Sunday, January 24, 2016

Meanwhile, Back in the Waiting Room


Apologies for the delay. Help yourself to whatever you find in the Waiting Room. The Mistress will return soon.

Wednesday, January 20, 2016

Where's Norma?

Norma claims to have gone off to distant lands. This photo from her motel room just in...


Tuesday, January 19, 2016

Recommended Reading

Still trying to decide what to read during The 2016 Infomaniac Book Challenge?

Based on titles I've read over the past couple of years, The Mistress offers a few suggestions. See if something here strikes your fancy (besides the man in the photo, above.)  

Not My Father's Son: A Memoir by Alan Cumming (2014)...

You may know Alan Cumming as Eli Gold on The Good Wife. Or as the master of ceremonies in Cabaret. (If you haven't seen him in Cabaret, give yourself a treat and click here.) Or as the camp steward, Sebastian Flight in the Britcom, The High Life. Or maybe you've seen him introduce Masterpiece Mystery! for PBS.

So now that we've established just a few of his on-screen accomplishments, let's add author to the list.

In Not My Father's Son, Alan shares the emotional story of his complicated relationship with a father who psychologically and physically abused him. Not for the faint of heart, the descriptions are absolutely Dickensian.

Interwoven into the tale is how he goes about solving a deeply buried family secret. 

Though emotionally draining and at times disturbing, Alan relates his memoir with his signature wit and opts for a positive outlook.

"The truth can hurt," says Cumming, "but not knowing can hurt more."

Can't We Talk about Something More Pleasant? by Roz Chast (2014)...

If you're a fan of Roz Chast's angst-ridden cartoons in the New Yorker magazine, try her memoir on for size, in the form of this graphic novel.

Roz deals with the decline and care of her aging parents with dark humour and a sense of the absurd. You'll laugh. You'll cry. And if you or "a friend" are going through a similar situation, this book may bring much needed comic relief.

And it's all illustrations so it's like reading a comic book. Yay!

The Extraordinary Journey of the Fakir Who Got Trapped in an Ikea Wardrobe by Romain Puértolas (English translation published 2014)...

The title perfectly describes what happens in this whimsical novel. Looking for a light, fun read? You've found it.


Sunday, January 17, 2016

The Man Who Loved Reading: David Bowie's 100 Favourite Books

Wondering what to read during The 2016 Infomaniac Book Challenge? Look no further than David Bowie's Top 100 Books.

Bowie is said to have read a book a day. Top that Infomaniac Book Challengers!

Bowie called “reading” his gateway activity to emotional ecstasy.

The following is a list of David Bowie's 100 favourite books, in no particular order:

Interviews With Francis Bacon by David Sylvester

Billy Liar by Keith Waterhouse

Room At The Top by John Braine

On Having No Head by Douglass Harding

Kafka Was The Rage by Anatole Broyard

A Clockwork Orange by Anthony Burgess

City Of Night by John Rechy

The Brief Wondrous Life Of Oscar Wao by Junot Diaz

Madame Bovary by Gustave Flaubert

Iliad by Homer

As I Lay Dying by William Faulkner

Tadanori Yokoo by Tadanori Yokoo

Berlin Alexanderplatz by Alfred Döblin

Inside The Whale And Other Essays by George Orwell

Mr. Norris Changes Trains by Christopher Isherwood

Halls Dictionary Of Subjects And Symbols In Art by James A. Hall

David Bomberg by Richard Cork

Blast by Wyndham Lewis

Passing by Nella Larson

Beyond The Brillo Box by Arthur C. Danto

The Origin Of Consciousness In The Breakdown Of The Bicameral Mind by Julian Jaynes

