80 Following

Allusion is not Illusion

You'll pry my books off my cold, dead body. By the time you shift them all I'll be flat and dessicated.

Currently reading

Winter's Tales
Karen Blixen, Isak Dinesen
Black Lamb and Grey Falcon (Penguin Classics)
Rebecca West, Christopher Hitchens
Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell
Susanna Clarke
Already Dead
Charlie Huston
The Rings of Saturn
W.G. Sebald, Michael Hulse
Lady Audley's Secret
Mary Elizabeth Braddon, David Skilton
Unequal Protection: How Corporations Became "People" - And How You Can Fight Back
Thom Hartmann
The City, Not Long After
Pat Murphy
You Can Sketch: A Step-by-Step Guide for Absolute Beginners
Jackie Simmonds
Lonely Werewolf Girl
Martin Millar

The Bygone Age of Marvels

RICHARD HALLIBURTON'S COMPLETE BOOK OF MARVELS [First Edition] 1st - Richard Halliburton

Aw, dorktastic! I can totally imagine some nerdy little kids of yesteryear poring intently over this tome, memorizing its factual information and dreaming of visiting these marvellous dams, bridges, and geographic features. Halliburton's voice is perfect for the book: he's just so excited about even the driest data! This delight in factual information is especially impressive in an individual so outdoorsy and adventurous, as these qualities are not often found together.

This book made a generation of children dream of travel and adventure. I can't imagine it holding much interest for the youngsters of today, however. What attraction could these figures and grainy black and white photos* hold in the era of wikipedia and (in color!) travel documentaries?

*Halliburton was actually a pretty good photographer; the cheap reproductions in this book don't do his work justice. I couldn't find alternate versions of the ones from the book, but here's a photo of his "Hangover House" in Laguna, designed by his friend William Alexander (Alexander's partner Paul Mooney was Halliburton's editor).