Category Archives: Side Notes

2014 in review

The stats helper monkeys prepared a 2014 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

A New York City subway train holds 1,200 people. This blog was viewed about 7,200 times in 2014. If it were a NYC subway train, it would take about 6 trips to carry that many people.

Click here to see the complete report.


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11 Literary Costume Ideas For Halloween (via Retreat from Random House)

I absolutely loved this so much I had to share it immediately!!!

If you are looking for a kick ass literary costume this year. Now you can have your pick!! I can’t choose!! They are all so good!!

Note: This is all from Retreat from Random House

Recreate Cheryl Strayed’s experience by dressing up as her on October 31st.


Did he or didn’t he? Head out as Nick from Gone Girl.


You can be that kind of girl if you dress up like Lena Dunham this Halloween!


Why not head out as Canada’s favourite Commander of the International Space Station, Chris Hadfield?


Channel your inner Bridget this Halloween!


Prove you would survive and become one of the Gladers from The Maze Runner, Grievers not included.


Become a Shopaholic to the Stars by dressing up as Becky Brandon (née Bloomwood)


If you’re a fan of a good mystery, you might want to dress up as one of our favourite detectives!


You could channel one of our favourite memoirs and a NetFlix phenomenon!


What’s red, white and black all over? YOU!


Keep things extra gory this Halloween with a Max Brooks inspired costume.


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100th Post!!!

I was just notified that my last post was my 100th post!!! Yay!!


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Where Has The Time Gone?

Yes! It is me!! And I am as shocked as you are!!

I can’t even remember the last time I viewed my blog. I thought about it all the time, wondering if people still visited—the answer is yes. Not many but there were a few people here and there. I am in absolute awe that my last post on here was from March of 2013. That is insane!!Infinity-Time1

I definitely have not read many books since that time. I can probably count on one hand the amount of endings I have seen. In July of 2013 I had a baby. My first. My baby boy! He has taken over my entire world. Actually he consumed my every thought before he was even here. I blame him for the distraction since the beginning of last year. *kidding* Getting everything ready for his arrival took a lot of my time. But he will be 1 tomorrow and I am back at work. Since my arrival last Thursday I have already completed 2 books!! 1. Superbaby: 12 Ways to Give Your Child a Head Start in the First 3 Years by: Jenn Berman and 2. Tenth of December by: George Saunders. Yes, one of the first books I read was a parenting book. Hehehe.

I have been debating if I should continue CrackABook or if I should switch the theme of my blog all together. Yes, I have become so enraptured by everything to do with my son that I was thinking of turning my blog into a Mommy Tip Guide. I know.. I know.. How original. Lol

the-leftoversBut I feel like I must write one more post if I do say goodbye for good. Mainly because I am so excited that Tom Perrotta’s book The Leftovers was turned into a television series and it is incredible! If you do not know about the book you can check out my post here. If you haven’t heard about the show it airs Sundays on HBO at 10pm.

I don’t want to overdo it. My writing skills probably aren’t as eloquent as they once were (if they ever were). I have been speaking “Motherese” for the past year so I am surprised I can still put a comprehension sentence together. So until next time fellow bibliophiles!!

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2013 in review

The stats helper monkeys prepared a 2013 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

A New York City subway train holds 1,200 people. This blog was viewed about 8,100 times in 2013. If it were a NYC subway train, it would take about 7 trips to carry that many people.

Click here to see the complete report.

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10,000 Hits and Counting!!

As of July 9th, 2012 Crack A Book has reach over 10,000 hits!!!

I would like to thank everyone for their support and for stopping by my site, even if it was only once. I never expected when I started this blog that I would have so much fun with it! I can’t believe I found a way to making reading even more enjoyable!! 

 Here is to another 10,000 more!! xoxo


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Crazy & Unusual Book Designs

I have been obsessed with the new edible cookbook ever since I first heard about it! So I went searching for more crazy and unusual book designs. The first thing I found out about was Snoop Dogg‘s new book Rolling Words: A Smokeable Songbook. Talk about crazy and unusual! This book is a compilation of Snoop’s lyrics and it’s printed on non-other than… rolling papers! He even made them perforated so you can pull them out of the book and use them in whatever fashion you see fit. The jacket is made of hemp material, a twine cover and you can even strike a match across the spine, thanks to its special surface — can you say multipurpose! Wow!

After I saw this, I knew there had to be more nutty and wacky book design out there! So the first place I look is Flavour Wire, and of course they had exactly what I was looking for!

