Monday, October 30, 2006

Independent Bookstores in Stockholm

One thing with Stockholm that I find kinda odd is that there are very few independent bookstores (whereas in my experience it's always absolutely packed in bookstores here, so people obviously read if you get my drift).

That's why I got so pleasantly surprised last year when Bokspindeln, an independent bookshop dedicated to children's literature (foreign as well as Swedish, in a wide range of different languages), opened up on Odengatan (by St Eriksplan) a few years ago.

A couple of doors down from Bokspindeln an English language bookshop called New York Stories opened up about a month ago. Doesn't it look exactly like the kind of place you could spend all day browsing!

Picture was taken before they actually opened up so not as stocked as now.

Very shamefully I still haven't visited it properly, but said a quick hi to the owner and have an idea of the store's direction - very exciting!

As far as I know they don't have a website, but for a look at what they're about see this and this post from Absurdity.

Thursday, October 26, 2006

Don't miss The Hub playing London

One of my absolute favorite bands ever (and I think might actually be the best live act!) the Hub is playing in London tomorrow night (Friday 27th). Don't miss them!
The gig is at the Crypt in Camberwell (directions to get there here). It starts at 9.30-10pm, but get there for 8pm when the Crypt opens if you want to get in!

For the Hub's European Fall 2006 tour click here - or go to their website for their bio, to listen to their music or for further gigs in Europe / their native New York.

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

The Battle of Ideas 2006

The Battle of Ideas is an annual festival of social, political, scientific, academic and cultural ideas.
This year it will take place at the Royal College of Art in London on (this) Saturday 28 and Sunday 29 of October.

As they put it themselves:

"Taking ideas seriously means they must be interrogated, argued for and fought over. The weekend makes virtues of free-thinking and lively exchanges of views. We aim:

· to showcase new arguments about the core issues of the day,
while avoiding getting bogged down in the minutiae of everyday policy

· to initiate open-ended discussions regardless of the demands for
immediate practical outcomes, which too frequently act as a brake
on innovative thinking "

For more information, schedule, background, partners & sponsers and more click here.

Monday, October 23, 2006

Satire will save us

I've had a post in the making ever since I re-structured my links list and a few people asked me why I have the Daily Show with Jon Stewart on my link list grouped together with politics.
I suppose I didn't realise that what was obvious to me (satire always fills a function in political reporting) wasn't obvious to everyone else.

Unfortunately most of our news sources are so watered down, angled, conformed (the US media's reporting during the 2000 election for example) and more then often just plain wrong that alternatives are needed.
I read somewhere that more Americans get their news reporting from satirical shows then traditional news sources - I don't think that's true and very much hope it's not - but if you try to make sure to be properly informed (numerous, varied, international news sources, as well as shows like Counterspin for example) you can do hell of a lot worse then watching the Daily Show, Colbert, or similar as well.

I think that often when something is so ludicrously wrong, deadly serious and ridiciously under-reported at the same time all you can do to show all of this is to make a serious parallel in the form of a joke (see for example this clip I posted before).

All this was articulated so much better by Armando Iannucci on "how comedians are filling the gap where serious debate used to be" [the Guardian's tag-line] - an extract of this Tate Britain lecture was published here on the arts pages of the Guardian.

He's making the excellent point (especially valid in the US I think - mind you with my limited experience of it):

"[it] has come about for three reasons: politicians have stopped speaking to us properly, the media has stopped examining their actions in anything like a forensic way, and broadcast culture has become so watered down, so scared of fact, that people are less inclined to turn to anything other then entertainment for information."

I also noticed this post on Absurdity on the same subject this morning - as always more then worth reading!

Saturday, October 21, 2006

Beautiful things

These cards are beautiful - and so simple - by home from the sea - found via Karin Erikson. On Karin's site I also found these absolutely fantastic pebble-shaped vases:

Made by Miyoko Onishi - she doesn't have a website, but get her contact details here courtesy of Origin. These are definitely another that has got to go on the to have-list for our house!

