The Casual Optimist

Books, Design and Culture

Something for the Weekend


Good Ink, a new imprint of Portland’s Scout Books, have announced a new collection called American Shorts. Each pocket-sized volume in the series pairs a contemporary illustrator with a classic American short story. The first releases are An Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge by Ambrose Bierce, illustrated by François Vigneault; Rip Van Winkle by Washington Irving, illustrated by Bwana Spoons; and The Jelly Bean by F. Scott Fitzgerald, illustrated by Vanessa Davis. (Pictured below, an illustration by François Vigneault for An Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge).

Misery Loves Company — Edward St Aubyn, whose most recent novel At Last was released in May, interviewed in The Guardian:

The curious thing about St Aubyn’s novels is the way they counterpoint personal suffering and social comedy: it is misery lit recast by Evelyn Waugh. The upper class into which he was born and which failed to protect him is mercilessly skewered, including Princess Margaret, who does a brilliant comic turn in Some Hope, the third volume in the trilogy. “For some reason I can’t really analyse, I alternate between those two things,” St Aubyn says, “and I feel that to stay with just one of them would somehow be false. But the rhythm is completely instinctive. I’ve just had enough of the anguish, so I move on.”

Also in The Guardian: Anthony Clavane, author of Promised Land: A Northern Love Story, selects 10 novels about football (or soccer if you must).

And because it’s Friday (and an otherwise light news day), here’s Yowie and the Magpie, a great piece of animated storytelling made for Film London / UKFC Pulse Digital Shorts:

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