Christmas Book Flood | Recommending reading

25 January

Book of the day

handmaidstaleThe Handmaid’s Tale
Margaret Atwood
(UK: Vintage, 1996; USA: Anchor, 1998)

The Republic of Gilead offers Offred only one function: to breed. If she deviates, she will, like dissenters, be hanged at the wall or sent out to die slowly of radiation sickness. But even a repressive state cannot obliterate desire – neither Offred’s nor that of the two men on which her future hangs.

Available in the UK via ‘My Local Bookshop‘ search engine, or via Amazon (The Handmaid’s Tale)
Available in the USA via Amazon (The Handmaid’s Tale)

beachFacts of the day

25 January

1840 An American naval expedition under Charles Wilkes is first to identify Antarctica as a new continent.

New Year

The ancient Babylonians celebrated the New Year on the first new moon after the spring equinox. They called it ‘Akitu’, and it was a major festival that lasted for 11 days. During the festival, the Babylonians made New Year’s resolutions to keep themselves in good standing with the gods.  They often resolved to get out of debt or to return borrowed farm equipment.


As well as writing and illustrating, Eric Carle has found time to introduce a line of children’s games, puzzles and stuffed toys. He has also designed a fabric pattern, using images from some of his books.

Writers birthdays

1759 Robert Burns (UK)
1851 Arne Garborg (Norway)
1864 Julije Kempf (Croatia)
1875 W Somerset Maugham (UK)
1881 Emil Ludwig (Poland)
1882 Virginia Woolf (UK)
1885 Hakushū Kitahara (Japan)
1887 Diego Valeri (Italy)
1900 Theodosius Dobzhansky (Ukraine)
1902 Gerard Knuvelder (The Netherlands)
1921 Russell Braddon (Australia)
1923 Eva Zeller (Germany)
1930 Tanya Savicheva (Russia)
1931 Paavo Haavikko (Finland)
1937 Kathleen Tynan (Canada)
1938 Shotaro Ishinomori (Japan)
1938 Leiji Matsumoto (Japan)
1946 Silvio Blatter (Switzerland)
1949 John Cooper Clarke (UK)
1950 Gloria Naylor (USA)
1973 Geoff Johns (USA)

Jokes of the day

An optimist sees light at the end of a tunnel and thinks it’s an exit.
A pessimist sees light at the end of a tunnel and assumes it is an on-rushing train.
The train conductor sees two stupid guys staggering on train tracks.

Cartoon: Ron Piraro, Meeting with an agent, Bizarro Comics

Quote of the day

Alain de Botton: ‘One kind of good book should leave you asking: how did the author know that about me?.’