Professor Plum in the library with the candlestick.

Well he-llo!

Ooof. So much to get through this week, it’s enough to make you cry. Dally not and let’s plunge headfirst into all the amazement there is to discuss!

First thing I want to pimp out quickly is I hope you have seen the wonderful range of Beatrix Potter plush toys on the homepage we have for purchase. I’m not going to embarrass myself by telling you all what my father used to call me – as a term of endearment he defends – as a child, but the character in question I was named after is in the very same section. So if for nothing else I implore you to have a look and try and guess the character. And no, it wasn’t Mrs. Tiggywinkle.

I was most amused to learn this morning about a different sort of award which I couldn’t help but smirk at. An award for bad prose, it is presented to the author of the worst opening to a piece of fiction in the past year. It is named in tribute to Edward George Bulwer-Lytton, after he was responsible for an extremely bad opening to a piece of literature he once wrote. This year’s winner of the Bulwer-Lytton Fiction Contest is Professor Sue Fondrie from the University of Wisconsin and her winning words: “Cheryl’s mind turned like the vanes of a wind-powered turbine, chopping her sparrow-like thoughts into bloody pieces that fell onto a growing pile of forgotten memories.” Cringe-worthy indeed, and I believe I can say with utter confidence that Hilary Mantel hasn’t anything to worry about.

Yesterday saw the release of two seminal award longlists, the prestigious Man Booker Prize and the Crime Thriller Awards. There are four longlists in the latter, the titles of which you can see displayed in our crime, thrillers & mystery section. The gold dagger award itself always makes me think of an enlarged-version of the small metal dagger used in Cluedo sets you’d stab your pawns with as a child. But congratulations to all those nominated in the awards and let the judging begin.

Another thing that made me laugh to myself today was learning about David Prowse’s new autobiography, due to be published this September by Apex. David Prowse MBE you should know was the man in the costume – though not the voice of – Darth Vader in the original Star Wars films. Naturally the Herculean amount of Star Wars die-hards that walk the Earth will be looking forward to reading it, but my amusement stems from the title of the book itself; Straight From the Force’s Mouth. Genius.

Quickly going back to stationery on the site, if you’re in the market for some whimsical new office items or a journal with an elegant twist, please pop over to our stationery page where you will find a fresh and whole-new section of stationery items including mugs, screen cleaners, pencil cases, a beautiful range from Paperblanks and 2012 art calendars from Pomegranate. I’ll be listing some new items on a weekly basis, so please make sure you check every Monday for new items being added.

As always you can follow us on Twitter and Facebook; by following us on the former you ensure that you never miss any of our news, views and competition details… so do yourself a favour and follow us! And if Twitter ain’t your thang, you can ‘like’ us on Facebook too. Simples.

I leave you now for another one hundred and sixty-eight hours until the next time we meet.


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