Friday, October 20, 2006

Republicans say top Democrats support "group of gay paedophiles"

I try to focus posting to one a day, but reading this article in the Independent (titled as above) I just felt that I had to share it.
Bloody shameful!

Makes me think of this clip from the Daily Show re Fox's reporting of the Foley scandal:

Orhan Pamuk - 2006 Nobel Prize for Literature

Orhan Pamuk is one of these authors that I've had in my ever-growing pile of books to read (a literal one taking up a great deal of our space, and an imaginary one collected in my head as reference to all the wonderful works I hear about).

In our politically catastrophic climate his award is timely.

I thought this article in the Guardian was very good. For those of you who reads Swedish you're also lucky enough to be able to read this great entry from Anita Elgerot's blog. There is also this interview from the culture pages of DN.

I will make an effort to be able to read "My Name is Red" / "Mitt Namn är Röd" (in Swedish 2002), which I have on good authority will speak to me the most.

Thursday, October 19, 2006

Looking forward to STREET Ord & Text

For those of you in Stockholm on the 18-19 November head down to STREET market where the theme for the weekend is Ord & Text (Words & Text).
I was really annoyed by missing the first offering in the Spring so overly delighted with being given a second change!

Exhibitors / vendors will be small publishers, magazines, fanzines - and there is also author presentations, readings, poetry readings and exhibitions, as well as an opportunity to pick up a lot of really nice stuff!

With the London Artist Book Fair on 3-5/11 November looks like a very good month for picking up a lot of brilliant works!

STREET Ord & Text will be open 11am-6pm. Directions to get there here.

Monday, October 16, 2006


I really like these two - quite different - images by Serge Leblon for 10 magazine. Strangly enough the two that really spoke to me (pictured) is monocrome wheras what I really liked was the colours... Found via Fashion Addict Diary (the entire spread on F.A.D flickr).

Saturday, October 14, 2006

Fantastically inspirational!

I love love love absolutely everything Ana Ventura makes. I don't understand anything on the blog (as I don't speak Portuguese), but I love that to.

Have a look at her site, or look at these wonderful flickr slideshows (postcards, paperdolls, illustration, book).

Friday, October 13, 2006

Ethical Fashion Show

This weekend (starting today) the Ethical Fashion Show is taking place in Paris. It's an event to showcase and promote ethical fashion designers, as well as to inform and help dialogue between companies concerned by fair trade and sustainable development in the fashion industry.

"The social and environmental conditions in which products are manufactured are important to the consumer who buys them.
The increase in Fair Trade purchases reflects the evolving buying habits of a growing part of the population.
The number of buyers and sales figures of products sold through fair trade are constantly growing.
Awareness of fair trade is steadily increasing."

Found via fiftyRx3.

Thursday, October 12, 2006 turns 20 years!

FAIR (Fairness & Accuracy In Reporting) turns 20 years today!
"Since 1986, FAIR (Fairness & Accuracy In Reporting) has been monitoring mainstream media to document corporate bias, government influence and skewed reporting, while championing the efforts of independent journalism."
For those in New York City consider heading down to the party or perhaps donating to help their efforts.

I'd recommend anyone to listen to Counterspin, their excellent weekly radio show! (especially so if you live in the US). Description:
"CounterSpin provides a critical examination of the major stories every week, and exposes what the mainstream media might have missed in their own coverage. Combining lively discussion and a thoughtful media critique, CounterSpin is unlike any other show on the dial.
CounterSpin exposes and highlights biased and inaccurate news; censored stories; sexism, racism and homophobia in the news; the power of corporate influence; gaffes and goofs by leading TV pundits; TV news' narrow political spectrum; attacks on free speech; and more."

If you're in the US and Canada you can tune in or otherwise (or if you're located somewhere else in the world) download the podcast.

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

Karin Eriksson and Bookart at Origin

Saw these great postcards (pictured left) at Karin's Style blog that she made for London's Origin Craft Fair. Made me wish I was at Origin so I could go by her table and pick one up (or wished more that we'd find our dream house so I could visit her studio and buy lots of her wonderful things to fill it with).

