Book Magpie: Best of the Web, Friday 21 June 2013
Category: Reading

Book Magpie lives with the day-to-day knowledge that, for many, I’m a bad omen.

In Norway for example, as I found out this week, I’m considered a bird of the hundra – that’s the underground people to you and me. Ouch.

Behind this handsome, unflappable, gangsta façade, Book Magpie - like Natasha Bedingfield - bruises easily.

Upon hearing this Nordic insult I became curious about the underworld and turned to Dante (as one does on these occasions) and clicked through this web-tour of Dante’s Inferno from the University of Texas. OK, it’s not the “hundra” but I didn’t see myself there.

I see myself more as a bird of our times. I’m as happy kickin’ it gangsta style with Thug Notes and their street retelling of The Great Gatsby as I am admiring these artist’s impressions made from novel’s descriptions of their characters on Tumblr.

As one of the world’s most intelligent animals I don’t even need to look up these 20 epic Shakespeare insults to spit the mad rhymes in the face of Norweigian punks. I’m comfortable peppering my superb use of English with this list of Wordnik words they challenge people to use without sounding like a pretentious ass.

But unlike the writers in Flavorwire’s list of the 30 harshest author-on-author insults, Book Magpie don’t seek battles to fight. I’ll put my wings round my brothers and cry openly watching the late James Gandolfini read from Maurice Sendak; I don’t think twice about sharing images of Leith Library’s Teddy Bear Sleepover; and, if my humpies are hungry I can steal them these 11 literary desserts from Book Riot.

Unlike these incredible pencil drawings, I am actually 3D, I don’t just appear it. I’m a well-rounded character…Norway! I’m a magpie who likes books. I don’t hide behind no nom de plume (pun intended) like these famous writers – although it was interesting to find out how they chose their pen names on Mental Floss.

So back off. That goes for you Scotland as well. When I appear on your rain hammered windowsills, it’s not to signal impending death, it’s because I’m watching film adaptations on your TV. 

Soon that will include World War Z. To swat up Book Magpie’s been all over this article from The Atlantic about the civilizational significance of zombies.

So remember, the moral of the story is: unlike zombies, Book Magpie bruises easily, so be careful how you handle me.

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