Tag Archives: Ibsen

The Obligatory Annual Cool Stuff to Get Book Lovers for Christmas Post!

I love online shopping. I went into some actual shops today and there was stuff everywhere, incessant Christmas music, and tinseled assistants trying to hard-sell me fripperies. I like to shop undisturbed with products lined up with a bit of white space between them. The fruit of my online searches is laid out before you. So get yourself a glass of something mulled while we cross our fingers and hope it all turns up in time.

What do you think of my selections? Comments below please!

You can actually buy a candle with old book smell. I suppose it looks slightly less deranged in company than sniffing old tomes.

Old Books

Fun for all the family and seasonally appropriate – it’s A Christmas Carol, the board game! Become your favourite character and roam the streets of Victorian London as you answer questions about Dickens’ classic novel. Make merry with Fezziwig, or settle your account with Scrooge—but beware of “Humbug!” spaces that could spoil your Christmas pleasure.

A Christmas Carol

There are many extraordinarily sharp T-shirts to be had from Human. I think these two are pretty fab.

Mad stacks yo

TimeAlso pleasing is this scarf, printed with words and illustrations from The Secret Garden.

secret

If having words on your T-shirt and round your neck isn’t quite enough, use a temporary tattoo to place them directly on your skin. Etsy has a fine selection. I would like this one please.

Everything was

Writers, you know all those brilliant ideas you have in the middle of the night when you’ve left your notebook in the next room? Well now you can scribble it directly onto this duvetbed

Even if you don’t drink, this book is worth having for the puns alone. Life will be complete when I can order ‘A Rum of One’s Own’ down my local.

Tequila

Next,  just what we’ve all been waiting for: some Ibsen-inspired swag.

Tote 2 ToteThis is literally a nice mug.

GrammarWrap it all in this, whether it’s a book or not.

book

What do you think of my list? What do you want for Christmas? Comments below please!

Have a look at previous years’ recommendations here.

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Bands That Like Books as Much as You Do

See an updated version of this here.

In a bookshop in Bath a band has come together to write songs based on the books of visiting authors. Watch a video here. This inspired me to think about the relationship between music and literature. From Jerusalem to Wuthering Heights, the words of great writers have been put to music (albeit rather painfully in the latter example). Here are some other literary links:

The band Modest Mouse takes their name from a Virginia Woolf short story The Mark on the Wall.

modest_mouse

‘I wish I could hit upon a pleasant track of thought, a track indirectly reflecting credit upon myself, for those are the pleasantest thoughts, and very frequent even in the minds of modest mouse-coloured people, who believe genuinely that they dislike to hear their own praises.’

Belle and Sebastian are named after Belle et Sébastien by Cécile Aubry, a classic French children’s novel.

Belle

Gypsy punk band Gogol Bordello named themselves after Nikolai Gogol, the Ukrainian born Russian realist. They said that they admire the way he brought Ukrainian culture into Russia and aim to bring their brand of music to the West in the same way.

Gogol bordello

Both David Bowie and Radiohead have based songs on George Orwell’s 1984. Radiohead have also based songs on Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet and Gabriel García Márquez’s One Hundred Years of Solitude.

Ion Square by Bloc Party uses part of an E. E. Cummings poem as its chorus. They also took inspiration from Bret Easton Ellis‘ Less Than Zero for Song for Clay.

Here’s John Cale‘s Hedda Gabler, inspired by the Ibsen play.

There are many Nabakov references in Lana Del Rey‘s album Born to Die. Consider Off to the Races:  ‘Light of life, fire of my loins…’

Soma by The Strokes is about the population-controlling drug from Aldous Huxley‘s Brave New World.

Watch Leonard Nimoy sing The Ballad of Bilbo Baggins, inspired by J. R. R. Tolkein‘s The Hobbit. It’s a treat.

Some bands are created just as homage to literature, for example Harry and the Potters are solely committed to J. K. Rowling‘s magical back catalogue.

What are your favourite songs inspired by literature? Leave me a comment!

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