few years ago at Christmas, my boyfriend gave me a copy of The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Clay, by Michael Chabon. He’s a big comic book fan and fell in love with the book as soon as he read it. Somewhat romantically, he expressed a number of reasons why he gifted it to me and I sat down just a few days later and turned the first page.
Chabon won the Pulitzer Prize for Kavalier and Clay and it was immediately obvious why. Chabon’s golden age of comics shines from the page. His characters are sincere and believable, his New York pops into existence in the mind’s eye, bubbling to the surface with wit and history at the core. I have always said that the best books are the ones I finish, only to wish I could gain back my ignorance and re-read them to attain the same sense of wonder. Kavalier and Clay was one of these.
This is actually a story of how I got lost in London recently and how I blame audiobooks for the entire affair.
I’m a runner. Don’t get me wrong, I’m no Olympian and you’ll never see me win a race, but running helps me keep my head in the game. It gets me outside the house on even the coldest of days and keeps me fit despite my (proud) chocolate obsession.
During last summer I trained hard and found myself running 20-25 miles a week, more than I had been doing previously. Listening to the same music and over and over again started to bore me and running began to feel monotonous. Toward the end of my training regime, every mile felt like it lasted a lifetime. I like exercise and I love a challenge, but I also have a proclivity for making excuses. Motivating myself can be tricky if I’m not feeling 110%.
When I first moved to London, I lived in this weird panacea, which only existed in my head. I thought the morning (and evening) Tube rushes were delightfully whimsical- and that the platforms full of shoving, sweaty Tube-dwellers were a modern transportation miracle.
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Note: Patrons for Harry Potter and the Cursed Child were asked to #KeeptheSecrets, and I’m a good Secret Keeper: there are no spoilers here. However, you may wish to avoid this article if you want to see or read the play with absolutely no background information.
In July 1999 my father read to me a small article in a national newspaper about a book called Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban. He (a teacher) said kids in his school talked about it. I asked him if I could read it. He came home a while later with a hardback copy of Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets, which I chomped in a day. A few days later, we were in a local bookshop and a copy of Harry Potter and the Philsopher’s Stone was in the bargain bucket for £3.
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In 2001, Miraphora Mina and Eduardo Lima met on the set of Harry Potter and began a collaboration that would become iconic. The graphic design work in the Harry Potter world has brought visual joy to millions- think about the letter addressed to ‘Mr H Potter, The Cupboard Under the Stairs, 4 Privet Drive, Little Whinging, Surrey’, or the eclectic beauty of a box of Bertie Bott’s Every Flavour Beans.
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