editor’s choice

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EDITOR’S CHOICE San Francisco-based author Armistead Maupin was born in Washington, DC, but grew up in North Carolina. After graduating from the University of North Carolina, he served as a naval officer in Vietnam. After moving to California, in the early 1970s, Maupin began working as a journalist. In 1976, he launched the daily fictional … Continue readings

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EDITOR’S CHOICE Award-winning, best-selling writer Nora Roberts is one of the most popular authors in the world, selling billions of copies of books in a multitude of languages. Roberts, who began her career writing romances for Silhouette, published her first book in 1981. She has since turned romance, romantic-suspense and paranormal romance writing into an … Continue readings

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  New Zealand-born Len Lye was an experimental animator and sculptor. He is known primarily for a series of innovative films produced in the 1930s and 40s, the earlier while working with John Grierson’s much acclaimed GPO Film Unit. A Colour Box (1935) was particularly influential – wonderful Norman McLaren took up animation full time … Continue readings

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  Night Mail, the GPO Film Unit’s 1936 documentary, seemingly had everything going for it from the start – from its directors Harry Watt and Basil Wright, narrators John Grierson and Stuart Legg to the poem that WH Auden wrote especially for it and the music score composed by a 23-year-old Benjamin Britten. The GPO … Continue readings

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  The Bodley Head found itself, at the beginning of the week, sold out of ‘Penguins’, 150,000 having been sold out in four days.… — The Bookseller, 8 August 1935, a week after Penguin’s launch   In the early 1930s, Allen Lane, then director of The Bodley Head publishers, was returning from a weekend stay … Continue readings

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  Believe it or not, ‘petrichor’ is a word for that gorgeous sweet smell that occurs as the first rains hit parched earth. How lovely is that?