambitious. [more inside]
Here's a song I didn't know existed until summer 2007, when Lemon Jelly's Fred Deakin released an impeccably curated three-CD mix (full 4 hours on Mixcloud). Halfway through the first disc, the music slipped into an easy, loping groove, sunburned and hungover, and a regretful voice offered Otis Blackwell's lonesome lyric: "You know I can be found/ Sitting home all alone …" [Billy Swan's version of "Don't Be Cruel" is] a beautiful record, though, and utterly different from Elvis's 1956 recording. And it opens a fantastic collection of country funk songs, collected and remastered by Zach Cowie of Light in the Attic Records. More sounds below the break. [more inside]
The Photographic History of the Civil War (10 vols.; 1911) offered context for thousands of striking images from the American Civil War: 1 - The Opening Battles; 2 - Two Years of Grim War; 3 - The Decisive Battles; 4 - The Cavalry; 5 - Forts and Artillery; 6 - The Navies; 7 - Prisons and Hospitals; 8 - Soldier Life / Secret Service; 9 - Poetry and Eloquence of Blue and Gray; 10 - Armies and Leaders. It was also a capstone in the intriguing career of a little-known popular historian and silent era filmmaker. [more inside]
A REDTAIL'S DREAM Two years ago, Minna Sundberg was an art student who aspired to write and draw graphic novels so she decided to create a 'practice comic' while still in school. It was a fantasy adventure based upon Finnish mythology - not like Norse Gods, the omnipotent entities here were spirit animals, including an irresponsible young fox spirit who messed up the Northern Lights (also known as 'Fox Fire') and pulled the population of a rural village into a Limbo-like 'dream bubble' between Life and the Afterlife. [more inside]
Cello Hero? Have a go at bowing Saint-Saëns' The Swan.
101 Things I Hate About Your House Advice on how to choose safe cleaning products for the home, create chocolate dessert recipes and book reviews. No, it's not Martha Stewart, but rather, helpful tips from interior designer James Swan.
It's a queer world after all. A series of animated documentary shorts about homosexuality in the animal kingdom.
Do you know this man? The identity of a man found wandering on a beach in Sheppey, Kent, wearing an evening suit and who will not talk but who expertly plays piano concertos for hours is baffling the police.
"I had to give a statement. I offered them coffee and asked them if they would like to try some swan terrine but I think they were rather horrified. That was a mistake, wasn't it?" The Queen's composer wonders whether he should rethink his thrifty attitude towards accidentally acquired food.