Wednesday, February 15, 2017

Interview: RoadVirusBus

We said recently that in a more contemporary retelling of The Treasure of Alpheus Winterborn, Anthony Monday would become a page in a mobile library. Or perhaps the navigator of such a contraption. Or would Mr. Beemis be the navigator, with Anthony more of an engineer? Anyway, this thought popped into mind because then-recent news had popped into our inbox about book fans Em and Sade (with Em a professed fan of John Bellairs, too) had done just that. Started a mobile library, that is.  It's called the Road Virus and specializes in fringe literature such as horror, sci-fi, fantasy, poetry, and more.  Em (a former librarian) and Sade (an author) were on the road at the time with Jolene Lenore (that's the bookmobile).  We finally caught up to the road-weary readers and they were very kind to provide some answers to our questions.

Friday, February 10, 2017

Something About #MailPouchBarns

Lewis Barnavelt spotted Mail Pouch brand tobacco signs on the sides of barns along the road between New Zebedee and Cristobal (The Specter from the Magician's Museum; 90). Between 1890 and 1992, the West Virginia Mail Pouch Chewing Tobacco Company paid farmers to allow advertisements to be painted on their barns within view of roadways; usually hand-painted in black or red with yellow or white capital lettering that read “Chew Mail Pouch Tobacco Treat Yourself to the Best.” At the height of the program in the early 1960s, there were about 20,000 Mail Pouch barns spread across 22 states.

Tuesday, January 10, 2017

Something About #EdmundSpenser

When Professor Childermass and Fergie attend the big strikeout contest in Duston Heights, they’re there for some fun (too bad "back, back, back” hadn’t been coined yet) but also to try and discern whether that strange pitching robot of Evaristus Sloane’s was present, too.

Reading over the list of pitchers, the professor sees names such Charles Hebden, Al McGee, Jack Humphrey, Spencer Talus ...

Wednesday, December 28, 2016

Seeing This Goodly Vessel Read Before Us

We were struck recently by this, the thought of a more mature, more modern Anthony Monday becoming a library page. Not in a brick-and-mortar library but behind the wheel of a bookmobile. This was followed by the disturbing thought of Miss Eells behind the wheel. She’s driven before, of course, but the mere thought of such activity only brings her clumsiness to the forefront.  Throw in Emerson Eells and a talking dog (Brewster?) and you might have a clever, coterie of crime-solvers.


That we were considering bookmobiles was because two fans of John Bellairs wrote to us this month to promote their project: a mobile bookstore. The vehicle is named Jolene Lenore, the project is called the Road Virus, and it plans to specialize in fringe literature:

Thursday, December 15, 2016

Where's There: Hagia Sophia

Mother Ximenes' Handbook for Grade School Nuns features a section on things Catholic students should know, one fact of which is that a priest is living in the walls of Hagia Sophia Church in Istanbul, Turkey (Saint Fidgeta and Other Parodies; 107).

Tuesday, November 15, 2016

What's What: Diagonal Architecture

The Cathedral of Saint Gorboduc, among its many wonders, is one of the few churches that features examples of diagonal architecture (Saint Fidgeta and Other Parodies; 34).

Saturday, October 15, 2016

Who's Who: Saint Goar


Some local figure named Goar has a thing for baptisms for those crossing the Rhine River (Saint Fidgeta and Other Parodies; 66-9).

Friday, October 14, 2016

Time Capsule: Hastings, Under Norman Circumstances #1066

Lewis Barnavelt reads about Halley's Comet appearing over England during the Norman Invasion (The Sign of the Sinister Sorcerer; 19).

Thursday, September 15, 2016

Where's There: Stercoraria

Stercoraria was a tiny village in Gaul where Saint Fidgeta was born (Saint Fidgeta and Other Parodies; 11).

Monday, August 15, 2016

What's What: L'Osservatore Romano

The publication L'Osservatore Romano issued a statement about the investigation into whether Floradora should be declared a saint (Saint Fidgeta and Other Parodies, 83).

Friday, July 15, 2016

Who's Who: Dean Husk?

"And who, may I ask, is Dean Husk?" The Question Box Moderator may be asked an assortment of oddball inquiries but this time he’s out to ask one of his own (Saint Fidgeta and Other Parodies, 49-50).

#JohnBellairs