Had a little rummage around on the Origin / Craft Council site and found a bookartist called Rachel Hazell exhibiting. I'm not familiar with her before, but I liked these two pieces shown below from her portfolio and also thought the commission work looked quite interesting. I wonder if I'll see her at the London Artist Book Fair...

Saturday, October 07, 2006

Mark Kermode realises Neil Young is fantastic!

I know it's stupid, but Mark Kermode (Mark Kermode's Film Reviews on BBC Radio Five Live) talking about realising how fantastic Neil Young is and how wrong he's been was just fantastic! Best thing today!

Download/listen here
(will add audio stream as soon as figure out how to do it)

Carbon offsetting

This and this article in today's Guardian grabbed my attention.
We've been trying to find a reputable company for months now in order to offset all the traveling we have to do.
We've had an extensive look around and it is really hard to know who to choose. There's Climate Care - heavily mentioned by companies offsetting in the UK (the Guardian and the Lonely Planet, amongst others) - but frankly they just look a bit commercial, and there's the local one (and even though I do want to protect the Swedish Forest I'm not convinced it's the best over-all solution for a global problem).
At the moment Vi-skogen is the front runner with poss 1% for the planet or similar for business... Anyone has any ideas?

(UPDATE: we obviously try to keep the traveling we have to do to the absolute minimum, but for those trips we really can't get out of we'd like to do all we can).

Picture used from Vi-skogen

Friday, October 06, 2006

Book Covers

Maybe it's because it's Frankfurt Book Fair - or maybe it's because I've spent most of my life being equally obsessed with books (as in literature) and books as a physical object - but whilst taking a little break from sourcing out books for our own little book project I was immediately drawn to this posting on (a site that I didn't know before, but is quickly becoming intrigued by - found via hoping for happy accidents). It took me to a flickr site with some great old style Penguin Book Covers. If you're interested in the Book Cover design of Penguin especially they've been given quite a lot of notice as of late (possible due to turning 70 last year). There was a V&A exhibition last year, and there's currently one on at the Design Museum in London (ends Nov 26 - if you don't have the opportunity to go the site is pretty informative) or perhaps buy Penguin by Design: A Cover Story 1935 - 2005.
Personally I've found that picking up an actual copy from a charity shop or second hand bookshop is vastly superior if it's inspiration you're looking for - maybe it's the authenticity and craftmanship compared with just a glossy reproduced image.

It's interesting how much more inspiring book covers from 20, 30, 50 years ago are to the ones today - even the most trivial cheap paperback seems to have a more thought-through and well-executed design then most of the ones today. I don't know what it is - perhaps just the ease with which they can technically be produced today - but book covers seem sadly to have gone the same way as album covers.

Luckily today you seem still able to find this kind of inspiration from Artist Books or from some select small press publishers. In London you can go to the excellent bookartbookshop or visit the London Artists Book Fair (this year 3–5 Nov 2006 at the ICA in London). Their website is not much fun, but the book fair never fail to inspire - you can pick up works from small presses, makers of book art, art university graduates, art bookshops, and more - fantastic!

Thursday, October 05, 2006

Perfect book cover?

I love the entry page of this site! Perfect book cover?

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

Russian Words A-Z

I found this magical site through imedaGoze.
I wish I could understand the Russian alphabet, but even more I wish my Japanese was on the level for reading the journal or other entries. But maybe it's perfect this way. All I know is I keep returning to it and struggle to turn away - immensely meditative.

Tuesday, October 03, 2006


I just love these images! I'm not normally big on Moschino or find most fashion campaign particularly inspirational - more like boring and predictable - but I just think these are very very good (found via Fashion Addict Diary / Fashion Addict Diary flickr page).

"Fair and Balanced"

Reading the Guardian Monday (had some technical probs yesterday) I was alerted to the fact that Fox News turns 10 years this week.
I didn't realise that Fox was the no 1 cable news channel in the States (!), but after spending time in the US - and feeling like a little gold fish in a news vacuum (in NYC of all places!) - I'm sadly not that surprised.
More about that another day, but for now see this excellent clip from the Daily Show with Jon Stewart: