Via Caustic Cover Critic from yesterday. Designer Amy Fleisher having a little fun revamping classic Penguin covers for the 75th Anniversary. If only this stuff was real. Or could it be? If they thought people would buy it? As I, of course, would.
And I might want these plush for some little ones.
And who would pass up a Frankenstein Penguin USB drive? Click on over to Amy Fleisher's site to see that one. So cute. So playful. Laughed out loud a little.
"We want people to have a centre, a history, an account that makes sense. We want to be able to say This is what he did and Here's why. It forms a lock against oblivion. Does it?" Anne Carson
The most lovely book just arrived in the mail today. I know, I know, I say this all the time. My bookish infatuations are numerous and intense. But Nox by Anne Carson, due out later this month from New Directions, is breathtaking. I can't put it down. After leafing through an arc some time back, I already knew how special the content is here. A moving eulogy for Carson's brother. But until I actually opened this "book in a box" today in its finished form, it did not wield its full impact upon me.
So you open the book (the box) like this.
And then the pages unfold before you much as the narrative thread does. One piece at a time accordion style. Like the pieces of a life that march through a sequence but remain joined, intact. Indivisible from the whole story.
The scrapbook effect of personal artefacts, photos, notes, collage, sketches tell the story of Carson's brother's life in a visually arresting way before you ever get to the words. Will be back soon with my account of those words. Still reading the visual story.
It's Saturday. We shouldn't have to think that hard. And yesterday's post invited some strong reactions to UK versus US cover designs so let's see (and judge) just a few more. Now many of you know that I live in the US but am constantly lusting after UK designs. Especially from those occasionally infuriating Penguin people who have reserved most of their best design efforts for friends across the pond. So I get many of your comments yesterday that said you liked that particular US cover better but usually pick the UK option.I picked a few titles today that seem to be on many to-be-read or just reviewed lists. UK on the left, US on the right. What do you think? Any other book comparisons we should see?
Have you ever really loved a book design for the hardcover of a book, and then had an "Oh my god, what were they thinking?" moment when the paperback comes out dressed in something far less satisfying? Disappointing isn't it? But today was not one of those days. The paperback of The Manual of Detection comes out this month, and a copy arrived in my mail slot today. And it is most satisfying as was its hardcover parent.
Do you have a hardcover to paperback happy ending? Or tale of the tragic stepchild?
Do you see these gorgeous new Penguin Hardback Classics designed by Coralie Bickford-Smith? They are due to be released on October 5 in the UK, and I will be first in line. Some of you may remember my love affair with the first set of releases last year as I blogged about it here? Once I received them for Christmas, I began waiting for the next cloth-bound beauties. I have gestated that love some 9+ months, and now the babies are coming home from the book hospital.
But friends, you know how busy I am. So I want one of you to take one of my children. Any one from the cradle above. Just pick the one that suits your fancy. I can't possibly care for all of them. I will ship it to your house in a mailer just like Flat Stanley travels.
But in order to get an entry into my little competition, I want you to do something that will put us all in the proper frame of mind for Banned Books Week. Look at the titles above - The Hound of the Baskervilles, Oliver Twist, Emma, The Odyssey, The Woman in White, Treasure Island, The Sonnets and A Lover's Complaint (Shakespeare), Lady Chatterley's Lover, Little Women, and Alice's Adventures in Wonderland - and take a guess as to which two have not been challenged or banned in some well-documented way. Don't look it up. Just guess. You get an entry no matter what - right or wrong.
Take a guess by close of day this Sunday, October 4. Win a beauty of your choice. Then let's all meet up here next week, and challenge some of our assumptions?
The updates on the Penguin UK blog are not frequent but always engaging. Check out this entry to reveal, among other things, how a simple sketch like the one above becomes this design concept:
Then interpreted in this manner:
Before all components meld in this proof:
Fascinating to me. Not even that thrilled with the final product, but just enjoy seeing the process. Go read the whole post by Penguin Press art director, Jim Stoddard for insights and more interesting images.
Came upon this lovely via FaceOut Books tweet today. Design lust. Dug around a little about book. Know a little about Fulton, nothing about this book. Now have content lust also.
"Set in Troy, New York, this linked collection follows a quirky and resilient family of women throughout the twentieth century.
In 1908, Mamie Garrahan faces childbirth aided by her arsenic-eating sister-in-law Kitty, a nun who grows opium poppies, and a doctor who prescribes Bayer Heroin. “In the twentieth century, I believe there are no saints left,” Mamie remarks. But her daughters and granddaughter test this notion with far-reaching consequences. Kitty’s arsenic reappears sixty years later in the hands of her distraught niece. A schoolgirl’s passion for the Beatles and Melville—a passion both lonely and funny—shapes her life. Each decade is illuminated by endearingly eccentric characters: an anorexic waitress falls for a wealthy college boy in the jazz age ... an exuberant young nurse questions science during the Depression ... a homely seamstress designs a scandalous dress in the 1950s.
The Nightingales of Troy, the first fiction collection by an acclaimed American poet, creates a vividly palpable sense of time and place. Alice Fulton’s memorable characters confront the deepest dilemmas with bravery and abiding love." (from the publisher)
What do you know about this one? What book are you lusting after today?
Just updated my book design blogroll again. As to not forget the beautiful designs that cover beautiful words. It is over there in the right sidebar under the heading "judge by its cover." And am happy to have a found a few new friends. Tal Designz featured the book cover you see above as most recent post. And I said "Oooo!" Checked it out here and there. Need to read it. More later on the Lost in Translation challenge page. For now, I will just look at the cover, and ponder a line from the book.
"I was raised among books," writes Daniel Sempere, "making invisible friends in pages that seemed cast from dust and whose smell I carry on my hands to this day."
Help me here. Has anyone read The Shadow of the Wind? My optimistic self hopes the words are as intriguing as this image.
Example of the treasure trove pictured above. "This illuminated page in Javanese script is from a chronicle of a Javanese court in Yogyakarta. Located in central Java, Yogyakarta was one of two main pre-colonial royal cities in Java and a center of Javanese culture. The history of local leaders and royal families was recorded in chronicles such as this one. The document is from the collections of the KITLV/Royal Netherlands Institute of Southeast Asian and Caribbean Studies in Leiden."
Armchair scholar fantasy. What will you look for here?