“It may seem to you that your life is over now. Your future without the person you love is no future at all.

Death is a head-on collision with your plans.

But everything in life—the gold fillings of your teeth, the cotton of your sheets, the air you breathe, all the food you will ever eat—everything there is was born from a collision.

Inside every single thing that lives is a debt to a distant star that died.

Nothing new is ever created without one thing colliding into another.

And something new is created when the person you love dies.

Because they are not the only ones who die: you die, too. The person you were when you were with them is gone just as surely as they are.

This is what you should know about losing somebody you love. They do not travel alone. You go with them.”

Augusten Burroughs (via journalofanobody)



Introvert? Extrovert? In truth, social skills don’t so much matter when you’re one of the foremost literary talents of your generation, deftly able to one-up society with the merest flick of a quill or touch of a typewriter key.

And yet it can’t be sheer coincidence that many of the most accomplished authors in the world have been enigmatic to the point of vanishing into thin air, their aura only benefiting from this furtive nature which, in some cases, bordered as much on anger to fame as anxiety.

So with the upcoming tell-all memoir The Mockingbird Next Door currently generating headlines because of its subject Harper Lee, we’ve gone and listed the most reclusive literary talents of the last few centuries.

More here:



On the Shelves in Oxford this week we have the perfect addition to our mini-series of A-Z paperbacks. Want to find out what words you should use in your CV? Then this is the book for you. 1001 Words You Need To Know And Use contains essential information for anyone wanting to achieve greater success in a written or spoken task, supported by authoritative definitions from Oxford Dictionaries.



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New Books! is our new weekly newsletter about–you guessed it–some of the week’s most interesting new releases. Beginning Tuesday, September 2nd, our resident velocireader Liberty Hardy will send you a weekly dispatch about 3-5 new titles to expand your horizons and bust your TBR.

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In fiction…

  • Walking “the line between literary lyricism and good old-fashioned science fiction storytelling,” The Summer Prince follows two young girls who seek out their own answers to questions about love, art, technology, tradition and sex while living in a futuristic Brazilian city run by women. 
  • When a photographer’s assistant learns her long lost lover who she believes is dead is actually alive and married, her life is changed forever. Jessica Lott’s debut novel, The Rest of Us, "demonstrates a wicked gift for mimicking the meaningless pronouncements of hoity-toity culture criticism."

And in non-fiction…

  • Bestselling author and environmental activist Bill McKibben recounts the personal and global story of the fight to build and preserve a sustainable planet in Oil and Honey.
  • Charles Graeber spent six years investigating the case of Charlie Cullen — the nurse who was suspected of killing patients with lethal injections of a variety of medications. He pieces together the elements of the serial killer’s story in The Good Nurse.
  • What’s the best way to learn how to write well? Study the work of good writers, which is the approach Robert Pinsky takes in his poetry-writing guidebook, Singing School.
  • In Unbroken, Laura Hillenbrand, the author of Seabiscut, tells the story of Louis Zamperini, a former Olympian track runner and World War II lieutenant who fought to preserve his dignity in the most extreme circumstances.
  • Author Amanda Ripley asks ‘What Makes the Smartest Kids in the World?’ in The Smartest Kids in the World: And How They Got That Way
  • Does society tell parents different things about raising boys compared to girls? Are teenage boys simply misunderstood? In Masterminds and Wingmenby Rosalind Wiseman,author of Queen Bees and Wannabes tackles the sociology behind teenage boys.