Books | Anorak - Part 11

Books Category

The latest books and literature reviews, comment, features and interviews, with extracts from famous texts and neglected gems.

Stieg Larsson’s letter to Eva Gabrielsson

STIEG Larsson wrote a letter to his partner, Eva Gabrielsson. On November 9th of 2004, Stieg Larsson died. He was 50. He left behind a letter. The envelope was titled:  “To be opened only after my death”.

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Posted: 12th, October 2012 | In: Books, Celebrities | Comments (2)

Jimmy Savile book of the day: Other People’s Children – A Handbook for Child Minders

JIMMY Savile book of the day: Other People’s Childrena Handbook for Child Minders”… Previously: Love Is An Uphill Thing and Benjamin Rabbit and the Stranger Danger

Spotter: Dangerous Minds

Posted: 10th, October 2012 | In: Books, Celebrities | Comments (5)

Jimmy Savile Book of the day: ‘Love Is An Uphill Thing’

JIMMY Savile book of the day:  “The rags-to-riches autobiography of JIMMY SAVILE OBE – LOVE IS AN UPHILL THING.”

Previously in Jimmy Savile books.


Posted: 9th, October 2012 | In: Books, Celebrities | Comment (1)

Jimmy Savile’s ‘Benjamin Rabbit and the Stranger Danger – What a child needs to know about strangers’

BECAUSE we are reviewing Jimmy Savile’s life’s work in light of allegations of him attacking young girls, we cast an eye over the introduction he wrote for Irene Keller’s book Benjamin Rabbit and the Stranger Danger – What a child needs to know about strangers.

It’s the familiar faces you need to worry about…

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Posted: 2nd, October 2012 | In: Books, Celebrities | Comment

Funny names of real authors

FUNNY names of real authors. (The author of the family planning book is ANITA HARDON)…

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Posted: 27th, September 2012 | In: Books | Comment

Rod Hull’s Emu On His Own might be the saddest book ever

IS Rod Hull’s Emu on his Own the world’s saddest book?

Spotter: @scaryduck

Posted: 22nd, September 2012 | In: Books | Comment

Buy work by Roger Hiscocks

NOMINATIVE determinism? Roger Hiscocks has a book:


Posted: 19th, September 2012 | In: Books | Comment

Joseph Anton: life for Salman Rushdie under the fatwa

ONE good thing about that 1989 fatwa – it gave Salman Rushdie something to write about, other than naughty but nice cream slices and fallen angels. To plug his new book, Joseph Anton, Rushdie talks about life under a death sentence:

He unlocked the front door, went outside, got into the car, and was driven away. Although he did not know it then — so the moment of leaving his home did not feel unusually freighted with meaning — he would not return to that house, at 41 St. Peter’s Street, which had been his home for half a decade, until three years later, by which time it would no longer be his.

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Posted: 13th, September 2012 | In: Books | Comment

The Colony Room bio! a Soho establishment story

I NEVER had the pleasure of being called ‘c*nty’ by Soho’s Colony Room founder and proprietor Muriel Belcher. Some people have all the luck. So, I’ll have to settle for second best.

Sophie Parkin’s history book of the high culture boozing parlour, The Colony Club 1948-2008, is due out on 10 December 2012 – and she’s declared open a dedicated website where you can find more details – click here.

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Posted: 11th, September 2012 | In: Books | Comment

50 Shades of Grey – the Lego years

50 Shades of Grey: the Lego years:


Posted: 4th, August 2012 | In: Books | Comment

The Blood We Share: Ian Huntley’s brother Wayne investigates Soham murderer’s path to murder

WAYNE Huntley has written a book, published to coincide with the 10th anniversary of the murder of Holly Wells and Jessica Chapman, the schoolgirls murdered by his older brother Ian Huntley in Soham, Cambridgeshire. The Blood We Share has been front-page news on the Sun, which yesterday yelled: “FAMILY FURY AT KILLER 10 YEARS ON – I WISH MY EVIL BROTHER HUNTLEY WAS DEAD.”

The Sun detailed elements of Huntley’s “cushy” life in prison. He “DEVOURS steaks” and eats “slap-up meals”. And:

LOVES watching Manchester United games on prison TV — unmoved by the fact that his two victims were wearing the team’s red shirts when he killed them.

That Ian Huntley is a nasty piece of work seems unworthy of additional comment. But rather than wishing him dead, as the headline states, Wayne Huntley suggests his brother has a conscience that does not allow to face the truth:

“I believe he knows the truth is too awful for him to admit — it would mean even more people in prison would want to kill him.”

