Roald Dahl Stories on Stamps: Wonkalicious. Whizzpopping. Swizzfiggling. Stampcollecting.

Who doesn’t know Roald Dahl? You may not had the chance to read the books yet but for sure you are aware of the characters in the books and may have known them also in movies like Charlie and the Chocolate Factory or James and the Giant Peach.

In celebration and tribute, Royal Mail has created a set of stamps to highlight Dahl’s work and characters. Who wouldn’t adore these lovelies??

Illustration: Quentin Blake

His daughter Ophelia Dahl said: “I’m so excited that Royal Mail has honoured my father, Roald Dahl, with these stamps. My dad wrote thousands of letters home throughout his life and never dreamed that one day one of his own characters would grace a stamp.

“He’d be thrilled. This is an excellent way for us to kick off a year of celebrations to mark 30 years in print for The BFG and it’s great that the stamps include a collector’s set, devoted to The BFG and other characters from this book.”

These illustrations are sold in a wide variety of choices. If you head on to the Royal Mail website (site stated below) you’ll see that these illustrations are available in Presentation Packs, Pin Badges, Framed Stamps, etc.

Royal Mail Official Website


Book Review: My Soul to Lose by Rachel Vincent

Title: My Soul to Lose (Soul Screamer #0.5 Series)
Author: Rachel Vincent
Pages: 87
Publisher: Harlequin Teen
ISBN: 1426838670

It was supposed to be a fun day, shopping at the mall with her best friend. Then the panic attack started and Kaylee Cavanaugh finds herself screaming, unable to stop. Her secret fears are exposed and it’s the worst day of her life.

Until she wakes up in the psychiatric unit.

She tries to convince everyone she’s fine–despite the shadows she sees forming around another patient and the urge to scream which comes burbling up again and again. Everyone thinks she’s crazy. Everyone except Lydia, that is. Another patient with some special abilities.


Intrigued by the number of followers of this series, I decided to start reading as well. My Soul to Lose is a short novella, a prequel to the series Soul Screamer. This is my first time reading Vincent’s work  (I just realized I read Reaper way back 2010) and My Soul to Lose has been an amazing experience yet again. It was a quick read, the story was easy to follow and the characters were “alive”, intense and loveable. The story primarily talks about Kaylee and how her life started and how she struggled. It gave us an idea of what Kaylee really is, what she capable of and what she’s going to deal with in the future. A great introduction and opening to a series. Looking forward to reading My Soul To Take. Highly recommended!

Book Review: The Lost Files: Six’s Legacy by Pittacus Lore

Title: The Lost Files: Six’s Legacy (Lorien Legacies #0.5)
Author: Pittacus Lore
Pages: 93
Publisher: HarperCollins
ISBN: 0062109375

Number Six—when John meets her in I Am Number Four she’s strong, powerful, and ready to fight. But who is she? Where has she been living? How has she been training? When did she develop her legacies? And how does she know so much about the Mogadorians?

In I Am Number Four: The Lost Files: Six’s Legacy, discover the story behind Six. Before Paradise, Ohio, before John Smith, Six was traveling through West Texas with her CÊpan, Katarina. What happened there would change Six forever


I was hesitant to start reading the Lorien Legacies series since I don’t really enjoy reading series that are not complete yet or atleast halfway there – I hate waiting for the next book to come out. Well who doesn’t? Anyway, I gave up on my hesitation and finally read the first installment – well a novella really with only 93 pages – and it was a great read in spite the length of the story. Continue reading