I want a copy of them all!!! 🙂

The Mirror Book, by John Christie and Ron King, and published by Circle Press in 1985, is exactly what it sounds like. It comes complete with a pair of white gloves for smudge-free handling, and it’s meant to be a book about self-discovery: “as one turns the pages, hands are reflected, and on looking closely, our own faces. In the act of turning, the self-image becomes distorted. Here the book is the entrance key to a world of self-contemplation, and, potentially, self-knowledge.”

 This is a great gift idea for the narcissist on your list!! lol

While it might not look all that out of the ordinary, the first edition cover of We’re Getting On by James Kaelan is made out of birch seed paper — so when you’re finished reading it, you can plant it and make a tree.

I love this idea!! Can you say “Reduce, Reuse and Recycle” Even though I love expanding my library collection. I guess I would have to buy two copies. 

Speaking of edible books, Design Criminals is another tome you can nibble — only this one is an art book made entirely out of sugar and printed with vegetable ink. The book won designer Andreas Pohancenik a nomination for the prestigious Brit Insurance Design Awards. Check out a making-of video here.

Made out of sugar!! A book that can make me get fat! I would still try it! hehehe 

A glow-in-the-dark book by Croatian designers Bruketa&Žinić that can only be identified at night — in the light, it looks like a plain white journal. Read more here.

Too cute!!

Even though these books were only distributed as a direct marketing idea to promote the movie The Jungle Book 2 in Spain, we think they’re pretty phenomenal. We wonder what’s inside.

I am going to hunt this book down!! It will be mine! Oh yes! It will be mine! 

The Mechanical Word is a five volume series of mechanical books designed by Karen Bleitz with poetry by Richard Price. Readers turn the cranks to interact with the poems and “reveal the forces hidden within the constructs of communication.”

I am not a big poetry fan, but this might turn me into one! 🙂

Coffee Stains by Martha Hayden is a book about the health benefits of coffee — and it’s made out of coffee residue. How appropriate.

This is the perfect coffee table book! And better yet, you wouldn’t even notice if you spilled any coffee on it! 😀

This edition of Edgar Allan Poe’s short story “The Imp of the Perverse,” designed by Helen Friel, must be destroyed to be properly read. Friel explains, “‘The Imp of the Perverse’ discusses the voice inside all of us that makes us to do things we know we shouldn’t do. Each page is perforated in a grid system with sections of the text missing. Readers must follow the simple instructions to tear and fold specific sections to reveal the missing text. Books are usually precious objects and the destruction is engineered to give the reader conflicting feelings, do they keep the book in it’s perfect untorn form? Or give into the imp and enjoy tearing it apart?”

I don’t know if I could bring myself to destroy a book, but this looks to fun to turn down! 

Each edition of Richard Long’s Nile (Papers of River Muds) is made from the mud of the Mississippi, the Amazon, the Rhine, the Guatiquia, the Huang He, the Hudson, the Nairobi, and other rivers, each page a little different depending on where it was collected.

Don’t be drinking while reading this book! Once spill and you’d have quite a mess on your hands! lol

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Atwood’s children series to get TV treatment

Breakthrough Entertainment has optioned Margaret Atwood’s Wandering Wenda & Friends from McArthur & Co for animated Children’s TV Series

Yesterday, McArthur & Company announced that it has sold TV rights to Margaret Atwood’s Wandering Wenda and Friends children’s books to Breakthrough Entertainment. The deal comprises rights to the series’ previously published picture books — Wandering Wenda, Bashful Boband Doleful Dorinda, Princess Prunella, and Rude Ramsay — as well as a forthcoming fifth fable, Silent Sam(all illustrated by Dušan Petričić).

Breakthrough, the Toronto TV production and distribution company behind HBO Canada’s Less Than Kind, and kids’ shows such as Crash Canyon and The Adventures of Dudley the Dragon, has confirmed that it’s developing the books into an animated series for preschoolers.

The news comes on the heels of another recent Atwood adaptation. Earlier this month, Payback, a documentary based on the author’s 2008 Massey lectures, came out to positive reviews (Quill and Quire)


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The 10 Most Expensive Books in the World

Flavorwire posted this on Jan 20, 2012. It was just too awesome not to share with everyone!!

It could be a record-breaking afternoon in the book world. Today, Christie’s New York will auction off a copy of John James Audubon’s Birds of America, which already holds the title of most valuable printed book in the world, having sold for about $11.5 million in 2010. In fact, according to The Economist, a true list of the ten most valuable single books ever sold would have to include five copies of The Birds of America. Though Christie’s is playing their cards close to the vest and estimating a $7 to $10 million sale, today could see a new record for the book. After all, the copy that sold for $11.5 million was estimated at less than the copy on auction today.