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Posted: 9th, July 2012 | In: Books, Key Posts, Reviews | Comment (1)

Poetry of the Taliban – ‘The Taliban’s aesthetic sensibilities’ in rhymes

BOOK of the day: Poetry of the Taliban, with introduction from Hous bin Pharteen and Mustafa Herod Apyur Pouppr, translated into English by Norm de Poom and German by Hans Zupp. It’s distributed by Pharoah Nuff books and published by Warren Peace. No, of course not. This book is no parody. It’s the real deal.

The contrast between the severity of their professed ideology and the license of the Taliban’s aesthetic sensibilities – in which unrequited love, bloody vengeance and the thrill of battle, religion and nationalism, even a desire for non-violence, are expressed through images of wine, powerful women, song, legend and pastoral beauty – provide a fascinating insight into the minds and hearts of these deeply emotional people.

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Posted: 28th, June 2012 | In: Books | Comments (6)

Clive James and his Unreliable Memoirs – what every adolescent boy should read

CLIVE James is not dead. Twitter lit up with news that the writer and raconteur was dead. He isn’t But he is ill. I read one of his books when younger. James has leukaemia, kidney failure and lung disease. James, the TV reviewer who went on to make great telly, told the BBC:

“I’ve been really ill for two-and-a-half years. I’m getting near the end. I’m a man who is approaching his terminus.”

If you like “Twin miracles of mascara, Barbara Cartland’s eyes look like the corpses of two small crows that had crashed into a chalk cliff“, I urge you to read Unreliable Memoirs, an account of his early years. It’s a cracking read that any adolsescent boy needs to look at. Adult males should look at it again.

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Posted: 24th, June 2012 | In: Books, Celebrities | Comments (2)

The 10 most awful books covers and titles

ARE these the 10 most awful book titles and covers in English literature? (More epic covers here. And more lusty stuff is here.)


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Posted: 19th, June 2012 | In: Books, Key Posts | Comment

Have you read the Necromonicon?

HAVE you read the Necromonicon? It’s Al-Azif’s , aka Abdul Alhazred, greatest work. It was translated by  H. P. Lovecraft in 922.

“If knowing the unknowable is crazy…I don’t want to be saved…”

Some background:

In 2005 I was called, in my capacity of Artisan’s Book, to look after the restoration of a book found in an old house-in-Vhallennes Weppes (59 North) by a Notary following the death of the owner.

The book, in a terrible state, has been identified as a French translation of Kitab al-Azif of Abul Hazred by historians, antiquarians and bibliologues also called on the restoration project and studies.

A restoration workshop was installed instead of Vhallennes to limit additional damage that could cause repeated displacements

After a long series of photographs of over 600 pages of the book, the book has been fully digitized in order to list all the missing parts, whether physical, graphic or typographical

In 2007 the first tests of facsimiles have even created through a process of ever more powerful computer.

The identity of the author of this translation, dated 1751, remains obscure to date. However, it is possible to advance the name of Alceste-Tudal-Aymour ARTOIS , a Theosophist who had distinguished himself in many translations of works in Semitic languages. The blibliologues, Thomas Vandeleare , has no knowledge of authors of that era that could cause such work on an Arabic text of the 8 th century. The fact that D’Artois ATA has decided Keep anonymity on a work such as this one remains a mystery total.


Posted: 18th, June 2012 | In: Books | Comment (1)

Josie Demuth is Poutrageous

OK, it’s my birthday on May 23 and I’m struggling to get this (yes, this) up in thundery Salerno and it’s all about someone you’ve never heard of before and she’s called Josie Demuth. Ain’t she a doll? (This is old skool tabloidese, I know; but I can do old skool tabloidese if I like) Josie is not just the editor of underground mag La Bouche Zine. She also has an e-novella out called The Guest (see links at bottom). Frankly, I couldn’t give a toss what the youth of today think about anything, but I like players and Josie is a player. I can tell. Playing is an ageless, timeless occupation and ensures one gets from A to B. Also she’s friends with singer-songwriter Bryn Phillips (see labels). So I lured Josie into celebrity culture-land and asked some pertinent questions.

Q: Josie Demuth! Editor of alternative online mag La Bouche Zine and author of the The Gueste-novella! Tell me in under 100 words what gets you up in the morning – what is your life purpose, what keeps your soul moist, your spirit aerated. What adds urgency to the teeth flossing?

Josie: I love life basically, in fact, I’d like to live till at least 800, if it were poss. There is so much to see, so much to know, so many ways to give, so many people to meet, all these great parties to go to, so much history and so much more to come. I love reading history books, but the present is fascinating too. I suppose all this gets me going – the excitement of what is out there and all the possibilities this presents and how artists and writers document this.

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Posted: 23rd, May 2012 | In: Books, Reviews | Comments (3)

Book of The Day – How To Pick Up Women, by Eric Weber

ERIC Weber’s 1970 tome How to Pick Up Women has over 3,000,000 copies in print – if you believe the marketing. “So effective it should be declared illegal!” – so some say. Team it with Weber’s The Complete Guide to America’s Best Pick up Spots!: 910 Fantastic Places to Pick up Girls! One Hundred Best Opening Lines and you men cannot fail to pull. See also Eric Weber’s Winning With Women and The Shy Person’s Guide to Love and Loving.

