‘Ender’s Game’ Cover by Sam Weber

'Ender's Game' Cover by Sam Weber

It’s felt like, in the last 10 years or so, that we’ve seen a renaissance in book cover design. You can easily blame the rise of electronic books for this shift. The print medium is on a decline so it’s important that a book on a bookshelf looks it’s absolutely finest to grab our always distracted attention. A perfect example of this is Sam Weber’s cover for Tor’s version of Orson Scott Card’s Ender’s Game.

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Bobby Solomon

June 27, 2013 / By

Owen Gent Illustrates ‘The Balled of Molly Bawn’ in a Beautiful Handbound Book

Molly Bawn by Owen Gent 1

Owen Gent is freelance illustrator based in Cornwall, England. He recently graduated from University College Falmouth and one of his degree show pieces was a beautiful handbound book based on the 16th century Irish folk ballad of Molly Bawn. The ballad tells the tale of a man who goes out hunting for birds and spots something in the bushes. Thinking it’s a swan, he shoots but to his horror discovers that he has killed his true love Molly Bawn.

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Philip Kennedy

June 27, 2013 / By

Summer Reads: ‘Lets Explore Diabetes with Owls’ by David Sedaris

DavidSedaris_Diabetes

It probably looked strange to the other folks lined up to meet David Sedaris that I was holding a glossy photo of Billie Holiday. I was happy about it because David Sedaris singing in the style of Billie Holiday is the funniest thing in the world. But that world got cloudy and sad when someone who looked important and official approached me to say, “Oh, he won’t sign that, it’s not his work.” I folded the picture in half and put it in the back of the paperback I brought for him to sign. I was waiting in line to meet him for the first time, even though I’ve been reading Sedaris’ books since I saw Naked on my mom’s bookshelf and she told me I was too young to read it. He’s also been on This American Life more than any other contributor I can think of. His newest book is called Lets Explore Diabetes with Owls and it’s… well… a hoot.

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Alex Dent

June 25, 2013 / By

Japan’s Innovative Izu Book Cafe

izu-bookstore

Japan's Izu Bookstore Cafe

I love bookstores. Nothing compares to wandering the aisles, scanning the shelves, or flipping through art tomes on a meandering afternoon. Yes, many of us lead busy lives and favor the lure of the online book purchase arguing that there’s just as much discovery the further you fall down the “Other Recommended Titles” rabbit hole. But I beg to differ. Holding a book in your hand, feeling a page slide under your fingertips, or even engaging with your local bookseller for recommendations trumps the online experience every time because it’s human. I have hope for the local bookstore industry, though, and even more hope for the future after discovering the wonders of Japan’s Izu Book Cafe.

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Andi Teran

May 30, 2013 / By

Alexander Wells Illustrates Asimov’s Foundation Trilogy for The Folio Society

Alexander Wells Illustrates Isaac Asimov's Foundation Trilogy for The Folio Society

Alexander Wells Illustrates Isaac Asimov's Foundation Trilogy for The Folio Society

I discovered the work of illustrator Alexander Wells in the most recent issue of Port Magazine. His illustration work really caught my eye and so I checked out his website to see more of his stuff. It was there that I discovered this incredible series of illustrations he recently produced for The Folio Society’s edition of Isaac Asimov’s highly acclaimed Foundation Trilogy. Released late last year, the books look terrific and Wells’ illustrations really make it come to life!

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Philip Kennedy

May 30, 2013 / By

‘Things Come Apart’ by Todd McClellan

'Things Come Apart' by Todd McClellan

What do useful everyday objects look like from infancy? How many components link together a camera or chainsaw? These are questions artist and photographer Todd McClellan completely obliterates in his new book Things Come Apart. Taking the closest possible look at the inner workings of enduring design objects, McClellan dissects everything from iPads and telephones to alarm clocks and chainsaws. He then meticulously lays out each item, piece by piece, to give you a different perspective of its usually finished form. Interestingly, the arranged pieces are often more interesting than what they comprise.

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Andi Teran

May 29, 2013 / By

‘My Dirty Dumb Eyes’ by Lisa Hanawalt

My Dirty Dumb Eyes by Lisa Hanawalt

Fashionable pink cats, mini helicopters shooting out of a giant golden retriever’s eyeballs, and a trio of famous chefs straddling motorcycles that run on pork broth—this is the wonderfully wacky world of illustrator/comic book artist/podcast extraordinaire Lisa Hanawalt. Though we’re already big fans of  her work (remember that hilarious Visions of Thanksgiving drawing?), her new book, My Dirty Dumb Eyes, is particularly exciting, and not just because it’s endorsed by a bevy of comedian types like Patton Oswalt; she’s doing an expansive U.S. book tour, too.

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Andi Teran

May 20, 2013 / By

Vitsoe Opens a Reading Room in New York

Vitsoe 620 chair in the Vitsoe NYC reading room

The International Contemporary Furniture Fair, aka ICFF, opens in New York City this weekend (May 18 – 21), and to celebrate, venerable modern furniture company Vitsoe is opening a reading room in their downtown Bond Street store. Launched to celebrate the Vitsoe 620 Chair Programme, a chair originally designed by Dieter Rams in 1962,  the company is pairing with culture and photography booksellers (and Vitsoe neighbor) Dashwood Books, to offer the 620 Reading Room, a comfortable and well-heeled respite from your usual weekend stroll. Having visited the Vitsoe showroom myself—primarily to take in their covetable shelving sytems, which remain beautiful yet functional additions to any modern home—I can attest that this pop-up Reading Room will be worth checking out.

Not only does Dashwood carry an astonishing array of unusual and well-curated art tomes, Vitsoe will offer complimentary Intelligentsia pour-overs from Gasoline Alley Coffee. If you happen to be in New York this Friday, May 17 until next Monday, May 20, this will be a rare opportunity to curl up in a legendary piece of contemporary design while sipping free coffee and taking in the fantastic downtown, cobblestone street view. More information and opening hours can be found here.

Andi Teran

May 16, 2013 / By

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