Tag: the beatles

Did You Know These Species Were Named After Iconic Writers?

Did you know there are a great number of living creatures named after various writers? I really did not know how to react after looking at some of these, but I can imagine that it’s quite an honor to find out that you’ve had an entire species named after you. Throughout biological nomenclature, organisms are sometimes given scientific names with the intention to honor somebody. From insects, to plants, to even a variety of fish, there are a plethora of different types of organisms named after influential writers. These are the ones that left me quite confused, yet strangely compelled.

 

Shireplitis

Shireplitis is a group wasps that are native to New Zealand. They are usually black or brown in color, and are about 2mm in body length with narrow wings. Although not clear at first, their genus name derives from the Shire, home of the famous hobbits in J.R.R Tolkien’s series of books The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings. There are five species of Shireplitis named after iconic hobbits, and one named after Tolkien himself.

 

Image Via Pixels

Shireplitis bilboi (Bilbo Baggins)

Shireplitis frodoi (Frodo Baggins)

Shireplitis samwisei (Samwise Gamgee)

Shireplitis meriadoci (Mariadoc Brandybuck)

Shireplitis peregrini (Peregrin Took)

Shireplitis tolkieni (J.R.R Tolkien)

 

Learning about this in high school would have made biology a lot more fun.

 

Avalanchurus

Avalanchurus is an extinct family of trilobites, which are a group of marine arachnomorph arthropods. The subfamily of Avalanchurus consists of four different species named after four musical icons. Avalanchurus garfunkeli and Avalanchurus simoni are named after Art Garfunkel and Paul Simon, the legendary bestselling folk-rock duo. Avalanchurus lennoni and Avalanchurus starri are named after the singer and drummer of The Beatles, John Lennon and Ringo Starr. It a blend of fascination and surprise that this is even a thing.

 

Image Via Wikipedia

Although they are not necessarily authors, Paul Simon is well known as arguably one of the best songwriters of all time.

 

Sonoma twaini

Sonoma is a subfamily of rove beetles that originated from North America. Appearing mostly from the Pacific Slope in Alaska to southern California, there are at least fifty-seven known species. There are many different names for these species, such as sonoma colberti, named after Stephen Colbert, and sonoma stewarti, named after Jon Stewart. Looking through the long list, however, I found sonoma twaini, approriately named after Mark Twain, the author of The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn. Why there is a family of beetles named after two talk show hosts and a legendary author, I really cannot say. Yet, these names really don’t get more random and erratic than this.

 

Image Via Biography

Featured Image Via Variety

John Lennon’s Son Wants You to Love the Earth (and Yourself)

Julian Lennon, John Lennon’s oldest son and the original inspiration for the Beatles song “Hey Jude,” writes tree-hugging, earth-loving children’s books when he’s not performing for live audiences.

Lennon concluded his world-peace-focused children’s book trilogy on April 22nd with the publication of Love the Earth. Before the third installment hit the shelves, Heal the Earth and Touch the Earth had already graced The New York Times‘ bestseller list. The White Flier Advent trilogy details the adventures of children who travel the globe in an airplane called the White Feather Flier, delivering supplies and aid to people and animals in need. The books are co-authored by Bart Davis and illustrated by Smiljana Coh.

 

 

 

Lennon might be known in the public sphere for his problematic relationship with his father, who divorced Lennon’s mother when he was a child, but the core of his work lies in supporting global access to education and the conservation of natural resources and ecosystems. In 2007, Lennon created The White Feather Foundation, an environmental and humanitarian charity — in fact, much of the proceeds from The White Flier Advent trilogy and Lennon’s other projects go straight to the charity. Lennon has said multiple times that the name of the charity, and the trilogy, came from his father, who often said that should he pass away, he would send Julian a message from the afterlife in the form of a white feather.

The White Feather Foundation collaborates with similar humanitarian groups to raise funds for specific community projects or environmental initiatives. A recent news item on the group’s website highlights an independent film on disability education to which Lennon contributed music and lyrics, and which The White Feather Foundation promotes.

Lennon does not expect a children’s trilogy or an ever-expanding charity to retroactively resolve the effects of a toxic relationship with an absent father, but he does hope his work can shine a light into the darkness for future generations, readers, and listeners. His vision of a perfect world is not one where larger-than-life musicians return from the dead to forgive their loyal sons, but one where people of all backgrounds understand how to work together, help each other, and fight for their home planet.

 

 

Featured Image Via The White Feather Foundation.

Author Accuses Film ‘Yesterday’ of Plot Similarities

Yesterday, the new film from director Danny Boyle, the man behind hits like Trainspotting and Slumdog Millionaire, tells the story of a struggling musician named Jack who wakes up in an alternate version of reality in which The Beatles never existed. Jack uses his knowledge of all Beatles songs to become a superstar, but it comes at a personal cost.

The plot of the movie feels very familiar to author Nick Milligan, who wrote a book with nearly the exact same premise.

Milligan self-published a speculative fiction novel titled Enormity back in 2013, which is about an astronaut named Jack who finds himself on another planet after a mission gone wrong. This new planet is almost exactly the same as Earth, with the only difference being that The Beatles do not exist. He uses this to become the planet’s most successful musician.

Milligan pointed out these similarities to The Guardian over the weekend, however while he noted the plot is generally the same, the tone is different.