To help you brush up on your knowledge of the very old and very valuable, we’ve compiled a list of the ten most expensive books ever sold — no white gloves necessary. Click through for an overview, and then head upstairs to check your attics for any forgotten dusty tomes — you could be a millionaire and not even know it.

The First Book of Urizen, William Blake — $2.5 million

Originally printed in 1794, The First Book of Urizen is one of the major pieces (and some say the most important) in Blake’s series of prophetic works. One of only eight known surviving copies was sold at Sotheby’s New York in 1999 for $2.5 million to a private collector.

The Tales of Beedle the Bard, J.K. Rowling — $3.98 million

Before this book, meant to be the same children’s book that figures heavily in Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, became a mass-market paperback, J.K. Rowling created seven original copies, each one handwritten and illustrated by Rowling herself. Six were given to friends and editors, but in 2007, one of the seven was put up for auction. It was snapped up by for a whopping $3.98 million, making it the most expensive modern manuscript ever purchased at auction. The money from the sale of the book was donated to The Children’s Voice charity campaign.

Geographia Cosmographia, Claudius Ptolemy — $4 million

The world’s first printed atlas, and the world’s first book to make use of engraved illustrations, Ptolemy’s 1477 Cosmographia sold at Sotheby’s London in 2006 for £2,136,000, or almost $4 million at the time.

Traité des arbres fruitiers [Treatise on Fruit Trees] by Henri Louis Duhamel du Monceau, illustrated by Pierre Antoine Poiteau and Pierre Jean François Turpin — $4.5 million

Definitely the most expensive book ever written about fruit trees (featuring sixteen different varieties!), a copy of this lush, five volume set of illustrations and text sold for about $4.5 million in 2006

The Gutenberg Bible — $4.9 million

A copy of the Gutenberg Bible sold in 1987 for a then-record $4.9 million at Christie’s New York. Only 48 of the books — the first to be printed with movable type — exist in the world.

First Folio, William Shakespeare — $6 million

Though the First Folio’s original price was a single pound (one or two more if you wanted it bound in leather or otherwise adorned), intact copies are now among the most highly prized finds among book collectors, with only an estimated 228 (out of an original 750) left in existence. In 2001, Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen purchased a copy for $6,166,000 at Christie’s New York.

The Canterbury Tales, Geoffrey Chaucer — $7.5 million

A first edition of the 15th century bawd-fest sold for £4.6m (or about $7.5 million at the time) at Christie’s in London in 1998. Of the dozen known copies of the 1477 first edition, this was the last to be held privately, and was originally purchased for £6 by the first Earl Fitzwilliam at the sale of John Radcliffe’s library at Christie’s in 1776. Talk about growing your investment.

Birds of America, James Audubon — $11.5 million

In 2000, Christie’s auctioned off a copy (one of only 119 known complete copies in the world) of Birds in America for $8,802,500. Ten years later, another complete first edition was sold at London at Sotheby’s for £7,321,250 (or about $11.5 million) Today, another copy of the enormous four volume set goes up for auction at Christie’s, and perhaps another world record will be made.

The Gospels of Henry the Lion, Order of Saint Benedict — $11.7 million

Originally commissioned by Henry the Lion, Duke of Saxony, for the altar of the Virgin Mary at the Brunswick Cathedral, this gospel book was purchased by the German government at Sotheby’s of London in 1983 for £8,140,000, or about $11.7 million (at the time). At 266 pages, including 50 full-page illustrations, the book is considered a masterpiece of the 12th century Romanesque illuminated manuscript.

The Codex Leicester, Leonardo da Vinci — $30.8 million

The most famous of da Vinci’s scientific journals, the 72-page notebook is filled with the great thinker’s handwritten musings and theories on everything from fossils to the movement of water to what makes the moon glow. The manuscript was first purchased in 1717 by Thomas Coke, who later became the Earl of Leicester, and then, in 1980, bought from the Leicester estate by art collector Armand Hammer (whose name the manuscript bore for the fourteen years he owned it). In 1994, Bill Gates nabbed the journal at auction for $30,800,000, making it the most expensive book ever purchased. But hey, at least Gates put his purchase to good use — he had the book scanned and turned into a screensaver distributed with Microsoft Plus! for Windows 95.


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Edible Cookbook

This look delicious and fun at the same time!! This couldn’t be anymore adorable!! I have to try this one out!! 😀

The German firm Korefe designed The Real Cookbook (Das Echte und Einzige Kochbuch), a special edition edible cookbook that is made of fresh pasta which can be baked into a lasagna. Gerstenberg Publishing House published this unique cookbook as a special project.

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