Pink Fire Pointer November 2010


The good folks at McSweeney's have been sending me cryptic emails during Thanksgiving weekend alluding to very tempting book sales throughout the holiday season. Today, they announced that each day, starting today, they'll be featuring at least one book for 50% off along with promo codes that can add a free(!) book to your order.  You can check out their Advent Calendar for updates on the daily sales week to week.  Word on the street is The Instructions by Adam Levin will be an upcoming daily sale, so keep checking.  THIS IS LIKE A DREAM COME TRUE SO STOCK UP.

This week's deals:

(TODAY) Nov. 29: There Are Many Of Us (Book + DVD + CD) by Spike Jonze

(TOMORROW) Nov. 30: McSweeney's Issue 13, guest-edited by Chris Ware (this is awesome if you adore comics like I adore comics)

Wednesday, Dec. 1: Cold Fusion by Dr. and Mr. Doris Haggis-on-Whey and The Very Persistent Gappers of Frip by George Saunders

Thursday, Dec. 2: The Clock Without a Face by Gus Twintig (and the Wild Clock Bundle)

Friday, Dec. 3: The Illustrious Bundle

Saturday, Dec. 4: Binky Brown Meets the Holy Virgin Mary by Justin Green (and the Holy Bundle!)

Sunday, Dec. 5: It Is Right to Draw Their Fur by Dave Eggers (and the Furry Bundle)

100 Notable Books

The New York Times recently published their list of the 100 notable books of 2010, which will run in this Sunday’s edition of their Book Review.  Scanning the list, I see that sadly, I’ve only read 5 of their 100 recommended books (Freedom by Jonathon Franzen, Mr. Peanut by Adam Ross, Room by Emma Donoghue, Sourland: Stories by Joyce Carol Oates, The Thousand Autumns of Jacob de Zoet by David Mitchell).  And if it counts towards anything I bought and intend on reading Travels in Siberia by Ian Frazier (which is a gorgeously illustrated book) and The Imperfectionists by Tom Rachman.  I won’t even pretend to have heard of some of these titles though many of the authors are very well-known and  some of the books were short-listed for various literature prizes this year.  Of the books I read that were included, I have to say that I don't think Sourland belonged.  As much as I'm an unabashed fangirl of JCO's short stories, I thought this collection was pretty weak and very unmemorable.  Two of the non-fiction picks jumped out at me and I immediately put them on my wish list: Last Call: The Rise and Fall of Prohibition by Daniel Okrent, thanks to my new found obsession with prohibition-era cocktails and Parisians: An Adventure History of Paris by Graham Robb since I'm going back to Paris in December!

However, Flavorwire pointed out that lots of awesome books were left off the list including one of my personal favorites of the year: Skippy Dies by Paul Murray.  Also, shockingly, the wildly popular non-fiction National Book Award winner Just Kids by Patti Smith was not included. They recommended 10 awesome books that DIDN'T make the NYBR list and I instantly found ANOTHER book that I am heaping on my wish list pile (because I'm all about grim Ozark and Appalachian tragedy since seeing Winter's Bone).

What have you guys read from these lists?  Anything you would add?

Adventures in Tipsy Book Shopping

On Saturday, after enjoying several cocktails, I went tipsy book shopping at my local independent bookstore here in Columbus (The Book Loft for you out-of-towners).  Finding good books here can be hit or miss.  Sometimes they’ll have tons of great unknown books stocked and sometimes the shelves will be a desert wasteland. One thing that The Book Loft does well though is stock awesome book reprints.  They were the first place that I saw the now famous cloth-bound Penguin Classics and they also carry every copy of the Graphic Penguin Classics

This time, I discovered White's Books, a not-so-new publishing venture co-run by David Pearson, who is a former designer for Penguin and was behind some of the more beautiful Penguin books like the Great Ideas series.  Pearson simply wanted to reprint classics with good design as the main focus and when this concept finally came to fruition in late 2008, the book blog-o-sphere was atwitter and eventually the news even made its way to Apartment Therapy.  With all that attention, I’m actually pretty surprised I hadn’t seen these before.

Everything down to the endpapers and typesetting is carefully considered, and Pearson had some of his favorite designers come up with the bold, stylized covers.  They also have a blurb about the person that created the book cover on the paper belly band, which I thought was a really special touch and acknowledges the often underappreciated designer.  These novels are large and luxurious and make my little bookish heart melt.  I bought Sherlock Holmes, and promptly put the other 7 editions on my Christmas wish list *ahem*. You can buy them here.

The following titles are included in this reprint:

Emma – Jane Austen
Sherlock Holmes – His Greatest Cases – Arthur Conan Doyle
Wuthering Heights – Emily Bronte
Pride and Prejudice – Jane Austen
Sonnets and Poems – William Shakespeare
The Christmas Books – Charles Dickens
Treasure Island – Robert Louis Stevenson
Jane Eyre – Charlotte Bronte 


According to The Fiction Desk, White’s Books will soon be publishing a series of Pocket Classics with covers illustrated by Joe McLaren.  The white covers and embossed look are meant to convey a letterpress feel and I think they’re fantastic.  I can’t wait for these to be available here in the U.S.! See what happens when you go tipsy book shopping? You discover an awesome new book publisher.