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Red Scharlach
It's the Sharing Is Caring meme, day three, and this means a book/ebook/fanfic. Well, let's go for one of each, shall we?

Fanfic:
Five Pre-Raphaelite Muses Who Did Not Quite Pan Out
by prochytes
This is a rare beast indeed: a Desperate Romantics fanfic, which also features crossovers with (in order of appearance) Angel, Torchwood, Primeval, Doctor Who and Merlin. Crikey. But if you're familiar with most or all of these, it's a gem. Clever, thoughtful, and very funny.

E-Book:
No Name by Wilkie Collins
(also available the old-fashioned way)
If there were any justice in the televisual world, this would be the next blockbuster BBC Sunday evening costume drama, instead of the three-zillionth Jane Austen adaptation of the decade. Surely the only reason it isn't is that hardly anybody's read it, but you can change that now, and change it you should. It contains everything you could want from a Victorian novel. Bad things happening to poor orphans! Conniving rogues! Fainting fops! Corsetry! An epic battle of wits between two women! Constant page-turning with hardly any boring bits! What more could you ask for?

Real Book:
Fifth Business by Robertson Davies

I'm always keen to bang on about the general greatness of Robertson Davies to anyone who will listen for more than a minute, mainly because he deserves to be about fifty times more famous than he is. This is the first book in his Deptford Trilogy (the other two are The Manticore and World of Wonders). It begins in the fictional Canadian town of Deptford in 1908, when a boy throws a snowball at another boy. The boys grow up, but this initial small event ends up shaping their whole lives, and those of others, throughout the three books. While this may not sound fascinating, it genuinely is, mainly because Davies is a great, great writer, whose characters are wonderful people to spend time with, and whose observations on life and all the things in it are funny and dark and rich and worth going back to again and again. (And as an added bonus, he had a huge beard. See, the good things about him go on and on!)

So there's my contribution to lit crit for the week. While I'm on the topic, I'm in desperate need of something to read on the Tube, so can anyone suggest any decent books I might like? Something with a bit of weight but not requiring too much deep concentration, if that's not asking too much. And I'd prefer non-genre fiction but frankly, I'll take anything that sounds interesting...
 
 
Red Scharlach
It's the Sharing Is Caring meme, day four, and this means website recs. I confess, I found this one a little difficult because I only really use the same sites that everyone already knows, and whenever originality is required, I just mention Momo the Hamster and hope that the amusing cartoons about hamster testicles will distract everyone while I mooch away whistling. Nonetheless, here are a couple of places to find tantalizing trivia:

World Wide Words
Fabulous language facts in neat weekly doses. Impress your friends with etymological detail, and pepper your conversation with words like ostrobogulous, cunicular and obnubilate. If you fancy a challenge, you could even pick a few favourite terms and squeeze them into an LJ post. It might keep the acronychal informavores among you off the streets, at any rate.

Strange Maps
Modern maps are cool, and old maps even more so (see Old London Maps if you don't believe me), but this blog brings together all sorts of cartographical oddities: anything presented in map form is fair and fascinating game. I particularly liked this Road Map of Success, which graphically illustrates the way that you'll never reach the glowy stringed instrument of success unless you learn to avoid pitfalls such as Bohemianism, Bad Habits, and people telling you "You're The Hit of the Age".

There's also an obstacle marked "Shiftlessness", which I originally misread as "Shirtlessness". Clearly the latter is quite the opposite to an obstacle to success, especially if the success you're looking for is appearing on my mental Map of Hot Totty* -- as far as I recall, it's straight ahead at Flatteringly Cut Trousers and a hard left at Gratuitous Homoeroticism. Just ask Zachary Quinto if you get lost...

* If I ever put this down on paper, I promise you'll all be the first to know.
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