In Bluebeard’s Castle by George Steiner

Hawksmoor by Peter Ackroyd

The Divided Self by R. D. Laing

The Stranger by Albert Camus

Infants Of The Spring by Wallace Thurman

The Quest For Christa T by Christa Wolf

The Songlines by Bruce Chatwin

Nights At The Circus by Angela Carter

The Master And Margarita by Mikhail Bulgakov

The Prime Of Miss Jean Brodie by Muriel Spark

Lolita by Vladimir Nabokov

Herzog by Saul Bellow

Puckoon by Spike Milligan

Black Boy by Richard Wright

The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald

The Sailor Who Fell From Grace With The Sea by Yukio Mishima

Darkness At Noon by Arthur Koestler

The Waste Land by T.S. Elliot

McTeague by Frank Norris

Money by Martin Amis

The Outsider by Colin Wilson

Strange People by Frank Edwards

English Journey by J.B. Priestley

A Confederacy Of Dunces by John Kennedy Toole

The Day Of The Locust by Nathanael West

1984 by George Orwell

The Life And Times Of Little Richard by Charles White

Awopbopaloobop Alopbamboom: The Golden Age of Rock by Nik Cohn

Mystery Train by Greil Marcus

Beano (comic, ’50s)

Raw (comic, ’80s)

White Noise by Don DeLillo

Sweet Soul Music: Rhythm And Blues And The Southern Dream Of Freedom by Peter Guralnick

Silence: Lectures And Writing by John Cage

Writers At Work: The Paris Review Interviews edited by Malcolm Cowley

The Sound Of The City: The Rise Of Rock And Roll by Charlie Gillete

Octobriana And The Russian Underground by Peter Sadecky

The Street by Ann Petry

Wonder Boys by Michael Chabon

Last Exit To Brooklyn By Hubert Selby, Jr.

A People’s History Of The United States by Howard Zinn

The Age Of American Unreason by Susan Jacoby

Metropolitan Life by Fran Lebowitz

The Coast Of Utopia by Tom Stoppard

The Bridge by Hart Crane

All The Emperor’s Horses by David Kidd

Fingersmith by Sarah Waters

Earthly Powers by Anthony Burgess

The 42nd Parallel by John Dos Passos

Tales Of Beatnik Glory by Ed Saunders

The Bird Artist by Howard Norman

Nowhere To Run The Story Of Soul Music by Gerri Hirshey

Before The Deluge by Otto Friedrich

Sexual Personae: Art And Decadence From Nefertiti To Emily Dickinson by Camille Paglia

The American Way Of Death by Jessica Mitford

In Cold Blood by Truman Capote

Lady Chatterly’s Lover by D.H. Lawrence

Teenage by Jon Savage

Vile Bodies by Evelyn Waugh

The Hidden Persuaders by Vance Packard

The Fire Next Time by James Baldwin

Viz (comic, early ’80s)

Private Eye (satirical magazine, ’60s – ’80s)

Selected Poems by Frank O’Hara

The Trial Of Henry Kissinger by Christopher Hitchens

Flaubert’s Parrot by Julian Barnes

Maldodor by Comte de Lautréamont

On The Road by Jack Kerouac

Mr. Wilson’s Cabinet of Wonders by Lawrence Weschler

Zanoni by Edward Bulwer-Lytton

Transcendental Magic, Its Doctine and Ritual by Eliphas Lévi

The Gnostic Gospels by Elaine Pagels

The Leopard by Giusseppe Di Lampedusa

Inferno by Dante Alighieri

A Grave For A Dolphin by Alberto Denti di Pirajno

The Insult by Rupert Thomson

In Between The Sheets by Ian McEwan

A People’s Tragedy by Orlando Figes

Journey Into The Whirlwind by Eugenia Ginzburg

Note: Thanks to LX for telling us about this book list.

Friday, January 15, 2016

Bowie at the Infomaniac Cocktail Lounge

I don't know about you Bitches, but The Mistress could use a drink. Oh, bartender!...

What are you Bitches having?

[Photograph by Mick Rock]

We here at Infomaniac raise our glasses to DAVID BOWIE...

Monday, January 11, 2016

David Bowie Statue

Several years ago, we here at Infomaniac proposed creating a sculpture garden.

And so, in memory of the late, great David Bowie, behold: our first work of art...

Friday, January 08, 2016

Filthy Friday - Bookmark Edition


What do you Bitches use as a bookmark?

Wednesday, January 06, 2016


Norma tries to break Mr. DeVice's 2015 record of 59 books...

A reminder that The 2016 Infomaniac Book Challenge is NOT a contest.