10 Syndromes that are named after literary works/characters

Found this via Tumblr and since it’s bookish related, sharing it for you guys as well. 🙂
  1. Alice in Wonderland Syndrome. Unlike the namesake of this disorder, sufferers of Alice in Wonderland Syndrome perceive their body parts and other objects in altered sizes even if they don’t consume weird things with “Drink Me!” or “Eat Me!” on their labels. 😛 AIWS is commonly associated with migraines, brain tumors, use of psychoactive drugs, and signs of epilepsy and mononucleosis. This is also called Todd’s Syndrome.
  2. Rapunzel Syndrome. This syndrome is named after the fairy tale princess with beautiful and astonishingly long hair in one of Brothers Grimm’s bedtime stories. The Rapunzel Syndrome is a rare intestinal condition in humans resulting from tricophagia, or the abnormal urge to eat one’s hair. This diagnosis is medically referred to as trichobezoar. In ancient times, the hair found in intestinal tracks are believed to be an elixir of some sort, able to cure lots of diseases.
  3. Cinderella Syndrome. Named after the main character in one of Charles Perrault’s fairy tales, this syndrome refers to the common phenomenon in kids where they make exaggerated stories about how they are abused, mistreated, or neglected by adoptive/step-parents. This is different from ‘Cinderella Complex’, which is said to be women’s fear of independence and an unconscious desire to be taken care of by ‘stronger’ others (like metaphorical Fairy God moms or Princes Charming).
  4. Peter Pan Syndrome. “I don’t want to grow up!” says J.M. Barrie’s popular character from Neverland. According to pop-psychology, sufferers of Peter Pan Syndrome are adults who are socially immature. They tend to avoid responsibilities and often feel the need to be mothered.
  5. Dorian Gray Syndrome. This syndrome is named after the handsome main character of Oscar Wilde’s book The Picture of Dorian Gray who sells his soul so that his portrait will age instead of himself. Sufferers of DGS are characterized by an excessive preoccupation with their physical appearances and youth, thus having problems in terms of coping with aging. Often, people with DGS have narcissistic traits and are heavily reliant on cosmetic procedures and products.
  6. Othello Syndrome. Sufferers of Othello syndrome, very much like the namesake of this disorder from one of Shakespeare’s works, are characterized by intense and often delusional distrust of their partners. This syndrome is also called morbid jealousy and is often associated with alcoholism and sexual dysfunction. It can also be found in the context of schizophrenia and bipolar disorder.
  7. Pollyanna Syndrome. Named after Eleanor Porter’s protagonist in her best-selling children’s book, Pollyanna Syndrome is the psychological phenomenon wherein a person becomes blindly or foolishly optimistic to a point that it’s almost delusional.
  8. Emperor’s Clothes Syndrome. The Emperor’s Clothes Syndrome is more like a mentality than a disorder. It got its name from Hans Christian Andersen’s tale where no one in town—until the kid speaks—is pointing out that the Emperor is naked because no one wants to be called ‘stupid’ or ‘unfit’ for their positions. People who have ECS claim that they know something even if they don’t, in order to avoid being judged as stupid or intellectually inferior to others.
  9. Mowgli Syndrome. This syndrome is named after the beloved main character of Rudyard Kipling’s The Jungle Book, Mowgli. Mowgli is a boy who is raised by animals. Kids with this syndrome are said to have weak mental and/or physical traits, especially those who have suffered tremendous emotional stress due to parental neglect and abuse.
  10. Huckleberry Finn Syndrome. This is named after one of Mark Twain’s boy characters that became darlings to the readers, Huck Finn. It’s a psychodynamic complex in which the obligations and responsibilities avoided as a child, eventuate into frequent job changes and absenteeism as an adult. The HFS may be a defense mechanism linked to parental rejection, low self-esteem and depression in an intelligent person.

Date A Girl Who Reads by Rosemarie Urquico

I’ve read this in Tumblr a few months ago and because it’s a great piece, sharing this to other fellow readers who enjoys discovering new books and indulging oneself in the fictional world with every great story we encounter. 🙂 This post is just spot on!

Date a girl who reads. Date a girl who spends her money on books instead of clothes. She has problems with closet space because she has too many books. Date a girl who has a list of books she wants to read, who has had a library card since she was twelve.

Find a girl who reads. You’ll know that she does because she will always have an unread book in her bag.She’s the one lovingly looking over the shelves in the bookstore, the one who quietly cries out when she finds the book she wants. You see the weird chick sniffing the pages of an old book in a second hand book shop? That’s the reader. They can never resist smelling the pages, especially when they are yellow.

She’s the girl reading while waiting in that coffee shop down the street. If you take a peek at her mug, the non-dairy creamer is floating on top because she’s kind of engrossed already. Lost in a world of the author’s making. Sit down. She might give you a glare, as most girls who read do not like to be interrupted. Ask her if she likes the book.

Buy her another cup of coffee.

