Writers everywhere were abuzz this weekend with the news that Amtrak is piloting “Amtrak residencies”—train trips provided to authors for the sole purpose of writing. Really, there’s no better place to get some quality authoring in: the scenery flying past, the white noise of the tracks, the chance to eat breakfast one place and dinner somewhere miles away…it’s like Walden Pond on wheels.
We here at Quirk are ALL ABOARD with this idea. In fact, we’d like to submit our entire company for one of these railroad residences. We want to be the first train-based publisher. We think we can, we think we can, and here's our plan!
There’s been a blank space in my heart—and my TV schedule—ever since the majority of shows went on hiatus before Christmas. I’ve already welcomed back Supernatural, Community, Parks and Recreation, and Sherlock with open arms.
TV downtime offers a perfect opportunity to crack open that book series you’ve been meaning to start, right? But wait! Books, unfortunately, have hiatuses, too, and we often have to wait much longer for their next installment. That being said, in the season of returning TV shows, here are four series that have us eagerly awaiting what will happen next.
Bookstores are always magical, teeming with stories and knowledge, but they can be even more wondrous depending on the location.
One of my favorite types is a “book barn,” which is exactly what it sounds like. These bookstores are housed in old barns and are pretty common in the northeastern United States (though there are some scattered across the rest of the country). Beyond the quirk of being in a barn, these bookstores also boast interesting and unique collections.
They're often a bit out of the way and tend to have a lot of cats (so be careful when you are parking)! Come along with me to the book barns that I loved visiting or want to visit soon.
We love Monty Python. To an embarrassing, quote-flinging, watch-and-rewatch-and-rewatching degree. (In fact, I’m of the opinion that we should’ve launched Flying Circus episodes into space to introduce ourselves to aliens. Silly walks and dead parrots are—no pun intended—universal).
But our beloved Chapman, Cleese, Gilliam, Idle, Jones, and Palin were no mere workaday comedians: they were Oxford and Cambridge men, and terribly well-read ones at that. So it’s no surprise that some of their best skits train their absurd and surreal brand of sketch-writing on the literary canon. Here are ten of our favorites.
First rule of adapting a classic to the silver screen: make sure your music is top-notch.
John Williams did it again and again with the Harry Potter score, and where would Charlie and the Chocolate Factory be without the Oompa Loompa chorus? From making our hearts race in the intro credits to The Hunger Games, to crying every time you hear “The Rains of Castamere”, there’s no doubt that music in the movies has gone on to become iconic (one word: Psycho).
Check out some of our favorite bookish picks, and give them a listen the next time you crack open Tolstoy in a dark, silent night.