Wenis Wedneday - Book Edition

Penis Pokey by Christopher Behrens...

Monday, January 04, 2016

Rights of Readers

Our Huggy Jon from Montréal has this to say about "Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone" ...

"I tried the first Potter but it fell of my hands around page 51."

Huggy Jon did the right thing by letting the book fall out of his hands after 50 pages.

If a book doesn't interest you after 50 pages, put it down and select another.

So many books, so little time!

No one is forcing you to finish a book you're not enjoying.

Remember THE RULE OF 50, as spoken by Seattle librarian Nancy Pearl...

"Give a book fifty pages before you decide to commit to reading it or give it up."

"The Rule of 50" works for The Mistress. Years ago, I was nearing the final chapter of a very long, boring book. I just couldn't face another page so I put it down before the final chapter and never picked it up again. I have no idea how the book ended nor do I care. I was wasting my time on a book I wasn't enjoying. From that point on, if a book didn't hook me after a few chapters, I put it down and picked up another.

The Rule of 50, Bitches! Make it your motto.

And while you're preparing for The 2016 Infomaniac Book Challenge, have a look at your rights:

The Rights of Readers

1. The right to read.

2. The right to skip.

3. The right not to finish a book.

4. The right to read it again.

5. The right to read anything.

6. The right to mistake a book for real life.

7. The right to read anywhere.

8. The right to dip in.

9. The right to read out loud.

10. The right to be quiet and not discuss the book with anyone.

Click to enlarge...

NOTE: If you are over 50 years old, Nancy has revised her Rule of 50, so you don't even have to read that many pages before deciding whether the book is worth your time or not. Click here. Some simple math required.

Sunday, January 03, 2016

Giving the Brushoff to Bestsellers

If you click to enlarge this photo and try to take your eyes off the cock, you'll see a stack of Harry Potter books on the bookshelf, behind his elbow...


Believe it or not, The Mistress has never read a Harry Potter book. Am I the only person in the world who has not read any of J.K. Rowling's oeuvre?

The following is a brief list of other best-selling books I've never read:

The Da Vinci Code by Dan Brown
The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo by Stieg Larsson
Twilight by Stephanie Meyer
The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins 
Fifty Shades of Grey by E.L. James

Nor have I picked up a paperback by any of these best-selling authors nor am I interested:
John Grisham
James Patterson
Danielle Steele

My general rule of thumb is this: If a book is located next to the checkout counter in the supermarket or drugstore, I'm not interested. A bit of a snobbish attitude but  I'm wary of the hype surrounding bestsellers. 

Nonetheless, these titles fly off the shelves so perhaps I'm not giving them a chance.

If I'm missing out on an enjoyable read in this list of titles and authors, let me know and I'll reconsider reading them.

Which bestsellers haven't YOU read?

Saturday, January 02, 2016

The 2016 Infomaniac Book Challenge

We are pleased to present The 2016 Infomaniac Book Challenge!

Several of you have stated that you want to READ MORE BOOKS in the New Year.

Mr. DeVice read an astonishing 59 books in 2015 and yet he wants to increase those numbers in 2016.

Muscato devoured 33 books last year and says, "as I've migrated mostly from paper to electronic books, it feels like I'm not reading nearly as much."

The Mistress managed about 50 books.

So we here at Infomaniac encourage you to get started. It's not a race and it's not a contest.

You certainly don't have to read as many books as Mr. DeVice, Muscato and The Mistress but try for as many books as time permits. Even one book every couple of months is better than none.

Reading enriches us, stimulates our imaginations, reduces stress, improves our vocabulary, and increases our intelligence.

So put down that remote control (with the exception of viewing Downton Abbey, of course) and pick up a book, dammit.

Every 2 months, Infomaniac will publish a post asking you to comment on what books you've read over a two-month period.

Note: The first check-in to see how you're coming along will be approximately March 1st. 

Join the 2016 Infomaniac Book Challenge! Challenge yourself to READ MORE BOOKS!

Friday, January 01, 2016

Filthy Friday - New Year Edition

Happy New Year, Bitches!

How do you think your 2016 will measure up?