Let her know what you really think of Murakami. See if she got through the first chapter of Fellowship. Understand that if she says she understood James Joyce’s Ulysses she’s just saying that to sound intelligent. Ask her if she loves Alice or she would like to be Alice.

It’s easy to date a girl who reads. Give her books for her birthday, for Christmas and for anniversaries. Give her the gift of words, in poetry, in song. Give her Neruda, Pound, Sexton, Cummings. Let her know that you understand that words are love. Understand that she knows the difference between books and reality but by god, she’s going to try to make her life a little like her favorite book. It will never be your fault if she does.

She has to give it a shot somehow.

Lie to her. If she understands syntax, she will understand your need to lie. Behind words are other things: motivation, value, nuance, dialogue. It will not be the end of the world.

Fail her. Because a girl who reads knows that failure always leads up to the climax. Because girls who understand that all things will come to end. That you can always write a sequel. That you can begin again and again and still be the hero. That life is meant to have a villain or two.

Why be frightened of everything that you are not? Girls who read understand that people, like characters, develop. Except in the Twilightseries.

If you find a girl who reads, keep her close. When you find her up at 2 AM clutching a book to her chest and weeping, make her a cup of tea and hold her. You may lose her for a couple of hours but she will always come back to you. She’ll talk as if the characters in the book are real, because for a while, they always are.

You will propose on a hot air balloon. Or during a rock concert. Or very casually next time she’s sick. Over Skype.

You will smile so hard you will wonder why your heart hasn’t burst and bled out all over your chest yet. You will write the story of your lives, have kids with strange names and even stranger tastes. She will introduce your children to the Cat in the Hat and Aslan, maybe in the same day. You will walk the winters of your old age together and she will recite Keats under her breath while you shake the snow off your boots.

Date a girl who reads because you deserve it. You deserve a girl who can give you the most colorful life imaginable. If you can only give her monotony, and stale hours and half-baked proposals, then you’re better off alone. If you want the world and the worlds beyond it, date a girl who reads.

Or better yet, date a girl who writes.

Book Sculptures by Mike Stilkey

I’ve found these amazing “book sculptures” in Mike Stilkey’s website and I just got to share. Great work of art pieces. One can just marvel at how creative a person can be.

Here’s Mike Stilkey’s bio direct from his website:

Los Angeles native Mike Stilkey has always been attracted to painting and drawing not only on vintage paper, record covers and book pages, but on the books themselves. Using a mix of ink, colored pencil, paint and lacquer, Stilkey depicts a melancholic and at times a whimsical cast of characters inhabiting ambiguous spaces and narratives of fantasy and fairy tales. A lingering sense of loss and longing hints at emotional depth and draws the viewer into their introspective thrall with a mixture of capricious poetry, wit, and mystery. His work is reminiscent of Weimar-era German expressionism and his style has been described by some as capturing features of artists ranging from Edward Gorey to Egon Schiele.

If you want to see more of Mike Stilkey’s work – head over to his website HERE.

Hello world!

Hello world indeed! 2012 has come and it’s now the time to reinvent what I have started a year ago. I started book blogging around 2010 when I decided I wanted to document my thoughts and opinion regarding books or any book related ideas which is why I created Clandestine Sanctuary. However, as months has passed I felt that I wasn’t really comfortable blogging at Blogger which is why I finanlly (after months and months of hesitation) decided this year to totally shift to WordPress and reinvent the name altogether for a new start.

Basically The Solitary Bookworm will just be a mirror of some sort to Clandestine Sanctuary as I decided not to delete it – you can still read my review and other posts there if you decided to but from now on The Solitary Bookworm is going to be my permanent home so lets sit back and grab our favorite read and enjoy the fulfilling contentment that book provided us from then to tomorrow.

1/25/2012 — I just realized that after a long time of not doing book reviews and being active in the blogging community, I seemed to be lost – I’ve lost the rhythm/schedule that I maintained when I was blogging in Blogger. Blogging now seems to be a foreign concept in addition to adjusting to WordPress from my former blog – there’s no issue there actually, it’s just that I was so used to blogging in a different platform which makes my blogging experience now alien-ish to a point but that won’t stop me. The love for book and the chance to discovering new reads and friends is a greater pull factor, plus doing so gives me pleasure.

Happy reading guys.