Yesterday is a more light-hearted family-friendly film, where Enormity is far more dark and twisted. It’s probably just a horrible coincidence and they mean me no disrespect.”

Milligan has also stated that since he spoke to The Guardian, sales for Enormity have gone up. It is unclear whether or not Milligan will pursue legal action. The producers of the film have not commented on the story.

 

 

Featured Image Via Highsnobiety

An image of John Lennon with the covers of his books.

Did You Know John Lennon Wrote Weird Hilarious Books?!

I’ll go out on a thin limb here and say we are all familiar with John Lennon. If you don’t know him from his star-making career as one of the core members of The Beatles— most of whose songs were written by the Lennon-McCartney (as in Paul McCartney) songwriting duo— you might know him from his stellar post-Beatles career, or from his work with his partner, Yoko Ono. However, there is another creative medium in John Lennon’s repertoire that has not received quite as much attention as his music. 

 

Gif of Lennon smiling

Image Via Gifer

 

In honor of what would have been Lennon’s 78th birthday, we here at Bookstr would like to draw some attention to his less-regarded creative output: his writing— not songwriting, but creative writing, in the form of his books, In His Own WriteA Spaniard in the Works, and Skywriting by Word of Mouth.

 

 

In His Own Write

 

The cover of In His Own Write

Image Via Ultimate Classic Rock

 

In His Own Write was Lennon’s first book, published in 1964 by Simon & Schuster. The book is made up of short stories and Lennon’s drawings. It is written in a nonsensical style that is characterized by intentional misspellings, surrealism, free association, and abrupt shifts in thought. The book also happened to be the first solo project by any of The Beatles. 

 

Pages 62-63 of In His Own Write, displaying Lennon's drawings and prose style.

Image Via 13th Dimension

 

An example of the book’s unique style can be found in the “About the Author” page:

 

About The Awful 
I was bored on the 9th of Octover 1940 when, I believe, the Nasties were still booming us led by Madolf Heatlump (who only had one). Anyway they didn’t get me. I attended to varicous schools in Liddypol. And still didn’t pass — much to my Aunties supplies. As a member of the most publified Beatles my (P, G, and R’s) records might seem funnier to some of you than this book, but as far as I’m conceived this correction of short writty is the most wonderfoul larf I’ve every ready. 
God help and breed you all.

 

 

A Spaniard in the Works

 

Cover of A Spaniard in the Works

Image Via The Saleroom

 

A Spaniard in the Works was Lennon’s second book, published only a year after In His Own Write. The style is very similar to In His Own Write, featuring the same intentional misspellings, short stories accompanied by drawings, and absurdism.

 

 

A still from the movie 'Help' in which John Lennon holds up a copy of A Spaniard in the Works

Image Via The Hand of Count Petofi

 

The book’s table of contents offers a clue as to what you can expect from a read-through of it:

 

A Spaniard in the Works
The Fat Budgie
Snore Wife and some Several Dwarts
The Singularge Experience of Miss Anne Duffield
The Faulty Bagnose
We must not forget the General Erection
Benjaman Distasteful
The Wumberlog (or The Magic Dog)
Araminta Ditch
Cassandle
The National Health Cow
Readers Lettuce
Silly Norman
Mr. Boris Morris
Bernice’s Sheep
Last Will and Testicle
Our Dad
I Believe, Boot . . .

 

 

Skywriting by Word of Mouth

 

Cover of Skywriting by Word of Mouth

Image Via AbeBooks

 

This was Lennon’s final book, posthumously published in 1986, a whole twenty-one years after his last book, and six years after his death. This book is rather different from his others; for one thing, it abides by typical spelling convention. The book is also a sort of autobiography, rather than a collection of surrealist stories.

 

An excerpt from 'Skywriting by Word of Mouth'

Image Via Beatles Blog

 

Written in its author’s much-imitated, never-duplicated voice, populated with his own illustrations, full of the wit and honesty that helped make him one of the most iconic, polarizing figures of the 20th Century, Skywriting by Word of Mouth is the lost and recovered, posthumously published autobiography of John Lennon.

 

A still from the movie 'Help': Lennon laying on a bed surrounded by copies of his own book, the captions read: "Stop trying to drag things down to your own level."

Image Via The Hand of Count Petofi

 

 

Featured Image Via Billboard, Saleroom, AbeBooks, and Ultimate Classic Rock. Excerpts and Synopses Via Amazon

lotr

John Lennon Wanted to Play Gollum in a Beatles’-Led ‘Lord of the Rings’ Film

Peter Jackson’s The Lord of the Rings movie trilogy made nearly three billion dollars worldwide, but the story could have come to the big screen much sooner: The Beatles wanted to star in it.

 

Back when Jackson’s movies were coming out, he did an interview for Wellington’s Evening Post in which he spilled the beans.

 

John Lennon wanted to play Gollum, alongside George Harrison as Gandalf, Paul McCartney as Frodo Baggins, and Ringo Starr as Samwise Gamgee. Lennon wanted Stanley Kubrick to direct —Kubrick reportedly briefly considered the idea before turning it down. Ultimately, said Jackson, J. R. R. Tolkien himself shut the proposal down entirely.

 

Jackson learned of this from Paul McCartney personally.

 

Art blog Super Punch hosted a contest a few years ago to create art imagining the film, resulting in a number of amazing drawings and edits that can be seen in full here.

 

lotr

Image Via Super Punch

 

Feature Image Via Super Punch