The Casual Optimist

Books, Design and Culture

Something for the Weekend


Two stunningly beautiful, and sadly unused, designs by Henry Sene Yene with photographs by Jon Shireman for Picador’s BIG IDEAS // small books series. Picador decided not to publish the book. You can see Henry’s other designs for the series here.

A Meaningful Publisher — Forbes profiles the fantastic NYRB Classics (via Sarah Weinman):

While the series hasn’t published a bestseller, and is unlikely to do so, readers care about NYRB Classics and are loyal to it. This is a monumental accomplishment at a moment when cultural loyalty is extremely fickle. Frank and Kramer did it using a frills-free, deceptively simple editorial strategy: give readers good books consistently, respect them, engage them, and they’ll stick with you.

Rough Healer — Jamie Byng, publisher at Canongate, on musician, poet, and author Gil Scott-Heron in The Guardian.

The Ultimate Online Bookclub — A little late to the party, but Viv Groskop discovers Twitter is the place to share book opinions and gossip (and stalk authors apparently) in The Telegraph (via Source Books publisher Dominique Raccah on Twitter of course!):

Twitter allows you to discuss books and authors with other fans online without having to set up a blog or invent some dodgy chat room identity. If you “follow” the right people… you soon discover that Twitter brings you compelling snippets from publicists, book fanatics, bloggers and authors themselves. With reading recommendations galore, it is the book addict’s paradise.

The New Narrative — Creative Nonfiction magazine is seeking interesting stand-alone narrative nonfiction blog posts (2000 words or less) to reprint in their next issue. Nominate something from your own blog, or from a friend’s. Closing date is this Monday (April 26, 2010).

And finally…

A Fan of the Form — Author and publisher Dave Eggers talks to On The Media about the McSweeney’s newspaper Panorama:

I like the curatorial, the calmness, the authority of a daily paper. But I do think that it’s a time to make the paper form more robust and more surprising and beautiful and expansive. People still want to read long form literary journals and nonfiction, etc., and so why can’t the print medium do that and be that home and leave the Internet to do the more quick thinking and quick reacting things?

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