"I cannot live without books." -- Thomas Jefferson

Monday, November 29, 2010

Sunday, November 28, 2010

"On Elegance While Sleeping" by Viscount Lascano Tegui

With the title "On Elegance While Sleeping," of course I had to read it.   Its by a writer i never heard of before,  a man who is a total mystery to me.  Which added the appeal for me to pick on this book as well.  

A sweet little tale of a murder-to-be via his diary.  But no, this is not a serial killer's rant and ravings, it is a highly beautifully written dreamy (in other words Surreal) observations on sexuality, family, and one's place in the 'outer' world.  Which in other words can be "dandy" world. 

These two paragraphs i find beautiful:

"One day she wasn't among her friends, but still feeling the strange power of that fragile girl -destined to die far too early - her friends fell silent as they passed me, same as on all the other day, without the least self-consciousness.  Not a single one looked at me.  And I knew the truth.  Isabel was dying.

Having decided a few days later to inquire about her health, I installed myself again along the bend in the road,  where I soon heard a song coming down the way. The women from the factory of supersensitive telephone receivers had replaced their dead friend with a song."

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Jacques Tardi's "The Extraordinary Adventures of ADELE BLANC-SEC

Jacques Tardi, I think, is quite remarkable.  While everyone is singing the praises of other graphic novelists, Tardi is focused on having one foot in the past and the other foot in the contemporary world.   This is a very elegant edition of his two graphic novels which is part of a series called "The Extraordinary Adventures of Adele Blanc-Sec."  Both stories connect to each other in a 1930's style of serialization.  
Very pulpy, with Victorian overtones, but with a wit and a great sense of charm.  And I love Tardi's drawings.  Extremely detailed and a magnificent tribute to one of the main characters in the story - Paris.  Mysterious pathways, the always haunted vibe of Jardin des Plantes (I stayed across the street, its a scary place), and characters that are a mixture of criminals and heroes at the same time.  Love it.

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Albert Cossery's "The Jokers"

A pal of Boris Vian's and a citizen of the Saint Germain-des-prĂ©s, Albert Cossery is a writer with a wicked sense of humor and has a deep understanding of human folly.  His novel "The Jokers" is about a group of revolutionaries (in Egypt?) who fight the power by showing noting but the highest respect for that power.  It is sort of a revolution via The Marx Brothers than anything else.
Also there is a joy in life that is actually revoltuionary - and how they apply that in a political take-over or the removal of the Governor, is quite profound.  "The Jokers" has a light touch but the message against authority is clear, very enlightened, and a wonderful read.

Friday, November 19, 2010

"Shazam! The Golden Age of The World's Mightest Mortal" by Chip Kidd and Georff Spear

Chip Kidd is not only a great book designer but he's a man of great passion - with respect to comic book history.  But it is not only the history of a particular comic, it is also the history of the by-products of that work - meaning the cinema, the toys, and interesting enough, the clothing.  In his latest book he covers Captain Marvel. 
Captain Marvel via the eyes of the 21st Century is a poor cousin to Superman - but alas, Captain Marvel is much more then that.  Young boy Billy Batson yells out the word "Shazam" and he becomes super hero Captain Marvel.  What boy would not want to have those powers!?!   And that is the inner-beauty of Captain Marvel connection to the youth at the time. 
One also admires the beauty of the toys, the wrist watches (that can't break!), bean bags, and the Captain Marvel costume that was made for the Republic serial.   This book is more of a fetish object than anything else.  It drips with passion and beauty of the drawings and lettering of a classic comic.  Beautiful production job as well

Monday, November 15, 2010

The Wonderful World of TamTam Books: David B. & Pierre Mac Orlan's "The Littlest Pirate...

The Wonderful World of TamTam Books: David B. & Pierre Mac Orlan's "The Littlest Pirate...: "My interest in this graphic 'novel' is the author Pierre Mac Orlan. A hero to Guy Debord, Mac Orlan was the Bohemian's Bohemian. Although a ..."

Saturday, November 13, 2010

A Very Important Article in The Huffington Post for All Readers

Please read about the Masters of Fine Arts programs in Creative Writing and how they effect why certain novelists make it and others don't. A real behind the scenes look that is important for all readers. Pass it on!


Thursday, November 11, 2010

Emmy Award winning costumer designer Janie Bryant signs at Book Soup!

Emmy Award winning Mad Men costume designer Janie Bryant with her co-author Monica Corcoran Harel...

Pick up a signed copy of The Fashion File: Advice, Tips, and Inspiration from the Costume Designer of Mad Men at the Book Soup website here.

Makes for a great gift for the holidays! Includes a foreword by Mad Men cast member, January Jones.