Fair Warning from a Master Storyteller

J.R.R. Tolkien quote "I warn you, if you bore me, I shall take my revenge."

J.R.R. Tolkien and C.S. Lewis were inseperable friends, but despite that, Tolkien felt the need to put his friend on notice prior to reading one of his newest works: “I warn you, if you bore me, I shall take my revenge.”

This Is Why Teens Generally Don’t Get to Choose Their Names

Captain Fantastic Faster Than Superman Spiderman Batman Wolverine Hulk And The Flash Combined George Garrett
In 2008 19-year-old George Garratt legally changed his name to “Captain Fantastic Faster Than Superman Spiderman Batman Wolverine Hulk And The Flash Combined.” He said he wanted to “be unique.”

Not to be outdone, these guys went a step further a couple of years later. 

They still didn’t match the complexity of this fellow, whose given name at birth may have lacked comic book references but surpassed everyone else as measured by mouthfuls. 

From the Sharpened Tongue of Dorothy Parker


Dorothy Parker best quotes and critiquesDorothy Parker (August 22, 1893 – June 7, 1967) was a master of words and knew how to use them to make a point. As a critic, poet, and essayist, everything and everyone was fair game for her brilliant and ruthless prose.

She once observed, “The first thing I do in the morning is brush my teeth and sharpen my tongue.” Following are just a few products of that sharp tongue: Continue reading

Everyone is a Critic

poison pen, critics, reviews, harsh criticism

From the pens of critics who are not afraid to speak freely:

  • “This is not a novel to be tossed lightly aside. It should be thrown with great force.” — Dorothy Parker
  • “I am sitting in the smallest room in my house. I have your review in front of me. Soon it will be behind me.” — Max Reger
  • “There is probably no hell for authors in the next world – they suffer so much from critics and publishers in this one.” — Christian N. Bovée
  • Paradise Lost is one of the books which the reader admires and lays down, and forgets to take up again. Its perusal is a duty rather than a pleasure.” — Samuel Johnson
  • “A mere ulcer; a sore from head to foot; a poor devil so completely flayed that there is not a square inch of healthy flesh on his carcass; an overgrown pimple, sore to the touch.” — The Quarterly Review on William Hazlitt in 1817
  • “Of Dicken’s style it is impossible to speak in praise. It is jerky, ungrammatical and created by himself in defiance of rules … No young novelist should ever dare to imitate the style of Dickens.” — Anthony Trollope on Charles Dickens
  • “I have two recommenda­tions. First, don’t buy this book. Second, if you buy this book, don’t drop it on your foot.” — The New Yorker on Chesapeake by James Michener
  • “It may be that this autobiography is set down in sincerity, frankness and simple effort. It may be, too, that the Statue of Liberty is situated in Lake Ontario.” — Dorothy Parker on Service of the King by Aimee Semple McPherson
  • “Never have I read such tosh. As for the first two chapters, we will let them pass, but the third, the fourth the fifth the sixth – merely the scratchings of pimples on the body of the boot-boy at Claridges.” — Virginia Woolf on James Joyce’s Ulysses
  • “This is easily one of the worst books I’ve ever read. And bear in mind that I’ve read John Grisham.” — Susan Cohen on Stieg Larsson’s The Girls With That Dragon Tattoo
  • “How a human being could have attempted such a book as the present without committing suicide before he had finished a dozen chapters, is a mystery. It is a compound of vulgar depravity and unnatural horrors.” — The Examiner on Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte


“Bloom County” by Berkeley Breathed, syndicated by Washington Post Writers Group

Weird Wikipedia Articles

For a journey through the weird, wonderful, and entertaining, check out this excellent article from Bookshelf.


alex atkins bookshelf triviaWikipedia is no ordinary encyclopedia. Each month, more than 500 million unique visitors visit Wikipedia to read its more than 40 million articles written in more than 250 languages. The English version grows at a rate of 800 new articles each day. Compared to any written reference work, Wikipedia’s breadth is simply astonishing. But if you spend enough time browsing through this massive encyclopedia, you will come across some rather unusual or weird articles. Wikipedia even has a page that lists all of their “unusual articles” with this note: “There are over five million articles in the English Wikipedia. These are the ones that Wikipedians have identified as being a bit unusual. These articles are verifiable, valuable contributions to the encyclopedia, but are a bit odd, whimsical, or something you would not expect to find in Encyclopedia Britannica. We should take special care to meet the highest standards of an encyclopedia with these articles lest they…

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The Gift that Keeps on Giving

George Bernard Shaw "with renewed compliments"

As George Bernard Shaw perused the shelves of a secondhand bookstore, he came across a volume of his plays. He opened the book and found his handwriting on the flyleaf, addressed to a friend, with the words, “With the compliments of George Bernard Shaw.”

Mr. Shaw purchased the book and sent it back to the friend, with the additional words, “With renewed compliments. G.B.S.”