Five Questions Monday

Jeff Vandermeer, author of The Steampunk User’s Manual, Wonderbook and The Steampunk Bible, answered our grueling Five Questions Monday quiz!

1.      How do you like your eggs in the morning?

Four in number. Scrambled. Yes, I am basically a komodo dragon.

2.      What’s your favourite joke?

What’s brown and sticky?

3.      What film character are you most like?

Marty Feldman in Young Frankenstein…or maybe not.

4.      What is the first book you ever read?

The one I remember is a picture book of William Blake’s Tyger Burning Bright read to me by my parents.

5.       Would you rather be the villain or the hero?  

I would rather be the person tapping his toe impatiently waiting for those two jerks to finish showing off.

Thank you Jeff for taking our little quiz, we didn’t know komodo dragons were fans of scrambled eggs, I guess you learn something new everyday!


Barbra Streisand: In the Camera Eye

James Spada On His New Book “Streisand: In the Camera Eye”

This is my fourth book about Barbra Streisand—I plead guilty to being a fan! Two of those earlier books were more than 50% photographs (the other was an in-depth biography. My challenge with this one, then, was finding as many previously unseen or rare photos as possible. I feel pride in the fact that I was able to do that to a very great extent with this new book.

My favourite photo in the book is the never-before-published cover shot by Cecil Beaton of Barbra as Melinda Tentrees in the 1970 film On a Clear Day You Can See Forever. Barbra was at her most beautiful, and the photo itself illustrates Beaton’s comment that Barbra’s face “is a painting from several historical eras.” There are four other unpublished Beaton portraits from the film in the book.

I was also very pleased to be able to use four unseen shots from Barbra’s very first studio photo shoot in 1960, when she was still singing in  small clubs in Manhattan’s Greenwich Village. They were taken by a friend of a friend, Craig Simpson, who was a photographer’s assistant. The negatives were buried in Mr. Simpson’s basement in Northern California for more than fifty years. Despite being terminally ill with cancer, he was kind enough to dig them out for me. He passed away last year, and I’m so pleased that his photos will finally be seen in my book.

There are many other previously unpublished photos in “Streisand: In the Camera Eye”—gorgeous high-fashion shots by Philippe Halsman from 1965; photos taken in 1963 for a Look magazine story that were never used; unseen images from all her films; gorgeous, sexy shots by Mario Casilli taken in 1979 and 1982; photos from A Star is Born and The Main Event by Francesco Scavullo, and lovely onstage shots from Barbra’s most recent concert tour in 2012-13.

All told, I believe that even the most devoted Streisand fans will find much to delight and amaze them in this book.

Streisand: In the Camera Eye is available now!

Magma – #BookstoreoftheWeek

Oh happy day!!

It is time for Bookstore of the Week! Today we are taking a peek inside Magma.

This dynamic bookstore has three locations, two in London and one in Manchester (you lucky things.) We could be a little biased, but, we have a soft-spot for their Clerkenwell store… *pictures are from this location*

Magma is a story of two disheartened book lovers who wanted more than 3 for 2’s and floors upon floors of books. Although that is the dream for some, Marc and Montse wished for something more…Inspiring.

Something more…Vibrant.

Something more…Niche.

Something more…well, just MORE

The small space they began with (they started their venture in Covent Garden back in 2000) forced them to be selective about their products & although they have expanded through their two other stores, and their range of titles along with it, their selectivity remains. Meaning Magma is a collection of handpicked books & gifts (and t-shirts!) that can’t help but enthuse. A haven for design savvy, Magma, is engaging and open. Plus, we love them because they love our books!

Magma, thank you for following your dream & for getting over the fight about Bjork *you’ve gotta read their biography to get that joke…*We think you are champs. Three cheers for Magma!

Hip Hip, Hooray!

Magma Clerkenwell
117-119 Clerkenwell Road
London EC1R 5BY
United Kingdom

T +44 (0)20 7242 9503