It’s the inbetween week, I always think. Getting rid of most of the Christmas decorations but not quite ready for spring – where robins and tulips share mantlepieces.
So if you have a few minutes spare, here are a few questions (book themed) from our New Year quiz… no prizes (the coveted bag of brussel sprout shaped chocolates has already been taken) but if you email me, I’ll send you the answers!
1.Top Ten Bestsellers for 2017??? PICK THE REAL FIVE….
- The Miniaturist by Jesse Burton
- How to Clean Up Your Life by Kirstie Allsop
- 5 Ingredients – Quick & Easy Food by Jamie Oliver
- Bad Dad by David Walliams
- The Avocado Diet by Jane Kanes
- The Couple Next Door by Shari Lapena
- Fashion Tips from the Handmaids Tale by Gloria Lines
- Guinness World Records 2018
- Urban Streetlight Bathing by Plum Lawrence
- Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind by Yuval Noah Harari
2. Name the book that has this first line…
- “Stately, plump Buck Mulligan came from the stairhead, bearing a bowl of lather on which a mirror and a razor lay crossed.”
- You don’t know about me, without you have read a book by the name of The Adventures of Tom Sawyer, but that ain’t no matter.”
- “It was the afternoon of my eighty-first birthday, and I was in bed with my catamite when Ali announced that the archbishop had come to see me.”
- “It was a queer, sultry summer, the summer they electrocuted the Rosenbergs, and I didn’t know what I was doing in New York.”
- “Call me Ishmael. Some years ago – never mind how long precisely – having little or no money in my purse, and nothing particular to interest me on shore, I thought I would sail about a little and see the watery part of the world.”
3. Which author has had his/her name on franked envelopes this year?
4. What have these five books below got in common?
* “Capital in the Twenty-First Century” by Thomas Piketty
* “A Brief History of Time” by Stephen Hawking
* “Thinking Fast and Slow” by Daniel Kahneman
* “Lean In” by Sheryl Sandberg
* “Flash Boys” by Michael Lewis
5. According to PLR figures, which of these three authors was NOT in the top ten most borrowed in UK libraries. Was it a) Harper Lee b) Lee Child or c) Jeffrey Archer?
You are probably aware of the concept of the Artist Date. It was named and made famous by Julia Cameron in her book The Artists Way as a way creative people can fill up their well once a week.
The Artist Date is a once-weekly, festive, solo expedition to explore
something that interests you. The Artist Date need not be overtly
“artistic” — think mischief more than mastery. Artist Dates fire up the
imagination. They spark whimsy. They encourage play. Since art is about the
play of ideas, they feed our creative work by replenishing our inner well
of images and inspiration. When choosing an Artist Date, it is good to ask
yourself, “what sounds fun?” — and then allow yourself to try it.
The Artist is, of course, YOU and as it’s you and your artist self going out on a date, it’s a rather joyous way of spending time on your own. I do this regularly now, and have got over completely the indecision of what I should do. I’m completely selfish in not allowing anyone to come along with me – this is just for me and artist-me!
Here are my list of 52 possible weekly dates for this year ahead (plus a couple more for good luck). I’d love to know what has worked for you, and what you might add to my list.
1. Write a list of 100 things that would terrify me to do (eg do a stand up comedy act)
2. Have a fancy cocktail in a bar on my own. This one is good!
3. Pick a letter – any letter – and go for a walk to take photographs of things beginning with that letter.
4. Bake bread
5. Swim in a river
6. Swim in a lido – this one?
7. Make a herb garden
8. Take my yoga mat to a park and practise under a tree
9. Buy five books from a charity shop, write a note in each and leave them for others to find
10. Go to a new café and enjoy an excellent breakfast
11. Pack a yummy picnic and a good book to go to a new park, roll out a rug and enjoy
12. Visit the RFL poetry library and choose five books at random to read
13. Make a list of London libraries – go to one I’ve never visited
14. Join in on a life-drawing class
15. Make the kind of dressing up box I wanted as a child
16. Take a selfie dressed as the main character of a book I’m reading
17. Make biscuits and give to friends
18. Go to a public lecture about a subject I know nothing about (not hard!)
19. Visit a cemetery I haven’t been to before and make notes
20. Write a fan letter. Send
21. Enjoy an afternoon watching TED talks
22. Go to a concert of a completely new music to me
23. Take a boat trip
24. Paint or draw a self portrait
25. Write a letter to someone I haven’t seen for ten years
26. Make a playlist of music I haven’t listened to for ten years
27. Plan a road trip round childhood haunts
28. Make a list of 100 things that make me happy
29. Make a miniature garden
30. Go to a candlelit concert at St Martins
31. Learn a poem by heart
32. Record myself reading poetry
33. Go on a guided walk
34. Go to a café and plot out a novel I’ll never write
36. Go foraging
37. Make a list of at least five strangers I speak to today
38. Plant seeds
39. Buy seeds (or visit a seed swap) and make beautiful seed packets to send to friends
40. Got to a chocolate shop and spend a long time choosing just five chocolates to buy
41. Have my own indoor fireworks show
42. Make a photo book of the photographs that make me happy
43. Get a tattoo
44. Go to a matinee
45. Create a vision board on Pinterest for me when I’m 80
46. Create a playlist to give to a friend
47. Buy a second hand book and create a Blackout poem
48. Go to 5 Rhythms dance
49. Go to a park and identify five trees – make a zine
50. Try on an outfit I’d never be able to afford
51. Sit in on a jury trial
52. Go to the opera – research fully beforehand
53. Go to a lunchtime talk at the National Gallery
54. Go to the Viktor Wynd Museum of Curiosities
55. Find the perfect red lipstick
56. Go to Strawberry Hill
57. Take note of, and research, the statues I walk past every day
58. Go to a market – choose interesting looking items, make a still life. Photograph it.
Never let it be said we’re not exciting in Tunbridge Wells. Not only have we recently had our own sex festival, but our librarians have gone crazy…
They’ve been arranging the books by colour instead of the normal (boring) categories.
I must admit I loved it. Particularly on a grey day. Look at the yellow suns here… I noticed I wasn’t the only one walking round the table stroking them.
What do you mean, you don’t stroke books? How else do you let them know that you’ll come back and read them one day?
But aside from the joy of it – and shouldn’t libraries and books be about joy? – it felt like I’d walked into one of my own short stories, In Good Order, in which a man tries a bit too hard to distil order on his life/wife via their book shelves. It’s here if you want to read it …. In Good Order.