Book of the day
Respected arts commentator Paul Morley, one of the team who curated the highly successful retrospective exhibition for the Victoria & Albert Museum in London, David Bowie Is … constructs the definitive story of Bowie that explores how he worked, played, aged, structured his ideas, invented the future and entered history as someone who could and would never be forgotten.
Morley capture the greatest moments of Bowie’s career; from the recording studio with the likes of Brian Eno and Tony Visconti; to iconic live performances from the 1970s, 80s and 90s, as well as the various encounters and artistic relationships he developed with rock luminaries John Lennon, Lou Reed and Iggy Pop. He also discusses in detail his much-heralded, and critically-acclaimed comeback with the release of Black Star just days before his shocking death in New York.
Morley offers a biographical critique of David Bowie’s legacy, showing how he never stayed still even when he withdrew from the spotlight, how he always knew his own worth, and released a dazzling plethora of mobile Bowies into the world with a bloody-minded determination and a voluptuous imagination to create something amazing that was not there before.
Facts of the day
49 BC Julius Caesar crosses the River Rubicon in Italy and started a civil war. His battle cry was apparently, ‘The die is cast’. The phrase ‘crossing the Rubicon’ has come to mean ‘the point of no return’.
In the Netherlands, people burn bonfires of Christmas trees on the street and launch fireworks. The fires are meant to purge the old and welcome in the new.
Before gaining fame as author of the Goosebumps children’s horror series, R L Stine was a comedian. He was known as ‘Jovial Bob Stine’, literary clown and teller of jokes for children. He wrote silly stories, joke books, and even created a humour magazine. Stine’s early foray into comedy is probably the reason for his success with horror books for kids: his ability to mix the creepy with the funny is probably the reason he has sold nearly half a billion books.
1654 Joshua Barnes (UK)
1715 Christian August Crusius (Germany)
1797 Annette von Droste-Hülshoff (Germany)
1814 Aubrey Thomas de Vere (Ireland)
1871 Enrica von Handel-Manzetti (Austria)
1883 Aleksey Nikolayevich Tolstoy (Russia)
1887 Robinson Jeffers (USA)
1923 Ingeborg Drewitz (Germany)
1928 Philip Levine (USA)
1931 Peter Barnes (UK)
1939 Jared Carter (USA)
1939 David Horowitz (USA)
1939 William Levy (USA)
1947 George Alec Effinger (USA)
1956 Antonio Muñoz Molina (Spain)
Jokes of the day
Q: What vegetable was forbidden on the ships of Arctic explorers?
Cartoon: Various, Cartoons on cold weather, The Political Carnival