Bookish News of the Day

On this date, in 1953 – James D. Watson and Francis Crick announce to friends that they have determined the chemical structure of DNA; the formal announcement takes place on April 25 following publication in April’s Nature (pub. April 2). (Rosalind Franklin also deserves big credit for her work on this discovery, but is often omitted.)

Welcome to your Bookish News of the Day!


Born on this Day

1812 – Bertold Auerbach, German poet & author
1894 – Ben Hecht, American playwright
1895 – Marcel Pagnol, French writer
1909 – Stephen Spender, English poet &
1929 – John Montague, Irish poet
1930 – Bruse Dawe, Australian poet
1970 – Daniel Handler, American writer

Died on This Day

1869 – Alphonse de Lamartine, French writer & Poet
1916 – Henry James, American writer
1967 – Henry Luce, American publisher
2004 – Carmen Laforet, Spanish author


RIP, Jan Bernstain

Jan Berenstain, who with her husband Stan wrote and illustrated the Berenstain Bears books that have charmed preschoolers and their parents for 50 years, has died. She was 88.

Berenstain, a longtime resident of Solebury in southeastern Pennsylvania, suffered a severe stroke on Thursday and died Friday without regaining consciousness, her son Mike Berenstain said.


Anna Karenina for the Big Screen

Now, I love me some Anna Karenina…but I have had some concerns since it was announced that Kiera Knightly would be playing Anna. Yesterday, still shots from the filming were shared.


The Paris Review at 200!

The April edition of The Paris Review will be the publication’s 200th issue! And it looks to be huge!


John Steinbeck

One of John Steinbeck’s diaries is available for online viewing from The Morgan Library & Museum. This diary was kept by Steinbeck during the writing of The Grapes of Wrath.


Tips for Writers, From Writers

Many readers are writers. All writers are readers! Here, Time Soak has compiled a list of 105 tips for writers, taken from some of the best known writers of all time.


Minimalist Fairy Tale Posters

Now, I am not one to crave the olden days or hang onto thoughts that childhood was better…but these posters are so cool and – if i had a kid – I would actually consider buying one or two for their room.


Poem of the Day

I Think Continually

by Stephen Spender

I think continually of those who were truly great.
Who, from the womb, remembered the soul’s history
Through corridors of light where the hours are suns
Endless and singing. Whose lovely ambition
Was that their lips, still touched with fire,
Should tell of the Spirit clothed from head to foot in song.
And who hoarded from the Spring branches
The desires falling across their bodies like blossoms.

What is precious is never to forget
The essential delight of the blood drawn from ageless springs
Breaking through rocks in worlds before our earth.
Never to deny its pleasure in the morning simple light
Nor its grave evening demand for love.
Never to allow gradually the traffic to smother
With noise and fog the flowering of the spirit.

Near the snow, near the sun, in the highest fields
See how these names are feted by the waving grass
And by the streamers of white cloud
And whispers of wind in the listening sky.
The names of those who in their lives fought for life
Who wore at their hearts the fire’s centre.
Born of the sun they travelled a short while towards the sun,
And left the vivid air signed with their honour.


Sir Stephen Harold Spender (born on this day in 1909) was an English poet, novelist and essayist who concentrated on themes of social injustice and the class struggle in his work. He was appointed the seventeenth Poet Laureate Consultant in Poetry to the United States Library of Congress in 1965.

A biography of Spender was published in 1999.


Word of the Day

pettifog \ PET-ee-fog \ , verb;

1. To bicker or quibble over trifles or unimportant matters.
2. To carry on a petty, shifty, or unethical law business.
3. To practice chicanery of any sort.


Marius, my boy, you are a baron, you are rich, don’t pettifog , I beg of you.
— Victor Hugo, Les Misérables

Naturally, the wonderful tubers Brillat-Savarin dug up and dished out lacked the penultimate refinements of washing and cooking, but it would’ve been gauche to pettifog.
— Elizabeth Gundy, The Disappearance of Gregory Pluckrose


Pettifog comes from the Middle Dutch word voeger meaning one who arranges things and the word petty meaning insignificant.


And Finally….

Writing is hard work!