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A Pinch of Dune, A Dash of Lord of the Rings: Important Spices in Literature

The spice must flow.

I remember reading “how people lived in the Middle Ages” books growing up and aside from wanting pretty desperately to be a knight, I remember thinking how bland the food must have been. I mean, it was only the nobility who got those cute little salt dishes. (You pick up the salt with your pinky! We should bring that back!) Everyone else just got boring vegetable stew. And it really didn’t seem fair.

All of this to say that anything that can make food flavorful, from turmeric to thyme, cinnamon to cilantro, is a good thing in my book. Literature is peppered (ha) with these plant-based substances, and since tNational Herbs and Spices Day [June 10] is approaching (what, it's a thing!) let’s take a look at some of the standouts that do so much more than season:

Worst-Case Wednesday: How to Treat Sunburn

Use this, you guys! (Image via Birchbox)

While some people are able to step outside and flourish in the sunshine, there are those of us who manage to get sunburned in the time it takes to walk to the car. 

There is nothing worse than forgetting sunscreen and finding yourself red and in pain.  While there is no magical cure to sunburn, there are luckily some tips and tricks that make it slightly more bearable.  If you’ve ever found yourself on the losing end of a battle with the sun, read on for The Worst Case Scenario Survival Handbook’s advice for how to ease the pain.

TOTES BOOKS: Win a Quirk Books BEA Tote!

Last week, we posted this photo of our BEA totebag... and you guys were PSYCHED about it.

But for every person that thought it was (totes) awesome, someone was sad they wouldn't be able to grab one at Book Expo America. We listened, Quirk fans. Go ahead and enter the Rafflecopter below to be entered to win a bag. We'll even throw a surprise book or two inside when we get back.

I'm giving away... how's 20 sound? Yeah? Okay done. 20.

How-To Tuesday: How to Move Your Books

 
Image via Tumblr
 
Moving? With a book collection? Good luck, because it’s a big task. Here’s how to get started.
 

Six More Logikul Wayz To Spel English that Never Caut On


BEEMAN, ah-ah-ahhhh! 

When it comes to regular, predictable orthography, English is a hot mess. Our language built of ill-gotten calques, mutant morphemes, and poorly-constructed neologisms adds up to a zany, mongrel, bric-a-brac vocabulary (that sentence alone contains words from four linguistic groups). In other words, spelling is im-freaking-possible. Take the very word language: why isn’t it pronounced “lan-goo-a-gee”? Or spelled langwidge? With the exception of a few spelling-bee know-it-alls (*sheepish wave*), no one enjoys struggling with making wurdz luk rite.

But history has known some clear-eyed crusaders who tried—really tried—to get us to make some damn sense with our letters and sounds. Here are six alternative movements that (sadly) failed to cast a spell.

Meet Amelia, The Spiral Bookcase's Cat and Our Contest Winner

Last month, Quirk Books held a Contest for Bookstore Cats. Bookstore felines of the world were invited to compete for the chance to jumpstart their Internet celebrity campaign.

Competitor Cats were asked to command someone with opposable thumbs to take a picture of them “reading” the Quirk title, How to Make Your Cat an Internet Celebrity by Patricia Carlin.

After much delipurration, a winner was chosen: Amelia of The Spiral Bookcase!

Dustin Fentermacher, the photographer of the book, also provided a couple quirky tips to help Amelia to seize her true celebrity potential: "Amelia's on the right path: cats plus books equal money. If she could do a series with this cat sitting on top of pages of books that make her look a part of the scene, that would would quickly skyrocket into the internet meme hall of fame."

Amelia's photo was also featured in today's Shelf Awareness. Thanks, you guys! 

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