Belle’s Literary Salon (for cool people)

Belle’s Literary Salon (for cool people) started in around March 2010, when Belle was still only five years old. I can’t remember exactly why we started fooling around with books but she had recently become interested in reading and it was a bit of a hoot really, interpreting book titles through the medium of the webcam on my new(ish) laptop.

The first book we tackled was Abbie Hoffman’s Steal This Book and pretty soon there was a Facebook group with real people joining. We picked mostly ‘outsider’ type books but there were plenty of unicorn and fairy books too. I think my favourite is Belle’s interpretation of Valerie Solanas’ Scum Manifesto, for which she selected her outfit without any help from me, truly.


Steal This Book — Abbie Hoffman

Russian Criminal Tattoo Encyclopedia Volume II

Johnny Thunders… In Cold Blood — Nina Antonia

The Boy Looked at Johnny — Julie Burchill and Tony Parsons

The Angry Brigade — Alan Burns and The Angry Brigade 1967–1984

Dominic — William Steig and Disney’s Belle’s Bag of Colours

The Outsider x2 — Albert Camus

The Veritable Split in the International — Public Circular of the Situationist International

On Marx — Frederick Engels and On Marx and Engels — Vladimir Ilyich Lenin

Poems for the Retired Nihilist — edited by Graham Bendel

The Armory Show catalogue (1963 edition)

The Job and The Ticket That Exploded — William Burroughs

Weird Tales of the Ramones

Of Lives Between Lines — Daniel Jewesbury

Grapefruit — Yoko Ono

Raindance Writers’ Lab: Write + Sell the Hot Screenplay — Elliot Grove

Scum Manifesto — Valerie Solanas

The Evil Empire — Steve Grasse with Penny Rimbaud

The Nazi Olympics — Richard D Mandell

[Image redacted by Belle 6 years later]

Crass Art and Other Pre-Post-Modernist Monsters and Animal Rites — Gee Vaucher


Bonus pics and some more recent books

This Crippled Flesh — Penny Rimbaud

SPK: Turn Illness into a Weapon — Dr Wolfgang Huber, Jean-Paul Sartre et al

The Queen vs Trenton Oldfield — Trenton Oldfield

Poll Tax: Paying To Be Poor — Lorna Reid

Eric Is Awake — Dom Shaw

Autobiography — Morrissey

Malicious Damage: The Defaced Library Books of Kenneth Halliwell and Joe Orton

Dress Rehearsal Brags: an a–z of unpopular cultureGraham Bendel

Fun reading for all the family and available now from Rough Trade. Says Magnus, “I never knew that about Loyd Grossman and Nancy Spungen. Benders has it damn straight and his vignettes are well funny. Can I have some fishy treats?”

Adverts Without Capitalism — Romanian Advertising Graphics 1950–1989

«Throughout this time there were graphic designers working away in the immense system of communication of the day, skilled hands making drawings, laying out pages and creating shapes, as well as people from other fields who also did the work of a graphic designer… Looking at many of the images reproduced here, we can only wonder how the “brief” must have sounded to the lady presenting the product. Things are pretty clear when it comes to beverages and textiles. But just how longingly can you look at a tin of paint? How gracefully can you hold a plate of buttons in your hand?»