Weber self-published his book He took out an advert in Penthouse magazine and waited. And then the orders started to come in.

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Posted: 26th, April 2012 | In: Books, Flashback | Comment

Old books smell of grass and acid

THE smell of books:

Chemists at University College, London have investigated the old book odor and concluded that old books release hundreds of volatile organic compounds into the air from the paper. 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.”

The Bible smells of hellfire and Vimto; Middlemarch has top notes of regret; and Chaucer’s Canterbury Tales have base notes synonymous with the top of a sucked pencil…

Posted: 17th, April 2012 | In: Books | Comment

Seeing adults reading Harry Potter, Twilight and The Hunger Games makes my blood boil

DO grown up people who read Harry Potter, The Hunger Games or Twilight upset you? Does seeing them reading the books on the train or bus wind you up? Do you clack your tongue and think them idiots?

C.S. Lewis took a view:

“Critics who treat ‘adult’ as a term of approval, instead of as a merely descriptive term, cannot be adult themselves. To be concerned about being grown up, to admire the grown up because it is grown up, to blush at the suspicion of being childish; these things are the marks of childhood and adolescence. And in childhood and adolescence they are, in moderation, healthy symptoms. Young things ought to want to grow. But to carry on into middle life or even into early manhood this concern about being adult is a mark of really arrested development.

“When I was ten, I read fairy tales in secret and would have been ashamed if I had been found doing so. Now that I am fifty I read them openly. When I became a man I put away childish things, including the fear of childishness and the desire to be very grown up.”

Do you agree?

Image via

Posted: 12th, April 2012 | In: Books | Comments (18)

10 books with terrible titles to read before you die laughing

TEN Books to read before you die laughing features such titles as Invisible Dick, Fancy Coffins to Make Yourself, Hitler: Neither Vegetarian nor Animal Lover and Castration – Advantages and Disadvantages…


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Posted: 2nd, April 2012 | In: Books, Key Posts | Comment

Book of the Day: Glamour and the Hostess: A Guide to Canadian Table Settings

BOOK of the Day: Glamour and the Hostess: A Guide to Canadian Table Settings -by Marie Holmes, Director Chatelaine Institute —in the Original GIFT BOX. With chapters on “The Formal Tea” and “The Tea Tray”. A reader asks: “Should I have my silver flatware monogrammed? And , if so, what initials should I use, those of my married name or my maiden name?” Another wonders: “When do you use coffee spoons?” With this guide, your worries are at an end:

Spotter: EBay

Posted: 21st, March 2012 | In: Books | Comment

Book of The Day: Cooking With Poo

BOOK of the Day: Cooking with POO.

In Thailand, Saiyuud Diwong’s book “Cooking with Poo” is a hit. In Thai “poo” means “crab”, For reasons unspecified, Poo is also Diwong’s nickname.

It’s funny how one word can mean something so different in another language or time. For instance, in 14th Century Albanian, Jamie Oliver is a ‘gonad tongue’, a “term of endearment”.

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Posted: 4th, March 2012 | In: Books, Key Posts | Comments (4)

Children’s Book Of The Week: A Guide To Bottoms

JON Klassen’s book I Want My Hat Back, Adam Mansbach’s guide to f**king good parenting and now…the children’s guide to bottoms and what goes out of them. (For a guide to what goes in them, see here.)


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Posted: 14th, December 2011 | In: Books | Comment

James Oliver’s Great Britain Was Made In…Germany

JAMIE Oliver’s latest Great British book about Great British food called Jamie’s Great Britain – taking in a Great British TV show – and priced in Great British pounds was printed in…Germany!

Posted: 26th, November 2011 | In: Books | Comment

Jonathan King’s Autobiography 65 My Life So Far Defies Censorship

I AM  delighted to see that Jonathan King’s autobiography 65 My Life So Far hit No1 on the Amazon Kindle pop culture chart. This is amazing given the near-universal attempt to edit our tastes by our nation’s media by ignoring the intriguing tome. Thanks to Madame Arcati’s review and that of Roger Lewis’ in The Lady, however, and a little PR by the author himself, and… well, success!

You don’t have to be signed up to the JK Fan Club to appreciate his priceless anecdotes about bisexual John Lennon and sooo many other stars he worked and (well) hung out with. Despite the BBC’s best efforts to delete him from public record there’s no denying his huge contribution to pop culture, for better or worse.

The Madame’s review:

Oh, JK! How could you? Or rather, how could you not?

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Posted: 30th, September 2011 | In: Books | Comment